Meditation Retreat Practices to Try at Home
Published time : 22/12/2022 15:39
When you think of meditation retreats, you might imagine a place where you can go to unplug from the world, practice mindfulness and self-care, and cultivate peace and tranquillity. Meditation retreats are designed to support meditators to learn, then deepen, and absorb a meditation practice.
In reality, there are many ways to get the benefits of a retreat without leaving your home. Whether you want to start your routine at home or just try something new for fun, here are some simple practices that anyone can do in their living room:
Start a practice journal
One of the best ways to keep your meditation practice on track is to keep a record of what works for you and what doesn’t. For example, if a certain guided meditation helped you stay focused during your last retreat, write it down in a journal so that the next time around, all you have to do is listen to it again!
If something didn't work out as planned (e.g., you couldn't sleep because there was construction going on outside), find another way around it by making adjustments based on what worked previously or trying different things altogether. This will help ensure that each retreat stays productive and relaxing instead of stressful and unproductive.
If this is your first time doing this, don't worry—it's easy! All it takes is finding a notebook that fits into whatever bag or purse you use everyday so that before long, writing down ideas will become second nature too!
Consider a mantra or koan
A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated over and over during meditation. For example, you could use the phrase “I am good enough” as a mantra.
A koan is a paradoxical question or statement used to focus the mind during meditation. For example, you might think about “What was your face like in previous birth?” when meditating.
Meditate with sounds, music, or singing bowls
Use a singing bowl, bell, or other instruments of sound. The sound of these instruments is said to have healing properties, and many people find that they can enter into meditation more easily when they hear them.
Listen to music—and don't just listen passively! Music can be a great aid for meditating for several reasons: it can help you quiet your mind and focus on something other than yourself; it can take you to places in the world where there are no distractions from outside noises, and sometimes it's just nice to listen to beautiful sounds without having to think about them too much.
Invest in a comfortable meditation cushion or chair
One of the most important aspects to consider when practicing meditation is your posture. Meditation can be done in many different ways, but for some people, it may feel more natural to sit on the floor or a cushion, rather than sitting in a chair.
If you are going to be sitting for extended periods, your posture must be correct. This will help prevent any aches or pains from setting in and make sure you get the most out of your practice.
Here are some tips:
Make sure your seat is comfortable - A good meditation seat should have enough padding so that you're not uncomfortably shifting around all through the class as well as having enough support so that when things start getting heavy there won't be any sharp pains shooting up into your backside!
Use an appropriate height - Make sure that whatever surface/cushion/chair you're using doesn't require too much leaning forward or backward. This could strain your back over time.
Trade speaking for listening
Meditation is a wonderful way to center yourself, but it’s not always easy to find the time or motivation to commit to a full hour of quiet sitting. If you want to try meditation regularly but don't have time for a formal retreat, try trading speaking for listening.
Next time you're out walking in nature—or even around your neighbourhood—take the opportunity to tune into all the sounds around you and notice how they affect you as they pass through your senses:
Sounds outside: Listen closely to everything from birds chirping to cars driving by; if people are talking nearby, don't ignore them! Instead, pay attention not only to what they say but also to how it makes you feel when you hear them speak. Do their words make sense? Are they friendly or unfriendly? How does their tone affect your mood?
Sounds inside: What does it sound like inside your head when no one else is talking (and even when someone is)? Maybe there's music playing quietly in another room at home; maybe nothing is going on besides thoughts about what needs to be done later today or tomorrow. Pay attention here too—don't let any voices drown out other ones—and listen carefully until all these different sounds become one single entity that makes up who we are as individuals and human beings living together on this planet today.
Find your temple space at home
You don’t need to be in a remote location, meditating in a dark room on a mountaintop. You can create your own temple space at home—a place that feels safe and comfortable. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; all you need is somewhere quiet and private where you feel comfortable sitting or lying down for meditation practice.
The ideal meditation space should offer:
A clean, clear surface (e.g., floor) for sitting upright without having to sit on pillows or cushions
Enough space for you to stretch out when lying down during rest periods.
Soft lighting or darkness (for those who prefer it) with no bright lights coming into the space from windows or lamps
The next step is decluttering your temple space
You need a place that's free from clutter and distraction. This is especially important if you're new to meditation because having an organized space will help make the practice feel more routine and less intimidating.
Start by getting rid of anything that could be considered clutter, like schoolbooks or magazines lying around on tables, random objects on shelves (especially tech), and shoes scattered through the room—but don't stop there! You should also clear away clothes from closets, cabinets, and drawers; bookshelves; nightstands; windowsills; under your bed; and anywhere else that may be cluttered with things you don't have any use for right now. Your goal should be to create a comfortable environment where you can focus solely on yourself without having to worry about being distracted by extra furniture or items unnecessarily taking up space in your house.
Invite soothing fragrances into the space
- Use a diffuser
- Light candles
- Open the windows and let the smells of nature in
- Place potpourri around your space
It's easy to do some of the practices from a retreat at home every day!
While it’s easy to reach for the cushion once we’re home, it can be difficult to sustain a daily practice when we’re juggling work, family, and all of life's other responsibilities.
However, meditation is something that you can integrate into your life—at home or in the office, in the morning before you start your day, or after dinner before bed. Here are few tips for starting a meditation practice:
Start small. Don't feel like you have to meditate for an hour every day! Try five minutes first thing in the morning and then build from there until it becomes a part of your routine. You might find that meditating on your commute helps with stress levels or when you're feeling particularly anxious at work; maybe having a few minutes at lunch makes sense during certain times through the week; perhaps setting aside time right before bed helps improve sleep quality (or help prevent insomnia).
It doesn't have to be perfect! Being mindful is what matters the most here— don't worry about whether every moment feels meaningful or satisfying; just try doing some type of reflection each day no matter how long it takes, even if that means only 5 minutes per week! If this seems unrealistic at first, try adding one minute per day until reaching 15 minutes total--and then build up from there!
Whether you're already on your meditation journey and looking for new ideas, or just starting but want to learn more, the practices above are a great place to start. The key is to find what works best for you and then stick with it!
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