Life moves pretty fast in the modern world, and it’s sometimes easy to lose track of ourselves. Everybody has a different coping mechanism, and how we choose to disconnect is a personal decision. Some people choose to play video games, some like knit or stitch, and some choose to meditate.
That’s right, meditation has gone mainstream. This practice is no longer the sole reserve of Buddhist monks, and there is no need to dress in bright orange robes to find a little peace. Meditation can simply be a way of shutting out the noise of the outside world, if only for a few cherished moments.
What is Meditation, and How Do I Meditate?
Meditation is essentially the art of clearing your mind, focusing on breathing, and simply being. Countless high-profile executives and professionals find it to be hugely beneficial to their lifestyle, if only for the brief respite from the demands of our own minds that meditation offers.
Making sense of the subject remains something of an enigma for many, however. Thankfully there are a variety of sources that can shine a light on meditation – both what the exercise entails, and how to go about practicing.
- Psychology Today offers an explanation that will appeal to the layperson.
- What Meditation Really Is breaks down the process of meditation into ten parts.
- If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could look into Transcendental Meditation.
If you are curious about meditation but do not feel ready to bring it into your own home yet, investigate The Buddhist Center. Divisions are located all over the country, and you’ll be able to connect with like-minded souls in any one of them.
Why Should I Meditate?
It has been shown that meditation can be advantageous to the human mind and body.
- Healthline offers a dozen scientifically proven health benefits to meditation.
- WebMD explains how meditation can get the human mind, body and spirit into perfect harmony.
- Lifehacker shines a light on what happens to the brain when you take up meditation.
- Mindful Magazine provides 10 reasons why meditation can be great.
Convinced that your life will be enhanced if you take this practice up now? Great – but be aware that it’s borderline impossible meditate while you’re sitting on the couch. You could take the advice of Mindworks and head out into the outside world. If meditation is exercise for the mind, you’re going to need your own personal brain gym. That means setting up a meditation room.
What is the Best Location for a Meditation Room?
When it comes to selecting the best location in your home for a meditation room, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Freshome, Left Brain Buddha and Mind Body Green offer guides to the optimum meditation room, but let’s take a look at what needs to be carefully managed.
First, find the best space. You’ll need to base yourself in a room that is not used for anything else, and where you will not be interrupted. It must be quiet in the room, so nothing that faces traffic. You’ll also have to make it clear to all family members and housemates that the room is off-limits while you’re in there. You could also follow the advice of A Quiet Refuge and soundproof a room with the use of blankets.
A window with some kind of view may also be beneficial – as long as it’s not too distracting! If you don’t have access to a view, check out the relaxing images on Health.com. Many websites and businesses will be able to blow these up to poster size for you.
Lighting is also important. You will be best served by using a room that has dimmer lights. A blackout blind to prevent any outside light interrupting your meditation experience is also advisable. If you don’t have dimmers, use low-intensity bulbs. As an article in the journal Environment and Behavior explains, humans find it easier to relax in a dimly lit room.
What Equipment is Required for a Meditation Room?
Finding the right apparatus for your meditation room can be a delicate balancing act. Although you’ll definitely need some equipment, it’s hugely important that the room does not end up cluttered.
Take a look at Becoming Minimalist for some insights into how to get rid of unwanted and unneeded items. It’ll all be good practice for when you start to reject attachment to material belongings!
Despite this, your meditation room will need a handful of items. These include:
- A comfortable seat, stool, or – best of all – a cushion. True Stress Management reviews some of the finest options available.
- Something that plays audio, such as a stereo or MP3 player. When you meditate, you will need to listen to soothing music or the voices of a guided meditation. The likes of YouTube and Spotify are loaded with free guided meditation exercises.
- You may want to have an altar. This could contain photos of loved ones, religious paraphernalia, or anything else that helps you feel relaxed and grounded. Ensure that this is low to the ground, no higher than your seated eye level.
- If you decide to use scented candles, sleep.org suggests some of the most relaxing smells.
- Something to keep time. The whole purpose of meditation is to teach your mind to be disciplined. Pick up a low-key alarm clock; nothing that will distract you, but something that will be able to notify you that your meditation session has come to a close. You may find that an egg timer performs the same task admirably.
Of course, you will also need to ensure that the room is painted to an appropriate color and shade. Follow the detailed advice of Color Meanings to help you make the best decision on this score.
Once you are ready to go, congratulations – a whole new spiritual realm awaits you. Meditation may initially seem impossible, as we are conditioned to listen to every word our inner monologues shout at us.
Once you have mastered the art, however, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to get through the day without it. Meditation provides a buoy and anchor in the choppy waters of modern life. Grab on, and enjoy the respite that this practice can provide.