There are a few recommended guidelines for meditation:
It should be done every day, preferably at the same time and if possible in the same place. It is best done in the morning, immediately upon waking. Regardless of the time you choose to practice it is best done before a meal rather than after a meal. Find a quiet spot and sit with your spine straight and vertical.
It is ok to use a chair.
Below is a basic procedure that is easy to learn and practice:
1. Practice the procedure on a daily basis for at least 20 or 30 minutes. If you are a beginner it is fine if you feel ready to conclude your meditation after 10 or 15 minutes. You will feel more comfortable with longer periods as you progress in your practice.
2. Sit upright in a comfortable chair. It is all right to sit cross-legged if this is more convenient. Hold your head up, and focus your attention, concentrating on something to take your attention beyond the random thought activity that is usually going on in our minds. You can focus your attention using a solid object, a picture or mandala, a mantra, your breath or a tape of a guided visualization.
Typical objects of concentration include a candle flame, plant or blossom. Some people use pictures, such as mandalas, which are symmetrical paintings that help to induce positive states of consciousness. Some people might use a picture of a spiritual teacher. . Mantras are words/sounds which have a flowing, meditative quality and may be repeated out loud or inwardly. Perhaps the most common focus of meditation is the breath.
3. Inhale and exhale once or twice to relax. Remain still for a few moments until you feel centered. Be aware of your natural breathing rhythm. Now focus on your object of concentration.
4. Let your breath flow naturally and begin to bring your attention to the object of your concentration. Do not be upset if your mind wanders, just bring your attention back to the object again and again. Eventually you will master your mind and be able to focus and concentrate on the object for longer and longer periods of time.
5. In mantric meditation begin chanting your mantra. It can be a chosen word, such as Love, Peace, God, or any pleasant word that is agreeable to you, or you can use a traditional mantra such as " Om Mani Pedme Hung" or " Namu Myoho Renge Kyo." Chant your mantra and if you find your attention wandering refocus you attention on the mantra. Allow for the feeling that the sound of the chosen word is blossoming in your mind or your field of awareness. Continue your chant, without effort and without anxiety about results. Remember if your attention wanders, just acknowledge this mentally and bring your focus back to your mantra or if you are using a different object of focus then back to that.
5. You will eventually experience a state of conscious, calm awareness. You may continue your chant or be quiet and bring your session to a natural conclusion.