The beautiful thing about meditation is that it’s already in you. All you need for meditation is yourself. Technically. But meditation, as anyone who’s practiced knows, is easier said than done. Even when you’ve practiced regularly for a long time you have those days where it’s just. not. happening! Even when I was meditating twice a day there were times when my mind would just not co-operate. At times like this we use meditation aids to help relax, focus our mind, or build a ritual around beginning our practice (or all three). So I’ll be going through different items that will help you in these areas. Most of these items will help you at least a little with the other two, too, so you don’t actually need a meditation kit the size of a couch (but we certainly wont stop you ;)).
Meditation Aids For Relaxation
Meditation is a lot easier when you come into it in a relaxed, open state. When you enter practice with a lot of tension to start with, reaching a deeper level of peace takes much longer and is a lot more difficult. So here’s a couple of relaxation aids to try.
We know it’s something your Grandma used to say, but a little lavender works wonders! We stuff our eye pillows personally in our Buddha Boutique with organic lavender flowers and organic linseeds. When you lay back on your mat or bed to meditate, lay one of these across your eyes. The weight of the linseeds applies a gentle, cool pressure to the eyes, relaxing their movement and releasing tension from the area. The aromatherapy power of the flowers then begins to relax your body and mind. Check out the eye pillow page here.
These are also suited to the ‘creating a routine’ area, but nothing is as relaxing as a good cup of chai, right? The best way to get the most out of this is to drink mindfully. Try and keep your mind focused on the experience of drinking, the flow of warmth through your body and the depth of flavor. Enjoy it with your whole body. Mindful drinking is a great way to ‘warm up’ for your meditation.
Check out our Nepalese tea selection here. We drink them all the time when we’re working at our boutique and they are delicious. Top notch quality from Nepal, as always. We love visiting there!
The number one cause of distraction in meditation? An uncomfortable position! Happy bum = happy meditation. We put these cushions together personally in our shop, too. They’re filled with organic buckwheat that molds perfectly to your body when you sit. The crescent moon cushion fits perfectly to any bottom shape, as some of the round cushions can be wobbly for some people, which is even more distracting!
How To Use
Simply sit down with your legs crossed and shuffle around till the buckwheat molds to your shape. You are aiming to not ‘feel’ your sitting position at all, so take the time to get comfortable!
Meditation Aids For Focusing Your Mind
When I first started meditating I found I spent the majority of the session dragging my mind back into focus. I’d spiral off into tangential thoughts almost immediately. I often felt that I wasn’t even pulling back to a focused state at all – more a moment where I was saying ‘I am focusing now’ and not being present at all! It’s difficult to let go when you’re concentrating so hard on letting go. That’s where these meditation aids come in to play. They work as a kind of magnet for your mind, filling up your consciousness with a single, unifying focus point.
We have so many beautiful singing bowls at our boutique I could rave about them for hours. Sound therapy does so many so much good! We’ve had visitors from hospitals, hospices, physiotherapists and drama schools who swear by them. We’ve used them in our chanting and meditation classes from the start, and they are a beautiful, healing way to focus your mind and body. We’re so glad we’re now starting to offer more online for you guys that can’t visit!
How to use singing bowls:
Take your beater and slowly drag the leather or wooden end around the rim. Following the gold strip around the outside rim, apply about as much pressure as if you were wiping the metal clean. A beautiful note should begin to play as the bowl vibrates. If you find it difficult to get the vibrations going, give the bowl a ding before you start playing. Once you get the note and arm movement completely consistent, use it as a focus point to move your mind back to when your thoughts wander. Completely feel the note inside yourself. Let it move through you as a physical sensation while you allow it to completely permeate your consciousness.
Take a look at our singing bowls here.
Ding, ding! It’s time for meditate-ing! Meditation bells are less widely known and used than singing bowls, but they’re extremely useful for getting focused. They’re especially useful for the beginning and end of meditation. We got these carved bells that are made from the same metal alloy as our singing bowls. This means their note is wonderfully pure and will keep resonating much longer than a regular bell.
How To Use Meditation Bells
Grip the top of the handle with your palm facing the floor and your fingertips gripping the top of the handle. Gently flick the bell forward once. Practice with your bell to find the result you like the most. Ringing the bell at different speeds produces different levels of sound intensity – so some might not feel right for your meditation. Due to the nature of the metal, these bells can ring very loudly and stay resonating for a long time. If you are using the meditation bell as a focus during your practice, you may find it’s better to ring more softly. Focus your mind on the note, applying your whole consciousness to it. Feel the note as it grows softer, following it all the way until the sound is completely lost. Repeat this process to keep your mind clear and present.
Check out our new meditation bell here.
Meditation Aids For Ritual And Routine
Routine and ritual not only keep you meditating regularly, they keep you engaged with your practice too. Everyone has their little rituals, so it’s best to figure out what works for you to help you keep at it.
Incense not only inspires us with beautiful fragrance, it also works as a meditation clock! If you find timers bothersome and distracting (nothing like a phone dinging to jolt us out of a relaxed state) try timing your sessions with nice, quiet incense! The majority of incense sticks will burn for about 20-40 minutes so they’re perfect for sessions. Another lovely way to use them is as a focus – something about watching fire creates a kind of primal, spiritual state of mind. Watching the incense burn and focusing your whole consciousness on it is a fantastic way to keep you mind clear and you headspace elevated.
Also called meditation shawls and meditation scarves, these wraps have been used since ancient times. We wrote an article here on what meditation wraps are and how to use them. Here’s a little quote of the first point:
“Firstly: it comforts us. When we meditate, we’re going to a place of peace, stillness and comfort. A sort of psychological refuge from the stresses of life. Draping a meditation shawl around yourself gives a real feeling of comfort and security. Using a light, airy cloth gives us a sense of peacefulness and safety without making us feel contained.”
We have a few options available, from hand painted to printed with inspiration mantras and Yoga sequences. Check them out here.
We hope you found these ideas helpful! If you use a meditation aid that you find really works, let us know in the comments.
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