Reblogged from zazenlife.com.
I am impressed with this writer, Thomas McGregor; in the last few days he has published three posts with which I resonated strongly. Please be sure to check out ZazenLife through the link above, to read more of Thomas’ posts. With his permission, here is a post on how to set up a home meditation retreat. I give you Thomas McGregor:
Was your week stressful? Let’s set up your own personal meditation retreat, right where you are.
Create your personal inner sanctum…
We all know the benefits of taking time, but why not spoil yourself and take this resting time a step further to foster a retreat you deserve. When we visit a retreat, we enter a place of calm and centeredness.
In order for us to take up the task of setting up our own personal meditation retreat, we need to know some things about a retreat frist. A retreat is a place where people go in order escape and find themselves in peaceful state of mind. Why we usually go somewhere else for a retreat because we don’t consider it possible in the current environment. This means our inner state is directly controlled and influenced by the environment we are in. Therefore, in order to set up your personal meditation retreat, the first step is setting up your inner mental faculties to receiving your current environment as a retreat setting. This starts with purpose. Understanding your own personal disposition with your environment will give you great insight as to quality of that relationship.
Setting Up the External:
Here are some tips, after you have your mind in check, to get your external environment ready for a at home meditation retreat:
1. Avoid morning caffeine. Events will be a lot easier on your body if it doesn’t have to struggle with removing the toxins from caffeine.
2. Leave your phone. Don’t just turn it off or on vibrate. Leave it behind completely. Once you get going, you wont miss it.
3. Do it alone and make it a legitimate ‘me’ event. This gives your clarity as to what the focus is.
4. Flush out toxins by drinking water and using deep breathing. This is important in order to keep your physiology in check.
5. Make your environment you own and personal. If you like the smell of a particular incense or candle, use it.
6. Take this opportunity to improve your ability to concentrate and relax. Use this time in self-education. Learn how you can grow in the next week or month. You have the floor, take advantage of it.
Meditating everyday can be a tough commitment to stick to. With our busy modern lifestyle, we tend to find other things more important. However, what is more important than our own mental and spiritual development? If your schedule is crazy, use a “personal retreat” to hit the mental and spiritual reset button.
How about the weekend? The weekends always have some free time that you can use for meditation. Take a Friday after work to all day Saturday. Don’t leave the house. Plan ahead and acquire what you need in the house for that 24 hour personal retreat.
Things to Acquire:
- Fresh Vegetables
- A Spiritual Book
- Clean Water
- Incense / Candles
- Meditation CD / Music
If you have set aside a 24 hour block of time, acquired the needed things, and have your mental clarity ready, you are ready to embark on your first personal meditational retreat. The key thing to remember is that you are in control of what you do with your time. If you are being studious, you will apply introspection within this 24-hour period in order to understand yourself more fully and completely. The things you may discover during this time may be scary, but I assure you, they are extremely valuable.