A Portable Meditation Guide

You can meditate wherever you are or whatever you are doing: standing, sitting, walking, lying down; while you are waiting in line in the grocery, or taking your dog for a walk. You can meditate alone in a quiet place like a park or even when you are surrounded by people. You can meditate ill or well; no matter what you are feeling, thinking, or experiencing. Meditation in its simplest form is about discovering a quiet place inside yourself that you can rest in. Children are naturally inclined to understand this. You’ll notice with a little practice that your capacity for joy and peace increase.

  1. Breathing in a natural way, place your attention on the breath, just noticing the in breath and out breath without internal comment. If you wish, you can count your breaths up to 10 on each exhale, then start over again, as a way of helping you to stay with the meditation. 
  2. During the meditation let your feelings and thoughts come and go without mental comment or judgment. If a particular feeling or thought is particularly strong just breathe and stay with your meditation. At first, you’ll probably notice how active your mind is. That’s okay, it’s natural for your mind to have thoughts. When you just notice what the mind does it often helps the mind to calm on its own. 
  3. Once you feel you have a little stability with this technique you may want to drop in one of the ancient meditation questions or sayings as one part of your meditation. Here are a few pocket koans that have been helpful to people in their meditation. 
    • Everyday is a good day
    • Each branch of coral reflects the moon
    • This is the stone drenched with rain that points the way
When you meditate with a koan like this, you take in the question and live with it without trying to answer it or figure it out. Let it accompany you for a time in your meditation and during your daily activities and see what it has to show you. These old stories have a certain power of their own and can teach us things in indirect ways.
      4.  At the end of the meditation, gather the warmth and energy of the meditation toward the center of your body. Let it gather. Next, send the meditation out to the people you are close to, your family and friends. Then, to someone you are having difficulty with, or, to an area of your life you would like to nurture. Next, send it out to the oceans and rivers, mountains, animals, birds and all beings. Blessing: "May the peace that surpasses all understanding live in our hearts and minds."