December 15, 2022 3 min read

 

Blessings and greetings Mala of Merit family!

Whether you are a seasoned meditator or new to the practice, below are some helpful hints to create the best meditation space to fit your lifestyle and budget. Before we dive in, it is important to mention that having a dedicated space to meditate is not at all necessary. Meditation can be done at any place and at any time; but if you want to create a dedicated space in your home, this blog is for you.

Start With The Basics

1. Choose someplace quiet where you are unlikely to be disturbed:

This could be a whole room or a secluded corner. Some people even choose their closets as their dedicated space.

2. Keep the space clean and remove any distractions:

(i.e. unfinished projects, piles of laundry, items that trigger a stress response, etc. will only distract you from your practice)

3. Choose a comfortable seat:

Choose a seat where you can sit for an extended period without experiencing pain. Some discomfort is unavoidable but should not be painful.

A meditation cushion (also called a zafu)  placed upon a meditation mat (or zabuton) are the most common types of seats. A cheaper option is to place a pillow or two on top of a blanket which has been folded several times. There are also benches and chairs made specifically for meditation. The purpose of these specialized seats is to keep the hips elevated and the back straight.

If you have limited mobility and prefer to sit in a chair, I have found office chairs to be the most comfortable and ergonomic.

Optional extras

1. Set up an altar or shrine:

This does not have to be elaborate unless you choose it to be. Some people may have multiple statues of deities, photos of gurus or loved ones; others may have only a single photo (perhaps of the Buddha, Shiva, Christ, etc.). A detailed guide for setting up a Buddhist shrine can be found here

2. Make offerings:

Traditionally, offerings are made before each meditation session to recall enlightened qualities which are present within all of us. Making offerings helps cultivate a generous attitude and arouses the delight in giving. For a detailed guide to making Buddhist offerings click here

3. Light a candle or incense:

Lighting candles or incense can be used as part of making offerings or simply used to create a pleasant and calming aroma in your space.

4. Add some plants:

Bring nature into your space to help you connect to nature and to the earth. Remember, we are not separate from nature; we ARE nature.

5. Add anything else that brings peace, sparks joy, or enhances your practice:

Dharma items such as instruments, prayer wheels, or mala beads. Christians may choose to add a crucifix or rosary beads. This does not matter much, just anything you believe will enhance your comfort in your new meditation space.

 

One of the most important things to remember is that you can meditate anywhere. It does not have to be special; you do not need to spend a lot of money or make it fancy. If you are breathing, you can meditate. The primary benefit to setting up a dedicated space is to have a calm and inviting space in which you wish to return to again and again. A place of refuge where you return to meet with and sit with yourself each and every day.

 

 

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