Meditation - Starting the Practice

Meditation that instructs us to follow our breathing is the most common. It’s a great place to start because it doesn’t ask us to do anything more than pay attention to your breathing.

Sound simple? It isn’t.

You will quickly realize that your mind wants to think about everything but that. Whenever that happens, don’t punish yourself, just bring your mind back to your breathing. Your mind will throw a variety of thoughts at you to distract from your breath. This should illustrate what state our mind is in and why this practice is beneficial.

The method I describe below is my morning practice.

1. Settle your body in a comfortable space.

You can sit in the lotus position, with or without a pillow for support.

You can kneel – with or without a pillow for support.

You can sit in a chair with spine straight and feet touching the ground.

2. Once you have relaxed enough to focus on your intent, start to focus on your breathing.

Research shows that the ideal breathing method is 4 seconds in through the nose and 8 seconds out through pursed lips.

3. Start the practice by inhaling through your nose on the count of 49,

then exhale through pursed lips on 48.

4. Continue to count down, alternating between inhaling and exhaling

Any time your mind wanders pull it back to the last count you remember and continue with the breathing cycle.

5. Starting at 19, observe a full cycle of breathing, counting down to 1.

I typical repeat the number on the inhale and exhale.

6. Repeat the process above as many times as you want. I follow the steps above three times because it brings me to around the recommended 20 minutes. I also like that I don’t need to worry about checking a clock or getting jolted out of a relaxed state by an alarm.