John Main taught that meditation is as natural to the spirit as breathing is to the body. While meditation is common to many religious traditions around the world, the method of practice may differ. The discipline as taught by John Main, based on the teachings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, is approached for twenty to thirty minutes twice daily in the following way:
- Choose a quiet place.
- Sit down comfortably, with your back straight.
- Close your eyes lightly.
- Sit as still as possible.
- Breathe deeply, staying both relaxed and alert.
- Slowly and interiorly, begin to say your mantra or prayer word. Listen to the word as you say it.
- Continue repeating it gently and faithfully for the whole time of the meditation.
- Return to it as soon as you realize you have stopped saying it.
- Stay with the same word during the meditation and from day to day.
Do not evaluate your meditation. Do not be discouraged by distractions. Rather, let them come and go, always keeping your attention on the mantra. In time, the fruits of your meditation will appear in your self, your life, and in all your relationships.