Many meditations involve focusing on the breath and this is one of the easiest ways to begin meditating. We can basically meditate like this in every posture and every place. Our breathing is there at all times. But there are some suggestions for a supportive form. These help to have a good start.
A supportive posture
It is good to sit while doing this breath meditation. Sitting in general is conducive to meditation, especially sitting upright with the spine as straight as possible while remaining relaxed and comfortable. The mind is more likely to remain alert in this posture.
Find a comfortable sitting posture on a chair, without leaning back, without touching your back against the backrest. Don’t strain in any way to make the spine straight, be comfortable so that you can relax while holding this posture.
Your feet are touching the floor, your hands are resting on your knees or thighs. See if you can find a comfortable posture in which you can remain for a few minutes.
A supportive text
Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a few moments to “simply be.” Notice whatever is being experienced in the moment — sounds, physical sensations, thoughts, feelings — without trying to do anything about it. Continue like this a little while, allowing yourself to settle down.
Now bring the attention to the breath. Simply notice the breath as it moves in and out as your body inhales and exhales. Notice how the breath moves in and out automatically, effortlessly. No need to manipulate it in any way. Notice the sensation of the air moving in and out at your nostrils, the way the body moves as it breathes.
The mind will wander away from the breath — that’s fine. That’s what our minds naturally do. It’s a normal experience in meditation. When you notice that you are no longer observing the breath, easily bring your attention back to the sensations of your breathing.
Let all of your experiences — thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations — come and go in the background of your awareness of the breath. Notice how all of your experiences — thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, awareness of sounds and smells — come automatically and effortlessly like the breath.
After some minutes, slowly open your eyes again. Notice the space around you and move your body.
Notice for a moment how you feel after this meditation. How is your mind, your body?
How was this experience?
Two supportive videos
You can go along with the description above or follow the short or the long audio here:
Jon Kabath-Zinn, MD, developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, which is practiced all over the world in different settings.
Sharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher. She practices in the Vipassana tradition of Buddhism and in cofounder of the Insight Meditation Center in Barre Massachusetts.
(The basic description above is inspired by this website.)