Wonder: The only thing you need to know to meditate


Here’s the only way to meditate: you have to sit down and close your eyes for some amount of time on a regular basis.

I’d say daily, but that freaks people out. I’d say 18 minutes a pop, but that also freaks people out. A friend of mine recently asked me if I could help her learn how to meditate. I gave her ideas, techniques, and tips of how to make sitting there with yourself tolerable for some length of time, but ultimately whether or not my friend wants to meditate is really the deciding factor.

I shared my practice—every day, at some point, I sit on my couch, turn on the timer on my phone for 18 minutes, turn off every kind of device that makes a sound, close my eyes, and do nothing. (The 18 minutes is purely an arbitrary number that just works for me and take my 18 minutes whenever I can get it – morning, noon, or night.) Sometimes I’m happy. Other times I’m less happy—meaning angry, sad, disappointed, frustrated, sick, or just in a funk of some kind. No matter what my emotional state, I sit there and just be and breathe. Most of the time, Phineas crawls into my lap and goes to sleep. There’s no magic formula. That’s it. That’s all I do. It’s enough for me and it’s enough for you, too.

You don’t need any fancy clothes, sitting apparatus, or pricey classes and workshops. You don’t need permission. You don’t need someone to tell you how to do it. All it takes is practice and a desire to practice. The rest you’ll learn along the way. Your breath and your heartbeat will teach you everything you need to know.

I can tell you this about my daily meditation practice: I never regret it.