Lion’s Roar has published a beginner’s guide to Buddhism and meditation (Sept 18, 2015). The meditation section responds to important questions like, “How can I get started with basic meditation? Why should I meditate? How much should I meditate?” and so on. Here’s their answer to the first question:
HOW CAN I GET STARTED WITH BASIC MEDITATION?
Focusing on the in-breath and out-breath is a core technique, practiced by beginning and established meditators alike, to deepen concentration and cultivate meditative insight. Click here for incredibly simple, doable meditation instruction.
As Sharon Salzberg teaches, the objective is to continue following your breath— starting over when you’re distracted—until you’ve come to the end of the time period you’ve set aside for meditation. Read Sharon’s own instructions for getting started with basic breath meditation here. This form of basic meditation, meant for stabilizing the mind, is also known as shamatha, or mindfulness meditation.Read Sakyong Mipham’s “How to Do Mindfulness Meditation” for more on shamatha.