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A No Cost and Effective Process You Can Implement NOW to Reduce Stress and Stay Centered in These Turbulent Times

contributed by Gary Eyring

“Adapted from the Theosophical Society.”


Although styles of meditation differ, there are some basic guidelines that should be observed. The following preparatory steps are fairly common to all traditional forms of meditation:

1. Find a suitable time of day when you can meditate without being interrupted. It is preferable to meditate at the same time each day to establish a rhythm. Early mornings are recommended.
2.You will have better results if you practice meditation on an empty stomach. Trying to meditate after eating a meal is not an efficient use of your energies.
3. Sit comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed or half-closed. You should not slouch in the chair but keep your back erect.
4. Take a few moments to relax your body and release any tension that you may observe, such as in the arms, legs, or the neck. Taking a few slow, deep breaths is helpful. Remain alert.
5. Slowly withdraw your attention from the outer world of sounds, sights, and other sensory stimuli. You are turning from the outer to the inner.


An exercise that is helpful for beginning students is watching the movement of the breath. After following the preliminary steps outlined above, turn your attention to observing the flow of your breath. Let it flow naturally without counting or trying to alter it in any way. If your attention should drift, gently bring it back. Sit quietly and continue observing the rhythm of the in-breath followed by the out-breath. Do this for 5 minutes. After a week's practice, you can try increasing the time to 10 or 15 minutes. It sounds simple but you will be surprised how easy it is for the mind to throw up thoughts or get distracted from the task at hand. Each time you notice that the mind has wandered off, gently bring it back to watching the breath. This is a very effective way of training the mind to stay focused on one task. After you become proficient with this exercise, you may want to proceed to more difficult forms of meditation.


Some meditation techniques involve the use of mantras-short, pithy verses suitable for meditation. The chosen mantra should first be committed to memory. After following the preliminary guidelines listed above, silently repeat your mantra. Do this slowly. Give the words time to resonate within your consciousness. Notice the imagery they evoke. If the mind wanders, gently bring it back. After you have finished repeating your mantra for 5 - 15 minutes, sit quietly in silence for 5-10 minutes.


In order for your meditation practice to be effective, it must be done on a regular basis. That means setting aside a few minutes each day for. Like all worthwhile endeavors, achieving success in the art of meditation requires dedication and commitment. Intermittent practice will lead to failure and disappointment. Therefore the beginner is advised to schedule a set time for the practice and not deviate from that schedule if at all possible.