Read a Book
My books were written to give away the secrets of how to meditate. I want to to make this knowledge accessible to anyone who has the desire to learn. You could say these are manuals of practice – they are about the techniques, the skills. The books are not heavy on theory or theology.
You can read just one sentence or paragraph, then close your eyes for a couple of seconds and savor the meaning, and you will be on your way.
Each sentence is about some skill that will enhance your ability to be with yourself.
You can approach meditation as an experiment – something to explore and check out with your own experience. You do not need to be serious in your approach to meditation – you can be playful, casual, cozy, romantic, or simply curious. You can be reverent if you want,
If you feel the need for relaxation, repose, inner awareness, and healing, don't wait, just jump in if you want to.
If you are reading these words, know that you can meditate, it's as close to you as your breath. You are breathing now, right? So just enjoy your next breath very deeply, feel what it is to fill your lungs, give thanks for it, and as you release it, give thanks for the satisfaction of breathing out. Close your eyes for a the space of one inhalation and one exhalation. There. Now you started. 5 seconds is 5 seconds, and the only difference between 5 seconds and 50 minutes is some arithmetic.
As you spend time with a book, be prepared to read a sentence or paragraph and then drift off, thinking your own thoughts, making your own associations, and daydreaming. It's more useful for your meditation practice to read a paragraph and let it sink in than to read many pages.
Meditation 24/7 - amazon link - is really succinct. Brief instructions very clearly presented, and it comes with a CD of 14 guided meditations. Listen to a guided meditation. Jean Lucas edited this book. She's an athlete – she bikes long distances then swims. When we are not talking books, we talk about wetsuits. This is a great book.
This is the best place to start, usually, in developing your own meditation practice. Work with these practices for six months.
When you meditate, your inner life presents itself to you as pictures, mental movies, sensations everywhere and anywhere in your body, hunches, dreams, memories, words, and every possible combination of the above. You need to be able to accept all of who you are and welcome yourself. Meditation 24/7 is a fantastic guidebook to the skills you need to be healthy in meditation.
Read the book six or seven times, slowly, and do the meditations on the CD. I put the meditations on my iPod, along with my favorite music, and listen to it when I am standing in line, or need to rest. These are the basic principles every meditator needs to know, whether you have been meditating for 15 minutes or 15 years.
Meditation Secrets for Women
Meditation Secrets for Women (amazon.com link) is a must-read if you are a woman who wants to thrive in meditation. It sets forth the principles of how you adapt the universal techniques to fit your unique individual nature. There are 12 chapters. Here is a selection from a chapter called Trust Your Instincts, called The Yoga of Instincts.
Meditation Made Easy
Meditation Made Easy (amazon link) focuses on the techniques themselves, and although it's a pleasure to read, it is also profound. It's great information and very sassy. I had a fantastic editor for this book, Carolyn Pincus. I would send her 10 pages by email, and two hours later she would send me back a page and a half. I was stunned. My precious words! But when I showed her edits around, everyone agreed that the page and a half said it all. And you could feel the other ten pages backing up that one page. She is a wonderful editor.
Here is a chapter, or part of a chapter, of Meditation Made Easy, on working with your inner rebel – the part of you that doesn't WANT to meditate.
Whole Body Meditations
Whole Body Meditations focuses on the use of meditation in healing. It's got a great chapter on the Taboos against feeling. This book and Breath Taking both came out around 9/11, and the country-wide book tour that I had planned was cancelled, because all book tours were cancelled in the United States. They are both out of print, and you can usually get them very cheaply.
Breath Taking is a breezy and fun approach to breath awareness. We breathe 22,000 times a day. There is no use in making a chore out of breath awareness.
Meditation Made Easy in Spanish
This is the Spanish edition of Meditation Made Easy. I think it's the most beautiful cover of any of the books.
You will have to hunt to find the publisher and how to order it. You can read the first chapter here.
The back cover of the Spanish Edition.
Meditation Made Easy in Portugese
This is the cover of the Portugese edition of Meditation Made Easy. I don't know how to order it.