I started out the year with the intention to have a really dedicated meditation practice and I’m happy to say that I have definitely achieved that. I begin each morning with a 10 minute meditation and I often add a mid-day 10-minute practice while I’m at work, as an opportunity to reset and reconnect before moving on with my day.
But when I think about meditation, I can’t help but think about the space in which we meditate and how we can set that up to best serve our practice, whether new or seasoned to the practice. Before I dive into that though, here’s all the places and ways in which I have meditated recently:
- Seated on a block in my living room
- Laying in my bed
- In a yoga class
- Seated on the floor of my office at work
- With candles lit / with no candles lit
- Diffusing essential oils / not diffusing essential oils
- In the morning / in the afternoon / in the evening
- With a mantra / without a mantra
- Doing a visualization / no visualization
…are you seeing the point I’m making with this? If not, let me be really clear…
You can meditate however, wherever, and whenever you want.
There is literally no perfect time, place, space, or way to do it. There’s no perfect way to do it.
There is literally no perfect time, place, space, or way to do it. There’s no perfect way to meditate. http://wp.me/p8lbRb-4m
But even still, let’s dive into each a bit deeper…
In my experience, to think there is a perfect space to meditate is a joke. It is so individual and it takes practice to know what (and where) works for you. Would I prefer to meditate in a quiet space? Of course, but I can still do it when I’m lying on my yoga mat waiting for class to begin with people talking, walking, and slamming their mats down all around me. Do I prefer to do it at home where no one is going to barge in? Or course, but I can still shut my office door and people (mostly) know that means to leave me alone until I open it again.
You don’t need a special pillow or bolster either, though if you find them comfortable, then by all means, get one! You don’t need candles burning or aromatherapy while you meditate, but if they help you relax and breathe, then by all means, do it! You don’t need a fancy alter or journal, but if that helps you focus and set an intention, make that a part of your practice.
You don’t need a ton of time. I take 10 minutes, but if you only have 5 or if you happen to have 20, do what you can. Start where you are. Work from there. I get the feeling of “I don’t have enough time” and while I also know everyone says this already, you gain so much more time through meditation. I’m not sure how it happens, but it does. I always feel like I get my 10 minutes back and more every day.
When I tell a lot of my friends that I meditate, many of them say, “I’ve tried, but I can’t. I just can’t shut my mind off.” Guys, I get it; I can’t either. If you have ever told someone that, I’m sure they’ve responded with “yeah, that’s called meditation.” And while I bet it’s annoying to hear, it’s also TRUE. My mind doesn’t stop just because I’ve decided it’s time to meditate, instead, as those thoughts come up, I recognize them, and then I almost sort them into these little buckets in my mind: the remember this bucket, the irrelevant to anything bucket…and any other buckets that may be needed. Then, I take a deep breath and go back to my mantra, focusing on my breath, or my visualization, whatever the technique may be that I decided to focus on that day.
At the end of the day, what I want you to realize is that meditation is a personal practice. What works for me may not be what works for you and that’s okay. And it’s important to note that for some, meditation may not even be sitting in silence, it may mean running or swimming or walking or fishing, or something that allows you to just quiet your mind and BE and BREATHE in that moment. I find meditation in many ways (including running, walking, and yoga), but I find a more traditional approach to be where I see the biggest benefits.
Have you tried meditation?