1. Pick an environment that is quiet and comfortable. Shut off all distractions including music and phones.
2. Sit comfortably. Keep your posture as straight as comfortably possible.
3. Breathe normally.
4. Close your eyes. If you wear glasses or contact lenses you may want to remove them before starting. There should be no harsh lights on your eyes.
5. Pick a short phrase, something that matches your belief system. Here are some examples: “The Lord Jesus is my shepherd”, “Hari Om”, “Shalom”, “Peace”, “Love”, etc.,
6. Repeat the selected phrase in your mind with each out breath. Try and exclude all other thoughts from your mind.
7. If you find thoughts intruding acknowledge them, let them go, and revert to meditation by repeating your selected phrase. There is no need to get upset. It is normal for thoughts to intrude.
8. Do this for between 10 and 20 minutes.
9. After your meditation is over, do not get up immediately. Instead sit quietly for another 2 minutes before you revert to normal activity.
Here are some advanced/optional tips:
1. The height of the chair should be such that your feet should be touching the floor. The other option is that you sit cross-legged on the floor. But do this only if you can be relaxed and comfortable sitting cross-legged.
2. Your hands should rest comfortably on your lap. It may be preferable to sit on a chair with no armrest.
3. You should meditate no sooner than 3 hours after a heavry meal.
4. The best time to meditate is early morning before eating anything or in the evening before your meal.
5. For best results do your yoga postures first for an hour followed by 10-15 minutes of Pranayama, and then start your meditation.
6. If you find yourself dozing off while meditating it means that you are not sleeping well. First address your sleep related issues.
7. You may sit in front of an altar, or in a specially designated place for meditation.
8. Once you become adept at controlling your thoughts you can then “meditate” anywhere during the day while in the midst of activity and daily bustle. You can even meditate with your eyes open: while exercising in the gym or doing yoga, or while jogging or walking, or while waiting in a queue, or doing some mindless chore. Even 10 minutes of such meditation can be quite effective.
Benefits of Meditation:
1. Reduce stress
2. Improve sleep
3. Reduce anxiety/irritability
4. Reduce high blood pressure
5. Reduce muscular pain
6. Improve energy levels
7. Clear head and improve thinking
8. Improve emotional balance
9. Reduce weight
10. Increased awareness
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