The way you organize your home or apartment sends messages about what is important to you. Some people prioritize books, bookshelves, and a comfortable reading chair or sofa. A movie buff will set up a living room that is essentially a home cinema. Someone who loves cooking will have the kitchen as the center of their home.
Creating a meditation space in your home is a powerful way of signaling the importance of meditation in your life. Setting aside a place dedicated to silence, stillness, and contemplation is a mindful act of self-care and prioritizes meditation in your life.
Mindfulness and meditation practices respond to what is happening in the present moment in your present environment. You can make your meditation easier and more effective if you are in a safe and supportive place, that suits both your tastes and spirituality.
You don’t need a separate room for your meditation space. Setting aside the corner of your living room or bedroom, or a space under the stairs or even a large empty closet will do fine.
The amount of space you need depends on whether it’s just for you or a shared space, and whether you will be using the space for yoga as well as meditation. You will at least need space to sit quietly, and enough space so you are comfortable and don’t feel “closed in.”
Think about what is meaningful for you. Without cluttering your calm space, you might consider what pictures, statues, candles, or crystals will help you focus on your meditation and avoid distractions. You might want to make your space comfortable and welcoming with soft blankets, rugs, and cushions – and you can even hang fabric or quilts up against the walls to help absorb any sound that comes in from the surrounding area.
Make your space a reflection of your inner self and what you need to feel calm and safe; create a place where you can retreat and find stillness and mindfulness.
Think of including elements that will calm all your senses. Include things like incense or essential oils, soft lighting, beautiful objects and pictures, singing bowls or music, and soft textiles and cushions.
You don’t have to belong to a specific spiritual tradition or religion to find a sacred space helpful for your meditation. Consider including spiritual elements such as mandalas or an altar.
Creating an altar can make it clear that the meditation space is a special space of quiet and ritual that should be respected. You can place anything that’s meaningful to you on your altar, from statues of the Buddha to driftwood and special stones collected on walks.
The most important thing in creating your meditation space is to make it one that suits you. There are no rules, except to do what appeals to you and what helps you practice more effectively.
If sound is important – for guided meditations, for example – include a sound source. You could bring your smartphone into your meditation space, or include a sound system just for use during meditation. You could also reserve a special pair of headphones for use in the space.
Include a place to store or access a drink of water, cup of tea, or a light snack during your practice – it’s hard to quiet your mind, heart and spirit when your stomach is growling!
Don’t feel you have to “complete” your meditation space before you can get started using it! A comfortable chair and a lamp in a designated corner of your bedroom can form the beginning of your meditation space, and you can add (or subtract) items as your practice develops.