We could all use a little peace and serenity in this crazy time, and we’re obviously not going to head to any meditation center right now.
But you can start a meditation practice at home in a few simple steps.
That’s what we’re covering in this podcast episode.
Hello Hello Yogi’s and welcome back to the show. I am back thankfully and I am so glad to be here. I am not 100% back to normal, but I am at least functional and that is really important.
I’ve spent more than a week now sleeping for the majority of the day and fighting off whatever this is that has been bogging down my system.
It acts like the usual sinus infection allergy stuff that I get every spring. But because of all of the scariness going on right now, everything going on with COVID, I’m not about to go to doctor and risk getting exposed. So I’ve been taking care of my body and doing exactly whatever my body tells me I need to do.
For the last 10 days or so that has been a lot of sleep, a lot of laying down and watching TV and just making sure I am hydrating, my body’s being properly nourished, and I am doing everything that is important to boosting my immune system including taking zinc and vitamin C, making sure I’m not stressing too much all those big things.
But I am back with a new episode of Sūvatacast and I could not be more excited.
I really felt like I let you guys down because I made a commitment to do this show and only about seven episodes in I started to feel like I was fighting something off. And I took a hiatus after just seven episodes, which is hardly fair to you and I can’t tell you how bad I felt about that.
So I’m very, very pleased to be back. And I would like to say thank you to everybody who sent me a message. I had people reaching out to me on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram and even a couple emails, saying they hope I feel better soon. And I just I want you to know how much I appreciate that. It’s very moving.
Today I want to talk about getting started with meditation practice at home because we all need to meditate. Things are so crazy right now things are so stressful anxiety is at an all time high.
And none of us have any idea what’s going on. That can cause a lot of fear, a lot of stress and we need to control that as much as possible because otherwise we’re going to lose our minds. Meditation is the best way to do this.
So in this episode, I’m going to talk to you about how you can get started with this at home. We’re going to talk about creating a meditation space that you can use at home even if you have a small apartment, how to find Zen meditation music — I’ve got a great resource for you — and also a few tips about how you can actually meditate.
To begin to meditate at home, you really just need a couple things.
Number one, you need a meditation space somewhere you will be uninterrupted for five minutes. This does not have to be a dedicated room. If you don’t have one, we’re going to talk about that. But it needs to be somewhere that you can be alone, and it needs to be somewhere that is peaceful.
The next thing you need is a way to drown out any external noise that is going to be a distraction. I’m going to share with you some resources that will help you drown out things like traffic noise, and the TV from your family, things like that.
Now the more you meditate, the more you strengthen your meditation muscle, the easier it’s going to be for you to meditate, even if it is extremely loud, very noisy and a very distracted environment, but for a beginner for somebody who’s just getting started with doing this, it’s going to be a lot easier for you. If you’re not struggling with all of those external distractions. The space you meditate in needs to make you feel relaxed and at peace. This applies even before you start making changes to it. If a room is inherently relaxing, it’s going to be much easier to turn it into a Zen space.
The room should be as quiet as possible. So if you have a room that’s at the back of the house away from the street, that could be a very good place to put your meditation space.
Meditation requires you’re separated from external stimuli and having a quiet space is essential for this goal.
Choose a room that’s far away from loud neighbors that far away from the TV. If you have family members who like to blast the television like a lot of us do. And make sure there’s not a lot of traffic coming through the room or next to the room. Calm in isolation are key here.
Lighting is another important element for your meditation room. Natural light provides the most soothing feeling, which is why it’s recommended you choose a room that faces the sun during the day.
Or you may want a room that faces the sunset. If you’re one of those people who just loves to watch the sunset and you find a very peaceful and relaxing that would be ideal for your meditation space.
As you’re probably starting to tell, there is no one size fits all here. It’s really about making sure that you have a space that works for you and is really appropriate for your particular lifestyle, too.
To keep your meditation room clear from distractions you also need to keep a clear of clutter but I do know that is something that’s easier said than done. So before you set up your meditation space, you may want to have a purge day.
When your space is cluttered, it will distract you from meditation and relaxation is going to be all too easy for you to see the pile of stuff you need to deal with. And think about that instead of focusing on your breath. A cluttered room leads to a cluttered mind, especially during meditation.
