Finding unlikely places to meditate
Meditation comes in many forms. Whether it’s a 5-minute daily routine or a week long retreat once a year, the practice of reflecting and finding quiet time can benefit anyone. Most people imagine their meditation space as a cushion in their home or local yoga studio. Scrolling through social media, you see ideal photos of people meditating at retreats, in lush forests, or in a cozy corner of their home. When the distractions of daily life happen all around you it can seem impossible to find a space to quiet your mind.
So how do you find these sacred moments to take for yourself. Don’t wait for you next vacation or retreat, because some of the best quiet moments take place in the spaces around your city. Even sitting on a train ride home has a sacred quality if you drop into meditation or focus on a gratitude exercise. If you are looking for somewhere to escape the daytoday bustle, here are some places to find your zen.
If nightmares of librarians shushing you have scared you away from libraries, fear no more. Libraries are a free, convenient place to take a mental break either in silence or while reading a book. Look up the closest library and check out the reading rooms. When traveling, try to make a point to check out the public libraries. They offer a window into the locals of the city and often some of the most beautiful architecture.
It may sound counterintuitive to seek respite in an outdoor space, but reconnecting with nature or people watching can help break up your day. Search for rooftop gardens in bigger cities, or check out parks that are large enough to get lost in. Find your spot and return to it to see how the surroundings change from one trip to the next. This option works well during lunch breaks when you can step outside and take in the fresh air while mindfully eating your food.
Whether you need a break from the office or need inspiration for a new project, museum galleries offer quiet and beautiful spaces to reflect. Something about standing in the midst of someone else’s creativity has the ability to spark your own reflection. Find a piece of art that intrigues you and focus on every part of it in a sort of meditation. Let any sounds or other observations fade and take time to notice every detail of that work of art. Move on to another piece of work or take a seat in the middle of a gallery and take in the atmosphere.
Whether you intend to get in a good workout or relax and unwind from the day, yoga class provides a sacred space to focus on you. Repurpose your yoga class to focus on yourself and every element of your body, breath, and mental state. Try to take class entirely with your eyes closed with hyper awareness on the instruction and body movements. Yoga and other fitness classes give you the chance to take one hour (or so) of the day to put wellbeing at the center of attention. If your yoga mat is your sacred space, you can translate this quiet sanctimony to anywhere your mat can travel.
Create a spot at home that provides you a guaranteed space of silence. Put objects such as a shrine or crystal or totem to remind yourself that you can always tap into your inner sense of peace by sitting in stillness with yourself. Use of guided meditations can help achieve the focus needed to find stillness even in loud or uncalm situations. Perhaps you can find small figures to keep on your shrine that have meaning for you. If they are small enough you can take them with you into the world so that when you happen upon them in your pocket, you will have a reminder to tap into mindfulness.
Whether you need a vacation or are having a difficult day, take a moment to identify a sacred space you can escape to and meditate. Taking moments to yourself can be the refresher you need to return to work with a clear mind and open heart.
About the author:
Cameron Cler is a wellness practitioner and founder of wellmode.co, which connects users with unique wellness experiences all over the world. As a yoga teacher and founder she seeks balance and wellness in her day to day and helps her clients do the same. She enjoys traveling, visiting new retreats, and eating local food wherever she is.