A process to get the deepest experiences of ourselves as human being. It is the strongest mental exercise. Many people tell about the meditation, some of them are already practicing it.
But for meditation you have to take some preparations. It has some ancient traditions. If you want to meditate yourself properly some special preparations and steps are needed prior to starting it. These preparations help us to be concentrated and focused to our meditation session. Getting prepared for meditation is strongly related to getting relaxed and comfortable. All preparations, which we take for a meditation session, are for our mental calmness and relaxation and also help us to focus on our goal.
There are two headlines regarding preparation of meditation.
First is, Preparation of yourself.
Second is, Preparation of your surroundings (meditation room or place).
Preparation of yourself:
1. Select a time and place for meditation:After determination of practicing meditation you should take some classes about it in nearest meditation training centers. Then you have to choose a specific daily hour or time for practicing it. Without a routine, you will be irregular and your focus will be hampered.
Usually we prefer morning hours. At that time environment and air is fresh and our mind remains clam. But some prefer night hours just before sleeping to relieve his or her stress and to feel relaxed after a long busy day.
Then choose a place where you will practice meditation. It can be calm and quite open ground, an open space near your house or a room of your house. If not possible you can choose a corner of a room for practice. You have to decorate it properly. We will discuss it later.
2. Prepare your body:Freshen up yourself. Use the toilet, wash your hands and feet, and get into comfortable clothing. You may take a bath before your meditation session. These are not essential. But these are symbolic and the act of washing yourself will help you to feel fresh and clean. Otherwise bathing is quite relaxing for all of us. It has good positive effect on our mood.
You can eat light meal or drink a little if you are hungry or thirsty. After eating or drinking wait a while to allow your body to digest. Waiting at least half an hour is better. Otherwise you will feel groggy and it will be difficult for you to sit comfortably.
3. Take ‘time out’: You can take simple ‘time out’ before meditation practice for relaxing your mind. You can read a book, take a walk or do something which will make u comfortable. You have to be calm and relax for a good meditation. So, doing favorite works before meditation for a while is very much appreciated.
4.Prepare your mind for light activity during meditation:Doing light activities during meditation are very important, like- deep breathing or light exercise or some yoga asanas, to relieve your stress. Stress not only affects on your mind but also your whole nervous system. So, light exercise or physical activities increase your oxygenated blood supply to different organs which is also helpful to get rid of stress.
Preparation of surroundings for a good meditation:
1.Choosing a proper place:You can meditate in an open park or in your house. Open park or your house lawn is very good, because meditation with light aerobic exercise is helpful for more oxygenated blood supply, weight reduction and causes calorie burn. But finding a calm environment is difficult in a park or in an open area. Modern civilization gives thousands of opportunities by killing beauties of environment.
You can decorate a room of your house for meditation. If not possible use a corner of a room and decorate it properly. But try to isolate the area with a privacy screen. You must not choose your bedroom. It’s better to choose a study room or work room. A room with natural lighting and ventilation would make a good meditation room. But, it is good to use a separate room like basement or a vacant room or an empty space in your home as a meditation corner. The color of the wall of your room is also important. Choosing bright color is not appropriate. But if you feel okay you can continue with your current meditation space. A meditation room neither should be too cold nor too warm. Without a proper environment you cannot focus and meditation may be failed. Use this place permanently for practicing meditation. A meditation room also reflects your personality.
2. Keep clean the meditation space:You must keep your meditation space clean and tidy. Without a clean and organized place your mind can be deviated and it will become quite difficult to meditate.
3. Proper lighting:Proper lighting is very important for meditation. Subdued lighting
is preferable. You can use a candle which is few inches burned. You can use over head light too. But it is too bright. Otherwise candles gives you worm light which is helpful to meditate. Avoiding fluorescent or traditional halogen light is better. Fluorescent lights causes anxiety and fatigue in many people, so avoid them. But meditation is a mind exercise. If it is comfortable you can use your room light.
4. Choosing a mat:It is better to avoid meditating directly on the floor. Choosing a proper mat is important. Be careful about its length and breadth. Its color is also important. May be it will be irritating to you. You can choose soft yoga mat. A mat should be comfortable and without comfortable sitting you can’t start a meditation practice session. For better comfort, you may also use a soft cushion for backrest. You can use chair to sit upright. But I prefer mat. Because sitting near to ground is symbolic and more helpful to feel what you are doing.
5. Use a blanket:You should keep a blanket beside you. Color, weight and size should be comfortable to you. You can use it around your shoulder to feel worm which is important too.
6. Use some flowers:Use some fresh flowers in vases in your practice space. This will take your mind near to the nature.
7. Play some music:You can play a quite music in background. Try to use music without vocal. Instrumental music is appropriate. This will help you to keep your mind isolated from other surroundingunpleasant sound. You can use a small artificial fountain too. The crisp trickling sound of water will also make the room soothing and serene. Or, you can avoid music too. It depends upon your mood and your comfort.
8. Use aromatherapy oils:It is symbolic. But it is helpful.
9. Use relaxing scent:You should choose a relaxing scent. There are many types of fragrances. But some people feel irritating in different fragrances. So use which one is suitable for you. You may avoid this if you are allergic to it or if it irritates you.
10. Dream board and images:You may use a large paper as your dream board by attaching different images of your previous activities. These images will help you to remind your deepest desire and your actual goal.
11. Your favorite reminders-Use your favorite reminders to surround you or decorating the room. Keep your favorite table, chair or furniture even picture in the room. This will make your mind calm and feel pleasant. It means personalize your meditation space according to your favorite and comforting way.
12. Alarm clock:You can use an alarm clock for reminding the end of your practice session. So your mind will free from concerning about time and it will prohibit watching clock repeatedly.
13. No clutter: Don’t clutter up your space with many things. Just keep it simple and nice. Don’t decorate your space or room with unnecessary accessories. You should only surround yourself with meaningful items. Don’t clutter, that will distract you from your actual purpose. Your room should include only those things that help to relax you.
14. Others:Switch off or keep silent your mobile and telephone during meditation session. You should use a “Don’t Disturb” sign in front of your room. Shut your door before starting. Turn off any other appliances or instruments that may interfere your session.
But preparing yourself is not so important to be meditated. You can try to be relaxed in your office for 5-10 minutes by meditation.
Where to find these meditation materials?
You will find these materials in near market and in sports shop. Some meditation centers also sell it. You have to choose only. But choose comfortable one.
Meditation is a process to be relaxed. So preparation of meditation is not preparing your room by a checklist. It means prepare yourself and make your meditation place comfortable and relaxing to you. So, don’t be afraid if your meditation place misses something. These items are not strictly required for your practice. Which is required is calmness of your mind and devotion and strong focus to be meditated.
But a good meditation preparation will help you to have a good and effective meditation session.
Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin