Below are scripts for a few different meditative exercises, that are ideal for beginning practitioners.

Many people who practice them, as well as a number of studies report benefits of these exercises for physical and mental well being.  Beyond the ones listed below are many time honored practices that go beyond the scope of this practice.  At the end of this chapter is a list of resources and meditation institutes that are open to anyone who wants to begin a regular practice and benefit from experienced instructors.


How to Establish a Meditation Practice

Form the intention that you want to practice regularly.  Where in your house will you practice, what time of day is most feasible.  Ideally, dedicate a room or an area in a room to meditation.  A quiet place is best.  You can build an altar, where you place sacred objects like religious symbols, photos of loved ones objects from nature.  Over time it will become a soothing space for your eyes.  In front of it, place a firm cushion to sit on or chair.

In the beginning you will only sit for short periods of time, 5-20 Minutes, before your mind becomes very restless.  Do not judge, but have patience with yourself and slowly the time you can be still will grow.

Right posture is very important.  If you sit on a chair, place both feet, in socks or barefoot, fully on the ground, about hip width apart.  Feel both your buttocks grounded on the chair, with the pelvis tilting forward slightly, so that the spine can assume its’ normal double-S curve.  Place both hands on your knees, roll the shoulders back to prevent yourself from leaning forward.  The back of your skull rests above the back of your buttock, your eyes are either closed or half open, looking at an imaginary point about 4 feet in front of you, without focusing on anything.  The tongue is quiet, the tip rests on the back of the upper front teeth.

If you are sitting on a cushion, sit in a comfortable cross legged position, and follow the rest of the description for sitting on a chair.

Scan your body and try to release any muscle tension.  Before you begin, take 3 slow, deep, diaphragmatic breaths.

Then turn towards the object you have chosen for you meditation.  This can be:

The breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils.

Other body changes during breathing, e.g. the rise and fall of your chest

Sounds as they arise from within or outside the body.

A candle flame, placed about 4 feet in front of you

A mantra or prayer that has emotional significance for you

The Object of Meditation

Is the cultivation of Mindfulness

The Buddha outlined the four foundations of mindfulness in the Satipatthana Sutra:

1)      Mindfulness of the Body

2)      Mindfulness of Feeling

3)      Mindfulness of mental Objects (thoughts and feelings)

4)      Mindfulness of all Phenomena (all dharmas)

With time and repetition you will come to notice the difference between concentration and mindfulness.  Concentration is the ability to hold your attention in one place.  Mindfulness is pure, non-judgmental moment to moment awareness.

Mindfulness Meditation Instruction

Assume the posture described above.  Then try to look around you softly, without focusing in on anything, and slowly close your eyes half way or completely, if your mind is more active or distracted.

Take 3 slow, long breaths and then let your breath assume it’s natural rhythm.  Breathe in and out through your nose.  Rest your attention in the area of your body where the breath is easiest or clearest to attend to.  This can be the rising and falling of the abdomen, the movement of the chest, or the sensation of air passing through the nostrils.

People often find it helpful to gently, silently label the inhalations and exhalations as “rising” or “falling” or “in” and “out”.

Your mind will wander and get distracted a thousand times during each meditation. That is the nature of mind.  If you catch yourself, off on some tangent, gently and without judgment, return the focus back to the breath.  If a strong sensation captures your attention, such as a pain in your body, a noise or smell, silently label it “pain”, “noise”, “smell”.  Be mindful of it, the distraction, attend to it, until you can return your focus to the breath.  One of many things, mindfulness teaches us, is how experience always changes.  It is difficult to focus on one thing even for a second.  The purpose of mindfulness is to be witness to this constant, always present flow of experience.

If you can, differentiate between abstract thoughts, concepts, ideas, “fantasy”, and direct experience.  Whenever possible, follow the direct experience.

Notice also your relationship to your experience.  Do you notice aversion, desire, judgment and many other visitors?

Do not participate in your thoughts and stories but simply and silently be aware of what is actually occurring in your body and mind.

As we learn to be present with our experience, calmly and without judgment, a deeper intimacy with ourselves and the world will arise.  As we cultivate our ability to remain mindful without interfering, judging, avoiding, or clinging to our direct experience, a world of insight and wisdom have a chance to surface.

Sit in a very comfortable position or lie down on your couch or bed.  For this meditation, it is very important to feel as comfortable as possible at the outset.

Close your eyes and feel your breath going in and out of your lungs.  Try not to interfere with you natural breathing, if it is slow and steady.  If it is shallow, try lengthening the breath by counting to 4-5 as you inhale and again, counting to 4-5 when you exhale.

Then turn your attention to the sensations from your body.  Quickly scan your entire body, similar to when you are doing a body scan.

Now imagine, that every inhale from the endless sea of breath-energy, prana or chi, becomes brilliant, white ambrosia as it floats into your lungs and spreads through your entire body.   Feel this ambrosia or amrita, balm infuse every cell of your body with healing energy.  Feel it swirl through every blood vessel and organ, healing.

With every exhale, imagine that you are taking toxins and waste from each cell and releasing them back to the universe for recycling.  A black cloud of smokey substance released into the air.

Feel that the cells are filled with healing energy in the form warmth, bliss and joy.

Then imagine waves of healing energy coming from each of your cells, pulsating out into the universe and combining with similar waves coming from other people.  Feel these healing light waves combine to a powerful sea of healing energy, which you can always tap into and that connects you to all others.

Rest with these feelings for a few Minutes, feel yourself held by the earth and all its’ sentient beings.

Then slowly open your eyes and come back to the present moment.