8 steps to creating the perfect meditation space in any home
I love to meditate, I find that it clears my mind, helps me focus and gives me peace in this stressful world. It’s been well documented how meditation affects the brain. Also you don’t have to believe in God / Goddess/ Universal Spirit / Allah / Yahweh etc. in order to meditate – in fact many atheists I know meditate.
Not all of us can afford to design and build our own meditation space or dojo in our back garden or extend our house, in fact many of us live in apartment buildings or rent. I would love to have a dedicated meditation room, but it’s not necessary to have a designed and built meditation space for you to practice.
It’s important to have an area that’s special and ideally separated from other parts of your home. You have separate areas for cooking, dining, zoning out and sleeping, so why not have a space where you can clear your mind? It doesn’t have to be a big or a dedicated room – you could have a corner, or even a window sill!
There are no rules in how you set up your space, but bear in mind that “Anyone can use [a meditation space], but only for meditation,” (Deepak Chopra).
So here are eight things you should bear in mind when setting up your special place:
#1 Keep your space clutter free
It must be simple and clean. This will help your mind to relax during meditation. Your space should contain pillows and a yoga mat or a straight backed chair to sit on (it’s important to be comfortable whilst you meditate!), a small table and a throw rug.
#2 Minimise distractions
Avoid high traffic areas or spaces where there are going to be distractions. Also try not to set up your space in an area where you might want to fall asleep. Find a location that is comfortable for you.
#3 Bring nature into your space.
Many people believe that meditation is about connecting your mind and body with nature and your surroundings. Perhaps you could meditate in a room that has a good view of the outdoors or even outside in your garden – however that’s not always possible if you live in a city. Instead try placing a plant or flowers in your meditation area.
#4 Lighting is important
A room with lots of natural light will immediately enhance your mood, if this is not possible then perhaps think about getting a ‘sun lamp’ that mimics natural daylight.
#5 Have the right sounds
It’s not an obligatory element – but music can be very relaxing and can help you tune out the sounds of traffic etc. if you live in an urban area. It’s important to choose tracks that do not have lyrics – although you don’t have to listen to classical music! Perhaps you could try natural sounds such as the ocean, birds or waterfalls for example. Maybe you can start by listening to a guided meditation.
#6 Fresh air and aromatherapy
It’s vital to ensure that you have fresh air in your space. Fresh air has many benefits including helping you feel more refreshed, boosting your brain power and improving your overall health. So if you are indoors it’s essential to make sure your space is well ventilated – even if you bring in a fan that also functions as an air purifier.
Top tip: If you use a fan please get one that’s not too noisy otherwise this could interfere with your concentration or the serene sounds you play.
#7 Decorate your space.
Choose something that is meaningful to you. It’s helpful to have a focal point – something to concentrate on – many people find gazing into a candle flame restful – others like to set up an altar – but bear in mind that you must not let that space become too cluttered. You can always swap things out whenever you wish.
And finally – this is vital, you can ignore all the steps above, but your meditation is a quiet time so I would like to make a hard and fast rule:
#8 No technology
Apart from your music player that is. So no phones allowed, email , social media and text message alerts pings and phone calls will be a terrible distraction. As well as phones it’s also important to avoid other electronics such as your TV, computer or video game devices. You need to get away from it all whilst you are meditating.
Meditation is your special time of the day to relieve stress and find tranquillity. Using the tips above will help you make your meditation space a peaceful area to pause and breathe.
Who is Claire Cardwell?
Claire Cardwell of Blue Designs is an architectural designer with over 15 years experience in the Johannesburg area. She has worked on small projects – double garages, swimming pools – and new houses from a 1,300m² house in Featherbrooke Estate, to houses of only 110m² in size. In 2015/2016 she worked on a small complex, a warehouse, a nursery school and new houses in the Waterfall Country Estate, Copperleaf Estate, and in Limpopo on an old-age home and frail care facility in North Riding.