Stage 1 - breathing and body

Here's a simple introduction to meditation. This follows the initial stages of the anapanasati breathing meditation technique - the stages of anapanasati meditation can take you into very deep territory and we'll be following them on this short course. Let's begin:

1. Find somewhere quiet to sit. Close your eyes and become aware of your breathing.

2. Notice breathing in.

3. Notice breathing out.

4. Place your awareness on breathing in and out. You might like to put your awareness on the belly or the area under the nose.

5. Now, resolve to follow one breath in and out.

6. Next, resolve to follow 10.

7. Keep doing this for around 15 minutes. The mind will wander off. This is normal. Bring it back gently to the breathing and start counting again.

8. After a while, imagine the breath going into the body. Imagine it filling the whole body as you breathe in, and then imagine the whole body relaxing as you breathe out.

9. Continue with this practice until your awareness fills the whole body and the breath appears to come in and out of this space. You should be able to follow each breath in and out in this way.

10. This state of awareness is highly useful. Next, simply relax into this space. This is a highly useful meditative state to be in - let's call it STATE1. Know what it feels like, know how to hold it open in your mind.

When you are ready, return to normal and reflect on this significant but simple technique.


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