Creating a sacred space or meditation room in your home
First, Why. Why should we create a space in our home for meditation or mindfulness practices? Carving out time to calm the mind is super important in the busy, fast-paced world we live in. Many of us bustle around from morning to evening, taking care of families, work, and other responsibilities; trying to exercise; and exploring our passions and hobbies. The modern world takes a toll on the body and mind - and the mind requires food, just like the body. We have to feed it positivity, strength, and time to calm before and after the battle of the day. Carving out a sacred space is key for the efficacy of mindfulness practices.
“A rough estimation of people who meditate globally ranges between 200 and 500 million people” (Mindworks.org). If you are new to meditation, study from experts and trusted teachers. Vet your sources and learn only from credible sources with real experience and sound character. There are many informative series online. Read books, gather your info, and jump in if you haven’t already. Creating your sacred space will solidify your practice and provide a peaceful haven in your home.
Meditation is an essential and absolutely necessary part of my daily life as a busy, busy working mom. I have meditated daily for nearly 20 years. Any time is the right time to get started with a meditation practice if you haven't already. No matter your age, religion, your time constraints, etc. - remember that it is nourishment for the mind.
Getting Started with Creating your Space:
Start by defining your intentions and use of the space, then think about where this space will be in your home.
Define your Intentions
- What is your purpose or intention for this space? Is it to solely meditate or have some quiet contemplation time, do you want enough room to do yoga?
- Is privacy really important or are you okay with a more visible space?
- Do you need an inspiring sanctuary - some place that is your special place, just for you?
- Do you have an entire room that you can use as a sacred space and dedicate to your meditation and spiritual practices?
Select the spot in your home
Where is the best place in the home for your meditation or mindfulness practice?
- According to ancient Hindu texts and Vastu principles, a corner facing northeast is best. You will want to sit facing East for best results.
- The size of the space is up to you.
- Try to find a spot where you can have natural light.
- We recommend dedicating one area in your home as your sacred space, so that when you revisit that space your mind will more easily get into the flow of meditation.
- Many people do not have the luxury of a dedicated meditation room in their home, so make the best use of what is available and carve out a corner. I have meditated in four or five different closets, and under several staircases - my husband has outfitted several “cave” shrines for me under stairwells over the years.
- Add a screen for more privacy. You can build your own DIY screen; I have done this, and I find that the extra privacy helps concentration.
- Any place that you can find to meditate is your sacred space. Just get started.
I have recently graduated to my very own “She Shed” (pictured above and below) for meditation and spiritual practices. We bought a pre-fad Tuff Shed from HomeDepot and had it completely finished in our backyard. It's a dream come true to have my own personal meditation room built just for that purpose. Thanks to my husband and all of his skills - he insulated it, added drywall, paint, flooring, trim, custom doors and windows, AC, electrical...the works! If you have a backyard or garden area where you can fit a shed, I highly recommend this.
Decide what to include in your sacred space
The sky's the limit. What inspires you, what resonates with you, is what should be in your meditation room.
- Use bookshelves or bookcases and/or small decorative tables to hold pictures and/or statues, incense, candles and smudging supplies. Ikea has many low bookcases you can use as your shrine or altar.
- What works for you and what your beliefs are is what your space should be represented by. Pictures of saints or incarnations are especially helpful. Murtis (statues of deities), Shiva lingas, and Buddhas are sublime.
- In both Hinduism and Buddhism, Ganesha - the remover of obstacles - is considered one of the most auspicious deities. For this reason, I recommend keeping a Ganesha statue in your meditation room.
- Adding crystals is beneficial. Maybe you need some grounding - so add some obsidian, howlite, or clear quartz. Bring in the love vibes with rose quartz or tourmaline to help keep your sacred space free from negativity.
- The scent of burning incense, sage, and smudging supplies signal the body that meditation practice is beginning. Keep these supplies handy so that you may start your practice by burning incense or smudging.
- Candles are important - naturally scented with essential oils, or unscented - if you are careful. Even LED flickering candles are nice.
- Fabrics, textures, lots of floor pillows and rugs add to the special vibe of your sacred space. Get creative; look at Pinterest for some inspiration. Make your space cozy!
Choosing a Meditation Seat:
It is best to sit on a firm cushion that allows you to sit comfortably, with a straight spine.
- Try out different cushions - you could try a zafu, a cork meditation cushion, kapok filled cushions, or even just a pillow.
