The three preparatory stages—the seven-point posture, the expelling of negative emotional states through using our breath and visualization, and finally the visualization of Shakyamuni Buddha—should be the way we begin any kind of meditation or practice.
After the three-phase preparation sequence, we proceed to the second stage, which is the actual meditation practice. The range of meditation practices that exist is extremely vast, but what I will introduce here is one that is common to both the sutra and Tantra traditions.

[Depicted from "Life as Practical – Practical Instruction to the Lay Practitioner - Part 23" May 2015, Canada.]