Meditation is a way to become mindful. It is a time where you become present in the moment without judging anything. It is a simple process that anyone can do with enormous health benefits. When I started to meditate, I had nothing but myself and the floor. Today I have a special area where I do my daily meditation sessions. This area inspires me and brings a different dimension to my meditations. In this article I will discuss the 7 meditation corner essentials that I love.
Where to start with meditation
There are many different forms of meditation but if you are a beginner, I suggest you start with a simple mindfulness meditation practice. Just like with everything else, you start short and slow and build up to longer sessions. Imagine your brain is a muscle and with time, you are increasing the capacity of your muscle.
In the beginning I thought meditation means you clear your mind of all thoughts. Well it turns out, that is not possible. Nobody can really have an empty mind. During meditation you don’t try to stop your thoughts. With mindfulness meditation you learn how to direct your thoughts, without judgement, and to focus on something specific, for example your breath.
It is a simple process but can feel pretty hard. Here is how to start.
- Find a comfortable place to sit – You can lie down for meditation but especially in the beginning, the risk of falling asleep is too big. That said, if you struggle to sleep, doing a slow breathing meditation in bed does wonders for falling asleep.
- Set a timer – To begin with, keep it short. 5 or 10 minutes are more than enough. In the beginning even that might feel very long.
- Close your eyes or soften your gaze
- Notice your body – Without judgement, notice how your body feels. Just let it be.
- Feel your breath – Feel the sensation of your breath coming into your nostrils and leaving again. You can also count your breathing. With each inhale, do 1 count. When you reach 10, you start counting at 1 again.
- Notice when you mind wanders – Yes it will happen and it is perfectly normal. All you do is notice it and refocus on your breath. Be kind to yourself. Don’t judge what you were thinking or how many times your mind wandered. Just go back to your breath.
- Close off – Gently lift your gaze (or open your eyes) and become aware of your surrounds. Notice how your body feels and notice your thoughts and emotions.
And that’s it. If you would like to learn more, you can use the complete mindfulness toolkit as an extra resource.
Meditation is an ancient old practice with many benefits. And with modern day science, the benefits are now confirmed through fMRI and EEG studies.
Some of the benefits of a daily meditation practice are.
- Reduced stress
- Emotional balance
- Increased focus
- Reduced pain
- Reduced anxiety
- Increased creativity
- Reduced depression
- Increased memory
In just a few minutes a day you can experience these benefits resulting in a big difference to your life.
My 7 meditation corner essentials
Technically, you don’t need anything but I found that having a meditation corner helped me instill a daily ritual and have a specific place to sit. Just seeing your corner, will be a reminder on the days where you might not be in the mood and need extra motivation. Sometimes just looking at the setting and feeling the calm it radiates, already relaxes me.
- You don’t have to feel uncomfortable with a hard floor underneath you. A meditation cushion ensures that you sit upright but are still comfortable.
- Something from nature like a plants/flowers or crystals help with a deeper connection. You are also always welcome to explore more with crystals and add them to your meditation session.
- I love incense. It puts me into that mystic mood where I want to relax and do something spiritual. And of course the lovely smell lingers all day. Remember to get a burner too.
- The sound and vibration from a Tibetan singing bowl promote a relaxed state, perfect for a deep meditation.
- Ad any ornament that is meaningful or beautiful to you. It doesn’t need to have a religious connection but it can if you want. Choose something that you like.
- Candles symbolizes light in the darkness of life. I like to lite a candle while meditating as a reminder of the light in my life.
- I love ending my practice with a message from cards. It can sometimes be scary but also reassuring how accurate these messages can be for your current situation.
Lastly, remember to drink plenty water after your meditation.
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I hope this inspires you to create your own meditation corner and start with this ancient practice. Use this as part of your special self-care routine in building a stronger life.