Meditation is something we should practice because it centers us spiritually and emotionally. It is also a great stress reliever. You can meditate anywhere at any time you want, even when you’re commuting. But for many people, meditation is usually done at one specific place. If you are one of these people and you want to meditate in your home here are some things you can do to make meditation simpler and easier.
First, try to set up a space in your home that you will dedicate for your meditation. It doesn’t have to be a room. A quiet corner in your home will be more than enough for your purposes. You can put a comfy cushion (a zafu will be perfect) there that you can sit on when you meditate. If you are so inclined you can also put up an altar on your meditation space. It doesn’t have to be filled with images of your God. Even items that hold a specific personal meaning to you can be placed here as it will have a nice association with what you do.
Meditate everyday even if it is just for a few minutes. A little time for meditation is better than not meditating at all. You can start off with just ten minutes a day and gradually increase the time as you progress. To help you keep time, you can use a timer. A timer actually helps in meditation because you won’t have to be conscious about the time you’re spending. You can preprogram the amount of time with your timer.
Keep a good posture when meditating. Do not slouch or slump on the cushion because bad postures will affect how you breathe. You can choose to either open or close your eyes, it’s really up to you. If you prefer to meditate with your eyes open keep a short, soft gaze about a foot away from your body.
During the meditation proper, be aware of where you attention goes. The mind usually goes to any of nine different areas, which are dependent on the time (the past, the present or the future) and the pleasantness of what is being thought of.
Here’s a handy chart:
Past Present Future
Pleasant Reverie Anticipation
Neutral Random Random
Unpleasant Regret Worry
If your attention is gravitating towards any of the above, refocus your attention and go to something that is in the present: An activity happening or what you see, hear, smell, taste or feel.
Constant refocusing of attention is expected especially if you’re new to meditation. But allow yourself these ‘errors’. In time you will be able to meditate more efficiently.