I began visiting a behavioural psychologist years ago to treat some anxiety difficulties and insomnia during a difficult time in my life. He would speak to me softly during a guided meditation as I lay on the couch and took deep breaths as part of his sessions rather frequently. The meditations probably lasted for around 20 minutes, and to be honest, I wondered if maybe these sessions were just a way for my therapist to take a break from listening to my life nonsense. However, I found them to be incredibly relaxing, and I felt calm and renewed afterward—two emotions that don’t usually come easily to me.

My therapist praised my breathing after one session. He observed that I had the ability to slow down my breathing and take very long, deep breaths, which helped me transition into different states. increased consciousness? Maybe. calm and unwinding? Without a doubt, at least during and briefly after the meditation. He questioned where I had learned this. I related to him my years of studying Kundalini yoga with a well-known LA teacher. There were only one or two weekly classes with a large group of students in a studio or in the instructor’s living room; there was no daily instruction.

The type of training that can improve breathing technique includes “Breath of Fire” (very rapid in and out breath through the nose and controlled by the diaphragm) and methods that included filling your lungs with as much air as possible (or blowing ALL the air out of your lungs and keeping them empty – always much harder) and then doing yoga while holding the air in or out. There were also gong meditations, in which you lay on your back with your eyes closed, breathe deeply, and experience sound waves as the instructor beats on a giant gong.

Then, my therapist advised that I consider teaching people how to breathe as a massage therapist and instructor. In light of that, the following are some suggestions for those of you who want to incorporate meditation into your life in order to experience its numerous wonderful effects:

When and how frequently to meditate

Improving the mediation setting

What you will need for meditation

Is there a mantra or not?

Deep-breathing exercises

Mental cleansing (what to think about… or not)

The advantages of mediation

called “mindfulness.” What exactly does it mean?

  1. Choose a good time and begin modestly.

Did you know that the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree with the purpose of staying there until he attained enlightenment? The Latin name for the tree is ficus religiosa, which sounds like a Hermoine spell from Harry Potter. It’s unclear how long he actually sat, although it may have been weeks. lacking food.

You don’t have to do that, which is good news.

Begin modestly. Most people who meditate “religiously” (it is spiritual, occasionally, but not always religious; even the Big 3 religions refer to silent or personal prayer as “meditation”) do so when they first wake up in the morning (and some do, in fact, get up at 4:30 for “sadna,” a pre-dawn meditation practised by some Sikhs, when the spiritual energy is supposed to be especially strong), and then again in the late afternoon or early evening (before or after dinner is great).

While full meditation just before bed is not advised since it could deceive your body and brain into believing you’ve gotten enough sleep, deep breathing is a fantastic technique to unwind before bed. And while many people find morning meditation to be wonderful, be honest with yourself. If you dislike getting up early, don’t force yourself to wake up at 5 or 6 to meditate. You’ll be more likely to continue doing something if you do it when it’s handy and simple for you.

For novices or even seasoned meditators, it is not advised to fast for a week (or longer) like the Buddha did. Most individuals find that a session of 15-20 minutes works well, although even five minutes can be helpful, and some experienced meditators will go longer. Five minutes is a fantastic starting point because it is simple to complete and will offer a beginner a taste of the advantages. Try doing that for a week or a few days before increasing your time to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and finally 20 minutes. Twenty minutes appears to be the ideal amount of time for me and the majority of meditators.


Meditation is possible anywhere, including a Trump campaign rally, a subway stop, and an airport. However, most people choose a calm, dimly lit setting. Although there is no problem with light, many people think that a space that is darkened or has low lighting, like candlelight, is more relaxing. The Buddha, of course, meditated outside, and many people like to do the same on a stump in a forest, a rock on a mountaintop, or the sand at a beach. The optimum environment is one with total silence (or relaxing music or natural sounds).

To the amusement of the locals, Thich Nhat Hanh is renowned for claiming that he conducts walking meditations in airports and on busy city streets. According to some meditation techniques, you should keep your eyes slightly open and concentrate on the area just in front of your eyes. I belong to the “eye’s wide shut” camp. Try it out for yourself.


No specialised tools are required. You and a spot to sit or lay down are all that are required. Most people meditate when upright and rooted to the ground. Although it is simple to nod off when lying down, sleeping is not the same as meditation. Sleeping is not deep breathing. Not that taking a nap is inherently bad.

