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: https://sundaysangha.net
2. Dharmaseed is a great place for guided meditation as well as
Used search term “beginners”: https://dharmaseed.org/talks/?search=beginners&sort=-rec_date&page_items=10
3. Go to jackkornfield.com. 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.