Blissfully tuning out the world… going within yourself in a room so serene and beautiful that you feel completely at ease… if the thought of a private sanctuary in the form of a meditation room has you enthralled with the possibilities, and if you are fortunate enough to have the space within your home to create the perfect space for your meditation practice, you will benefit from creating a meditation room. Your own private hideaway will make meditation an even more enjoyable practice that you look forward to as a daily escape from the world. A meditation room is the ultimate escape!
Many of us don’t have an entire room that can be dedicated to meditation, and there may not be enough space even for a permanent reconfiguration of furniture or walls to accommodate a small personal sanctuary. Having a special place is good; but it doesn’t have to be a room per se, just a space with a few special items (or lack of items) where you can sit with yourself. It can be permanent – or temporary and mobile.
Your meditation room can be mobile: a few shoji screens, a mat to sit on, some candles and other decorative accessories, and you’re ready to “om”! A meditation space can be part of a multi-purpose room: for example a home office, a guest room or even a corner in the living room or bedroom will work. The room’s decor can be modified to suit your meditation needs – in the case of bedrooms and home offices, this works really well because those spaces will benefit from the soothing colors and minimalist decor of a meditation room!
Living rooms or other shared spaces can be made into gorgeous meditation rooms, but you may run into conflict if people you live with don’t like your decorating choices. However, most anyone will agree to a corner being used for a specific purpose – and a corner is all you really need.
Designing Your Meditation Room
Begin your design process with the words ‘peace and quiet’ in your mind. What does ‘peace and quiet’ mean to you? What images do you have in your mind that make you feel at peace? What furnishings make you feel peaceful and quiet? How about decor? Colors? Textures? Most people associate inner peace and quiet (a silent mind) with outer peace and quiet – meaning a lack of decor that might distract you from your practice.
In fact, a cluttered environment is extremely difficult to meditate in. Imagine all that energy bouncing around from object to object – it does affect you! You may wish to use just one or two decorative items as points of focus for your practice, but keep the overall decor uncluttered and simple.
Color is very important. Again, with the words ‘peace and quiet’ in mind, what colors signify these feelings in you? Most people associate pale green, pink, yellow, white and blue with a soothing atmosphere. There is a lot of information available about color therapy but ultimately, the color you choose has to speak to YOU. How do you want to feel the moment you enter your meditation space?
Many people like setting up a meditation room using tatami squares and shoji screens to create a tranquil setting. If you like, personalize your space with some accessories like Tibetan bowls, incense, candles, statues, a mirror, plants or wall art.
But don’t get stuck believing that your meditation room has to “look Buddhist” or have any spiritual flavor whatsoever. It is a highly personal space meant to enhance the meditation experience, and if you don’t like Buddhist art – if Buddha statues just aren’t your thing – then don’t use them! Bottom line: are you happy in the space? If something is bugging you, get rid of it. Sanctuaries are no place for conflict!
You might enjoy having some incense burning while you meditate; or, incense might make you sneeze… so again, please honor what you want to experience and throw out the rest! Burning incense will not make you any more or less spiritual; it simply creates an atmosphere that may or may not resonate with you.
Perhaps the most important element in your meditation room is how and where you sit. After all, once you’re sitting and your eyes are closed, the room’s decor leaves your awareness. You have to know how you like to sit before you invest in meditation mats or cushions – the Lotus position is definitely not for everyone! If you aren’t sure where to start, begin with a chair. As you become more advanced in your practice, you may choose to alter the way you sit and use a meditation stool, meditation cushion, a mat or you may prefer the bare ground.
Lastly, do you want sound in your meditation room? You may wish to install a stereo for Omharmonics listening. Or, simply bring a portable player with you.
The ultimate goal is to make it easy to stay focused and relaxed while you are meditating; so the less distraction and the more comfort, the better, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep!
If you do not have the space indoors to create an entire meditation room, a corner of a room will do just fine! Or, move your practice outdoors. A curtained outdoor gazebo, a secret spot in the garden or even a rooftop retreat are wonderful alternatives to indoor spaces.
Your meditation room is your special place so trust your intuition and avoid “you should” advice from anyone, including this article! These are general guidelines only, based on the preferences of a wide variety of people. Browse the internet for inspiration and create a unique, personal and serene setting for your daily practice and make it your own – large or small, cozy or austere, the possibilities are many!