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Your Guide to Creating a Zen Space for Yourself

Creating a Zen Space
You can meditate anywhere, but the best sessions happen when conditions are just right. By creating a meditation space, you make your own perfect conditions and turn every session into a great one.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
In a perfect world, everyone would have a dedicated meditation room. A quiet, soothing place where life cannot intrude and only peaceful thoughts take shape. But this is not a perfect world, and most of us don't have enough room for all of our stuff, let alone an extra room to dedicate to the art of sitting still.

There is much to be said, however, for meditating in a space that has been purposely designed for it - but it doesn't have to be a whole dedicated room. Create your own sanctuary wherever you have the space - whether it's a spare corner or an out-of-the-way alcove, and you'll be drawn to it daily.
Carve Out a Niche
Woman meditating on patio bench
Look around for extra space where you can retreat without interruption. It may be the window seat in your bedroom, a corner of the patio, or the couch in your office. It should be a place where you can relax and feel comfortable, roomy enough to accommodate your preferred meditation position and "yours" enough that you can control the light and noise intensity.
Instill Serenity
Neutralize everything in your space. If you can paint the walls, do - a pale ecru or sand color is unobtrusive enough that it won't influence your meditation. If painting is not an option, opt for fabric or paper wall hangings that induce calm.
Woman meditating in dim lights
Dim the lights if you can - a dimmer switch is a godsend for dual-use spaces, but a candle in an otherwise dark room can be a useful meditation tool. If you cannot make the room dark, block out the light with a satin eye shade. Dabbing the eye shade with lavender oil can help you relax and slip into consciousness more quickly.
Woman meditating with headphones
Eliminate all intrusive noise. Unplug electronics, turn off cell phones and alarms, and revel in the quiet. Despite your best efforts, you may still hear noise from other rooms or outside, so block the noise from reaching your ears. Foam earplugs are fine, but noise-canceling headphones allow you to meditate to soothing music. If headphones distract you, try using a white noise machine. White noise gradually fades into the background as you get in tune with your breath.
Get Comfortable
Woman meditating in lotus position
Comfort is tricky when it comes to meditation. You want to be comfortable enough that no aches or pains interfere, but you don't want to be so comfortable that you fall asleep. Many people find that sitting on a small cushion makes lotus position easier on the knees, but those who meditate lying down may prefer a straw mat to block chill without inducing sleepiness.
Temperature is an important factor in the success of any meditation session. Keep a throw blanket or sweater in your space for chilly days. If your body heat tends to rise when you meditate, make sure your space is well-ventilated and airy. A small desk fan can provide both a breeze and white noise without being intrusive.
You should always meditate in comfortable clothes - restrictive clothing alters your breathing patterns and can keep you from reaching a deep state. Sometimes though, you may not be able to change into comfortable clothing - for example, a ten-minute meditation break at work. When this happens, make sure your space is private enough that you can remove your shoes, loosen buttons, remove your jacket and tie, and just generally loosen up a bit.
Provide Focus
Woman looking at some object
Deepest concentration is achieved with your eyes closed, but having something to look at while you breathe your way down can help you calm your mind. Likewise, the first thing you should see when you open your eyes should be something soothing, or you lose some of the benefit of that session.
Hanging a mandala on the opposite wall at eye level is perfect if you enjoy mandalas, but whatever you choose should move you. The aforementioned candle flame is a popular option, as is the single flower or small pile of pebbles. What it should definitely not be is anything goal-oriented or anything that reminds you of stressful situations. Meditation requires you to focus on the here and now, so your focus object should be very non-pertinent to your life.
Keep everything together in your space, so you can sneak away whenever you need a break. If your situation doesn't allow you to keep your space set up at all times, find a nice box or trunk that will hold your supplies, and keep that in your space - think of it as your emergency serenity kit. When the feeling hits, you are only moments away from deep-conscious bliss.