Sitting meditation is a practice of being in the present moment, which requires a balance between awareness and relaxation. You can facilitate this balance by sitting on a chair with feet flat on the floor, or sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor, or kneeling on the floor supported by a cushion or bench. Once seated there are several points that most people find helpful: Keep your spine straight but not rigid. Allow your neck to be soft and your shoulder to sink downward. Allow your eyes to be half open with your gaze resting unfocused a few feet in front of you. Rest your hands in your lap or on your thighs. Bring your attention to your in-breath and out-breath. Allow your breath to come in and out as it may.
To help maintain your focus on the breath you might count each breath as you notice the moment of the in-breath, counting from one to ten and then starting with one again.
Or you might focus your attention on the whole breathing process, noticing the air passing through your nostrils, noticing the movement of your abdomen.
Or you might say a gatha, a short verse, silently to yourself as you breathe in and breathe out.
Gathas for Meditation
Breathing in, I know I am breathing in
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Breathing in I dwell in the present moment
Breathing out I know it is a wonderful moment
Present moment… Wonderful moment
As the in-breath goes deep,
The out breath goes slow.