Guidelines for Meditation

  • Approach the practice with a friendly, curious, non-judgmental attitude

  • Practice once or twice every day at about the same time

  • Practice before meals

  • Good times for practice are early morning, late afternoon, and before bedtime

  • Create a pleasant space for practice, which is neither cluttered nor confined. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Try to use the same place each time because the association of that place has the potential to help you to settle into your meditation more quickly

  • Start with 10 minutes and increase the time gradually

  • Observe your mind’s capacity and do not fight to sit longer

Posture:

  • Since physical discomfort and mental chatter are intertwined, the first step in calming the mind is to stabilize and quiet the body. To  sit steadily and comfortably for any length of time the head, neck, and trunk must be aligned directly over the base of the spine. Distortions are not only uncomfortable, they also block the flow of energy at subtle levels. You could either sit on a chair or the floor. You could also lie on your back

  • Eyes can be closed or the gaze lowered, hands should rest comfortably on the thighs (sitting) or by the side (lying down)

  • Relax the face; allow the brow to be smooth, the eyes, jaw, and even the tongue and teeth to soften and relax

Intention:

  • It is important to begin by setting an intention — to calm and steady yourself, to find balance and kindness, to be more fully aware and present.

Witnessing thoughts:

  • Witnessing does not mean getting involved in a mental debate. It means letting the facts present themselves objectively

  • Acknowledge the thoughts and emotions without building a story around them. Understand what is causing them. As you cultivate this skill, you will realize that it is your attachment to the thoughts that give it life and the power to influence you

  • By witnessing them in a detached manner, their influence can be nullified

Suggestions to support one's practice:

  • Reflect on your aspiration to live with a calm and loving heart

  • Remember compassion

  • If you miss practice for a day, a week, or a month, simply begin again!

  • Find a “practice buddy” to share meditation experiences and offer support to keep practicing

  • If you need guidance, ask for help from an experienced meditator or teacher

  • Don’t judge your practice—rather, accept what unfolds and trust your capacity to awaken and be free!

  • Live with a reverence for life—committed to non-harming and to seeing, honoring, and serving the sacred in all beings

"This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength.

Therefore nil desperandum. March forward hero!" - Sivananda