I hope you looked at the last two posts and started meditating – at least one minute per day. If you try this consistently, it will be easy to get up to five or ten minutes per day. For many people, that’s all you need until you get to a deeper level of meditation.
This post takes a step back and talks about some of the practical elements of meditation. Taken as a whole, you can consider this your meditating environment.
Ideally, you will have a regular place to meditate. This is nice because it helps you get into a meditating routine. As you begin settling in, your brain and body with start relaxing even before you sit down. You “muscle memory” for quiet time will kick in.
In the summer months, I have a wonderful spot on my back porch to meditate. It’s got a comfortable chair and a little table for my coffee. It’s not great in the winter, but during the summer it’s awesome.
The rest of the year, I have a specific chair I sit in to meditate. Again, it’s comfortable and everyone knows that that’s my quiet spot.
Your meditation spot should be a place where you can have privacy. You should be able to sit upright with your feet on the ground. Ideally, you want to ignore your body while meditating, so avoid uncomfortable positions that cause you to fidget.
When Should You Meditate?
This is obviously a personal choice. Many people prefer early morning meditation simply because quiet plus relaxing often equals sleep. If you are tired and try to meditate at night, you are very likely to fall asleep.
(As a side note, learning some relaxation exercises you can do while lying in bed is a GREAT way to fall asleep.)
I go to an evening meditation meetup sometimes. Because it’s early evening (6-ish) and doesn’t last too long, I don’t have trouble there. But if I try to do a relaxation meditation at 9:00 PM, there’s no way I can stay awake.
As with everything else regarding meditation, you need to figure out what’s best for you. Many people prefer morning because the day has not rushed upon them with a long string of demands. In fact, many people make a point of meditating before they turn on their phones, check their mail, and get sucked into the work of the day.
What Do You Need to Meditate?
Well, nothing. Some people meditate while sitting on a pillow. I have rheumatoid arthritis and that would not be very relaxing for me. Some meditate while sitting a chair. Some prefer a rocking chair or rocker glider.
Some meditations – like Yoga Nidra – are done while lying on the floor. If you try that, you will probably want to cover yourself with a light blanket. As you meditate, your metabolism will slow down and you might feel cold.
Other than that, you can do whatever makes you happy. You can light candles or incense. You can put up statues or pictures that you find relaxing or comforting. Whatever helps you to consciously slow down and “be in the moment” is good.