Meditation Practice for me is like this:

Set the timer. (If you’re new to this, start with 15 minutes. If 15 minutes is daunting then try 5 or 10 minutes. Take it as low as you need to so that you are willing to give it a try.)

Sit: (sometimes stand) comfortably but not slumped. Upright in a chair, or maybe with the back drop of a wall or similar depending on my body’s needs.

Focus: I focus on the breath to start. Usually feeling the breath in the nostrils. sometimes I start with a body scan before focusing on the breath.

End of sit: kindness, thanks, heart

Here’s meditation guidance I offer in One Small Difference:

Close your eyes.

Focus your attention on your breathing. If you like, focus especially on the breath where it flows through your nostrils.

Breathe. When a thought or feeling or image arises, notice it but do not latch on, just return to focusing on the breath.

Do this for five or ten minutes.

Here’s advice I gave to my friend Paula recently:

1. Simple meditation instructions offered here by a Berkeley teacher, Will Kabat Zinn, whom I like:

You can read more about his weekly sangha here:

2. Dharmaseed is a great place for guided meditation as well as

Used search term “beginners”:

3. Go to He has lots of free talks posted. Great teacher, as you know.

I once asked James how best to settle in and he shared something from TNH:

Sometimes my mind wanders all over the place while I focus on the breath. If I haven’t meditated for a while I just let the mind roam freely without trying to hard to rein her in. I figure I’ve abused her with too much computer time (or similar) so she needs to detox/air out/off gas. If I’m sitting several times in a day usually that first sit will be the off gas sit and then I’ll take the breath as a focus.

If I’m anxious about something I’ll more likely walk for a few minutes before sitting. I prefer body activity over trying to sit still when I’m anxious. That said, sometimes sitting works fine with anxiety.


Sometimes I scan the body from head to toe.