The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practicing a simple breathing meditation. Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. If you wish, you may sit on the floor or in a chair. Keep your back straight to prevent your mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.


With your eyes partially closed, turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control your breathing. Become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is your object of meditation. Try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.


Attempt to resist the thoughts running around in your mind and remain focused on the sensation of the breath. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. Repeat this as often as necessary.


As you practice this more and more, gradually your distractions will subside and you will experience a sense of inner peace and relaxation. Your mind will feel lucid and spacious and you will feel refreshed. The incessant flow of your distracting thoughts will become calm and you will be better able to concentrate on the breath. Stay in this state of mental calm for a while.

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