Move your meditation practice outside by creating an outdoor meditation space.
Studies show connecting with nature improves your mood. Meditation is good for your mind and body, reducing your stress levels caused by a variety of factors. Meditation allows you to focus on steady breathing, which helps regulate sleep and heart health.
Now combine meditation with nature, and the effects are even more powerful. Creating an outdoor meditation space is an exercise in mindfulness itself. Use these tips to get started.
Look at Your Yard Closely and See Its Potential
Many set out a few potted plants, barbecue and regularly mow their lawns. Are you drawn to a certain tree? Is an area of your yard particularly neglected yet perfect for meditation?
It’s Okay to Keep It Simple
That’s what mindfulness is all about. It’s letting go and centering away from distraction and “too much.” Choose a tree and add:
- Wind chimes
- A place to burn incense
- Other holistic objects
If you have two trees to tie up a hammock, you’ll be able to meditate on the passing clouds.
It’s Okay to Make It Big, Too
Create an open-air patio or platform, with four posts to represent north, south, east and west. The pergola is the best example found within most gardens. It can be bought or easily built with the right tools and elbow grease. Buy a yurt to practice your meditation within. If you’ll also be practicing yoga, consider this option for a bigger space.
Create a Labyrinth
The winding motion of the labyrinth reminds you of the return to your innermost self. Making your own labyrinth doesn’t have to be complicated. A small winding labyrinth is just as powerful to walk as a larger one. It’s a great form of active meditation.
Add a Small Fountain or Manmade Pond
The sound of running water soothes. If you live in an urban area, it will also dilute the sounds of traffic and noise pollution.
Enclose and Surround Your Space With Plants
The plants act as a partition, signifying the space is special and unique to reaching a state of mindfulness. The plants also enhance your meditation experience.
Consider benefiting nature by creating a sanctuary for butterflies and bees through plant choices. Will it distract you or enhance your meditation?
Choosing long-living perennials like hosta, bee balm, iris, catmint or wisteria will save money over time. Your local arboretum may provide the perfect inspiration. If you feel lost when it comes to plants, hire a landscape artist or personal gardener.
Create a Handmade Altar
Use flat stones that you find on hikes, odd bricks or paving stones to build your altar by hand. As you build, envision the state of mindfulness you will achieve here. How will it feel to meditate in this space?
Many traditions say your altar should face east for the rising sun or north for your “true north.” Face your altar in any direction that feels right. Simple altars are also built to honor the elements. Decorate your altar with crystals, statues, candles and personal items that hold significance for you.
Get in Touch With Nature and Meditate
With the increasing demands in our lives, getting in touch with nature is vital to the mind and body. These ideas will get you started on the way to creating your outdoor meditation space. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Look at the potential of your yard. Why starve for more serenity, when you can achieve it now?