You have everything you need to start a meditation practice: a mind, a body, and curiosity. Begin today with this collection of starter meditations.
You want to meditate.
“But how do I do it?” you ask. “What is the best way to go about it?”
Even a year ago, you might’ve been able to Google the nearest meditation center. The pandemic has made this an extra obstacle. But don’t worry – you have everything you need to begin meditating right now!
If you have, as Judy Lief puts it in “DIY Dharma,” “a mind, body, thoughts, and a natural bent toward awakening,” you are already on the right path.
We’ve collected five meditations that will start you on your journey to establishing a practice of your own.
Larry Yang teaches the basics of a simple practice you can do right now: insight meditation.
The term “insight meditation” comes from the Pali word Vipassana. It is the ability to see clearly and deeply into what is unfolding in our lives.
Insight practice reveals what has created our present conditions and allows us to more fully live in the present moment. This is so valuable for our ability to make conscious choices to better our lives. It is why the Buddha said that living twenty-four hours with mindfulness is more worthwhile than living a hundred years without it.
Kathleen McDonald teaches Loving-kindness, or Metta, the practice of wishing ourselves and others to be happy.
Loving-kindness, or Metta, is wishing ourselves and others to be happy. The Buddha taught us to generate this attitude toward all living beings, and he explained its many benefits. Not only is loving-kindness beneficial for others, it will also help us to be happier, healthier, and even sleep better at night!
Gil Fronsdal teaches how to practice walking meditation, the bridge between your meditating mind and your everyday mind.
Walking meditation is a powerful bridge between formal sitting practice and our daily life, helping us be more present and concentrated in our ordinary activities. Here’s how I do it.
Tonglen, teaches Pema Chödrön, is a method for awakening our compassion by breathing in suffering and breathing out relief.
Melissa Myozen Blacker teaches the Koan practice of asking again and again, “Who am I?” Every time an answer arises set it aside. Eventually, answers stops coming, replaced by a feeling of profound wonder.
Do you ever ask yourself about the meaning of life? Do you sometimes look around at this burning world and say, “WTF?” Maybe you have asked your parents, teachers, or clergy for guidance, and then felt frustrated by their answers. Perhaps you continue to have seemingly unanswerable questions that preoccupy you.