The aim of the sitting meditation practice is to allow the mind to settle into a quiet and undistracted state. Using mind to tame mind can be achieved by the practice of mindfulness meditation (Shamatha Meditation) opening the possibility of healing from within.
Create a warm, cosy and inspiring environment, a special place for you to practice this peacefully remaining meditation. Initially, it is best to sit for short periods - 5 to 10 minutes.
One’s posture: cross-legged if you can or alternatively in a chair as long as your back is straight. Keep your eyes in a relaxed open gaze about a metre in front of you or on an object such as an inspiring picture. Place your hands on the knees in what is known as the mind at ease posture. Breathe naturally to the flow of the breath, here it is recommended through the mouth. The masters say; if you create an auspicious condition in your body and your environment, then meditation will automatically arise.
With the mind at ease, take as your focus the breath, an image, a statue or a photo in front of you. As thoughts arise, be observant of them but do not follow them by making more thoughts but rather return to the focus of your practice allowing thoughts to come and go without grasping or attachment.
Be spacious and let the mind remain undistracted, focusing on your object of meditation. Be aware so you do not become distracted and lose your remaining and mindfulness.
As you practice the number of thoughts will slow down and settle to the point where there is a gap between thoughts. Here you can let go of the focus and just rest spaciously and undistractedly in your awareness. As thoughts return or you become sleepy, once again focus on the breath or object. Your state of mind in meditation has been described as “alert alert relax relax”.
Quote from great Indian Buddhist master: “In genuine calm abiding the mind is able to rest in the mind. Mind becomes so relaxed that it rests in itself, just as it is, in a natural way, undistracted by thought”.
Meditation has many stages but its true purpose is to awaken in us a recognition of our true nature and introduce us to our unchanging pure awareness, the basis of inner healing.
To settle our mind in meditation it is important to practice frequently and to adjust our expectations, so neither be despondent if we are distracted nor be elated if we have a good experience.
For further reading; Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
Meditation by Ian Gawler & Paul Bedson