If you’re looking for meditation tips, there’s no more trusted source of advice than H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, Buddhist meditation master and head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
In a popular video on the KarmapaDocumentary channel on YouTube, H.H. 17th Karmapa gives tips and explanations on different aspects of Buddhist meditation, including posture, focus, and breathing.
Tips on meditation posture
Before we even begin meditation, tip number one is to start with three deep exhalations – to ventilate unnecessary air from our system.
Then we breathe steadily through the nose, with the back straight, but not too rigid.
“When we begin,” advises H.H. Karmapa, “it’s better that we close our eyes. Later on when we are able to calm the mind at will, then we can open the eyes at will – but not too much.” The point to focus on is down at a 45 degree angle, two hand-spans away from the nose.
What to meditate on
“There are many ways one can meditate. Often, the best way to make the mind calm is to count.” Because the mind is used to movement, we give it some rhythm and neutral focus by counting breaths so that the mind does not become agitated. We breathe from the abdomen, rather than from the chest.
As Gyalwa Karmapa advises, “Know that during this moment, nothing matters.”
Meditation tips for advanced practitioners
For those who do complex Buddhist visualization practices such as the Four Foundational Practices, H.H. Karmapa reminds us that although watching the breath is just a very basic form of meditation, it can help our other meditations. “If we have trouble meditating, whatever practice we do, this is the sort of thing that we need to do. Then it will become easier for whatever other practices we do.” Meditate according to these tips and the mind “will become much more flexible and much more calm.”
Enjoy the full video of a meditation guided by H.H. Karmapa:
Meditation tips to help us practice every day
And finally, now that we know how to meditate, how can we stick to it? The Diamond Way Buddhism UK blog has some useful tips on making meditation a habit:
Modern practitioners of meditation face the same age-old question that meditators have asked themselves and each other for thousands of years: how can I motivate myself to meditate every day?
Here we offer five tried-and-tested meditation tips to overcome the most common problems that beginners and experienced practitioners can encounter in motivating themselves to sit regularly.
Check out the full article: Top 5 meditation tips – make it a daily habit, and good luck!