The meditation space shouldn’t be set up in a room that has too much going on. You probably wouldn’t want to use your home office for your meditation space. It could be too cramped or the entire time you’re in the room you could be thinking about work. Instead, choose a room that’s mostly empty save for some relaxing elements. You could empty out a room to create your Zen Meditation space.
Or if you live in a small apartment like a lot of people do, you could just set up a corner of a room as your meditation space.
All you really need is a yoga mat or throw rug, somewhere that you can clearly identify that this is where you come to meditate, throw down a zafu or a pillow, and you’ll have your space set up so that you can meditate without having to completely empty your room or buy a bigger house.
Now that said, you may want to make sure that you’re looking at something that is very relaxing for you. So you may want to set up a mini altar if you’re more of a spiritual meditator.
So maybe you have a statue of Buddha or Kuan Yin. Maybe you could put some candles out. Maybe you have a beautiful picture to look at.
You can set up your Zen Meditation in a corner of a room and do so in such a way that you’re looking at the wall and your little mini altar instead of looking out into the room and seeing all of the clutter that you’ve got going on.
In my case, I have to meditate in the dining room because we have a one bedroom apartment right now. And the living room is just too busy too much going on and the bedroom is not a very peaceful place for me either.
So I set up my space in the dining room, and it actually works out quite well because the way I positioned my mat and my zafu I’m not looking at the whole dining room or the rest of the apartment. I’m just focusing on what is right literally in front of my face, which is a shelf. I’ve got my statue I have a little Buddhist scroll, and incense.
The next step is to bring in a little nature. Nature is something that we really can’t do without even if we’re in the middle of a big city surrounded by concrete. Nature should be around us in some shape or form nature is very soothing. This is why gardens and houseplants are such an important part of home design. A small slice of nature helps us feel relaxed and at peace. This is something worth considering when creating your Zen room. Plants create balance that oxygen to the space and it makes you feel more grounded. So introduce a few potted plants throughout the room. This will give the room a soothing atmosphere and provide you with the clean air that you need.
Other natural elements should be considered as well such as cut flowers. Jasmine is always a good choice. Jasmine is a beautiful, lovely scent that makes your room feel peaceful and relaxing.
You can fill a glass jar with sand and seashells to add a little bit of beach atmosphere if that’s what you’re into the more relaxing natural elements you find and bring into your Zen Meditation space, the better.
And last but not least, you need to be able to drown out noise from passing traffic from neighbors. If you’re in an apartment building from the TV, if you’ve got family around, you need to be able to block out those noises.
At least in the beginning. As I said earlier, it’s going to be easier over time to block those out naturally, the more you meditate, but when you’re getting started, you’ve got enough distractions in your own head, you don’t need to add to them.
So I recommend you either build a soothing playlist on let’s say, Spotify, you can use some gentle Hang Drum music, some ambient background music, or you can look into using some apps.
The Relax Melodies apps on iPhone and on Android are fantastic. I’ve been using them for years, you can create your own custom music for meditation. And you can layer different elements so you can layer birds chirping with a babbling brook, you can have a white noise from a fan, or a jet airline engine, if you like to fly, whatever it is that you find to be most soothing.
They’ve probably got it. And you can layer all of these different sounds together. And you can also add in some binaural beats and you can really create a meditation audio experience that is ideal for you and your particular preferences.
You could also check out the app brain.fm .
brain.fm is music that has been scientifically created to help you focus and also to clear your mind.
It is very, very effective. And in just a few minutes of using brain.fm I have found that I’m able to focus more on productive work on creative work, but also on meditation.
Now, brain.fm is not free, but they do have, I believe, five free sessions. So if you haven’t used them before, you can head on over to brain.fm and check it out. You might love it enough that you sign up and become a member. It is truly fantastic piece of software.
And if you want something that you can download and take with you and not have to use any data, then you can head on over to 42yogis.com/meditate and download my free meditation starter kit.
Inside that you’re going to get a Dropbox folder which has a PDF about how to get started with meditation, and you’re also going to get five hours of meditation music that you can download straight to your phone. You’re always going to have peaceful soothing meditation music wherever you go, no internet connection required. So if you want to meditate in a field, for example, or in your car and you don’t want to use data, then this will be the perfect solution for you. So that’s over to 42yogis.com/meditate.