Many people want to know how they can meditate when they are very stressed or exhausted. Try this 5-minute exercise to get yourself back on track.

Step 1: Don’t think of meditation right now. To go directly from a state of stress or exhaustion to a state of meditation and inner peace is too big a jump. If you try to force meditation at this point, you may only end up even more stressed! Certain preliminaries are necessary before you are ready to begin meditating.

Step 2: Meditation is best done in a sitting position. For this exercise, however, Sri Chinmoy recommends that you lie down on your back.

Step 3: Breathe in as slowly as possible. Sri Chinmoy continues, “While breathing, you have to feel that peace has descended and entered into your mind. From head to foot it is going. Feel that all the nerves are getting nourishment. Breathe as slowly and as quietly as possible, so that even if you put a thread right in front of your nose, the thread will not move to and fro. If the thread moves this side and that side, it means you are not breathing slowly and quietly. You can use the thread to examine your breathing. If it does not move, that means your breathing is correct.”

Step 4: Feel that peace is percolating inside your entire body.

Step 5: After five minutes, you will be ready to sit up and begin your meditation. You will feel renewed energy, mental clarity and inner peace.

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