You have everything you need to start a meditation practice: a mind, a body, and curiosity. Begin today with this collection of starter meditations.

Photo by Nilotpal Kalita.

You want to meditate.

 “But how do I do it?” you ask. “What is the best way to go about it?” 

Even a year ago, you might’ve been able to Google the nearest meditation center. The pandemic has made this an extra obstacle. But don’t worry – you have everything you need to begin meditating right now! 

If you have, as Judy Lief puts it in “DIY Dharma,” “a mind, body, thoughts, and a natural bent toward awakening,” you are already on the right path.  

We’ve collected five meditations that will start you on your journey to establishing a practice of your own.

Larry Yang teaches the basics of a simple practice you can do right now: insight meditation.

Photo by Nick Fewings.

The term “insight meditation” comes from the Pali word Vipassana. It is the ability to see clearly and deeply into what is unfolding in our lives.

Insight practice reveals what has created our present conditions and allows us to more fully live in the present moment. This is so valuable for our ability to make conscious choices to better our lives. It is why the Buddha said that living twenty-four hours with mindfulness is more worthwhile than living a hundred years without it.

Kathleen McDonald teaches Loving-kindness, or Metta, the practice of wishing ourselves and others to be happy.

Photo by Jonathan Borba.

Loving-kindness, or Metta, is wishing ourselves and others to be happy. The Buddha taught us to generate this attitude toward all living beings, and he explained its many benefits. Not only is loving-kindness beneficial for others, it will also help us to be happier, healthier, and even sleep better at night!

Gil Fronsdal teaches how to practice walking meditation, the bridge between your meditating mind and your everyday mind.

Photo by Devon Hawkins.

Walking meditation is a powerful bridge between formal sitting practice and our daily life, helping us be more present and concentrated in our ordinary activities. Here’s how I do it.

Tonglen, teaches Pema Chödrön, is a method for awakening our compassion by breathing in suffering and breathing out relief.

Photo by Mathilde Langevin.

Melissa Myozen Blacker teaches the Koan practice of asking again and again, “Who am I?” Every time an answer arises set it aside. Eventually, answers stops coming, replaced by a feeling of profound wonder.

Photo by Matteo Di Iorio.

Do you ever ask yourself about the meaning of life? Do you sometimes look around at this burning world and say, “WTF?” Maybe you have asked your parents, teachers, or clergy for guidance, and then felt frustrated by their answers. Perhaps you continue to have seemingly unanswerable questions that preoccupy you.

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COVID-19 has brought tremendous suffering, uncertainty, fear, and strain to the world.

Our sincere wish is that these Buddhist teachings, guided practices, and stories can be a balm in these difficult times. Over the past month, over 400,000 readers like you have visited our site, reading almost a million pages and streaming over 120,000 hours of video teachings. We want to provide even more Buddhist wisdom but our resources are strained. Can you help us?

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