If you’ve ever considered a meditation practice, it’s safe to assume that you have some ideas about why you might need one in the first place. Regardless of those reasons, congratulations on undertaking what might end up becoming one of the most loving and beneficial things you could ever do for yourself. And now firmly on the path, the question is, where should a beginning meditator begin?
Checkout this recent Huffington Post from Sam Harris. In it, Sam considers the question and gives solid information suitable for anyone considering meditation. According to Harris, while many meditation practices can seem somewhat daunting at first, Vipassana meditation is a rather easy practice to learn. A person simply focuses on cultivating mindfulness. Harris even gives a nine part meditation for you to follow:
- Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
- Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting–feelings of pressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc.
- Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most clearly–either at the nostrils, or in the rising and falling your abdomen.
- Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (There is no need to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
- Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
- As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
- The moment you observe that you have been lost in thought, notice the present thought itself as a object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath–or to whatever sounds or sensations arise in the next moment.
- Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness–sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, and even thoughts themselves–as they arise and pass away.
- Don’t fall.
Read more from Harris on Vipassana meditation here.