Meditation has many benefits, so using meditation tools to help you get started or deepen your practice is a great idea. People who meditate regularly report that they are less anxious, handle stress better, and have an easier time focusing on day-to-day tasks. The physical benefits of meditation include lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, and lower levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol. There’s no good reason not to meditate, especially if you’re dealing with physical or emotional stress.
Using Meditation Tools
There are many ways to meditate and many meditation tools that can help no matter what your level of experience. Here are some suggestions.
1. Candles. Candles are among the most popular meditation tools because they are inexpensive and easy to find. If you burn traditional candles, it’s a good idea to choose soy candles, which burn more cleanly than typical wax candles. Another option is to use LED candles. Soft candlelight helps set a meditative mood and can also serve as a focal point if you do a form of object meditation.
2. Music. There are many options for meditation music. My favorite is a recording of Tibetan singing bowls that I found on YouTube. Nature sounds, such as water falls, birds singing, or the sound of waves cascading on the beach, work well too.
3. A supportive seat. A supportive seat is especially important if have difficulty sitting with a tall spine. There’s nothing more distracting than being uncomfortable or in pain when you sit to meditate. If you have a blanket or yoga block, try sitting on the edge of it to help your spine stay tall. Better still, purchase a meditation cushion or bench. There are many options. You can even use a traditional chair (yes, it’s allowed) if that’s what you prefer.
4. A water fountain. I recently purchased a small water fountain for my meditation space. It’s awesome because it provides both a visual focal point and a soothing sound that I can use to help me focus even if my eyes are closed. If you have the space for a water fountain, it’s a great meditation tool. As an alternative, consider a video of a waterfall or a peaceful stream.
5. Essential oils. There are many possibilities and benefits for aromatherapy with essential oils, and choosing an aroma that helps calm the body and prepare you for meditation is one of them. Great choices include lavender, frankincense, patchouli, and sandalwood. Your favorite essential oil manufacturer may have a blend of oils for meditation as well.
6. Yoga. The practice of yoga is itself a preparation for meditation. The goal of the physical postures and breathing exercises is ultimately to prepare the body to sit still and meditate (and eventually, of course, become enlightened). Yoga and meditation go together, and it’s a great idea to practice with a teacher or video that allows time for meditation at the end of class.
The more care you take in setting up your space with meditation tools that can help you clear your mind and go within, the easier it will be to be to benefit from your meditation practice. But don’t let a lack of enhancements stop you. You can meditate even if the only tool your have is yourself.