"I was introduced to meditation by a yoga instructor when I was in high school. It was very calming and peaceful. I find it to be both practical and enjoyable. For a number of years now, my day doesn't start (even before tea) without the practice of meditation with my husband."
Set a time each day (some people meditate twice a day, but do what you can and want to do)
Be consistent, if possible. Go for 5 minutes for a week or a month and then add a minute monthly. I don't know many people who practice meditation (also known as "sitting") for more than 30 minutes at a time
I find it helpful to light a candle. It's funny- most of the time my eyes are closed, but there is something calming and ritualistic about having a tea candle burning
In some traditions, senses are not part of meditation. I'm of the mind that, if music and incense assist you in meditation, use it. I do, and love it
My husband has a timer with a soft bell that signals the end of meditation- that way neither of us is looking at the clock. We also use an app that plays soft music and--once the period is over--the music dies down and we know that we can now open our eyes
Meditate how you can, as you are, where you live. Some people use a chair or sofa or sit on the ground. I've done all of the above. But a few years ago, Daniel and I made little cushioned meditation benches that allow us to kneel on the carpet with our bottoms on a cushioned seat. If you want more information about this, send me an email by clicking here: email@example.com
Mantra (from Sanskrit: literally a 'sacred utterance') is a word or phrase repeated (softly or internally) which allows you to focus on where you are and what you are doing. It's a way of "centering" yourself, stripping away distractions so that you can be in the moment as you meditate. You can use a mantra with each breath you take or by some other rhythm. It can be done for a few seconds only or during the entire meditation session. It's up to you; do what works for you.
Choose (or make up) your own mantra. Here are some common ones:
"I am not my thoughts"
"My Lord and my God"
"All is good"
"I am a channel of your peace"