How to Go Further Within at Home if You Enjoy Meditation

By Bill Primavera

In the hurly-burly pre-pandemic world that now seems so long ago, I would only occasionally take a break to “go within” and space out in meditation to quiet my mind and body. 

But now that we’re all stuck at home with our business and social rounds seriously restricted, I find that it is even more important to expand my four walls, at least in my mind, to survive the isolation made necessary by COVID-19 requirements. That’s when my experience with Vipassana meditation comes in handy.

I fondly remember a social gathering some years go with some fellow realtors where the subject of meditation came up and we were all quite open, even enthusiastic, talking about how and where we go within. 

“I prefer doing it outside, observing nature,” one friend said, “and I do it with my eyes open.” That surprised me.

While Buddha was able to meditate outside under a tree, I lack that capability, finding outdoor sounds and even the breeze distracting. 

“I can focus anyplace and anywhere I happen to be in my home,” said another realtor. That talent also eludes me. 

Still, a third realtor, an office manager, said he meditated in his office, just taking a few moments when the need arises. That is something I did years ago when I worked a 9-to-5 job in the most dysfunctional office environment imaginable. I would sometimes retreat to the men’s room, perhaps two or three times a day, go into a stall and repeat the mantra, “relax, relax, relax.” This survival technique was abandoned after my boss asked me if I was having some kind of gastrointestinal problem.

At home, I suspect that many of us have our own special place dedicated to making contact with our inner selves and the universe. I was reminded of this a while back when I was told of a complaint from a seller who said that an agent left her business card on the homeowner’s “altar,” which would seem to be a violation of sacred space, and understandable. The agent, in her own defense, said “Gee, it looked like a regular sideboard to me.”

At the height of my spiritual quest some years ago, I explored an endless and seemingly discordant mix of meditative practices. These included listening to new age and gospel music, the sound of an indoor waterfall and a vibrating chime, all supported with the energies of crystal healing, along with a very heavy dose of Vipassana meditation and attendance at a then-popular men’s group. (In retrospect, I was lucky to survive the latter, where several of the guys only wanted to gripe about home life.)

It would have been impossible to engage in such an elaborate other-worldly plan either outdoors or in a public place. So I carved out a space, actually an entire room, as my personal meditation room. I figured that it could double as a second guest room. Then, I started collecting crystals (minerals I called them to the outside world) and I became so obsessive about it, not so much for their metaphysical qualities but for their sheer physical beauty, that at one point my quiet place looked like an outpost of the American Museum of Natural History.

Our first house guest invited to sleep in that room refused. It seems that she had taken a different path to spirituality than I had, one that would classify any association with crystals as witchcraft. To each his or her own, I say. 

Today my meditation room, pared of most of its crystals, has certain features that I would recommend for others who want to carve out their own quiet spaces. And the formula can be quite simple. Whether an entire room or a corner of one, the space should be uncluttered and capable of being darkened even in the morning or middle of the day. There should be a system for producing sound, and I recommend that it be through earphones rather than ambient sound for better concentration.

Also, depending on one’s beliefs, there might be religious or spiritual symbols or a touchstone of some sort to set the mood.

Some can meditate on a floor mat, but there are those of us that are not that agile, so there should be a chair that is comfortable but not too comfortable, or there is the risk of falling asleep while meditating. What serves as my launching pad as my mind jettisons into altered time is an old wingback chair that has seen better days. But it serves.

Bill Primavera, while a writer and editor, is also a realtor associated with William Raveis Real Estate and founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. (www.PrimaveraPR.com). His real estate site is www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com. To engage the talents and services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.

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