I meditated on and off for years before committing to a regular meditation practice and it has been an absolute game-changer for me. I meditate the first thing each morning and, while I shoot for 30 minutes of meditation, sometimes it’s only 15 minutes. Then there are some days when 5 is all my schedule will allow. But each and every day, I make it a point to spend time in stillness and I can honestly say that this practice (which I struggled with for so long!) has now become an essential part of my life.
One of the things that has helped me to commit to this practice is having a meditation space that I love coming to each day. My space isn’t big and it isn’t elaborately decorated, but it’s cozy, inspiring and serene. It’s a place I retreat to in order to quiet the noise of the outside world and turn inward and, as such, I am very selective about what I bring into this space.
In this post, I’ll share with you my tips and techniques for creating a meditation space that you love, one that relaxes you and supports you in your practice. I’ll also provide several photos of meditation spaces that might offer some ideas and inspiration.
I’ve broken the process down into 4 steps:
Step 1: Choose an area of your home that offers some privacy and designate it as your meditation space. I spent years sort of “moving around” in my meditation practice. Sometimes I meditated in my bedroom, sometimes the living room, and occasionally, when the house was in full swing and I couldn’t find a noise or toy free space, I even went down into the basement to meditate. While one doesn’t absolutely NEED to meditate in the same place all the time, it definitely helped me to have one space designated for that purpose. When I found a place in my house that offered some privacy and a small area where I could place a candle and some special items, it elevated my meditation to the level of ritual. Over time, I grew more and more comfortable in this space and now I find that, when I enter the space, it seems to signal to my body and mind that it is time to slow down and let go of the chaos. I find that I can access a state of deep relaxation much more quickly when I meditate in my space than when I meditate somewhere else.
Everybody’s living situation is different and you may not have a space that is totally private – in other words, one that has a door which locks. That’s ok. You simply need a space where you can sit quietly and without interruption for a few moments a day. Perhaps you can find a corner of your living room or bedroom that is unoccupied at a certain time of day (remember, meditation doesn’t have to be done first thing in the morning. It’s not important WHEN you meditate, only that you do it!).
Step 2: Find a comfortable place to sit. Sitting cross-legged on the floor doesn’t work for everyone and it certainly isn’t the only way to meditate. You want to make sure that your mind isn’t distracted by physical discomfort while you meditate. For that reason, it’s important to give some thought to how and where you’ll sit. For example, I happen to like meditating in the traditional cross-legged position but, after a while, the floor begins to put pressure on my ankles. Even a yoga mat didn’t provide enough cushioning, so I invested in a large pillow/meditation cushion for the floor which is perfect. I know several people who can’t sit on the floor at all and prefer to meditate in a chair. As long as you are in a chair that allows the soles of your feet to rest firmly on the floor, a chair is fine. Simply give some thought to this, determine how you’d be most comfortable and add your preferred seat to the space.
Step 3: Find or create a surface upon which you can put a few special items. This is often referred to as an “altar” and it can be as simple as a tray on the floor, a small table or a shelf mounted onto the wall in front of where you sit. It need not be very big, but you’ll want to have a place to put some inspirational items. I placed a beautiful tray on top of a small ottoman on the floor, right in front of my meditation cushion. It happens to be at eye level, which is nice. There are many options so, again, find what works within your space and your budget.
Step 4: Decide what you’d like to place on your “altar.” I always have a candle on my altar, which I light during my meditations. Lighting the candle and setting an intention has become a ritual that opens up my practice. If that’s something that you would like to include in your practice, then you will want to place a candle on your altar. Fresh flowers are also a nice addition to a meditation space. I love bringing natural elements into my home as much as possible and the meditation space is an ideal place to do this. Flowers, seashells, rocks or crystals make lovely additions to the space and remind us of our connection to the natural world. You might like to include mala beads, statues of deities that you love, even essential oils that you may use to enhance your meditation. The important thing is that each item on your altar provides you with a sense of peace and joy. This is a sacred space and the objects you bring into it should make you feel good (By the way, Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration!). If the space begins to feel cluttered or “messy,” simply take a few items away. Remember, “less is more” in most situations and especially when creating a meditation space. Step 5: USE IT!!! Now that you’ve got this beautiful and thoughtfully prepared space, meditate in it. This is an extremely intuitive process. Tune into how the space makes you feel and modify it, as needed. Over time, it will become an absolute sanctuary!
If you have a meditation space, please feel free to share photos or post a comment below. I would love to hear from you!