Keep it quiet
|Published: 19th May 2008 13:19|
Whether you want to meditate, pray, or do yoga exercises in your home, a space set aside can help make the activity a relaxing ritual. Finding the right place is an important part in making it become routine, as once you start a regular programme, you'll want to keep it up.
Since most meditation experts suggest keeping a regular schedule - 20 to 30 minutes a day, if possible - there is nothing more convenient and special than dedicating space in your home to the activity.
Choose a room that feels comfortable and adapt it to meet your needs. Avoid choosing a kitchen or living room, because chances are the noise and activity level will be too high. Instead, choose a space that is more private and not the centre of activity. Some people relax and focus best in a dark room, but others prefer a space filled with natural light.
Preferably it should be a plain room, something very tranquil so your energy isn't bouncing off everything, although if it's too dark, you may go to sleep.
An extra bedroom, a peaceful den, or a sunroom are all good choices for a meditative space. Clean out the clutter and if there's a phone there, make sure it's unplugged while you're meditating.
A window can also be helpful if you get sleepy. The fresh air can keep you alert and the view can refresh you upon opening your eyes.
You don't need to be behind closed doors, although it can be helpful to face away from the doorway to avoid distraction. Remember, the key point of meditation is that it can be done in any circumstance, so don't feel discouraged if you find yourself on the living-room sofa, if that's where you're really most comfortable. Just make sure anyone who shares your home knows your plans, so you can avoid unwanted disruptions.
Not everyone has the luxury of devoting an entire room to meditation or prayer. A corner or alcove is fine. Drape a cloth over a table and place objects on it that are important to you, such as a candle, holy books, symbols of your faith, photos of loved ones, mementos of relaxing places you've visited and so on. Keeping these items in the space will help prevent your corner from becoming a multi-use space that you have to clean up each time before you can use it - and also will remind you to do your meditation.
What to add to your meditation room depends on your personal tastes and meditation goals. Every person will want and need different tools to concentrate and relax. Include symbols of things important to you around, but don't let your surroundings distract you too much.
Candles can add an element of ritual, of a sense of setting aside a special time.
Some people like to bring in elements of nature, which can be as simple as a pebble or a feather, or as elaborate as a tabletop water fountain. Others like to listen to tapes or CDs with music, natural sounds - ocean, rain, the woods - hymns or chants, so a stereo system is a welcome addition to any meditation space. A journal, book of daily devotions and holy writings can also have a home here.
And, as the most important thing of all is being comfortable, many meditation experts say sitting is the most desired position. So don't forget to include a snug chair, exercise mat, pillows, bench or whatever works best for you.
A quiet room should ultimately be free and open, which will allow you to relax and give complete focus to all your meditative needs.