At Home Meditation for Beginners

         How should I sit or what should I do?  


We are simply relaxing and letting go of any striving, achieving, resisting or grasping. It starts with relaxation within our body.      


We are simply stopping and resting in this space.  At this moment.  One breath at a time. 


We are here with our Self.   We are relaxed.  We are not struggling to sit in any position that is not comfortable.   Find a way to allow your body to feel relaxed and let go.  


Sitting is not the only way. We can also stand or walk.  If you have back issues, lying down on a recliner is good as well. If you fall asleep,  that's okay too. It simply means you're tired and your body needs to sleep.  :)  The bottom line is, please be flexible and gentle with yourself in this work.  We are not trying to achieve anything. We are simply turning inward in a quiet and relaxed space.  


If you choose to sit, you can sit in a chair, or on a cushion or a pillow. For a lot of people, it is more comfortable to sit in the chair. You can put a pillow on the chair and see how it feels.  As time progresses, you can try sitting on a cushion on the floor. Then you can decide which sitting position works better for you.  There is no right or wrong position.  It's whatever that works for you.  


Allow your back/spine be upright and relaxed.  


Let your hips be slightly higher than or at equal height as your knees. As you sit comfortably, your  knees are turning outward as every part feels grounded and relaxed.  


Your feet are nicely supported on the floor. Remove your shoes. Spread your toes.  Feel the comfort and support from Mother Earth. 


You may rest your hands on your thighs, either with palms facing up or palms down, whichever makes you feel settled and at ease.  You may fold your hands together, palms up, and place them in the middle in front of you.  It’s completely your choice. Different traditions advocate different ways of hand placement. In my opinion, this piece is not as important as your state of mind and relaxation of body. 


Relax your neck and shoulders.  Take a few deep breaths and let your shoulders sink more.  


Your chin may be slightly lowered.  Imagine if you’re sitting across someone 5 feet in front you, you’re looking at their feet. That’s about the right level of your chin position. 


Again, none of these suggestions are to be so rigid and structured that you're only focusing on your body position instead of the experience.  The most important question is, Are you relaxed and alert in this position


Before you start, you may now close your eyes, or you may lower your gaze.   If you have a trauma history, look around at your external surroundings first.  See the furniture around you. Feel your presence in the room. Take your time. This may help you ground your presence.  


Relax.  Let go.  You are connecting within.  What a wonderful thing it is that we have this moment to just sit here and breathe,  and to be with our Self.      

Sense the gratitude.  Perhaps have a half smile on your face.


If you notice your posture starts to change while sitting, it is completely fine and okay.  Simply allow.  Don't worry about it too much.  If you are uncomfortable, change your position. Let your body be relaxed and comfortable.   Straighten your legs.  Move around.  Be comfortable, and then come back.       


Each one of us is different, with various backgrounds and histories. We know what feels right for our body. Therefore, it is important to adjust your posture during your meditation if you feel any bodily discomfort.


It may take several weeks or months before this part of the practice is figured out. Some days you may want to sit in a chair. Some days you may want to sit on a cushion. It's okay to change things. You may want to try different pillows or cushions. Be gentle with yourself and take your time.  


If you have a chronic back issue and find it difficult to sit upright, try lying down in a recliner.  Find a position that is relaxing and comfortable for you, yet the alertness is maintained.   Again, if you fall asleep, that's quite alright too.  Your body needs it.  That's all it means.    


How often and how long should I meditate?  


Just like anything new we're trying out,  it is best to incorporate the practice into our daily routines.  It can be the first thing in the morning, or at lunch break, or right before bedtime... whenever is a good time for you, so that you are able to sit and relax for a few minutes.  


If you are an acoustic person,  having some relaxing, quiet music in the background may be helpful.  If you find it to be distracting, then don't.  Simply try it on.   


Take a few deep breaths by feeling the rise and fall of your belly.  Place your hand on your abdomen so you can feel the movement of your belly.  When we breathe in, feel the belly rise.  When we breathe out, feel the belly sink in.  You can use your hand to facilitate this at the beginning.  This is also called diaphragmatic breathing. 


Our vagal nerve regulates our nervous system.  When the nerve is innervated through this method of breathing, our nervous system automatically gets calmed and our mind gets quiet.  Our blood pressure and heart rate goes down.    


Once you position yourself with sitting or lying down,  start with 4 or 5 belly breathing,   you may notice the quietness of your mind and stillness of your presence.  Let your breathing be relaxed and natural at this point.    Allow yourself to breath naturally.   


As you sit quietly and listen to the music in the background.....feel your body presence in your surroundings.....    Listen to the sounds around you......   Feel the pressure of your feet on the ground supporting you.  


As you breathe, let go of any bodily tension and mind expectations or judgments. 


Simply sit in the awareness that you are here, at this moment.   If any thoughts or emotions should come in, let them be.   You gently bring your attention back to your breath,  sound, or simply being aware of your presence.  Or you may watch yourself having these thoughts.   There is nothing wrong with having thoughts.  We're all human beings after all.       


We are not trying to block out our thoughts or emotions.  This is not our goal.   We allow them.  We observe them.   


We are simply observing the existence of our thoughts or emotions, or whatever we're experiencing.   Moment by moment.  We realize everything comes and goes.   Nothing lasts.  Just like the clouds in the sky.   


With practice, we can learn to rest in the silence and the space behind the clouds.  


With practice, we observe that we are also everything - the clouds, the space and the sky.  And the birds flying over,  the rainbow, and everything else.        





Right intention* is important.   Action is also needed.  Both intention and action are required to make a habit stick. 


If you are serious about this, daily practice is recommended.  Studies have shown 12 minutes daily for 8 weeks can make a noticeable difference.  


However, please do not make this as another task to check off on your to-do list.   This striving will become an obstacle.  It's important to have a relaxed intention.  We are not seeking any goal or accomplish some type of achievement.   We are learning to re-connect with ourselves.   That's all.  


If this practice doesn't feel right at this moment, please stop right here.  Go for a daily walk in nature instead.  Or meet up and connect with supportive friends.  These may be better options for you at this time of your life.    When your heart is ready, it will let you know.   


How should my intention be before I start? 


Return to Questions


Question Why can't I sit still while meditating?