Carmen Vaughan: Hi, I am Carmen Vaughan and I am here today to show you how to meditate quickly and easily. So let us get started. I would like to talk about some general guidelines to set ourselves up before we begin the actual meditation. The first thing I want to say to you is it is generally a good idea to avoid meditating on an empty stomach, that can be distracting. So if it is been a while since you have had something to eat, go ahead and have a little something before you start. Find a quiet, a comfortable place to meditate, try to eliminate as much noise as you possibly can but don't worry about the things you can't control. For example if an airplane is flying overhead or a door slams down the hallway, or the air conditioning is humming too loudly, don't worry about that, that is not going to seriously interfere with your meditation.
Sit in an upright position with your spine reasonably straight. Sit in the chair or on the floor or on the bed, wherever you find it comfortable. It is okay to lean your back against the back of the chair or the wall. It is not necessary to sit cross-legged in a lotus position, we westerners are not used to this and the discomfort level will just make us distracted. If for some physical reason you can't sit up, lie flat on your back. It is not necessary to have candle or incense or soft music in order to meditate. These things are nice and if you like them go ahead and use them but they are not necessary in order to meditate. And finally a lot of people ask me what to with their hands when they are meditating? And the answer is simple, just put them anywhere that is comfortable, on your lap or resting by your side. It doesn't matter, it is important that you be comfortable and in the best position to focus your attention fully. Now that you are comfortable, let us get started, I am going to be talking about the meditation exercise itself.