A pillow would be nice for you to sit on. While some meditators prefer to sit up straight and with proper posture, others prefer to lean back against a wall or a cushion, and some even choose to sit in a chair or on a couch to meditate. Some Buddhists place a pillow about 8 to 10 inches across that resembles a chocolate layer cake on top of a flat, cushioned mat. It might feel quite secure and comfortable to sit on this cushion, cross your legs on the mat, or kneel.

Some people sit in a lotus or half lotus position (cross legged with one ankle on the opposite knee for half lotus or both ankles on the opposite knee for full lotus). Many people find this difficult, and even those who are able to sit in this position will discover that after a few minutes the foot becomes unpleasant or goes asleep. Comfort and excellent posture are the key objectives when sitting so as to avoid being distracted by discomfort. Any position that makes this possible is acceptable, including lying down.

Meditation can be improved by candles, incense, and music. It is recommended to listen to non-melodic music, such as chimes, bells, random flute, and nature noises, if you want music. or not at all. Avoid listening to music with words, melody, or rhythm because it can be annoying. If you live in an urban location with traffic noises, sirens, people’s music, garbage trucks, etc., then nature sounds like the ocean, a stream, or rain can be lovely since they can help minimise the environmental aural congestion.

A kitchen timer is an excellent purchase. You can use a timer on your smart phone or, if you don’t have one, your dumb phone. I bought a kitchen timer before smart phones were popular. I simply punch in the number of minutes I want to meditate for (typically 20 but I always add one more to give myself time to settle in), and that’s it. Why use a timer? So you won’t need to look at the time. You’ll want to check the time frequently at first because you’ll think you’ve been meditating for a half-hour, but when you glance at the clock and realise it’s only been four minutes, you’ll see why a timer is so useful.


A good query. I have used both. The mantra “ong namo gurudev namo,” which means “I bow to the teacher inside me,” is one that Kundalini practitioners utilise. It doesn’t feel religious, which is why I appreciate it. There are also a tonne of others. You don’t need to understand what they signify because the mantra should just be thought or said, not understood. the noise. the recurrence It aids in setting you up for success. Uncertainty of the meaning is probably preferable. Those who were taught to pray in Latin or Hebrew may concur.

Keep in mind that mantras are not prayers if you practise a religion and feel uncomfortable participating in religious rituals other than your own. However, some do sound like prayers. If you have trouble with this, either choose a mantra that is wholly secular or recite a brief prayer from your own religion.

There are several expensive organised meditation movements and groups that have existed for many years. To receive your personalised mantra and instruction, the price had increased to about $2,500, but it is now closer to $1000. People I know who have been doing this for 40 years stand by it. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Howard Stern, the King of All Media, has been a lifelong practitioner and considers it to be one of his best decisions. He practises every day. Great if you want to take that way and have the money to do so. If not, I’m sure you can easily discover a mantra hack you can use, for free, by performing a Google search. Keep it a secret that I told you this.

I have never purchased a mantra. The entire meditation is spent in chanting with members of the Buddhist Church of America, which is connected to the Buddhist Church of Japan (the well-known “nam-myoho-renge-kyo”). It wasn’t my cup of green tea, but it was a pleasant experience to chant in a room with 20 people at someone’s home. The chanting was too much labour for me to maintain, and it didn’t improve my ability to concentrate. Even though the folks were friendly and the post-meditation snacks were great, I decided not to return.

But anyone can meditate, and many Buddhist organisations accept practitioners of all religions. While I occasionally start with a mantra, my primary mantra is my breath, which I will discuss next. The great Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh’s works are replete of what he refers to as “gathas,” or short poems that are effective mantras. He has translated them from their original Vietnamese languages into French and English. My personal favourite goes like this and makes use of breathing:

I draw in air to relax my body.

I exhale and smile.

I take a breath in and stay in the present.

I know it’s a lovely moment as I exhale.

Nice, huh? No prayer. For a few minutes, you alternately breathe in and out while doing this. There is no need to repeat this throughout the meditation. You can eventually condense it to “In – calm, out – grin, in – present, out – lovely moment.” As you say it, grin and follow your breath.

The majority of depictions of the Buddha actually show him grinning while meditation, and Thich Nhat Hanh emphasises that you should always smile while meditating. Your face muscles will relax as a result, and you’ll feel fantastic as well. Yes, smiling makes you feel better, even when you’re feeling down. You should grin since he also says that meditation is good. When can you grin if not when you’re meditating?


This leads us to the most crucial component: breathing. Breathing is meditation, and meditation is breathing. Air is inhaled and then exhaled during the breathing process. Your diaphragm contracts when you inhale. Your diaphragm relaxes, which results in an outbreath. Your lungs and diaphragm return to their at-rest state due to your elasticity, which forces the air out. Although your body performs this on its own (so you can breathe while you sleep), you do have some control over it. In deep breathing or meditation, the goal is to slow the breath and inhale as much air as we can without strain. Not a forced breath, but a deep one, is what you want.

