10 Ways To Create Your Perfect Meditation Room
1) Find a Separate Room or Isolate a Sacred Space
Distractions are the biggest plague we have in modern culture. An endless stream of tweets, ads and "Likes" assault us every day until we all get diagnosed with ADHD. That's why isolating our new meditation room is key. By designating a sacred space you tune yourself to a 'developmental' state of mind. You know the moment you walk into this room that you will meditate. If you don't have an entire room to devote to meditation, you'll have to get creative. Make liberal use of heavy curtains, drapes or folding room dividers to partition a section of your room to create a sense of isolation.
2) Set The Mood with Natural Lighting
As with all rooms, lighting can make or break a space. Having a lot of natural light with a southern exposure is always ideal, but may not be possible. Mainly you want to have bright, clear light filling the space. You may come across many meditation rooms with soft and warm orange light. While incredibly cozy and relaxing, this isn't the best lighting for meditation. Remember, the point of meditation is development and clarity of mind. That warm glow has a tendency to make you sleepy and a little too relaxed. At the same time, you don't want to be overwhelmed with a bright spotlight shining in your face. Track lighting for meditation in the evening works very well, and I personally love using natural light bulbs to give a clean and neutral light for both inner and outer clarity.
3) Inspirational Images and Statues
Being surrounded by inspirational reminders of why you're meditating can be incredibly useful. I'm not saying put up a bunch of corporate aspirational posters with jets flying toward a win; but symbolic images that represent what you want to achieve. In Tibetan Buddhism, many archetypical paintings and statues that represent fully developed aspects of mind are used. These are tools for visualization within the meditations as well. That's why high-quality Buddha statues and paintings can be hard to find. So surround yourself with images of the state of mind you wish to achieve. These can be pictures of a meditation teacher, Buddhas or even images that fill you with a sense of wholeness.
4) The Scent of Development (Aromatherapy)
Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful triggers we have. It can instantly put us into a state of nostalgic warmth from our first kiss. Or caught by the paralyzing fear of heartbreak from a whiff of cologne. The beauty is we can use this to shift our state of mind. Find some incense, scented candle or aromatherapy spritzers that you find attractive and pleasant. Ideally, one that you don't normally come across. That way when you begin your meditation practice you either light the incense, candle or spray the scent. You can create a kind of ritual and scent trigger to put yourself into a state of mind that is clear and blissful.
5) The Textile Experience - Surround Yourself With Natural Materials
There is nothing like the feel of perfectly spun silk or fine cotton. We are sensual creatures that need positive feedback through touch. Unfortunately so much of our textile world has become synthetic. Using carpeting, curtains, and fabrics that are natural and pleasant to the touch can help in creating a complete sensory experience. The most sense points we can engage to more complete the experience.
6) Pick a Great Meditation Cushion for Support
You can guess that we think meditation cushions are pretty important! Visually it should be attractive and inviting, and as mentioned before fabric choice is another important tactile aspect. A great meditation cushion should also mold to your shape while giving solid support. This becomes even more important the longer you meditate. As you get more and more comfortable with your meditation practice you may find yourself sitting for an hour or two at a time. Something that is just made out of cotton or stuffed with standard pillow filling won't give much support at all. Most meditation centers and long-time meditation practitioners use buckwheat filled cushions. They have a bit of give and adjust to the person but remain firm. Plus that added support under your tail helps your spinal alignment to keep your comfortable and aware throughout your meditations.
7) Meditation Music and Those Sick Beats
Meditation music is surprisingly controversial in meditation circles. People tend to be on either side of this concept. Mainly because many meditators follow guided meditations from booklets or audio recordings. It really depends on the type of meditation you're doing. If you're mainly looking to relax a little after a long day at work, then by all means, turn up meditation to the oldies! Seriously though, there are a lot of very pleasant ambient and meditative albums out there to soothe your mood.
8) Fresh Air and a Clean Space
The beauty of meditation is it creates for clarity of mind. This can be difficult if your meditation room is filled with clutter and stale air. When designing your space, keep in mind clean lines and symmetry. Keeping your field of view relatively neutral without distracting clutter can help you maintain your focus. And don't forget to open the windows! Oftentimes you may not want the windows open during your meditation because of outside noise like traffic. Which makes it a good idea to air out the room regularly or invest in a quality air purifier.
9) Tools of the Trade (Make Sure You Have Everything You Need)
There can be a surprising amount of things you'll need for your meditation sessions. Obviously you need your seat, your meditation cushion. An extra blanket in case your legs get cold is a great idea. If you use a meditation booklet, tablet or phone for your guided meditations, a small stand can come in handy. A mala with 108 beads is also a great tool if you're doing a meditation with mantras. When choosing one, first see which stones you are attracted to. This process is both visual and intuitive. Every gemstone has healing properties, and after you choose from your gut, you often learn that whatever the stone is known for enhancing or assisting with is exactly what you need in that moment. Next, see how it feels. Run the beads through your fingers and find one that feels natural. It's also a good idea to have a spare mala. You might be more attracted to one over another on any given day. And after a lot of use mala strings tend to break, which is actually a great sign that you are meditating well! And don't forget your fragrance. Have whatever you like for aromatherapy on-hand and easily accessible. Mainly you want to make sure you have everything you need in your designated meditation space. That way if you have to get something you don't have to leave your space and shift your state of mind again.
10) A Nice Rug Can Really Tie the Room Together
A floor mat or rug with some nice cushion can go a long way to keeping your knees comfortable. Especially in the beginning when you're getting used to sitting in meditation posture. Over time your hips tend to open and you find yourself comfortable sitting in meditation posture anyway. Besides the knees, a nice rug can help capture your personal style. It is a good idea to not choose a carpet that has too many contrasting colors or is very busy, since this can create a visual distraction from your practice. Neutral or more calming colors tend to work best.
Bonus - 11) Be Your Most Honest Self
The hardest thing to do on any path of development is being honest with yourself. Your meditation room should be your safest and most sacred space. It's an external expression of what you wish to achieve in yourself. That deep sense of wholeness, clarity and bliss. Every time you walk into your meditation room it should be with complete openness to your truest and most honest self — because you're already perfect.