Start with Five Minutes A Day
Beginning meditation practice is simple, continuing it is the hard part. In the beginning, five to ten minutes per day of seated meditation is best. Starting with longer periods of sitting is not necessarily better, what is imperative is the quality of the meditation rather than the quantity of time, and the consistency of the practice over the long term.
Basic Meditation Posture
The most important thing is to be comfortable and relaxed. An ideal position is to sit in a relaxed cross-legged posture with the hands relaxed together on one’s lap. Having the sit bones propped up on a cushion so that the hips sit higher than the knees makes sitting much easier and less painful. The body is upright, with a soft belly and a wide open chest. If you prefer, you may sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. The eyelids are slightly open with your gaze fixed downward at a point on the floor in front of you. Breathing from the nose is ideal and the mouth can be slightly open, jaw relaxed, tongue at the roof of mouth.
A Simple Technique
A simple technique for finding meditative mind is to sit quietly counting the breaths. Start by settling in and taking a few deeper breaths. Then, every time an exhale happens, the count is made, counting the exhales from one to twenty one and back down to zero. There is no need to attempt to quiet the mind or have a transcendent spiritual experience. Just being present with the breath, with sitting, with one’s mind is enough. Thoughts can be allowed to come and go. If we lose count or lose track of the breath, we simply start over, counting the exhalations, returning to the technique.