by Erin Easterly: Thoughtfully creating a meditation space allows you to cultivate the energy that will help you easily shift from restlessness into relaxation, from busy-ness into calmness, and from mental chatter into stillness…
The space in which you meditate can profoundly influence the ease with which you are able to settle into meditation. According to eighth-century Indian philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya, your physical environment exudes a dynamic energetic frequency that rouses similar, corresponding energies in the body and mind. Some frequencies pull the attention outward, while others draw it inward; some activate the mind, others calm it; some vitalize the body, others drain its energy.
Whether you are new to meditation or simply need to bring some fresh energy to your practice, renewing your meditation space can work wonders. Changing the energy of a space can transform the energy of your practice. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can create a peaceful haven just about anywhere. Try integrating the following tips to get started.
Find a Peaceful Space
The ideal meditation space is free of distractions. Though some people dedicate an entire room to their meditative endeavors, a corner, nook, or ventilated closet can work perfectly. Avoid main areas of the home, such as living or dining rooms, as their outwardly flowing vibrations will make it challenging to settle the mind. A bedroom, office, or patio are better choices. Since all activities carry specific vibrations of energy, you will want to select a place that can be exclusively used for meditation. That way, your peaceful vibrations will accumulate and energetically charge the space for you.
Create a Comfortable Place to Sit
There is an erroneous belief that meditation is best performed seated cross-legged on the floor. If you regularly sit in lotus posture, that may work well for you. But for most people, a meditation cushion or chair will be much more supportive. If you prefer to sit on the floor, select a round or crescent-shaped meditation cushion that allows your hips to remain higher than your knees. This will keep your lower back comfortable and prevent your feet from falling asleep. If you prefer sitting in a chair, choose one in which it is easy to keep your back straight and knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
Whether seated on the floor or in a chair, a relaxed but straight spine is important. Energy flows from the base chakra up to the crown of the head along the spinal column. If the spine is bent, the energetic flow is impeded, and meditation may feel challenging. Yet, when the spine is straight, intention, focus, and depth arise spontaneously.
Bring in the 5 Elements
Nature is your biggest ally when creating a meditation space. By incorporating the five Ayurvedic elements into your space, you will craft a balanced energy that will dissolve energetic imbalances within your body and mind. Let’s look at how you can integrate each of the five elements.
Earth: Earth energy is solid, stable, and structured. It will help to ground your body and settle your thoughts. Potted plants, singing bowls, crystals, and statues will infuse your space with earth energy.
Water: Water energy is fluid, flexible, and nurturing. It will soften the hardness of your day and allow you to flow with the meditative experience. An indoor fountain, essential oil diffuser, or flower petals floating in a bowl of water will do the trick.
Fire: Fire energy is focused, determined, and transformative. It will energetically burn away obstacles and illumine your inner self. Lighting a candle is the easiest way to bring the fire element into your space and can act as a signal that it is time to transition into meditation.
Air: Air energy is light, subtle, and movable. It encourages you to connect to the less tangible aspects of your nature, such as your emotions, feelings, and energy. To bring air into your meditation space, ideally, you would have a window that you could open. However, if that is not possible, air can be integrated through wind chimes and deep conscious-breathing exercises.
Ether: Ether energy is space, potential, and possibility. It heightens awareness, the still screen of consciousness upon which all thoughts and activity take place. Meditation itself is a connection to ether, but you can bring in more of this element by integrating an abundance of physical space in your meditation area. Keep it free of clutter, tidy, and simple, allowing there to be plenty of space between objects.
Nourish Your Senses
In addition to integrating the five elements, you can enrich your meditation experience by nourishing each of your five senses. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Sight: Surround yourself with an atmosphere of calm by integrating soft, ambient lighting in your space. A salt lamp, fairy lights, or a soft-hued night-light will set the tone of relaxation.
Sound: If your meditation style includes music, add a quality speaker to your space. Alternatively, listen to nature’s primordial sounds with a fountain or wind chimes.
Touch: Make your space cozy by including textures that nourish the sense of touch. Soft, decorative pillows, blankets, and rugs can increase your comfort as well as maintaining a pleasant temperature in your area. Since the body’s core temperature may shift throughout meditation, keep a scarf or shawl handy to adjust as needed.
Taste: Sip a cup of tea before or after meditation. In fact, the tea might become a meditation of its own.
Smell: Use natural calming scents, free of synthetic fragrances. Pure essential oils or clean-burning candles made with vegetable wax are a great way to go.
Once you have created your meditation space, energetically seal it with thoughts of gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to negative vibrations and will keep your mediation area energetically clean. Regularly visit your space and allow it to renew your body and mind. Then before you reenter your day, offer gratitude that your space has nourished and refreshed your spirit.