Health + Wellness

Creating Space for Meditation

by Amy Azzarito

I started meditating as a leftover thing in yoga class. My favorite teacher would lead a short meditation after we finished practicing. But she always encouraged us to meditate on our own, and lately, I’ve been trying to do just that. (It is tough!) So I’ve uncovered a few tips for creating a meditation space in your own home. Of course, you don’t need to buy anything to start a mediation practice. But it can be helpful to have a space dedicated to meditation when you’re trying to quiet your mind. Creating a meditation space is really about trying to tap into what centers you, so it should be completely personal. If you do decide you want to create a meditation space, here are a few things to consider. Let me know if I’ve missed anything! If you’d like to further explore the idea of creating a meditation space, Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice is a helpful book. — Amy Azzarito

1. The physical. It’s difficult to quiet your mind if you are physically uncomfortable. So a meditation cushion can be really helpful. The type of cushion you want is completely personal, but usually, it’s more comfortable if your knees are on the floor and your hips are slightly raised.

2. Consider a screen to keep your space private and reserved just for meditation.

3. Consider bringing natural elements into your space. Maybe a beautiful rock you found on a hike or a seashell from a special beach vacation. Or even a favorite plant.

4. Statuary. Probably most common is the Buddha, but really anything that calms and centers you is great. I really connect with Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. Most days, I feel like there are certainly obstacles in my life that could use removal. I like to begin my meditation sessions with a chant to Ganesh.

Image above: 1. Felted Round Cushions, $84 | 2. Nomad Printed Cotton Dhurrie, Salmon, $19 | 3. Buddha in Meditation, $68 | 4. Turquoise Japa Mala, $12  | 5. Birch Cylinder Planter, $14 | 6. Tibet Hand-hammered Singing Bowl, $138 | 7. Linnea’s Lights Hearth Candle, $30

More meditation space tips after the jump . . .

Image above: 1. Twelve Bells Chime, $24 | 2. Honey Tobacco Apothecary Candle, $20 | 3. Bohemian Sparkle Pillow, $228 | 4. Ganesha Pendant, $3,500 | 5. Gray Soapstone Hand-carved Ganesh Statue, $65 | 6. Vintage Ridges Pot, $6.00 | 7. Kantha Floor Cushion, $98

6. Consider scent. A scented candle or incense can help you relax and center yourself.

7. Use a japa mala, a string of 108 beads used to count mantras. You repeat the mantra 108 times, using the beads to count. Different types of beads are best paired with specific mantras. (Here are some examples of mantras and links to recommended malas.)

8. Think about colors that center and focus you and consider incorporating that color into your meditation space.

9. Sound can also be important. Incorporate fountains or chimes or consider starting your meditation with a singing bowl.

Image above: Empire Kilim Rug, $79–$849

Image above: Hand-cast Buddha, $200

Image above: Meditation Chair, $299 (good if you have trouble sitting on the floor for extended periods of time)

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  • Honestly, I just don’t think this is what meditation is all about. Some of the commodification in the post makes me uncomfortable.

  • Meditation is so powerful! I have a hard time getting myself to do it as often as I should. Maybe a special space in my home would help. I like to listen to Tara Brach’s guided meditation. It helps me explore presence a little more.

  • Pick a religion…

    Why not put up pix of Jesus & Mecca while you are there? Sorry, but this feels too commercialised & treating religion like paint colour & new cushions.

    • Miss Heliotrope

      Meditation, while a deeply personal act and spiritual for some, is not in itself a religion. Building a meditation room often includes, at the minimum, some sort of cushion to sit on, so this guide was intended as a way to kick start that process.


    • Wiggins

      No one is suggesting you need to spend a certain amount, we’re just focusing on some tools and items that will help you build a room devoted to meditation if that’s what you’re looking to do.


