Today we have part five of my series on meditation. Last week, we talked about how to deal with the difficult emotions that sometimes come up during meditation. Now that you have all the mental tools you need, you’re ready to establish your meditation practice at home.
As you make meditation a part of your life, it can help to have a space set aside for it. This place will serve as a reminder of your practice, and it will ensure that you have a comfortable, inviting place to sit and meditate. If the space is already there, all you have to do is sit down. Doesn’t that make things easier? Here are the keys to creating a meditation space of your own at home:
- A little bit of space. Figures, right? You just need enough room to sit comfortably. For me, creating a meditation space is a good opportunity to remove clutter from my house. The meditation is intended to help me remove junk and gunk from my mind, so the meditation space should reflect that.
- Cushions! You’ll want a soft place to sit, after all. A blanket on the floor under you is nice, while a pillow or zafu will raise your hips enough that your knees more easily relax toward the floor. If you have tight hips, sitting this way may cause some tension in your knees. If so, place cushions or rolled up towels under your knees so you can relax and your legs won’t fall asleep.
- An altar or focal point. If you have room for a little table or shelf, place a candle, flower, or inspirational image there. This isn’t necessarily an object of worship, but it’s something you can let your eyes rest on that puts you in the right mindframe for meditation. Some people use photos of a beloved teacher, guru or saint. The altar helps establish that your meditation space is to be treated with reverence (as a symbol of your practice), and it’s also a place to center your attention when you get lost in thought.
- Some peace and quiet. The more you meditate, the more you learn to focus in busy, noisy and even stressful situations, but meditating in quiet is much much easier and more pleasant for most people. Choose a place that sets you at ease so you’ll have fewer distracting and anxious thoughts
There is no right or wrong here. Your meditation space should feel comfortable and inviting to you. I like to keep a blanket on hand so that when I totter over to my altar in the morning, I can wrap up and get comfortable. I hope your place will feel like a sanctuary from the chaotic world outside. To begin or end your day in this peaceful, soothing way will start to make a big difference in the quality of what happens between meditation sessions!
Have other questions? Leave me a note in the comments, and I’ll do my best to address them!
Next week, I’ll post my responses to your questions and other FAQs about how and why to meditate.