Years ago my sister gave me this fantastic meditation cushion… much of it's special-ness certainly comes from the fact that it was a special gift from my amazing sister.. but I have also felt incredibly 'at ease' from the first time I sat on my meditation cushion... it’s comfortable, but not too much so… it’s also firm and supportive; I feel very grounded when I sit and I know that it's an enjoyable place to stop for a while.
I used to keep my meditation cushion in the living room where I could see it at all times… like a friend patiently waiting for you to spend time with them. But recently the living room has felt more like a busy intersection… the connecting room where we all move, meet, talk, have the television or music going, homework being done, telephone conversations and newspapers littering the space!
After a recent morning meditation I realized that I needed to find a new space for my meditation and my cushion… change is good, a new perspective of sorts, maybe a cozier spot to honour the change of season.
We all instinctively seek out special places when we need rest, retreat and rejuvenation, a space that refreshes us just by being there (or imagining being there too).
A Sacred Space
Creating a special space, designed solely for your meditation practice, allows you to build up an association of your time there with feelings of calmness and refuge; you will carry those associations with you wherever you are, even when just thinking of your practice.
You can of course meditate anywhere, and as you become more confident it becomes increasingly easier to soften and turn inwards wherever you are.
But meditation is a practice – and so you do need to build a habit. I think it helps to have some consistency around time and place when you start... it certainly doesn’t hurt to practice with the same chair, same room, same time, and same view!
In our modern world most people seem to have lost the appreciation of ritual... but rituals empower an activity to feel special.
The whole process of selecting, decorating and preparing a special space for your meditation practice helps create that aura of sacredness. Decorating your meditation space helps mark the time spent there as precsious and not to be wasted. Keeping the area appealing and clean : can be seen as an external representation of the state of mind we aim to cultivate... hanging a picture that holds special meaning : reminds us of what is important to us... keeping a warm blanket at the ready, lighting a candle or incense : initiates ritual and welcomes you to your practice
...all will imbue your meditation with a sense of reverence.
I love my new special place. It’s just in the corner of my room but it feels fresh and spacious… it is warm, secure and has lots of natural light… I have my warm alpaca blanket ready for me, I can watch the rise of the sun in the morning, and hear the tinkle of the wind chimes outside my window...