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In this lesson, I talk about what approach you might take once you sit, get set up in the right posture, check in with yourself, and start meditating on your breath.

The attitude is fairly simple: stay present with what is here, right now.

This might include the physical sensations of the breath, of the body, of everything around us. It also includes the physical sensations of our feelings, and includes our thoughts.

Of course, we will find ourselves going away from the present … and so we must try to come back when we notice this. So the attitude is to stay, and then to come back.

It’s when we develop this attitude to stay, and to keep coming back, that we develop an awareness of what’s going on in our mind. This opens us up to understanding our mind, to transformative things like letting go of fear and anxiety, of getting to the root of our problems.

You can train yourself to be present, to be right here — this, of course, takes a lot of practice, so don’t expect yourself to be perfect at first.

With this practice, we can develop more contentment, trust, spaciousness, less anxiety. We can start seeing when we’re clinging, when our mind is spinning in reactive patterns, and this carries beyond the meditation cushion.

When you become hooked, this causes frustration, anxiety, fear … so notice when you are getting hooked. And come back, to the present. This is the basic attitude you can take in meditation.


Please complete one of these exercises:

  1. Beginner: During your meditation (which should be around 2 minutes every day, of focusing on your breath after you check in with yourself) … try to approach your practice with the attitude of staying present. And when you notice yourself wandering, simply come back.
  2. Advanced: When you notice yourself wandering, when you notice yourself fixed on something other than the present … work with your attachment. Stay present with it. Notice what you’re attached to, how it feels in the present moment, notice the suffering it is causing. Explore this.