Meditation Recommendations from a 40-Year Practitioner

We all want to go DEEP in meditation, and I have found that creating your meditation space properly to facilitate you going into that innermost place, is a real grounded approach to doing just that. There just comes a time when you need your meditation space to really support your practice. It is something for me that has been evolving over the last 40 years. At first – it was just about sitting and meditating regularly but then it came to be about creating a space so that the moment the Gong bells I fall into meditation deeply.

This brings me to the importance of the meditation space supports you need to have in place.

The first thing, after you’ve chosen the space in your home or office, where you will regularly meditate, is to find the right seat. It needs to be stable and comfortable. Some people like to be on the floor – others on the bed or sofa – but here I would like to recommend that you choose a surface that is not too soft. To sit long term you need a firm foundation. The floor with a Zabuton or the bed if it’s a nice firm mattress without the soft pillow top.

Personally, I had a meditation box made for me while I was preparing for the three-year retreat in Portland, Oregon years ago. I am so grateful I had this made at that time, as I use it daily and it really allows me to have a steady meditation seat wherever I move to and set it up.

The box is made of wood – so I needed to have a firm but supportive and comfortable base – I chose one about 7 inches deep that I got from an upholstery supply store. Then on top of that, I have placed two Meditation Zabutons for more support and a Soft Blanket for comfort.
I sit on a Buckwheat Meditation Cushion and the sheepskin rug that has been with me forever – I also have my personal Wool Meditation Asana as it is very good to meditate on wool. The wool retains the spiritual energy very well. As I’ve gotten older, I have needed cushions underneath my knees and thighs as support when meditating, especially for longer meditations so I use these two cotton embroidered Pillows. Also, I have one like this long round pillow that I use to keep my back straight – the red one in the picture above. It sits between my spine lengthways and the wooden back of the Meditation box right below my scapulas – and it really helps me feel weightless.

I highly recommend Buckwheat Cushions, they do the job so well as they are very supportive and form moulding. You can change the amount of buckwheat fill in the cushion by simply taking some out if it’s too full for your liking. I find that my sitting bones just melt into it and then become very steady – which helps my sitting posture. It also helps my mind just let go – knowing my body is well and safe.

Having the right puja or altar is very helpful to focus your meditation before and after you close your eyes. The first helpful item I’d like to recommend is a Meditation Eye mask, this really helps to keep your eyes relaxed and the light out. Especially helpful when you start seeing lights etc., in meditation. It also can help if you are in meditation in a very light room or if you are in a dark room with candles flickering.

I love having powerful and personal items on my table or puja like my Tibetan Bell and Dorje and Meditation Singing Bowl which I found in a small crystal shop in New York City back in the eighties. Also, pictures of inspiring people or scenes. Candles as a focal point also spiritualize the space beautifully.

I have Buddhist Offering Bowls on my puja – I like clear glass ones. I just use rounder candles glass votive holders – but you can also get the Traditional Buddhist Offering Bowls ones that are made of copper – fill them with water as offerings to the Divine. Then most importantly I have my Meditation Journal. This is where I write all my experiences down from my meditations. It is so helpful through time to look back and you can really see how far you have come in your spiritual journey and remember vividly breakthroughs you’ve had but maybe have forgotten about.

One of the most trusted props I have for my meditation practice, especially in cold weather, is my Meditation Shawl. I love mine. I just wrap it around my shoulders and close my eyes and I’m gone.

Last but not least, I have my Mala – I made my mala of 108 faceted clear quartz, double knotted with a 7 Mukhi Rudraksha – which is for Lakshmi- for the Meru bead. If you’d like one like it or another type – I make these malas custom – just for you- and also have many already made and ready for shipping, please see them here.

A Mantra to help you put your space together, that you can chant while setting everything up and cleaning etc., is:

HUNG VAJRA PEH

PROTECTION FOR THE MEDITATION SPACE

Use it while you set everything up and until you feel the space is truly yours.

  • Handmade one-of-a-kind Malas
  • With Love,

    Aly M. Dunne

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