I used to be quite attached to my meditation space. Especially in the early days of my practice, I leaned heavily on the familiarity of my surroundings, my cushion, my blanket. And I do think there is some real value in consistency when it comes to sitting. A dedicated meditation space not only makes practice easy (everything is already set up!), but serves as a constant reminder to make the time to sit, and allows one to slip more quickly and easily into that mental space.
But more recently I’ve started to appreciate a more fluid style. In simple terms, my home doesn’t have the square footage for a meditation room. My life – and schedule – isn’t always predictable with two young children. My days are full and time is precious. Alone time is virtually unheard of.
It occurred to me one day to set up my window altar, with the hopes that I would be reminded to take the time to breathe whenever a quiet moment presented itself. Or, that while doing the dishes, preparing food, etc., I might gaze down and remember to pause. Or, that sometimes when I’m in the midst of chaos, I can simply retreat to my kitchen window and take a deep breath
Now sometimes when my house gets crazy, one of us – either me, my husband, or even our daughter – rings the singing bowl and everyone smiles. It’s our little joke, but it is a real signal to each other to quiet our hearts and minds for just a moment.
Lately my sweet 1-year old boy has decided to protest any and all forms of sleep… so once he crashes out in the car while we’re running errands, I’ve been doing a lot of driving around and/or sitting in a parking lot. It has totally kaiboshed my regular at-home practice time. So no bother. Today, this was the view from my ‘cushion’ (ie. drivers’ side car seat):
I’ll take my meditation time wherever I can get it.