Now that you're ready, here are the steps for each of the 2-minute intervals of the 10-minute meditation. Remember, there is no wrong way to do this. All you have to do is try and no one expects perfection.
Step 1: Set your intention (2 minutes, until the first chime).
Set your intention for what you are about to do. For example, you may say to yourself:
- I don’t have to do this perfectly. There is no perfect.
- It’s okay if my mind wanders. All I have to do is gently bring myself back to the task at hand.
- I can do this.
- No judgments.
Let yourself sit quietly for a moment and be aware of what is happening around you: the sounds, the smells, the temperature, your thoughts, the experiences happening in your body, such as your heart beating, your palms sweating, any aches and pains, or your stomach growling.
Just notice what is happening and be curious about it. Stay in this space until you hear the first chime, which is the signal to begin Step 2.
Step 2: Center on your breath (2 minutes, until the second chime).
Bring your awareness to your breath. With the intention of being extremely curious about your breath—noticing what it feels like as it enters your nostrils, moves down your chest, and fills your stomach—do the following:
- Breathe in through your nose on a count of three. Let your breath slowly fill your belly and feel your stomach rise and push out.
- Let your breath sit in your body for a count of three, without breathing in or out.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth on a count of 3.
- Repeat this breathing until you hear the second chime, which is the signal to begin Step 3.
Step 3: Engage in self-compassion meditation (2 minutes, until the third chime).
While keeping your eyes closed, place your right hand over your heart.
Slowly and gently say the following phrases out loud to yourself. Say each phrase three times before moving on to the next one. If you are in a public space and do not feel comfortable saying these phrases out loud, it’s okay to say them silently to yourself. Keep saying these statements to yourself until you hear the third chime, which is the signal to move on to Step 4.
- May I be safe.
- May I be well.
- May I be kind to myself.
- May I accept myself as I am.
- May I know peace.
Step 4: Center on your breath (2 minutes, until the fourth chime).
Return to the initial breathing exercise in Step 2 and focus on your breath.
Keep focusing on your breath until you hear the fourth chime, which is the signal to move on to the fifth and final step—coming back to full awareness.
Step 5: Come back to full awareness (2 minutes, until the fifth chime).
Slowing bring yourself back to full awareness. With your eyes closed, scan your body and pay attention to any sensations you feel, just being aware of them.
Pay attention to your mood and how you feel emotionally. Begin to extend your awareness to your surroundings. Start to notice any sounds, odors, etc.
Before opening your eyes, set an intention for yourself once you end the meditation. Often, a brief statement of something you wish to focus on during that day is helpful.
- I will listen more today.
- I will speak honestly, even when it’s hard to speak the truth.
- I will do one new thing today.
- I will not let my fear or anxiety stop me from doing what I want to do today.
- I will not beat up on myself today.
About Sidney Trantham
Sidney Trantham is an associate professor and division director of Lesley's graduate Counseling and Psychology Division, home to several master's degree, certificate, and doctoral programs.