I got myself geared up to meditate. To prepare, or maybe it would be fair to say to postpone even the prospect of meditation, I considered what I truly required in order to meditate to my full potential. Though all that is essential for mindful introspection is a living body and mind, I decided I needed an entire room devoted to mindful contemplation.

A Meditation Room

Instead of sitting in the chaos of my life and contemplating, breathing, or trying to quiet my mind, I added another item to my to-do list: create a meditation room.

For Christmas I asked for all the items one would need to meditate properly: mandala wall hangings, purple hanging lights made in China, a diffuser with essential oils, and small knick-knacks like a figure of someone sitting cross-legged. With all my items gathered, I took to transforming a small room in the attic into the ideal meditation haven.

Proper Preparation

I entered with vacuum, lemon oil, rags, and paint brushes to wipe the walls of cobwebs and vacuum years of dust and debris. With minimal curses, I dragged out the abandoned futon frame hiding in the room for years. Once upon a time, it seemed appropriate to have our friends sleep up there until we realized everyone we know was too tall to keep in the attic. I painted. I tacked mandalas and images of mountaintops to the walls. In my broad definition of meditation, this cleaning out process could count as calming the mind. Look at me, I’ve already started meditating while I work. I bet that shows a very high level of meditative skill. Killing two birds with one stone.

Reality Sets In

The reality that winters would be freezing in the attic and summers would involve an inability to breathe crept into my conscious, but I let the thought go, as any good meditator should. I completed the room as the New Year approached–just in time to set resolutions. The room was transformed, but I was not. Two days into my meditation practice, my ambition waned. Today, the perfect, lovely room designed to calm the mind is filled with cobwebs like a scene in Arachnophobia. My meditation skills are as stiff and creaky as the old attic floorboards.

Why is doing an activity we know would improve our lives and be good for our mind, body, and soul so daunting? Why would I rather install ceramic switch plates in an attic room where humans cannot breathe or stand upright rather than attempt to find peace in a quiet mind?

Hold that thought. I’m going to go meditate on it. But first, I have to clean some cobwebs.

Keep Reading

Click here to read about how milking a cow can be meditative.

Read about another one of my struggles meditating on a mountaintop. 

Can doodling help you meditate?  Read about the time our staff tried Zentangle.

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