Here's what I know: Sit yourself down in a comfortable position. I like to sit on a straight backed chair with my bare feet flat on the floor. No crossed legs or fancy positions. I place my hands on my legs, palms up. The palms up thing is from yoga: let the universe know you're ready to receive. I take five or six diaphragmatic breaths. That means when I inhale, my belly expands. I imagine a waterwheel in my body. Inhale, the breath travels up to my head; exhale, the breath spills down. I try to stay rhythmic and not to work too hard. Next, I imagine a bright light shining out from my eyes, my ears, my nose, my mouth. It's important to relax your mouth. I send the light down my neck, both shoulders and arms and all fingers. I send the light down my spine to my legs, including my toes. The light ends in my chest cavity where I try to imagine a colorless, empty space. This last bit of imagination is impossible and I am okay with that. Finally, I focus on my "third eye" (the light between my eyes that I am able to see with my eyes closed). I repeat a mantra. Something simple like "at ease" or "peace" or the ambitious "Who am I?" I use the mantra to remind myself to let go of my thoughts. As a thought passes into my mind, I encourage myself to draw it down to my heart. It helps to imagine a magnetic force from my heart that draws the thought downward. When the next thought pops in, I encourage myself again. It is helpful to treat yourself like you would a small child. Say: "Tt's okay, you'll get it next time," or "Try again." The whole process takes me twenty minutes. I use the first five minutes to breathe and relax my body, then I spend fifteen minutes encouraging myself to meditate. I say I encourage myself to meditate because even though I have been steadily sitting down in this practice for at least three or four times a week for the past five months, I still think that one day I'll figure out how to do this thing right. That belief is not rational. No matter. I still wonder: Do I meditate? I'm not sure.
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Meditation is not about ambition. It is about intention. It is not about doing it right or being the best or even about becoming enlightened. It is about sitting in stillness for twenty minutes every day. That’s all. Now, see what happens.