All too often people say that they can’t meditate, or that they don’t know how. They think that meditation techniques are very complicated.
Meditation is what happens when one sits down with the intention of meditating.
It does not mean that one has to sit crossed leg in lotus pose or padmasana (pronounced pud-ma-sun-ah), that they have to say “Om” all the time, or that their minds should be a blank slate.
On the contrary, thoughts still come and go when you meditate. You should not be attached to them. Watch them come and go like clouds in the sky. Do not judge them or follow then.
As for meditation posture, sit on the floor or a chair with your spine erect so that the spiritual energy can flow. You may want to put a cushion under you (if sitting on the floor) or behind you (if sitting on a chair).
It’s beneficial to have a special place reserved just for meditation and to meditate in the same place daily. It’s helpful to sit on a piece of wool to preserve the meditation energy.
Hands can rest on the thighs or your knees. They can be unfolded, or one on top of another. Some prefer to have their ring finger and thumb touching (in what is known as chin mudra) so that there’s a circle of energy created.
If you have a mantra, repeat it and coordinate it with your inhalation and exhalation. Or, you can meditate on a quality, such as tranquility, love, peace, etc. Alternately, you can just pay attention to your breath.
There is no set amount of time that you should meditate. An hour is great. If not, do five minutes, fifteen minutes, half an hour, or whatever your schedule allows.
Try not to have too many distractions when meditating. Turn off your cell phone, PDA, beeper, tv, radio, home phone etc. for that time. The messages, if any, will be there when you get up.
Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and to clear the mind. So, meditate without any expectations, and you may be pleasantly surprised.