Meditating, at first, was really hard for me... the more I tried to concentrate on "be silent. be still" it seemed like even MORE thoughts would come and swirl around in my mind. It was frustrating. But, I didn't give up. I kept on trying and sure enough, like all the "Meditation 101" guides say it will, it became easier. The trick, by the way, is to understand that its not about having no thoughts, its about detaching from whatever thoughts you have-- to recognize and stand within the space that exists between you and them.
When you first are starting out, you may want to consider meditating with a group (many yoga studios offer a meditation class either for free, by donation or for a small fee); this may help you feel comfortable as you begin and places you among a knowledgeable group or instructor that can share tips and answer questions. However, if you're like me, you might find your home to be the most comfortable space to relax and find your quiet. In which case, you can simply carve out a sacred space for yourself and be on your way.
Now, I should mention that you can meditate anywhere-- you do not require a dedicated space in order to do this, however, I find that having a special spot just for you and your soul supports meditating on a regular basis. When we look around our home, the space is designed around the activities that are important and sustain us. I believe meditation is one of those activities. We have a kitchen for food storage and preparation, a dining room for eating, a bedroom for sleeping...why not space where you can just simply Be and connect with your inner light? A meditation space acts as reminder to practice stillness and quiet, the same way walking past our desk reminds us to pay bills or walking into the kitchen reminds us to take out food for our next meal.
Below are three simple tips for creating a wonderful meditation space, anywhere.
1) Go By Feel
Where do you feel the calmest in your home? This is a good question to tap into if you don't already have a spot in mind to create your meditation space. Maybe you have an empty corner of your bedroom available, or maybe you have an entire spare bedroom that you can convert... it really can be anywhere that you feel comfortable and have enough room to comfortably sit.
2) Keep It Simple
You don't need much to create your space. In my meditation space, I have a few candles, a small Buddha figure, a small Tibetan singing bowl (Tibetan bowls emit very pure tones, close to sine waves. Their sound is a synonym of purity to our ears and can be used to start or end a meditation), a white-sage smudge stick (used to purify the space), a meditation pillow, a himalayan salt lamp (salt lamps create negative ions in the air which reduce indoor air pollution, electromagnetic pollution, allergens and improves mood & sleep, and reduces stress) and some cozy blankets and pillows.
3) Adjust & Change As Needed
As you practice in your space more and more, adjust what might not feel right. Add new things that appeal to you- try lighting many candles...try lighting only one. Try burning your favourite incense while you meditate. This space is all your own and sacred to your Being-- listen to your heart as you discover what really resonates or perhaps doesn't.
Again, creating the space is more about the reminder to Be because you really can meditate anywhere, anytime. Don't be afraid to try different meditation settings around the home and beyond... some of the most powerful meditation experiences I have had were sitting on a tree stump in a forest connected to Nature directly and while soaking in the quiet of a warm, cozy bath; I especially love meditating in the bath for chanting; you can really get the AUM vibrations going with the echo of the bathtub...
Lastly, I am big fan of guided meditations (I have linked some of my favourites below) and I especially enjoy the Deepak Chopra 21-day Meditation Experience (you can sign up for the newsletters via the link to be notified about the next one); its a great way to kick-start or refresh your meditation practice.
Namaste & Happy Meditating!