Tips to get your mindfulness meditation practice started
When to practice: Most people find that it works best to practice meditation at the same time every day. Often either first thing in the morning or last thing at night before bed works well. But we are all different, so find what works for you. The main thing is to practice everyday if possible.
Where to practice: A quiet room is best for indoor practice. You can set up a corner specifically for your practice if you want to. Some people find that lighting a candle and/or burning incense supports their meditation practice. Many of us like to meditate outside whenever we can. Try meditating in a nearby park or other open space.
How long to practice: Start by practicing sitting meditation with the focus on the breath for five or ten minutes each day. As your practice develops, you may feel comfortable sitting for longer periods of time. Twenty to thirty minutes is a good maximum length for most people. It is best to use a meditation timer so that you don’t have to interrupt your meditation to check the time.
How to meditate: Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on the physical sensations of your breath. Just notice your breath – that’s all – you are not trying to control or change it. Your mind will wander – it happens to all of us. When you notice that your mind has wandered, gently escort your attention back to your breath. Many people find that it is helpful to have a guide when starting out. Download Dr. Marchand’s free guided mediation here. You can also watch Dr. Marchand’s free mindfulness instruction video.