One of my Insight Timer listeners asked if I could give a sort of quick glance at some of my meditation strategies. She seemed to find my response helpful, so I decided to share it here: 

If I am having trouble focusing on my breath in one way, I try to stay with it for some time, but I remain open to trying another way. Usually I start with a small area and grow it, but sometimes the strategy of imagining the whole body breathing works best, applied at the beginning. I may not be able to sustain this for the whole meditation, but it might generate a level of stillness so that I can settle into other subjects. Think that there is no limit to the creativity you can bring to the distracted mind. Imagine intrusive thoughts being shot down by lasers. Imagine that the lasers are concentrated compassion. Ease the thoughts into stillness. When the mind begins to settle, continue to stay with the breath, but consider, am I using too sharp a tool right now, or do I need a sharper tool? I can try to make my awareness more broad and spacious again. I can consider the elements, or space. If the mind is particularly noisy, I can try resting my attention on space. The area of our body is occupied by more space than matter- let the mind rest between things, between concepts, between matter. Then gradually consider the matter in that context: my flesh- the earth- held in immense space, nourished by air, water, and fire, so very alive, and I am aware. Be glad, be emboldened by this awareness of awareness, and use this power to be still, open, clear.

Thanks to Gerd Altmann for the image.

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