The importance of quiet time in our daily lives cannot be overstated. After a stressful day either at work or at home, taking a moment to shed the feelings of tight anxiety and the constant pressure to accomplish everything on our to-do lists can do wonders for both the body and mind.
Finding the place and the time to do this, however, can be a challenge, especially if you live in a full house or find it hard to get away from work. Fortunately, creating a place of peace in the center of a stormy life, and also making it eco-friendly, is easier than you might think. All you need is:
- A small corner or space, even if you need to convert it to other use during the day
- A set of comfortable cushions or a cozy chair
- A way of dividing that area from the rest of the house, even if it’s for a short period of time
- A little creativity and an open mind about found and available materials
Creating your meditation space
Whether you’re able to dedicate a whole room to meditation or you’re only able to convert a small corner for a few minutes a day, creating your place for meditation is important for two reasons:
- It is a visual reminder that you should take time to shake off all of the negative feelings that have accumulated throughout the day.
- It allows you to separate yourself from the rest of the world, if even for a short time, and focus on personal restoration.
Additionally, keeping a focus on reusing materials found around your home and eco-friendly products can create a space that’s both easy on your wallet and your environment.
Even if you have a large living space, there typically isn’t much room to incorporate a permanent space for relaxation. And for those dealing with tight quarters, creating multi-functional spaces is almost a necessity. To create your personal green meditation retreat, either temporarily or permanently:
- Designate a corner of your living space to be dedicated to this purpose. It can simply be the corner of your bedroom, a window ledge or even a part of your kitchen.
- Find a way to divide it from the rest of the room. You can do this with:
- A small folding screen, which you can create with four or five old plantation shutters, connecting them with a set of hinges, or with cloth stretched between thin wooden frames and hinged together.
- A re-purposed sheet, curtain or tapestry that can be hung from the ceiling.
- Use a low-VOC paint to give that section of the room a different shade or soothing color.
- Fill the space with comfortable cushions. Cushions from a couch that has seen better days, for example, make excellent floor pillows and are easy to re-cover. Additionally, you can get creative with slip covers made from different types of cloth such as worn-out shirts, pants and bed sheets.
- Use hanging plants that thrive indoors, like philodendron, to bring life to the space.
- Add a relaxing light, such as a salt lamp or low-watt lamp, to help settle your nerves and calm your spirit. Be sure to use CFL bulbs as they last up to ten times as long as a regular light bulb and help conserve on energy usage!
- If pleasant smells help you relax, you can create a scented room mist with 20 drops of essential oil(s) in one quart of distilled water poured into a recycled spray bottle. Shake together and allow the solution to sit for at least 24 hours before using.
NOTE: Keep a small visual reminder out during the day to remind yourself to meditate. This could be one of your favorite cushions, the softly lit lamp or a wall hanging.
When it comes to relaxing at the end of the day, you don’t need to memorize a special chant, twist yourself into uncomfortable positions or buy a bunch of new cushions and clothing to achieve a sense of peace. Simply create a comforting corner in your home that you can put together quickly and easily, and spend a few minutes focusing on the sound of your own heart or thinking positive thoughts about a friend or loved one. The important thing is that you take the time to focus on leaving your stress behind and either continuing or wrapping up your day with a peaceful mind.
What are some ways you’ve found to create a meditation space? What are some materials you’ve re-purposed or re-used to create a relaxing environment?
[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Garret Stembridge.]