August 11, 2010

Maintaining your Meditation Practice on the Road. ~ Irene Turner

Top 5 Ways to Create a Portable Environment for Meditation.

I don’t know about you, but I use to find it difficult to keep up my meditation practice when I traveled.  It’s the one thing I do everyday at home that keeps me the most grounded, and yet when I needed it the most…on the road…I found it hardest to do.

Being an interior designer my space is very important to me and it influences everything from my mood to my peace of mind.  If my space is not set…I’m not set.  This is really true for everyone, some people are just more aware of it then others.

Over the years I’ve developed this routine to help me “set” my space in order to aid me in meditating, sleeping better, and as a result, feeling all together more grounded when I’m on the road…

  1. The first thing I do is “clean” the room.  Where ever I am, whether a hotel room or a guest room, I mentally “sweep” the room clean energetically and set it up for me.

Since it is no longer appropriate to burn anything including incense or sage, I mentally visualize the room clean, whisking away the left over residue from the last guest’s energy and infuse the room with my own energy.

  1. I then set up the room to make it mine.  The first thing I do is un-pack.  Simply putting away my things helps me feel organized and settled in place.

I tend to wear a lot of scarves so I usually throw one over my bedside  lamp to create a little ambiance through mood lighting.

And, to make the room smell like home, I pour a few drops of my favorite essential oil on a couple of cotton balls and place them strategically around the room.  Usually I stuff a cotton ball in my pillowcase and also by my bedside lamp.

My favorite oils tend to be lavender in the spring and summer, eucalyptus in the fall and winter.

Now the room feels like mine.

  1. Next I set up my traveling altar.  Everywhere I go I carry this with me.  It’s a little piece of home, and usually the first thing I see when I enter the room.

A traveling altar can consist of anything that is meaningful to you, from family photos, to elements from nature, or your personal meditation set up.

My traveling altar consists of a small, framed picture of my meditation teacher and Guru…a small framed picture of my husband and me…and, a small rose quartz in the shape of a heart. I set these items all up on the beautiful silk bag I carry them in.  If I happen to be staying longer then two days, at my destination I buy a flower and float it in a small bowl or bud vase.

  1. Then I find a spot in the room where I can do a few yoga stretches.  Part of my routine before sitting to meditate is to stretch…sometimes it’s only for 5 minutes

I found a few good routines from Tara Stiles that can even be done in bed, and that work well for a quick, light stretch and in tight quarters.

  1. And last I find my seat.  The place in the room that will be most comfortable for me to actually sit and meditate.

If there isn’t a good chair in the room I will use the bed, sitting on a couple of pillows to prop up my sit bone and help me maintain a straight spine.

Over the 30 years that I’ve been traveling and meditating I have found that setting my space is the most important thing I can do to help support my meditation practice on the road.  And, while I may meditate for about an hour every morning at home, on the road I usually find that 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes before going to sleep is easier for me to do.

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