Relaxation: Meditation Spaces
In my opinion, nature is the best place for soul-healing meditation. The stillness found within the contemplation of a leaf, flower, or blade of grass, the movement of birds or clouds in the sky, or the patterns and shapes of water flowing are very soothing and can transport you to another place. However, there is something to be said for a meditation room of one’s own, a place set aside from the busyness of life, a place to keep still and think or meditate.
Converting a room or an outbuilding to a quiet place of stillness can be a wonderful way to open space up in your life to good things and create centered thought. Whenever I need a half an hour or more of restorative peace, and I can’t make it to the beach, I find solace in my meditation space.
Creating such a space allows one to “vacation in your own backyard,” and is as individual as the person seeking a retreat and as the place in which the sacred space is constructed. Many people prefer blank walls and bare surroundings, while others (like myself) enjoy color and getting lost in form. In general, natural light, good ventilation, and enough open (uncluttered) space to be comfortable are all good ideas. Many people are relaxed by the sound of flowing water, so you may want to have a fountain nearby. In addition to a padded place to sit/lay in (depending if you prefer a lotus or other positions), you may want to surround yourself with a few meaningful objects such as spiritual texts, crystals, shells, icons, etc. The key is to do what feels natural and comfortable to you.
Earlier I mentioned flowers and leaves, birds and sky; I love nature and color. When creating my meditation space, I decided to bring the idea of flowers and petals into the space and give the feeling of being lost inside the contemplation of a flower.
To accomplish this, I found a flower in season that captivated me: the peony. I photographed the bouquet.
Next, I went to the hardware store to find paint that matched the bouquet in the image of the flowers (and checked them when I got home).
I chose several Martha Stewart colors, and decided to leave some of the blond wood visible.
We painted over seams, then I chalked shapes of petals and blooms on the walls and ceiling. Some of the shapes resembled other flowers (dahlias or lotus or apple blossom petals). I kept my stroke loose and let the shapes flow from not only observation of the bouquet, but my inner feeling about flowers. Then I painted in the forms with one set of colors (alternating), then lined and detailed them with another set.
I imagined where I would lie down or sit in relation to the breeze from the windows, as well as the shapes of leaves coming through the skylight, and painted two large blossoms accordingly.
With furniture and decorations, the space has served well as an indoor-outdoor retreat for me to be alone with myself and enjoy being within the blooming of life. I hope your space is just what you need, too.
by Nadja Masura