How to meditate?
If the answer to this question were easy, there would not be so many books written about it, but here are the basics.
1) Pick a spot that makes you feel calm.
2) Sit in a way that allows your back to be straight. This could be cross-legged on a pillow, kneeling with one of my fantastic benches, or sitting on the front edge of a chair.
3) Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat as necessary.
4) Each time you notice you are thinking, just notice it, and then let it go. This will happen a lot. Trust me. Don’t judge yourself, just notice, then let it go.
That’s the basics.
How long should I meditate?
This is up to you, but from what I have heard and practiced, it is a bit like learning to play an instrument: a little each day is better than two hours every other Saturday.
My favorite is about twenty minutes in the morning before my kids wake up, and twenty in the evening while they are falling asleep. Ah!
I can not remember who gave this answer, but I read one time a student asked her teacher the same question, and he said something like, “When you are learning to meditate, you should sit for ten minutes, then take a little break, then sit for another ten minutes. As you get more comfortable, make the breaks longer!” I love that.