This article was originally published on September 26, 2016, and updated on September 17, 2021
There are some steps we can take to give our meditation practice the best opportunity to succeed. One of them is setting up our meditation space; another is communicating our practice to our household members.
It’s important to communicate to the people we live with that we are holding meditation time for ourselves. Why? To protect that contemplative space in time for ourselves. Meditation time, like any important ritual, needs to be prioritized and planned for. Just as it would be difficult to hold a wedding on the beach at the same time as the surf carnival, we need to plan our meditation at a time when we won’t be distracted and members of our household can be given the best opportunity to respect this time of ours. We can work with those we live with, even explain to them what we are doing if they are curious – maybe it will lead to their own movement toward developing a personal practice of their own.
Along with setting up boundaries for relational space in our home, we can also set up a physical, geographical space in which to practice. Setting up a physical space is a wonderful way to support our practice. To set up a meditation space, we find somewhere in our home that is just for practice. This might be a whole room or it might be a corner of one of the rooms in a home.
The main focus of a meditation space and is something to rest on – a cushion, chair, or mat. It’s important to find a cushion, chair, or mat that feels supportive enough so that we can feel as comfortable as possible for the duration of our practice. A meditation practice that incorporates self-compassion includes consideration of our physical comfort – we are not trying to “push through” pain. So it’s worth taking the time to find the right object to rest on, even trying out different options until we land on the right support for our meditation.
The other components of a meditation space are unique to each individual. We might set up an altar with a vase of flowers, a photograph of a deity or a favorite teacher, incense, stones, feathers, found objects from the forest or the beach, or Post-It notes with little messages of love and support. If the word “altar” doesn’t really resonate, that’s okay. We don’t need to call it anything. The point is that we are consciously setting aside this time to meditate in this personal space that feels inviting. We can make it unique and appropriate to our individual preferences.
Enjoy setting up your space!
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