A simple guide to meditation

There’s a kid book, Peaceful Piggy Meditates, with a line that goes “It almost seems like you can’t slow down…even when you’re sitting down.”

You feel that?

Our thoughts are racing, our appetites are voracious, we’re stressed, tired, sick, and it’s not getting better.

We want more, more, more – all while working less, less, less.

Inhale, exhale. Slow down. Yes – that’s what we need. Inhale, exhale, slow down.

There’s so much that goes into this but there is also one simple thing. A simple technique you can use. Your breath.

The name of this technique is Hong Sau. It’s one of the three top techniques recommended by Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.

This is the book that Steve Jobs read every year and made sure everyone at his funeral received a copy of.

The technique is simple.

Watch your breath. On the inhale, you silent say to yourself, Hong. On the exhale, you silently say to yourself, Sau (pronounced saw).

It’s a concentration exercise more than a meditation exercise, but it stills the mind.

Sit on a chair. A straight backed chair, but you’ll sit on the end. Keep your back straight, gaze forward. Close your eyes and focus your eyes at your “third eye”. Inhale, silently saying Hong. Exhale, silently saying Sau.

Don’t try to change your breath. Just watch it and say Hong and Sau as appropriate.

Work up to 15 or 20 minutes of this, once per day.

Keep your mind on the breath, but don’t try to control the breath. Just make sure you mentally say Hong or Sau, depending on which cycle of the breath you’re observing.

This one technique is a gateway into deeper forms of meditation. Never be in a hurry to move along fast. Better to hone the technique and be patient.