Meditation in Focus; The Space Around You
It is fantastic to get so much great feedback on meditation, and to see how many people are using it as ways to enhance their well-being and overall health. Especially in the day where we think a quick fix solves everything, taking the time and patience for meditation is suggestive of a dedicated effort to be the best you can be.
We often forget how much the space around us affects us internally, as we tend to shut things off, getting engulfed in our routines and rush to get the next thing done. The truth is, our different sensory experiences do things to us whether we realize it or not. That is why creating the right environment for meditation can be the difference between success and failure.
I invented a product line Mood-lites on this basis; colors affect our moods by the sense of sight and color (and even feel) only we rarely understand or realize how this works. We are so busy getting to the next thing that we forget all that is around us, not understanding how the bright yellow purse makes us smile and the fresh grass makes us feel renewed, and on the contrary how the faint smell of mold or the dark hues that permeate the walls leading us to a not so pleasant mood. Mood-lites is just another way to show you that by engaging your senses in a thoughtful way, based on actual research on how different sensory experiences affect your mood, you can improve your overall daily experience.
Again, meditation space does not have to be costly or extravagant, but when you decide where to meditate, take a moment to look at what is around that space with all of your senses:
- Touch. Notice the feeling of where you are sitting. Is it smooth? Rough? Comfortable? A little tiny ‘off’? Does the air feel nice on your skin? Too cold? Hot? Spend some time noticing your sense of touch and how you might improve it for your meditation practice.
- Smell. Do you smell must? Is there a burnt odor in the air? Or do you smell the fresh breeze? Do you need a mint smell to keep you energetic during your meditation? Or would something more soothing like lavendar hit the spot? Is anything coming through your sense of smell that is distracting you?
- Sight. Technically, you shouldn’t be seeing anything when you meditate. You most likely have your eyes closed. However, I often feel the space around me with my eyes as I prepare to go into meditation. I use a Serenity Mood-lite as I believe my sight can experience it with my eyes closed. But do your last moments of sight leave you feeling relaxed? Is your space free of clutter? Do the colors send you into a sense of relaxation, or a spirit of frenzy? Make sure to notice how you are seeing things, and how that might affect your mindset for the meditation.
- Sound. Of course our sense of hearing is amplified when we meditate, as we shut off our sense of sight. Are the sounds distracting you? Calming you? Do you need a fan to block out white noise? Soft music to distract the constant buzzing around you? The sound of nature to engulf you? A drum to send you into the ‘zone’? Pay attention to what you are hearing.
- Taste. You may wonder how this could possibly affect you? Well, it does. What did you have for lunch? Is there a garlic left over in your mouth? How does this make you feel? Did you brush your teeth? Do you have a beautiful minty type flavor left over from your herbal tea? Is your palette clean so that it does not distract? Think about how what you taste adds or subtracts from your feeling of contentment during meditation.
Again, so often our senses our ‘disengaged’ in our daily lives, and yet when we meditate they start to re-engage without us even knowing it. If you are having trouble meditating, maybe it is your sensory experinces that are interfereing without you realizing it – because you are so attune to shutting them out. So I challenge you to spend some time getting in tune with how you feel and how it affects l experience.
Please share with us some positive ways you have made your sensory experience perfect for your meditation practice.
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Goetzke, K. (2010). Meditation in Focus; The Space Around You. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 14, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd/2010/08/meditation-in-focus-the-space-around-you/