The Center for Interfaith Relations is revisiting Festival of Faiths catalogues in search of insight, wisdom and inspiration. Our hope is that these written words will spur meaningful reflection and serve as a beacon of hope amid challenging times.

This meditation guide first appeared in the catalogue from our 2013 Festival of Faiths, “Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion.”

Basic Meditation Guide

  1. Find a comfortable place where you are at ease.  
  2. Sit in a comfortable upright position with special attention to keeping a straight back and relaxed shoulders. Establish your intention for meditating.  
  3. Let your hands rest in any positions that feels comfortable for you.  
  4. With a soft open gaze or closed eyes, bring your attention to your breathing, noticing the in-and-out flow. 
  5. Once you are aware of the basic goodness of your breathing, move your attention slightly to include a broader awareness.  
  6. Maintaining this relaxed state, consider the simple thought of opening up your state of being with each in breath and letting go of your concerns with each out breath.  
  7. A simple recitation in the mind could be the words “Opening Up” and “Letting Go.” 
  8. As thoughts inevitably arise, acknowledge these with an open manner without trying to block or judge them. Allow them to continue but return your principal attention or breath.  
  9. Use this framework to define a meditation “session.” A meditation session can be of any length; even a moment can bring you back to your self 
  10. At the completion of the session, acknowledge to yourself that this period of your meditation is complete.