Buddha’s Peaceful Abiding Meditation
This meditation is the most basic and simple one to practice daily to quiet and focus the mind. You want to focus on the breath and simply notice your thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judgment, and then let them go. A meditation cushion elevates you, making the position easier on the knees and hips. You can also use a folded blanket or even sit in a chair. To make sure your knees are in line with your hips and your spine is erect, either cross your legs or place your feet flat on the ground with your knees a few inches apart.
1 Place your hands on your thighs, sliding them back a little, and sit up tall with a strong back body and open, soft front with your shoulders back.
2 Soften your chin down a little to lengthen the back of your neck, and find a point of focus about 6 fe in front of you. Keep your eyes slightly open.
3 Keep your mouth slightly open with your tongue gently touching the roof of your mouth and breathe equally through the nose and mouth.
4 When you’ve established your seat, make an intention to create peace with your self, your life, and others by being with whatever arises.
5 Place your mind on your breath and keep it there as it moves in and out of your nose and mouth.
When a thought arises, label it “thinking” as you exhale and return to noticing your breath as it goes in and out. This is a way of untangling your identity from your thinking and feelings and returning to the moment to be present with your breath and life.
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6 Follow these instructions exactly. At first, this may be challenging, but afer some time you may notice space and peace in the midst of the mind’s chatter.
7 When your timer goes off, stretch your legs, and gradually return to your activities without rushing.
In this meditation, we focus on the sound of Om to develop greater concentration. In yogic texts, the sound of Om is said to be the universal sound that leads to union with the self. The intention of this practice is to cultivate inner union even amid all the changing forces of nature around us. Mantra repetition teaches us how we can transform our own thoughts from negative to positive, our moods from unhappy to happy, our lives from stressful to peaceful, and our habits from destructive to fulfilling.
1 Begin by following the steps for Buddha’s Peaceful Abiding Meditation Pose, creating a comfortable and steady seat, but place your hands on your knees and join your thumbs and index fingers together with the other 3 fingers extending toward the earth.
2 Close your eyes gently and turn your gaze in and up to the point between your eyebrows. This area is known as the third eye and is the Sixth Chakra, or spiritual energy center of concentration and intuition.
3 Inhale and then exhale Om silently and internally in your mind. If you notice your mind wandering, center it back on the mantra.
4 If you like, make the sound of Om 3 times aloud by inhaling deeply and exhaling to the sound—a long “o” ending with the “m” sound. The practice is meant to be done internally, so don’t worry too much about the sound and remember you can do this meditation anywhere—even in a public place.
5 Practice this meditation before a longer basic meditation to focus your mind for 1 or 2 minutes, or to 8 repetitions. You can also practice alone for 3 to 5 minutes.