Basic Instructions for Meditation
- Make sure to eliminate distractions you may have brought with you to the meditation suite before entering the room by turning off any electronic devices you have.
- Choose a spot in the room where you feel comfortable and are not too crowded by fellow meditators, and select a cushion if you wish.
- Relax your body into a position that feels comfortable to you. This can be sitting cross-legged, but it does not have to be. Make sure that you have a straight back so that you can take deep breaths, and adjust your position as you strive to eliminate any tension in your body.
- Begin to focus on your breathing, the feeling of inhaling a sustaining breath of air, holding that air in your lungs for a few seconds, and then slowly exhaling. You may experience racing thoughts, fatigue, or restlessness — this is all normal. Keep bringing your attention back to the inhale and exhale of your breath.
- Once you are somewhat settled in your breath, notice what is happening in the room and in your body — including sounds, sensations, thoughts, emotions — without getting carried away by them. When you do get carried away, simply bring your attention back to your breath and the present moment with gentleness.
- Don't give up! There is no such thing as meditating “wrong.” The more you practice, the easier it gets to stay present.
This year, New York University is partnering with mindfulness app Calm to offer free mindfulness and meditation content to all NYU students. Go to www.calm.com/nyu to learn how you can decrease stress, sleep better and develop laser-fast concentration.
Two regular guys take on mindfulness and meditation for regular people. Co-hosted by Jason Hollander — one of the founders of MindfulNYU — Meditate This! is funny and fruitful, ponderous and pop cultural. Give it a listen; it may change your whole perspective.
People of Color Resources
- Inside Meditation Society's POC Retreat
- New York Insight Meditation Center's POC Sangha
- Brooklyn Zen Center POC Sangha
- People of Color Tea Group
LGBTQ Meditation & Mindfulness Resources
- New York Insight Meditation Center's LGBTQ Sangha
- Shambala New York City Sangha
- QueerBuddhist Woman Sangha
- The Garrison Institute LGBTQ Retreat
- Insight Meditation: Freedom and Ease of Being LGBTQ Retreat
- Jon Kabat Zinn on Mindfulness
- Meditation for Beginners
- Andy Puddicombe — All it takes is 10 Mindful Minutes
- 60 Minutes — What is Mindfulness
- Tara Brach on Pausing
- Guided Meditations by Tara Brach
- Free Guided Audio Meditations by UCLA
- Meditation Oasis
- Chopra Guided Meditations
- Mindbody Sessions
- Mental Workout
- Smiling Mind
- Stop Breathe Think
- Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Naht Hahn
- Work, Sex, Money by Chögyam Trungpa
- The Mindful Therapist by Daniel J. Siegel
- True Refuge by Tara Brach
- Real Happiness at Work by Sharon Salzberg
- Guided Meditations for Difficult Times by Jack Kornfield
- The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Related Studies and Research
- Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density
- Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise
- Mindfulness Training Targets Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Addiction at the Attention-Appraisal Emotion Interface
- Antidepressant Monotherapy vs Sequential Pharmacotherapy and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, or Placebo, for Relapse Prophylaxis in Recurrent Depression