How to try meditation at home

We choose a quiet place and sit in a comfortable position, on a chair or on the floor. The most important thing is to keep our back straight to prevent our mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy. We rest our hands in our lap palms upwards with the right on top of the left.

We meditate with our eyes partially closed so that we are not distracted by seeing things around us but allow sufficient light to enter to keep our mind alert.

To begin the meditation, we mentally and physically relax and stop thinking about anything.

Then we gently and naturally inhale and exhale through the nostrils, not through the mouth, and concentrate on the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils.

This sensation is our object of meditation. We try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.

At first, our mind might be very busy, and we might even feel that the meditation is making it busier; but in reality we are just becoming more aware of how busy our mind actually is.

There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but we should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils.

If we discover that our mind has wandered and is following our thoughts, we immediately return it to the breath. We repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.

If we practise patiently in this way, gradually our distracting thoughts will subside and we will experience a sense of inner peace and relaxation. Our mind will feel lucid and spacious and we will feel refreshed.

When the sea is rough, sediment is churned up and the water becomes murky, but when the wind dies down the mud gradually settles and the water becomes clear. In a similar way, when the otherwise incessant flow of our distracting thoughts is calmed through concentrating on the breath, our mind becomes unusually lucid and clear.

We stay with this state of mental calm for a while.

We conclude our meditation by making a determination not to lose this experience of inner peace but carry it into our daily life.Then we relax our concentration and rise from meditation.