The Benson method of meditation

The late Dr Herbert Benson was an authority on relaxation and meditation. He investigated them from a scientific point of view and recommended their use to his patients with great success.

He developed a method for general use which has no religious connotations:

  1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position in a quiet place and close your eyes.
  2. Relax all your muscles, starting with your feet and moving progressively to your head and face. Keep them relaxed throughout the meditation.
  3. Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally through your nose. As you breathe out, silently and mentally say the word ‘One’. Breathe in. Breathe out – say ‘one’. Breathe in. Breathe out – say ‘one’ – and so on.
  4. If your mind wanders, bring it back; it is not necessary to empty the mind of all thought. Stay centred, calm and peaceful. Don’t worry about whether you are achieving a deep level of relaxation; just maintain a passive attitude and let the release happen at its own pace.
  5. Continue for 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.
  6. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes with your eyes closed, then open them and sit for a few minutes more. Take a few deep breaths and resume normal activity.


©David Lawrence Preston, 17.11.2016

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