“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are.” – Ani Pema Chodron
Meditation is worth doing. If something is worth doing, then it is worth doing right! It is true, you can practice mindfulness and meditation at any time, and in any place. But, if you wish to make it a significant ingredient in your life, then putting aside a specific time and place for it is important. This will not only enhance your meditation experience many-fold, but it will also give you a physical space in your environment with which to associate peace, clam and centredness. Here are the essentials when selecting and preparing a meditation space for your home.
1. Positive Space
The foundation for a good meditation space is selecting a room in which you feel comfortable; a room that makes you feel good. So, consider these things… is the light in there good? The temperature of the room, is it comfortable? Is it a room that people pass through often, or is it a reasonably isolated area? Of course, you may not have a whole room at your disposal… so you may wish to free up a corner in your favourite room.
Physical comfort is vital to a successful mediation practice. So, populate your chosen space with all that you require to feel comfortable. This will include practical comforts such as a cushion, yoga mat or chair. But also consider other sensory additions such as scented candles or a nice throw rug.
Although homely touches are essential, resist the urge to clutter your space. Distraction and temptation can easily muddy the clarity of your practice, so carefully select the items that you choose to bring into your immediate circle of attention.
This is important. If you have managed to claim an entire room for your practice, then your work on this point may already be done. Wherever you are, you must establish boundaries for your mediation space – in both a physical and energetic sense. When practicing, you will require your concentration to be centred on to you and your meditation. By creating physical boundaries (bags, furniture, screens, drapes… whatever you wish to use), this reduces the likelihood of you engaging with anything outside your meditation. Boundaries can also be created in the mind, but be aware that this takes practice!
5. Meditation Music
Soothing music is a brilliant addition to your space and to your practice. An ideal meditative environment can be helped to form by creating a calm and releasing atmosphere; music creates this like no other thing. Relaxing music has an amazing ability to induce release in the mind and the body. It may not help you to have music playing throughout your meditation, as it may serve as a distraction, however, listening to your favourite serene soundtrack will ensure that you are in a centred place before you begin your practice. This chilled atmosphere can also be helped along by the right lighting. If there is bright daylight in your space, you may wish to pull down the blinds a little, to soften the light. Or if, indeed, the room is a little dull, then nothing creates a sense of serenity like a candle or soft reading lamp.
6. A Touch of Nature
Meditation is about balance and connection. With this in mind, bringing a little green into your space makes perfect sense. This strengthens your connection to life and the natural world, as well as balancing the space in terms of air flow and in having an element of nature in an otherwise human made landscape. Your natural element doesn’t have to be a plant, if you would feel more connected with a bowl of shells, a water feature or a vase of flowers, then bring these into the mix; whatever supports your connection to nature and the Earth.
These steps are designed to be taken in the home. However, wherever you are in the world, you will find that many of these steps can be taken in order to cultivate a temporary meditation space. Serenity and connection can always be reached if you know what to do!
By Chris Thomson
If you are struggling to turn the volume down on your thoughts during mediation, then why not try out one or two of these ideas: Tips for Quieting A Noisy Mind
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