Our annual all-teachings issue celebrates the qualities of awakened mind and the Buddhist meditations that cultivate them. It includes teachings and meditation exercises from seven teachers, starting with James Ishmael Ford's "I Want to Be... Peaceful."
This basic mindfulness meditation offers a great place to start.
a quiet and uplifted place to do your meditation practice. Sit
cross-legged on a meditation cushion, or if that’s difficult, sit on a
straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor, without leaning
against the back of the chair.
your hands palms down on your thighs and take an upright posture with a
straight back, relaxed yet dignified. With your eyes open, let your
gaze rest comfortably as you look slightly downward about six feet in
front of you.
your attention lightly on your out-breath, while remaining aware of the
environment around you. Be with each breath as the air goes out through
your mouth and nostrils and dissolves into the space around you. At the
end of each out-breath, simply rest until the next breath goes out. For
a more focused meditation, you can follow both out-breaths and
you notice that a thought has taken your attention away from the
breath, just say to yourself, “thinking,” and return to following the
breath. In this context, any thought, feeling, or perception that
distracts you is labeled “thinking.” Thoughts are not judged as good or
bad. When a thought arises, just gently note it and return your
attention to your breath and posture.
At the end of your meditation session, bring calm, mindfulness, and openness into the rest of your day.