Quote for the Day: “Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.” ~ Sharon Salzberg
Recommendation for the Day: Dedicate a space for daily meditation.
There are a lot of advantages to creating a special place for our meditation practice.
Meditating in the same space over and over again will reinforce good behaviors when you return to that spot. I find myself settling in for a sit a little more quickly when I’m in my dedicated space. It is almost as if we subconsciously say to ourselves, “oh yeah, this is my quiet place. Time to settle down.”
To riff off of Salzberg’s quote, dedicating a space to our practice is a meaningful expression that our meditation is worthy of being a part of our daily life. By setting aside space for our practice we remind ourselves that this is important and encourage our ability to sustain a daily practice.
A few tips:
- Less is More: A decluttered space will help cultivate the mindset we’re striving for in our Zazen. Simple, clean and unencumbered.
- Somewhere Quiet: In his instructions on meditating in “The Anapanasati Sutta” the Buddha suggested meditators go “to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut.” While this is a lovely idea, it is not always practical. That said, we tend to know where the quieter spots in our house are. For me, my bedroom is farthest away from the busy street.
- Technology Free: I love my technology and my timer is on my phone but for obvious reasons I’d encourage you to keep this space free from modern distractions. I set my timer on the other side of the room from where I am sitting.
- “Trip Over It”: One of my tips for beginners in meditation or for people trying to get back into the habit is to “trip over it.” I have a small space between my bed and the wall. I have to literally step over my cushion before and after I get into bed. It helps to remember to sit if you literally have to trip over the cushion during the course of your day.
An inviting, warm, and clean space is a great way to support your practice. Consider creating a dedicated space for your daily meditation.
May your practice go well.
Anthony A. Cernera, M.Ed.