Two things I hear quite often from people are “I haven’t got time for meditation” or “I have nowhere to meditate”. Generally the obstacle of not having anywhere to meditate is based on the person’s idea of what are essential meditation prerequisites when in reality they may have a perfectly suitable meditation space in their own home. Furthermore, the problem of not having the time for meditation is then resolved when the person realizes that they don’t need to travel anywhere to meditate as they can do it in their own home
There is a lot of information around regarding the ideal meditation space. However not many people have this ideal situation with a room that can be dedicated solely for meditation and completely free from any distractions. This post
“Meditation in Daily Life – A Space to Meditate” will hopefully give some useful information and suggestions to create a great meditation area with whatever space you have already.
Association & Location
It’s easy to understand why the location is important for meditation but what’s this about association? Well, unless you have a room that you can reserve exclusively for meditation, then that room will have other function(s). Take for example your bedroom as maybe it’s the only private place you have. For most of us it’s mainly a sleeping place but it may also be where you work, read, watch TV or anything else you wish to do in private. What we need to achieve is a meditation area within this busy room in order to be able to ignore all of the other associations with other uses when we meditate.
Firstly find a space on the floor for a meditation cushion or a chair that gives a clear space in front of you. You can also use a meditation or yoga mat to mark out your meditation area which will help to create an association with meditating in that space. If it’s your bedroom and you haven’t got the floor space then the edge of your bed is fine but ideally you would still use a cushion to sit on. Make sure you remove any clutter or unnecessary distractions from your peripheral vision. Assuming we are meditating on the breath then this is enough to start with but if you are using a physical object for your focus, such as a candle or image then also have a clear non cluttered area around the point of focus.
If you are going to meditate in your living room then again use a mat to mark out your meditation space. Face a blank wall rather than one with pictures and ideally avoid facing towards the television. If possible don’t meditate in thoroughfares, keep away from draughts and try to have as much free space as possible around you. Natural light is the ideal although if you haven’t got a window in your room then switch on the light as it is much more beneficial meditating in a light space rather than a dark space. Once you have found what you think to be the most suitable space then stick with it and before long it will become a relaxing area where your mind starts to calm itself even before you start meditating.
Location: Interruptions and Distractions
Whilst noise such as traffic or the neighbor mowing the lawn can be distracting, after a little practice we start to get used to this type of noise to the point that it doesn’t detract anything from our meditation. However what’s a little more difficult to get use to is someone interrupting your meditation, infact even the thought that your meditation may be disturbed can hamper the meditation. Thus if you have to make the choice between assured privacy or some inevitable background noise, choose the latter. We will talk in more depth about this subject in a later post “Meditation Techniques”.
This is a basic guide to help create a meditation space in your own home. As your meditation practice develops your surroundings become less important to the point that you can meditate virtually anywhere. However, until then having a comfortable space to meditate will really help you develop your meditation practice.
Previous post by Mike “Meditation in Daily Life – Calming the mind“