Meditating Man

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind. - Buddha

Where to Meditate

In the beginning, you will want to find a quiet and safe place to practice your meditation. By safe, I mean that you are not likely to be interrupted by pets, kids, spouses or telephones.

It is most important to have a quiet space. Turn off the ringer on your phone. Anticipate possible interruptions and try to mitigate them. The lighting does not matter too much as your eyes will be closed. I find, however, that dim lighting feels most comfortable for the time just before and just after my meditation session.

Some people like to create a special space for meditation. To do this simply designate the space and prepare it with the goal in mind of making it as comfortable as possible. As you prepare the space, pay attention to all of your senses and cater to them. Are there certain smells that you find relaxing? You might enjoy the scent of fresh flowers, candles or essential oils. If so, incorporate them into your space. Visually, what images do you find relaxing or that bring you to a state of equanimity? Decorate the space to your liking.

Finally, you will be meditating in a sitting position. This can be on a chair or on the ground. On the ground is preferable but if you are more comfortable in a chair, that is fine. When using a chair, you will want one that has a fairly firm cushion so that you will not sink down into it. The back of the chair is not important as you will not be using it but sitting up straight and supporting your own spine.

When sitting on the floor, you will likely be more comfortable with a pad or cushion(s). I prefer to use cushions that are especially made for meditation. A zafu is used for sitting in a cross-legged, lotus, or half lotus position. It allows the spine to be straight while providing comfort for the buttocks. It also allows for proper geometry of the pelvis. The zafu sits atop a zabuton. This is a larger cushion used as a base that creates a comfortable environment and you may want to rest your legs on it. You can find zafus and zabutons on the Internet from Zafu Store and many other online retailers.

As you practice meditation and get comfortable with it, you will eventually find that you can meditate anywhere, even in a somewhat noisy environment. I frequently meditate on the commuter train, on airplanes, at the park or at the beach. When you are able to do this, meditation becomes an invaluable tool for recharging your batteries whenever you have a few minutes to spare.