Someone asked on Reddit how to start meditating, so I posted:
For me, first thing in the morning, otherwise the day takes over and there’s never any uninterrupted time. I’m lucky enough to work my own schedule, which helps.
Sit up straight. I don’t know why, but using a chair or lying down isn’t as good.
Don’t think, just count the breaths in your abdomen. Count from one to ten. If a thought intrudes, start again at one. Here’s the shocking part: it’s really hard to get past one!
Use a timer, rather than guessing when it’s time to stop. Start at 10 minutes, work up to 40. I use a Springfield kitchen timer with no audible tick.
Again, this is zazen, which works for me. Ask around and see what other people do. The point is to bring you into the present, because that’s all there is. The past and the future only exist in your mind; when you stop thoughts, there is no past or future. (That line of thinking could develop into a long discussion, but let’s not right now.) The book that blew my mind on this was “Be Here Now“, which may or may not appear dated by now. I sat up until 4 a.m. reading it.
His reaction was “Thank You! This is one of the most simple, straightforward explanations I have heard.“