You’ve decided it’s time to meditate. You’ve gathered your headphones, downloaded your new Expand app and have changed into some comfy clothes. What’s next? How do you create the ideal space for meditation, one that will elicit the most benefit for you?
My experiences have shown me the best space for meditation is one that allows me to be completely comfortable—where I can feel safe exploring and being creative. But what’s comfortable isn’t exactly universal. What makes me comfortable may not leave you feeling the same. So, it’s important to have an understanding of what works for you. This may take some trial and error, but allow me to provide some examples of my own.
I prefer meditating at home, where I feel extremely comfortable relaxing in my own familiar space and energy. But, for many, it can be hard to find a secluded spot at home where you won’t be bothered. I occasionally experience some obstacles finding the right spot but, once I can find the perfect place, it’s always worth it. So, when I heard about the Monroe Institute’s new Expand app, I was thrilled to be able to conduct a wide variety of highly effective meditation sessions in the comfort of my own home.
Identifying my intention helps me pick the right spot for each meditation session. If I’m looking to be alert, I pick a comfortable chair that allows me to sit completely upright while keeping relaxed. A good reclining armchair always works for me, as I can tilt myself back slightly if needed. It holds my arms and legs securely so I don’t worry about the distraction of sudden body movement while I’m meditating.
Sometimes, I prefer to be in bed. When this is the case, I will stack a pillow upright behind my head and back against the headboard so I can lean back in a comfortable position. Of course, if I am trying a meditation to induce sleep, I will lie all the way back. So the intention does affect where and how I want to be positioned. When I’m not sure about the intention for my meditation, I listen to my guidance and take inspiration from the options in the Expand app.
I prefer to put the lights down to a low dim glow if I’m meditating in the evening or pull the curtains to cover the windows in the daytime. It’s not about creating a dark space; rather, I’m making an area that’s easy on my eyes. When I close my eyes to meditate, any extremely bright light is a distraction. Other people may feel more comfortable meditating with a blindfold on if they are in a bright house, and I will occasionally do this if I can’t get my environment dim enough.
It’s always important to be in a good headspace before a meditation session. I occasionally find myself lightening my mood before I meditate by collecting a light scent that evokes a positive reaction; I find this helps keep me in the perfect state of mind. If you have essential oils or packets of scents that make you feel good, think about applying them or having them nearby. I’ve had packets of fresh lavender picked for me in the past and have found them to be a great addition to any meditation session.
The biggest obstacle for me when I try to meditate at home is finding a place where I won’t be disturbed. I always tell my husband before I begin meditating so he won’t disturb me, but this step still remains one of the harder objectives for me. I have three cats who always want to know where I am. Sometimes, I have to ask my husband for help wrangling them. And, sometimes, when I’m having too much trouble at home, I’ll find a nice spot on a bench near the walking trails around my home if the weather permits. I always use the restroom before my session and encourage you to do the same, to avoid that interruption.
As I begin my meditation, I find it important to start by fully relaxing and releasing any troubles that have come up throughout my day. Using the Monroe Preparatory Process is crucial to getting myself in the right space. I also find it helpful to breathe out any insecurities and limiting beliefs, or perhaps to put them in my Energy Conversion Box. I set an intention to open myself to play and creativity. The more open I am to go with the experiences that are presented to me in each exercise, the more I tend to get out of my sessions.
Lastly, and as I’ve mentioned, it’s important to think about intention. What type of meditation session would be most beneficial today? Now, this is completely dependent upon how I am feeling and could easily change from day to day. What I love most about the Expand app is that it offers many categories and types of meditation that I can use as a guide to discern how I am feeling and the type of meditation that may be best for me at any given time. You can pick from a variety of topics—“Relaxation & Well-being,” “Joy & Meaning,” “Insight & Intuition,” “Sleep & Dreaming,” “Creativity & Manifestation” and other categories. If I’m not sure how I’m feeling on any particular day, I default to my intuition. I always try to listen to what my guidance is telling me, as it’s most likely leading me where I need to go. The Expand app also allows me to customize my own meditation sessions for “Manifestation,” “Focused Attention,” “Meditation,” “Relaxation” or “Sleep” by choosing a length and background sound while crafting my own session. It’s been an incredible help for me in choosing and setting my daily intentions.
By creating a comfortable environment, ensuring I will not be disturbed, following my Preparatory Process, and setting an intention, I have gotten many benefits from my home meditation sessions.