How to Meditate in 7 Simple Steps

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

Horses live in the present moment. They aren’t worried about the fight they had with their spouse yesterday, or what the weather will be tomorrow. Because they live in the moment, their natural state is peace and serenity.

Horses are great meditation teachers.

Science shows that meditation lowers stress, increases mental clarity, and improves sleep. My favorite benefit of meditation is it quiets the monkey chatter in our mind so we can listen to our intuition.

When we are NOT present, we miss out on the richness of life; the smell of our dog’s fur as we hug him, the way the sun feels on our skin, a smile from a loved one, the flavor of dark chocolate as we savor every bite.

By training our mind to live more in the present moment, we stop seeking peace and serenity, and realize it’s right here, right now.

Below is a guide for getting started…

How to Meditate in 7 Simple Steps


1. Sit upright comfortably.
If you’re like me and you try to meditate while lying down, you’ll fall asleep. Instead, sit in a comfortable chair with an upright back, get a meditation cushion, or fold a pillow and sit cross-legged on it, which will help support your back.

2. Breathe Deeply.
Ah, the breath, the wonderful breath. It’s our ANCHOR to the present moment and a tool available at all times. Start by taking 10 deeps breaths and counting to 5 during each exhale and inhale. Allow your lungs to fill up as you inhale (it feels good to take a deep inhale) and then slowly exhale through your nose, allowing your shoulders to drop. Repeat.

3. Gently close your eyes.
If you’re not doing so already, I suggest closing your eyes to help you focus. It’s easy to give your mind an excuse to wander when you are staring at laundry that needs to be done.

4. Slowly scan your body, and notice any sensations.
I love this step because it’s checking in with our body. How many times a day do we ask others, “How are you?” A lot. How many times a day do we ask our body, “How are you?” Hardly ever. It’s an opportunity to check in with your body which is an effective way to bring you into the present moment. Start by focusing on your feet and moving up to the top of your head. Notice if there is tension anywhere, and if there is, consciously send your breath in the direction of that body part.

5. Be aware of any thoughts you are having.
Do you ever get stuck in overthinking? Here’s a chance to notice your thoughts WITHOUT getting roped in by them. Imagine each thought is like a cloud in the sky and you’re the observer. Notice what thoughts are present, “I need to call my mom, I have to go to the grocery store”. Allow each thought to come up, and pass by, without any judgment or attachment.

6. When your mind wanders, focus on your breath.
When your mind wanders, which it will, come home to your breath. Your breath is the the number one tool to help you stay grounded, connected, and focused in the moment. When you focus on your breathing, your heart rate slows down, your mind begins to quiet, and your body can relax.

7. Gently open your eyes when you are ready.
I suggest practicing meditation for 5-10 minutes in the beginning. The best time of day to do it is in the morning, BEFORE having coffee, if you’re a caffine consumer. Connecting to your breath will set the tone for your day. It’s a positive and empowering tool to practice beyond the pillow, and throughout the day. Even if you don’t have an opportunity to close your eyes, you can practice conscious breathing during a meeting, in a traffic jam, or in a conversation.

For a printable checklist of How to Meditate, How to Meditate in 7 Simple Steps.

You can post the printable checklist in your bedroom, or by your desk, as a reminder to meditate.

For guided meditations, check out HeadSpace which is an easy-to-use app that walks you through a series of 10 minute meditations.

I’d love to hear from you….have you ever tried meditation? What’s been your experience? Share in the comments below.

Inhale…1, 2, 3, 4, 5…Exhale…1, 2, 3, 4, 5,


4 replies
  1. Kim M Dove
    Kim M Dove says:

    Thank you so much for this useful tool. I am beginning to do this in a present way today. I practice this with my horse when I go out to be with them but not with my eyes closed. The palm between the eyes and my head close to theirs and I breathe in unison with them. I am carving out a special place in the house today & will make this a part of my routine. I love the idea of the thoughts being clouds and moving on!

    • Devon
      Devon says:

      Hi Kim, I love your meditation practice with your horse! What a powerful way to breathe together and live in the moment, which as you know, horses are master at teaching. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Loree Eliot
    Loree Eliot says:

    I have practiced meditation off & on for about 40 years now…(lots of “off” time when I was raising kids!). It just so happens today was a very Zen day for me, I got to spend the entire day in the company of horses – apparently something was working right because all the horses I spent time with responded to me like they do in my dreams! I check in with my body when I’m driving, standing at the sink washing dishes, walking through the grocery store, sitting at my desk, having my riding lesson. I find the tension and let it go (remarkable how often I catch myself holding tension). I set up a small alter in my house (literally a small step stool with a favorite sarong over it and a candle). I love the feeling of being present, it makes my entire day a meditation. (that quote by Lao Tzu is one of my very favorites BTW!). Thank you for the timely reminder and encouragement Devon!

    • Devon
      Devon says:

      I love this, Loree! What a great practice of “self-checks” throughout the day. Isn’t is amazing how being with horses is total zen zone 🙂 This is so beautiful, “I love the feeling of being present, it makes my entire day a meditation.” WOW. That’s profound. Thank you for sharing your experience with meditation, a lot of people can benefit from reading your experience. XO


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