  • Grace, thank you for incorporating this into your blog (and life). However a person finds their path to a calmer life, inside and out, is what matters. Meditation offers great opportunites for just that and if these lovely trinkets and adornments help them set the stage, then so be it! A lovely post. Thank you again.

  • I have to agree with Miss Heliotrope. It’s not religious until you start invoking and praying to gods as part of your meditation. It seems a very flip hodgepodge of Buddha (not a god) and Ganesh (Hindu deity) and whatever you want with no real understanding or respect for these traditions. This is some strange Western conglomeration of Eastern religions that comes off as very shallow.

  • I second Terry.

    As is the way with exploring new ideas and practices, we all start at the beginning with minimal knowledge; learning the intricacies follows study.

    Should it matter to anyone else that I find it easier to relax and meditate in a beautiful, as well as functional, space? Thank you, Grace, for providing some lovely inspiration!

  • I am just starting to incorporate meditation/contemplative-quiet time into my Christian faith. This list has given me some good ideas. I’ve been having trouble staying awake. I like the idea of using beads as a counting device. I think that will solve my problem! Thanks for this list.

  • As noted above, Buddha founded a religion (& is viewed by some Hindus as an incarnation of a Hindu god, so also a god) & Ganesh is a god – picking bits of others’ faiths to use, even to use with meditation, without fully acknowledging their significance to many millions of people, is condescending. It’s not all window dressing.

    Jackie – that’s what rosaries have been used for for centuries.

  • This body started meditation 8 years ago under the renowned master, Anandmurti Gurumaa. Since then, there is no looking back. Whatever comes, I love to sit for meditation or holotropic breathing (pranayama), japa and yoga nidra which is a transforming medium. For more details, you can visit http://www.gurumaa.com

  • Miss Heliotrope..it seems to me you are forgetting one the of the core teachings of all religions.. Love and kindness. Perhaps you should judge less how others choose to express their spirituality.

  • Oh, I was reading your other post on meditative spaces, and I forgot: a mala reaaaaally helps! (you can find really affordable ones in etsy). And I find that it’s different to completely close my eyes or to leave them ever so slightly open (if they are closed, I “see” more things than the blurry bit of light I get otherwise).

  • Jackie,
    If you are having trouble staying awake consider meditating standing up or even meditating with open eyes although I sometimes have trouble not getting distracted. Also look into walking meditation.

  • the medication accessories are really cool…they really helps in meditation as the surroundings also matters a lot to meditate. I too have many similar accessories like these. To meditate you just need to be deeply involved in it and these accessories make a meditation environment and you concentrate more. I really like these kind of stuff and everyone should have some of these.

  • I have to say my two cents — what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing your sacred space with us. I am sorry to read the unkind comments beneath something so beautiful.

    What is sacred is unique to each person — and should be honored despite how they may measure up to your own experiences or opinions. If it’s seen by you as offensive or shallow, simply read it and move on. Regardeless of the religion, no diety, god, or role model would ever judge harshly the beliefes of another — so pracitce that instead of the judgement you are practicing here.

  • I have 2 Japanese exchange students in my home for 5 days and want to make their experience with us happy and comfortable. They are both Buddhist, should I incorporate something spiritual into their room to make them feel more at home?

  • I am a Hindu and I fail to understand howthis post is condescending to Hinduism or any other culture. Hindu prophet Ramakrishna had saud “joto moth , toto poth”
    Meaning there are many paths leading up to God. Choose one. If you have found your inner peace through this decor, then this is it. How is this in anyway hurting cultural sentiments. Rather this is exactly in line with what all religions say.

  • * Meditation is just watching your thoughts.
    * Just sit, close your eyes, watch your thoughts, don’t go behind or
    don’t talk to your thoughts..,
    * It is been said, if you are 29 years old, it will take at least 29 minutes
    for your mind to settle bit down with thoughts.., as you grow
    older, you need more effort, so sooner is the time to practice it.
    * Slowly slowly slowly increasing your awareness