A proper setting is a comfortable and safe space for meditation. This is often an under valued aspect of meditation but it is very important to have a good setting.
The mind interacts with spaces. We will see in an article on perception training how perception tagging alters our reality, it alters what we see and experience. This is why, when people go to temples, churches, holy places etc. then they feel different. The mind always associates properties with spaces. This is reason why choosing a good place for meditation is important. You also want your mind to associate meditation and the trance state with this place. So do not use this place for anything else. Choose one place and always meditate at the same place. Do not change place of meditation frequently.
Meditation spot should make you feel psychologically safe. You should be alone. If someone is around you, your mind immediately gets into an appropriate role. In our meditation, we are trying to disconnect from the roles, so getting into role due to presence of someone is not desired.
- You can meditate at home or in a temple or balcony or any place you feel safe, comfortable and will not be disturbed.
- Choose the place which is easily accessible. If you meditate every alternate day for example, do not choose a place too far away, otherwise it will act as a hurdle that you need to overcome every time you do the meditation.
- Choose a less noisy place. If you have headphones, use them to reduce noise.
- Choose a place that has good amount of light. The meditation relaxes the body, but the trance state is not a sleepy state. It is in fact another active and focused state. A good amount of light helps the brain to stay active.
- Choose a place that will not cause sensory overload. For example, a place that smells or has noise from traffic is not desirable.
- A cluttered space causes sensory overload too. Find some place clean, where you do not see a lot of objects.
- Creating a good meditation setting takes effort. Spend time on creating an uncluttered space. Invest in a dedicated mat for meditation.
- Working with people for creating a good setting might be some effort. For example, if you live in a shared environment, or a shared room, take effort to find an isolated space. Try to schedule the meditation when you are alone at home.
- Mentally claim the time slot and the experience of meditation.
- Strictly no cell phones. You need to make sure that the phone is switched off or in silent mode. If you don't switch off, perhaps you wont get any notifications. However, the mind is still primed in case a notification arrives. So cut that expectation so that the mind can be free. Hence - switch off.
Starting rituals such as lighting candles are up to the person doing the meditation and are not mandatory. However, if you believe these will help you to get into a calm mindset, these are encouraged. Rituals and habits help the mind in making associations thus helping get into a good mindset.
Ending rituals are not recommended. This is specifically because the last step in process of this meditation is sleep. Sleep is the 7th step. Once you go from 6th step to the 7th step, which is sleep, certain parts of your mind will continue in to an altered state. If you have too many things to do after 6th step, the mind loses focus and it might break the flow of the meditation.