Are you inspired to make meditation a part of your life? While all you need is your breath, make your practice special by setting up a sacred space. The key to a special meditation sanctuary is to incorporate all five senses into the design. Here’s how:
Set the Ambiance with Scent
In the same way that fragrance transports you back to a favorite memory or destination, it will also instantly put you into the mindset for meditation.
Or, if you meditate before bedtime, Jasmine has been found to create a more restful night sleep, which leads to greater alertness the next day. Cultivated in Southeast Asia and India, the scent of Jasmine invokes the history and sanctity of meditation.
Tip: My favorite way to set up a meditation fragrance is a reed diffuser. There’s something about the elegant reeds and glass that just look more natural and beautiful than other diffusers.
We’d all love to have a perfectly silent meditation retreat available to us every day, but that’s not always realistic. But that’s okay, because there are several options to put you in that zen audio space.
Relax into one of the following–
– a guided meditation, such as Tara Brach podcasts or an app like Headspace
– mood music, like Lakshmi Lullaby
– natural sounds, like the ocean or rain
– white noise
– Headphones (regular or noise cancellation)
– White noise machine
Tip: Don’t forget to put your phone on silent…or better yet, put it on airplane mode and in another room.
The first step in creating a visual ambiance is to remove any clutter or stressful items from your line of site.
If it’s not possible to change the whole room, consider turning your meditation pillows toward the wall or window for a less cluttered view.
Next, think about what meditation means to you.
If you are religious or spiritual, consider a small altar. On a side table or the floor, add a beautiful scarf and then decorate it with sacred items that mean something to you: crystals, candles, beads, bowls, quotes, or statues you may use to connect to your higher power.
If you want some natural inspiration, a great start are plants. Their peaceful vibe will ground your meditation practice.
Is a soothing blank wall or sky what brings you the most serenity? Then let the scent and sound create all the ambiance you need.
Tip: An attractive privacy screen can separate your meditation space while adding a decorative element to the room.
Option: While many close their eyes while meditating, some find it very helpful to practice the “candle meditation” technique. In this practice, you gaze at a candle (or just below the flame) as a way to improve concentration and lead you into a deep state of meditation. I find gazing at a beautiful, dancing candle flame to be so relaxing and peaceful.
Plan Your Seating Situation
Contrary to popular belief, meditation shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Many meditators sit on cushions, blankets, kneeling benches, or even chairs while meditating (yes, chairs are ok!).
If sitting on the floor, it is often more comfortable to have your backside propped up (higher than your knees) with firm cushions or blankets. When seated on the chair, keep your feet flat on the floor and your back away from the back of the chair.
Tip: Try out a few different combinations and figure out what works best for you. Once you have it, keep the necessary props in your meditation space for easy access every day.
Breathe in Beauty
Different meditation practices have different focuses for breath, whether it be breathing in love or simply noticing the breath, make it a special moment by breathing in beautiful, clean air.