Take a deep breath and relax, with your eyes open or closed.
Be aware of sounds around you coming and going, and let them be whatever they are. Keep taking and releasing slow, deep breaths.
Close your eyes and drop all your concerns now, like setting down a heavy bag.
After the meditation, you can pick those up again — if you want to. Realize that you are allowing yourself this time to move away from worldly worries.
Now focus on your breath. Bring your whole awareness to the sensation of your breathing.
Sense the cool air coming in and the warm air going out. Feel the chest rising and falling, the belly expanding and contracting. Don’t try to control your breath; let it be whatever it is, flowing in and out of its own.
Start counting your breaths softly — count from one to ten, and then start over. Start back from one if you notice you missed the sequence before reaching number ten, because your mind had wandered.
It’s normal for the mind to wander. And when it does, just return to counting the breaths again from the start. Be gentle on yourself, letting go of all self-criticism.
Get more and more absorbed in your breathing. Start to notice the volume, speed, warmth and sound of the breath traveling in and out of your nostrils.
Once your mind settles down during the first few minutes, you will find it easier to focus your attention on the air as it travels deeper, in through the wind-pipe and into your lungs, and back out again. Open your whole consciousness to the simple process of breathing.
Now, bring your attention to the presence of the thoughts that are moving through your mind, trying to pull your attention away from your breath. Take notice of them. This is the most important step.
Don’t get caught up or fascinated in them to start thinking yourself away. But also, don’t struggle with them. The idea is to sit with your thoughts and let them be whatever they are. Most of all, just notice their impermanence as they finally fade off. And yet have an attitude of acceptance toward those free-flowing thoughts. Each time you catch yourself being dragged away by a thought, gently bring back your focus to your breath — again and again.
Feel a growing sense of peacefulness within as you keep settling into the breath with more focus.