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Meditation Instruction For

Daily Sittings

 Like a Merchant Buying Gold


The Buddha told his students that their level of faith in his teachings and in him should be a product of their own critical analysis of his words. He said that if they analyzed and found his teachings beneficial, they should practice them, and if not, they should leave them aside. In this way, people who listened to his teachings should be like a merchant buying gold: Gold merchants do not merely accept the seller’s praise of his goods; rather, they use a variety of methods to examine the quality of the merchandise before they make their purchase decision. Similarly, the Buddha said, do not accept my teachings out of faith in me, but rather out of your own confidence in my words—confidence that you have reached as a result of your own intelligent analysis.

1. Select a time and place, where you can sit alone, uninterrupted if possible          (Quiet is nice, but not necessary).

2. Set a timer or cell phone alarm to announce the end of your session, then you won’t have to think about that.

3. Choose a length of time to sit.  Start small, say 5 or 10 minutes, and purposefully increase this a little each session. Always continue till the finish time has arrived.  This is keeping a promise you make with yourself.

4. Begin sitting, relaxed and upright.  Place attention on a primary object such as breathing, the sensations in your body that actually let you know you are breathing: rising and falling of chest and abdomen, passage of air in  nostrils or tip of your nose. 

5. Watch exactly what you are experiencing, not ideas – observe your actual experience.  Allow your breathing to be at it’s own pace, do not control it at all, except perhaps deep long breath to begin the meditation. Keep attention on sensations exactly as they are.

6. Feel directly and be with whatever arises in this sit: body sensations, thoughts, moods, emotions, sensations and feelings. Just consciously note what comes up and then, kindly return to the chosen primary object of attention – your breath. Attention/mind wanders/Return.

7. Continue until the alarm goes off.  Smile, you are doing well, this is learning a new skill that will grow positively as far as you can see!

8. That’s it; there is no more.


The insight timer is a good one.  It comes as an app and you will need to download it for your respective device.  (It is available for both Apple and Android products.)

If you are NOT using a tablet or a smartphone, you can link HERE to a timer you can use on your computer.

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