Literally everyone wants to be happy and life is full of change and discomfort. Body aches, death in the news or in our lives, difficult conversations etc. are all examples of pain that we all experience eventually. We like something and want to hold onto it but then it changes. This causes us to do all sorts of crazy things instead of just accept what we can not change.

“Everything I love and everyone who I have ever known are of the nature to change. There is now way to prevent being separated from them”

Thích Nhất Hạnh’s interpretation of the fourth of the Five Remembrances

We steal, kill, speak harshly, put others down, and so many other things we don’t really want to do because we are grasping at things we think we want. When we get them we find they are empty because they can be taken away. Everything that we need is already inside of us but it takes a lot of work to recognize and believe it. Meditation is the work that we put in to be happy, to be able to accept and work with painful situations without turning away. Silent sitting meditation is where we finally get to know ourselves so that we can learn even more about ourselves through our interactions with others.

There are many different seating positions but whichever you choose, it seems most effective if: you are sitting straight up like a string is pulling your body up, starting with very deep and slow breath (this is one reason I like the Oak Meditation App), and tuck your chin slightly back (but relaxed). I use a home made meditation bench where I kneel with my shins on the ground and a bench between my sitter and my ankles. I also just use a nice chair where I can sit up when I am at work (during lunch or planning).

You don’t have to meditate for 30+ minutes; you can start with 1-3 and see how you feel.

There are three tools I can recommend:

Oak Meditation app (my go-to as it is simple and has breathing exercises):

Insight timer (I have the app) has some good led meditations but also has a bunch of not skillful led meditations so use your best judgment and look around:

If you do not feel like downloading anything and just want to give meditation a shot, you can use your phone or this website:

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