If you’re looking for a low-tech introduction to meditation, try this simple exercise from Steve Matuszak at Dharma Field, who also shares a few pointers for your practice.
Find a quiet place and a sturdy chair. Sit in a way that’s conducive to breathing from your diaphragm: head up, shoulders back, feet flat on the floor. Close your mouth and cast your eyes downward at a 45-degree angle. Then, simply pay attention to your breath. You can count to help yourself stay focused—one on the in breath, two on the out breath and so on until you reach 10. If you lose track of what number you’re on, simply start again at one. Once you’ve made your way to 10 around five or six times, stop counting and just breathe.
• Stick to a schedule: “Pick a day and a time and a duration and stick with that, if possible.”
• Meditate with others: “Even if that’s at home. If you’re sitting with a friend every Wednesday at 5 p.m. for 20 minutes and you blow it off, you know you’re letting your friend down. You start to see how taking care of others is how we take care of ourselves.”
• Don’t judge your practice: “You don’t want to scold yourself or do the opposite, like thinking, ‘I just had an enlightenment experience—I’m wise!’ Just let it all be.”