- It is perfectly acceptable to use a chair if sitting on a cushion is uncomfortable for you due to a physical issue.
You might want to put your meditation cushion on top of a blanket so that you are touching all-natural fabric that is meant just for your meditation space.
- What type of blanket? Wool is very grounding and traditionally used to meditate on. If you cannot find a wool blanket, consider using other natural fabrics.
- Grab a shawl that you use only for meditation and keep in your sacred space. If you wear it every time that you meditate, it will collect the vibrations of your meditation and help you to get focused more quickly. Make sure that your shawl is made out of all-natural fabric - that is always the best for spiritual practices.
What else goes in your sacred space?
Your sacred space is a physical representation of your spiritual journey.
It is very helpful to keep handy supplies such as incense, smudge sticks, candles, flowers, and malas. Also include your favorite spiritual or meditation book. You will also want a lighter or matches for incense, smudging, and candles. Maybe you need a spotlight for your altar.
Obstacles to your sacred space
Do you have children at home?
If you are a mom or dad with young ones it is very hard to get this practice in. But I assure you, it can be done - even if only for a few minutes a day.
Things you can do to make them a part of the experience:
- Get your child their own seat and even their own little piece of the shrine to have as their own to decorate.
- Explain the importance of posture and sitting straight. Introduce a tiny bit of stillness. This will last anywhere from 20 seconds to 3 minutes - ha ha.
Do you need more privacy?
Make your sacred space as private as possible, even if it is in a corner of the room. If you can protect it it with a privacy screen, that’s even better. You can find instructions for inexpensive DIY screens on YouTube. You can also use a curtain to separate the room if you need more privacy. I have strung curtains across my bedroom to create separate sleeping and meditation rooms. .
Is your environment noisy?
- Try using a closet so you can close the door.
- Try adjusting the time of day so that you can meditate when your environment is quieter.
- If you have a separate meditation room, you can also add more padding and blankets to muffle any sounds that are super loud.
- If traffic sounds or outdoor noise is too loud, and it is not too hot, close the windows.
- Think about the kinds of noises you hear in your home, and where they occur. Consider which area in your house is quietest, and try to create your sacred space there.
What if the vibe isn’t right?
- Try changing your direction.
- Try using a different seat.
- If you are visual, have beautiful pictures of saints, incarnations, sacred symbols, sacred geometry such as yantras or mandalas, deities, etc.
- If you are auditory, try chanting in that space, or play some Om sounds to get the vibes rolling in.
- The more you revisit this sacred space, the easier it will be to feel the calming effects.
- If you are musical, try chanting or singing devotional music.
- Vases with fresh flowers are highly recommended. If you have the ability to grow your own, have a few potted plants with flowers that are good bloomers such as roses or geraniums. If you have ground space go for hibiscus and roses as they are prolific bloomers. We can even have flowers year round in California outdoors. I must say it is magical and we are spoiled.
- Smudging and crystals: sage, sage, sage away the bad vibes. Sage every corner of the room up and down where your sacred space will be.. Sage up and down around your body. Sage all of your articles of mediation and then light incense afterwards. Add several crystals that have been cleared and place them in a prominent place.
Lastly, this sacred space you will create helps concretize our meditation practice, inspire us to continue to practice, and provide a haven from the busy modern world we live in.
Explore, have fun, and make this special. No matter how big or small your sacred space is, it’s important to just get started!
Enjoy your journey! Share your comments or pictures with us as we love to see different meditation rooms and sacred spaces.
Heather Hathaway, M.Ed.
The Deva Shop
Vedanta: What is Vedanta? Learn practical tips for every day spiritual life.
Zen Buddhim: Here is a great guide to starting a zen meditation practice at home from the Zen Center of Los Angeles
Chopra Center: Tons and tons of resources on meditation.
Kali Mandir: Traditional Hindu Temple in Laguna Beach, CA dedicated to the worship of the Divine Mother Kali. You can read their blogs and aids for creating a scared space as well as book one of their priests to come to your home if you are in the area to do a puja in the home.
Hollywood Vedanta Society of Southern California: They have some amazing lectures on not only Vedanta, but meditation help in general, highly recommend.
Swami Sarvapriyananda is a deeply philosophical and an amazing teacher of religion and spirtuality. He is lovingly referred to as the Youtube Swami because his lectures are so popular. Here are just a few below that are popular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6J9qEYeZbs