Take a few relaxed breaths while sitting (or sleeping) and don’t force it. Keep your cool. simply inhale air via your nose (of course, if you have a cold, mouth-breathing is fine, and some meditation techniques call for exhalation through the mouth). Start with your regular breath and gradually lengthen each one by inhaling a bit deeper with each breath. Exhale in the same manner. Before inhaling again, attempt to slow down your exhalation and let out the majority of your air. Keep in mind not to push, strain, or control. Just make your breaths longer and deeper.

If you’re employing a mantra, you can either contemplate the mantra, or gatha, in your mind while doing this, or you can breathe in and out while speaking the mantra. You will eventually be only breathing and not even be thinking about the chant or anything else.

The best thing to do (which also helps clear the mind) is to concentrate on two things: first, the sensation of cool air entering your nostrils near the tip of your nose, and second, the sensation of your abdomen expanding with each inhalation and contracting with each exhalation (right around and just below your navel, the area referred to as “dan-tien” in some Eastern teachings, which also happens to be the anatomical centre of the body).

You can avoid clinging to passing thoughts throughout the meditation by concentrating on these two physical sensations. “Did I remember to get milk?” or “did I remember to buy soy milk, if I’m a Vegan.” In relation to thinking,


We are thinking beings. We are constantly thinking. even while you are asleep. Even when engaging in mindless activities (such watching a movie or conversing with a friend), we occasionally recall turning on the stove by accident. It’s a characteristic of being human.

Contrary to popular belief, deep breathing or meditation don’t call for an empty mind. While you are meditating, thoughts and ideas will come to you. Some might even be motivating. If you have an inspiration for a popular song, stop your meditation, write it down, and then resume. Just because you practise meditation regularly doesn’t mean you should give up a top-40 hit song!

It’s okay if you have thoughts like “maybe I’ll have Chinese cuisine tonight” or “My coworker Michael is such an a-hole.” Recognize the thought, cling to it, then let it go. return to your breathing to the cool air entering your nostrils and the sensation of your stomach rising and sinking. As surely as it came, the thought will vanish. And another will come in to be welcomed and let go. This is a stage in the procedure. Return to your breath if a thought becomes trapped. If it’s extremely difficult, try counting your breaths from 1 to 10 before going backward. You’ll never reach number ten if you’re doing a good job. That’s fantastic. Simply begin again.

Once you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll notice that your mind does clear and that your ideas are shorter in duration and occur less frequently. You might be able to experience “leaving the body,” where you actually feel as though you are outside of yourself, gazing down from above or across the room at yourself as you are practising meditation. Going deep inside of oneself and sensing your mental centre is another sensation. Your awareness dwells deep inside the brain, almost like a control centre. Is this location real? Most likely not. But that’s how it feels. It’s like travelling across the world of your consciousness in a spaceship. Whoa.


Numerous research from all over the world have demonstrated the importance of deep breathing and meditation. As the practise progresses, the effects and advantages get progressively stronger and more profound. Just be aware that the advantages have been demonstrated to aid with addiction and recovery as well as side effects of cancer therapies, hypertension, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and pain management. That’s a really little list.

One of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings on meditation is to build a sangha, or community, of a few people who can meditate with one another. There are numerous guided meditation classes available. Numerous schools and places of religion also provide yoga lessons or guided sessions. It can be more instructional, fun, and convenient for novices to begin group meditation than they can do so alone.

Apps, CDs, DVDs, or downloads that offer guided meditation are another option. On YouTube, there are excellent (instructive and guided) videos. For one example, please see the Resources section below.

Keep in mind that there is no one right approach to meditate. Follow your gut instinct. Only if it makes sense to you and feels pleasant will you do it frequently. Follow your instincts and feelings no matter where you do it: alone or with others, during the day or at night, with or without music, a mantra or without one, while sitting or lying down. It is best to do whatever works.


The phrase “mindfulness” is currently the most overused in the “whole being” community. Nowadays, everything is thoughtful, including purchasing and decoupling. Or is it done knowingly? No big deal. It’s over the top. Even a “mindful dating” website exists. Aaaauuugghhh! The genuine meaning of the phrase, in my opinion, may be found in Thich Nhat Hanh’s works, where I first encountered it (many years ago). It entails being there. Here. Now. Aware. committed to your current task.