Meditation Preparation Exercises

For Basic Skill Development

  1. Sit upright in balance (so that your body becomes relaxed and pleasant on its own).
  2. Be aware of breathing sensations (e.g. inflating, deflating) For more: see Just One Breath
  3. Count your breath with your fingers.
  4. Maintain unbroken continuous awareness from the beginning to the ending while being aware of your breath.
  5. Be aware of common phenomena in your body and mind. (For example, breathing sensations, other body sensations, pleasantness, unpleasantness, likes, dislikes, urges, thoughts and others.)

For Basic Skill Development #2

  • Just be (with what you are experiencing).
  • Be aware of patterns.
  • Intentionally act instead of unintentionally or automatically acting, e.g. thinking, moving, scratching, chewing.
  • Be aware of a contraction when your mind believes to know something it does not know.
  • Establish an intention.

Preparation Exercises with Breath

  1. Be aware of your in-breath as in-breath and out-breath as out-breath.
  2. Be aware of your breath in-depth. (For example, constricted in-breath as constricted in-breath, relaxed out-breath as relaxed out-breath.)
  3. Be aware of your breath and your whole body, which allows you to breathe.
  4. Be aware of your breath and your mind, which is aware of your breath.

Preparation Exercises with Mental State

Notice how is your mind (or the state of your mind whether it is):

  • calm or not calm,
  • content or not content,
  • craving or not craving,

Preparation Exercises with Mental Actions

  • Be aware whether your mind is remembering, planing or doing something else.

Just One Breath

Notice your in-breath and out-breath once.

Note: This is just noticing the natural breathing of your body such as expanding or contracting sensations in your belly or coolness or warmth in your nose. The awareness is ideally continuous from the beginning to the ending of your one breath. (This practice is just for one breath. But you could repeat this as many times as you like.)

Counting Breath

Count your breath with your fingers

Note: Count in-breath and out-breath as one. Count when your out-breath is completed. No need to do anything except counting. (e.g. no need to control your breath. No need to think or try not to think.)

See also: Five Finger Movements for Counting Breath