Page 4 - Journey.into.Meditation
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Getting Started Getting Started

It‟s time now to begin learning how to meditate and a positive first step is to select a 

quiet space where you won‟t be disturbed. If you are more comfortable sitting on a 
chair, find one with a straight back and no side arm rests. Sit on a cushion if the chair 

seat is unpadded, with your spine straight, your chin facing forward (not tilted up or 

down) and your feet flat on the floor. Place your open hands palms up and resting on 
your thighs. If you like to sit directly on the floor do so using a cushion or meditation 

stool with your legs crossed in front.

In meditation the body is deeply relaxed while the mind is alert and focused in the 

present moment. I like to call this the body asleep – mind awake state. Yet though the 

mind is at rest it is not drifting aimlessly from thought to thought, in a state of reverie. 
Instead meditation aids us in developing the habit of our being relaxed, yet focused 

and aware – the mental equivalent of being physically fit and healthy. Your personal 
experience of total and deep physical relaxation is always the first important step 

toward meditation. The following brief exercise will relax you deeply and could also 

serve as your introductory meditation.

A Body Scan Exercise A Body Scan Exercise

Sit comfortably and shake your body loose, releasing any obvious tensions. Scan the 

body at your own speed taking several quiet breaths in each region. Focus your 

awareness on your head, neck and shoulders, arms, hands, torso, legs and feet. Notice 
how much tension is held in the jaw and shoulders. Gently move these areas to 

release any stiffness. As you scan your torso repeat the words, „soft and loose‟ several 

times. Feel yourself let go, knowing that your spine will hold you upright. When 
you‟ve finished visualize your body as being relaxed, healthy and pain free. Sit 

quietly enjoying the sense of calm and well being.

Scanning from the head down is generally more calming in effect, while scanning 

from the feet upward raises your energy and keeps you more alert. Whenever you 

decide to end your meditation always take a few moments to leave this state slowly 
and gently. Notice how your body feels, in comparison to the way you felt just before 

you began your meditation. You should find yourself more deeply relaxed and at 


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