Meditation is a universal practice in the East and is known by other names in the West: Contemplation, Mindfulness, Quiet Time. The benefits of meditation include improving the immune system, lowering stress levels, and increasing good health. If you haven’t tried meditation, now is the time to get started as part of your daily spiritual practice. You will be amazed at the benefits you will receive, and it is easy to do.

Two 20-minute sessions a day are recommended, morning and evening. However, any time spent in meditation is beneficial. It is best to meditate sitting in a chair that will hold you comfortably straight. Put your chair in a quiet and peaceful place. Turn off your cell phone. Light a candle if you choose. Close your eyes and begin breathing deeply and easily. Let your body set the rhythm. When you are calm and at peace, begin your chosen meditation practice for the day or use one of the following.

Basic Meditation Practice: Follow the breath. As you become quiet and relaxed, let your mind clear, and your emotions calm. Become mindful only of your breath. Take deep regular breaths letting your body set the rhythm. Begin counting your outbreath from 1-10. Then start over again. If you lose count because your mind wanders, simply bring your attention back to your breath and start the count over. Gently use your five senses to experience the peace that your breath brings. When your meditation time is over, give thanks to your Inner Self for helping you gain peace and to your Higher Self for inspiration and healing.

New Meditation Practice: Walking Meditation (based on the Walking Meditation of Thich Nhat Hahn). During your daily walk, slow down and begin to take deliberate, small, and mindful steps. Be conscious of your breath and slow it down too. As you breathe in and take a step, be aware that you are breathing in. As you breath out and take a step, be aware that you are breathing out. Take these slow steps breathing deeply for as long as you feel comfortable, then resume your normal pace. You can also alternate your normal pace and the slow breathing steps on your walk. The intention for this practice is to become mindful of when you are in a hurry and mindful that you can relax and slow down.