5 Tips to Prepare an Environment For Meditation and Mystic Exploration
What you hold within yourself will determine how you perceive the world. Yet what you surround yourself with can also help you to transform that which is within!
Simply put, mysticism is about inner exploration … or looking, hearing, and feeling within the self while accepting the self completely. It is just using the simplest of senses to examine the contents of your mind and body without judgment. But when and where do you get started?
I encourage you to be willing and able to meditate and look a little bit deeper into your experience at any moment of any day, but it is also powerful to have a regular practice, and to prepare an environment for mystic exploration.
These tips will help you quite a bit, but the most important thing is that you set the time, and set up the environment. So once you've decided when and for how long you will meditate … how specifically should you prepare your environment?
1. Find someplace quiet: this kind of goes without saying. As you get better and better, you may find the external noise actually helps you to find internal silence … but to begin with, find someplace quiet and comfortable.
2. Make time for meditation / avoid interruptions: setting aside a specific time will not only help you to establish a habit, it will also lead to more powerful experiences during your session. It is important that you enjoy your meditation with no interruption, so take the phone off the hook, turn off the cell, let everyone know you need a few minutes (10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, however long you like), and whatever else needs to be done to ensure your ability to find a peaceful place.
3. Decorate your space as appropriate: this is a matter of personal taste … a Buddhist one like a statue of the Buddha or some incense, a Christian practitioner may prefer a cross, or a rosary. Again, this is just to flavor the environment and focus your mind. You might like to add flowers or a plant. You might also find that plain, empty white walls suit the purposes of quieting your mind … find what works for you in your silent space.
4. Wear comfortable clothing: you want your clothing to be pleasant to wear, and ideally, a little bit loose. The more pleasant your clothes are to your skin, the less of a distraction they will be. Be sure to keep plenty of room around the waist to accommodate deep breathing (elastic waistbands are good). I personally like cotton … but some people swear by silk. Find the clothing that will best facilitate your relaxation and wear it.
5. Take a bath / shower beforehand: If it is possible, it's good to take a quick shower or bath before you practice. The cleansing effect of bathing and showering goes deeper than the skin. Most people will emerge from a shower and feel clean, relaxed, and refreshed … this is an excellent way to begin your meditation.
These all work, and they all work together. If you can not manage all of these, then some is better than none. Do as much as you can, and you will find, through consistency, that you can always do a little bit more.
Keep in mind, practice is the most important thing. If you can only manage a couple of minute of meditation, in whatever environment you find yourself, this is still a good start.
As you make more time for it, you can adapt your environment as you see fit. The more time you take to create an environment for the growth and self understanding you desire, the more the deepest levels of your mind will begin to mirror that growth, understanding, and change! And as you start to truly understand the effect you have on your environment, and the effect your environment has on you, then you will really begin to appreciate the power of meditation and the path of the mystic!