It is not difficult to learn how to meditate. In the beginning, one will have the problem of restlessness of the mind, but after regular and gradual daily practices, Samadhi will be developed. The mind will be more and more tranquil. Peace will arise and suffering in one’s mind will be eliminated without any difficulty.
Time and place
The development of concentration for mental exercises can be done in every occasion and posture whether it will be eating, walking, sitting, lying down or whilst engaging in all kinds of work. There are no limitation with regards to the place of practice. Any quiet location without disturbance will help the mind to be calm and concentrated easier and quicker.
Preparation of body and mind
- Make alternative arrangements for the completion of one’s duty and work to prevent worry and anxiety about it intruding in ones meditation practice.
- Clothing should be loose enough for comfort, not too tight that it crushes the body while sitting.
- Chant according to one’s ability. If one cannot do it, meditate straight away.
How to sit
- Sit cross-legged with the right leg on top of the left one. A lady can also sit folding both legs to one side, if it suits her. If one cannot sit crosslegged on the floor, it is all right to sit on a chair.
- The right hand is on top of the left with the thumbs touching.
- Sit upright, face in a straight line, with the eyes closed loosely as though being asleep. Close the eyelids but open your minds’ eye.
How to begin
Let go of the various thoughts and imaginations in the mind. Be aware of all the 32 organs of the body. Visualize yourself as you sit in whichever posture (whether the right leg is on top of the left one and the right hand on top of the left one with the thumbs touching, or sitting upright with eyes closed). Visualize your face, hair, eyebrows, eyes, ears, mouth, chin, the tip of the nose. Develop the awareness of the in and out breath.
When you breath in, be aware of the breathing in, when you breath out, be aware of the breathing out. When breathing in and out deeply, be aware of the deep breathing. When breathing in and out in a shallow way, be aware of breathing in and out like this. Develop sharp awareness of every breath.
Fix attention at the tip of the nose. Visualise your face, the tip of the nose and the nostrils every time the breath touches them. When breathing in say, “Bud”. When breathing out say, “Dho,” until your awareness knows only “Buddho.” Always visualise illumination in the nostrils every time the breath touches them. If the mind feels peaceful, continue to meditate.
Before the end of a meditation session, contemplate your body from the end of the hair at the top to the toes at the bottom and then the other way around. Be aware of the edges of the body and then the whole body. Come out of Samadhi with that awareness of the contemplation of the outer and the inner body.
At the height of the awareness, move the right hand gently and place it on the right knee and the left hand on the left knee. Lift the right hand up in front of the chest followed by the left. Join the palms together like an unopened lotus flower. Make a wish to maintain the virtue of practising the Dhamma. Concentrate your mind in this resolution.