How To Practice the Clean Slate Meditation

Clean slate
The clean slate meditation is a simple beginner's meditation with great stress management benefits. Justin Horrocks/E+/Getty Images

Meditation brings fantastic benefits for health, wellbeing, and stress management. Unfortunately, many people don't try meditation because they feel it may be too complicated, or they fear they're not 'doing it right'. Here's a meditation technique (a form of vipassana/insight meditation) that's so simple a child can easily learn it, and it can be practiced anywhere. Use it as method to learning meditation, or as an addition to your existing repertoire of meditation techniques.

Here's how this simple meditation works:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 to 45 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. (The position doesn't matter, just as long as you're comfortable enough to relax, but not so comfortable that you easily fall asleep.) Be sure you have a few free minutes, and set a timer or an alarm if you need to be finished at a certain time. (Many people find that cell phone timers work great for this purpose.)
  2. Breathe deeply from your belly, relax your shoulders, and spend a moment letting the tension in your body escape through your breath. (This breathing meditation can help if you're having trouble relaxing.) Then, imagine a blank slate in your mind. Just envision pure whiteness. (You may leave your eyes open, but most people prefer to close their eyes.)
  3. As thoughts, feelings or images come into mind--and they likely will--imagine wiping them away and 'cleaning the slate' again. Repeat this each time a thought, feeling or impression comes to mind; simply wipe the slate clean and return to a mental image of pure white.
  1. Keep breathing, keep relaxing, and keep maintaining your clean slate until your timer goes off. Take another moment, and return to your day feeling more relaxed and refreshed.


  1. If you're a beginner, start out with short meditations--5 or 10 minutes--and increase their length as you go. Remember, with meditation, repetition counts, so it's more important to maintain a consistent practice than lengthy sessions. Daily 5-minute meditations are more beneficial than one 40-minute meditation once a week (though both scenarios have their benefits).
  1. If you're more practiced at meditation and can maintain regular, longer sessions, try it! Regular meditation brings many long-term benefits. (Read about the benefits of meditation here.)
  2. This is an excellent meditation for children. If you talk a child through the instructions, they can develop a meditation practice that can help with the stresses of childhood as well as the stress of the challenges they will face as adults. (It can also be helpful for sleep!)

What You Need:

  • A quiet place
  • A timer
  • A few free minutes