Green Peace ~ Drawing from Your Environment to Create a Relaxing Area for Meditation

The importance of quiet time in our daily lives cannot be overstated. After a stressful day either at work or at home, taking a moment to shed the feelings of tight anxiety and the constant pressure to accomplish everything on our to-do lists can do wonders for both the body and mind.

Finding the place and the time to do this, however, can be a challenge, especially if you live in a full house or find it hard to get away from work. Fortunately, creating a place of peace in the center of a stormy life, and also making it eco-friendly, is easier than you might think. All you need is:

  • A small corner or space, even if you need to convert it to other use during the day
  • A set of comfortable cushions or a cozy chair
  • A way of dividing that area from the rest of the house, even if it’s for a short period of time
  • A little creativity and an open mind about found and available materials

Creating your meditation space

file0001145901225Whether you’re able to dedicate a whole room to meditation or you’re only able to convert a small corner for a few minutes a day, creating your place for meditation is important for two reasons:

  1. It is a visual reminder that you should take time to shake off all of the negative feelings that have accumulated throughout the day.
  2. It allows you to separate yourself from the rest of the world, if even for a short time, and focus on personal restoration.

Additionally, keeping a focus on reusing materials found around your home and eco-friendly products can create a space that’s both easy on your wallet and your environment.

Even if you have a large living space, there typically isn’t much room to incorporate a permanent space for relaxation. And for those dealing with tight quarters, creating multi-functional spaces is almost a necessity. To create your personal green meditation retreat, either temporarily or permanently:

  • Designate a corner of your living space to be dedicated to this purpose. It can simply be the corner of your bedroom, a window ledge or even a part of your kitchen.
  • Find a way to divide it from the rest of the room. You can do this with:
    • A small folding screen, which you can create with four or five old plantation shutters, connecting them with a set of hinges, or with cloth stretched between thin wooden frames and hinged together.
    • A re-purposed sheet, curtain or tapestry that can be hung from the ceiling.
    • Use a low-VOC paint to give that section of the room a different shade or soothing color.
  • Fill the space with comfortable cushions. Cushions from a couch that has seen better days, for example, make excellent floor pillows and are easy to re-cover. Additionally, you can get creative with slip covers made from different types of cloth such as worn-out shirts, pants and bed sheets.
  • Use hanging plants that thrive indoors, like philodendron, to bring life to the space.
  • Add a relaxing light, such as a salt lamp or low-watt lamp, to help settle your nerves and calm your spirit. Be sure to use CFL bulbs as they last up to ten times as long as a regular light bulb and help conserve on energy usage!
  • If pleasant smells help you relax, you can create a scented room mist with 20 drops of essential oil(s) in one quart of distilled water poured into a recycled spray bottle. Shake together and allow the solution to sit for at least 24 hours before using.

NOTE: Keep a small visual reminder out during the day to remind yourself to meditate. This could be one of your favorite cushions, the softly lit lamp or a wall hanging.

When it comes to relaxing at the end of the day, you don’t need to memorize a special chant, twist yourself into uncomfortable positions or buy a bunch of new cushions and clothing to achieve a sense of peace. Simply create a comforting corner in your home that you can put together quickly and easily, and spend a few minutes focusing on the sound of your own heart or thinking positive thoughts about a friend or loved one. The important thing is that you take the time to focus on leaving your stress behind and either continuing or wrapping up your day with a peaceful mind.

What are some ways you’ve found to create a meditation space? What are some materials you’ve re-purposed or re-used to create a relaxing environment?

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[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Garret Stembridge.]

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