How to Meditate part 2 (posture)

There are two main recommended postures for meditation – seated comfortably in a straight-backed chair, or sitting cross-legged. Using either of these techniques, the best approach is to keep your body symmetric and balanced. One should not lean to the side, cross the legs or slump forwards with the spine. The hands can be resting comfortably in the lap, or on the legs. Please avoid interlacing the fingers of the two hands.

If seated, it is best to have your feet flat on the floor and approximately shoulder width apart. The main thing is to feel comfortable – do not adopt a position that feels forced, awkward or painful. If sitting cross-legged, try to have your knees at the same level as your hips or lower. If your knees are higher than your hips it tends to cause you to lean backwards. Try sitting on a firm pillow to bring your hips up to the level of your knees.

The spine should be straight but not in a stiff military posture. This helps your inner spiritual energy to flow through the chakras which are aligned along the spine.

How to Meditate part 1 (breath)

The most important thing about learning how to meditate is to keep your mind quiet and still. There are many things we can do to slow our mental chatter, such as focusing on our breath.

Try sitting still with your body balanced and comfortable. Breath deeply, slowly and gently. Take full breaths, and do not force yourself to breath too deeply or to wait a period of time between breaths. Breathe in and out through your nose if that is comfortable.

Breathe in to the bottom of your lungs, using a technique commonly referred to as ‘belly-breathing’. When breathing this way, your belly should expand as you breathe in, but your shoulders should stay stationary. This is achieved by using the diaphragm muscle at the bottom of your lungs.

Imagine that if there were a tiny thread dangling down in front of your nose, that your breath is so soft and gentle, it would not even disturb the thread.