What If I Cannot Meditate in My Usual Spot?

Question

I am lucky enough to have a spare room in our house to meditate in. However, this room is about to be used by a guest for 3 weeks or so. Can you give me any help with using another area to meditate when these are usually living or sleeping areas with the vibrations associated with them? If the area that I usually use has become more attuned for meditating, how do I use another area? I guess the second question also applies when on holiday or away from home? Thanks.

—Andy, New Zealand

Answer

Dear Andy,

I am so glad you have a place in your home where there is a strong vibration to support going deep in meditation.

I expect this has helped you build an enduring meditation habit and allowed you to experience great benefits from your practice. A next step in meditation is to be able to go deep regardless of location. Eventually, we must learn to hold onto the peace we find in meditation regardless of circumstances and in the midst of daily activity. Consider the arrival of your guest as a welcome opportunity to expand your meditation practice.

Select a temporary location in your home that has some of the qualities that are conducive to meditation. It is possible to meditate in a bedroom? You might find a corner to set up your temporary meditation seat and altar. Put your usual chair, pillow, or blanket there. If there is the option of facing north or east this is always helpful. The bed is associated with sleep so meditation there is not ideal but if needed, see if you can sustain attention and concentration sitting upright on the edge of the bed. There might be another location in your house you might like to experiment with. It is most difficult to meditate in high traffic areas or areas associated with more worldly activities but if you do not have a choice you could try it.

Can you sustain attention even in such a ‘less than ideal’ location? If you are able to do so, it could strengthen your ability to maintain your peace in daily activity outside of the home. I am not suggesting that you permanently move your meditation seat to a challenging location but since you have this opportunity coming up why not use it to stretch a bit. You might discover which factors are essential for your meditation and which can be modified when needed. It will also give you confidence that you can maintain your practice even when you must travel. Maintaining your practice during your guest’s visit may be very rewarding.

Many Blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti