Meditation Altar (+Best ways to build your own)

In this article, it will be discussed how to build yourself a good meditation altar. The article will show what are things to consider when building one, how one should feel like, and what are ways to help you improve the meditation space you have in your house.

What is meditation?

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Meditation is a set of techniques a person can use to achieve a higher sense of awareness about themselves and the world surrounding them. It is a technique that has been practiced widely over the centuries, being present in some ways in many religions.

It is used as part of treatment for some conditions. And there are many types of meditation, the person should search for one that suits their needs and expectations of it. The main types of meditation are:

Concentration meditation

In this type of meditation, the person will focus only on what their goal is. It can be focused on their breathing, a word, or a mantra. The goal is to turn your attention off to any other kind of information.

Mindfulness meditation

This type of meditation can be recommended to people with depression. It is one in which the person will focus on the present moment, opening themselves up to what can come, being aware and acceptive. 

What do I need to practice meditation?

When a person decides to start meditating, they need to find a quiet and comfortable place, where they won’t get distracted. In the beginning, it might be hard to meditate for longer periods, start with periods of 5 or 10 minutes, and go up from that.

You need to sit in a position that you feel comfortable in, so you can focus on your breathing, pay attention to how it feels, inhale deeply and exhale slowly. 

The goal of meditation is not to clear your mind, but rather to bring your thoughts to your breathing. So when they wonder what can happen, especially in the beginning, try to not analyze them and just bring them back to your breathing.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation is a way to change your level of consciousness, and because of that it can change the way you see and respond to the world. Bring physical and psychological benefits.

It can help manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and pains a person might have. It also improves the way the person handles stressful situations and improves the person’s attention and mindfulness as well as their sense of well-being and self-awareness.

What is an Altar?

An altar is a sacred space, a space reserved for a ritual. It has been present for centuries and nowadays is used in many religions, as a place of making offerings to the Gods. From this, it is understood that an Altar is a way to connect with your spirituality.

How do I build my meditation altar?

When a person decides to start meditating, they might want to build an altar in their place as a way to create a peaceful space where they can practice. This altar will be an outer representation of your inner state.

The first thing to consider is that it should be made on a flat surface, maybe a table or a shelf, make this a space exclusively for this, respect the boundaries you set, and don’t clutter.

It should be a place that brings you peace and positive feelings. To do it, think of what you want to achieve with your meditation and plan it accordingly.

What should I have on my altar?

Your meditation altar should be a place that reflects on the positive energy you want to attract, and what gives you peace. There are some things that you can have on an altar, let’s take a look at some suggestions.

Sacred items  

Those are things you will determine. It should be things that bring you a feeling of love, peace, and inspiration. Can be a bracelet from your family, or anything else that brings you those feelings.

The five elements of nature  

Some traditions say you should have the 5 elements represented in your altar as a way to represent the balance within you.

Something for each of the senses 

It can be a way to feed your senses. So a beautiful altar, with a nice smell in it, good sounds that can come from a bell, some traditions out dry fruit in it for the taste, and maybe a comfortable place to sit on for the touch.

Murtis 

They are statues of deities, and you should put ones that correspond to what you want to achieve. They can come from cultural figures, religious figures, anything, as long as they speak something to you.

Mala or prayer beads 

Keep them on your altar, and when you meditate hold on to them, they will keep the energy sacred.

Yantras 

These are visual representations of deities, in geometrical patterns. They will be useful for you to look at and focus while you meditate.

Oracle cards 

They can encourage you and bring positive energy to your meditation.

Sacred texts 

Having any sacred texts on your altar, it can be The Bible, The Yoga Sutras, or any other, that can be part of your process.

Journal 

Keep a journal and a pen on your altar, it can give you a chance to write about your process and energy.

Photos

Bring to your altar pictures of things that leave you with a feeling of oneness. It can be a teacher, guru, or family member. It is a chance to celebrate them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How do I build a meditation altar?

What are the bad sides of meditation?

Meditation may not be recommended to people with schizophrenia, since the practice can change the person’s consciousness. Aside from that, some people with depression and anxiety might have trouble with the uncontrolled thoughts that can come from it. 

If that is not the case, there are some things one should be on the lookout for to not damage their experience. One thing is that people usually expect too much of meditating right from the beginning. They don’t understand that it is a process, it takes time and practice to do it in a way that comes easier to you.

People can also expect too much from meditation as if it would be the solution to all of their troubles, and it doesn’t work that way. Although there are great things that come from it, this should be just one part of a self-care routine. 

Can I build my meditation altar anywhere in my house?

Yes, you can build your meditation altar anywhere in your house. But you should consider doing it in a space that you will feel comfortable spending some time in, that might have good light, and that you think will bring you positive energy.

It can be in a space in your bedroom or a living room. A space where you can put the table and all the things you wish to have on your altar.

What are the benefits of meditating on my mental health?

Meditation has been highly recommended for people dealing with mental health issues. It is something that can help with the symptoms, but also improve their sense of well-being along with their lives.

Meditation is a great way for people with anxiety and/or depression to deal with their speeding thoughts. People going through those conditions tend to over-worry, feeling that a dooming situation is just around the corner, and negative outcomes will rise from every situation.

But meditating, even for a small period when a person begins its practice, can help them center on what is happening at the moment with your breathing and with your body. 

This in itself, is a great benefit, but it also allows a person to feel more connected, be it spiritually, or to people and the world around them, and that can be very beneficial to a person’s sense of well-being.

Can I practice meditation with other people? 

Yes, it is possible to practice meditation with a friend or someone that is in the practice as you. But always consider how comfortable you will feel with that person if it is someone that will add positive energy to your practice or not.

If you feel it might be an enjoyable experience, then you can try meditating with someone else. But always keep in mind that this should be your moment of connection, preserve it the best way you can.

Can breathing exercises have the same effect as meditating?

Breathing exercises can, sometimes, bring similar effects as meditating. Both practices can help a person dealing with anxiety or depression to slow their pace and focus more on their breathing than the world around them.

But they might be used in different moments. The breathing exercises might be of great help when the person is in crisis, such as a panic attack. It can help them find their center, regroup, and slow their heartbeat.

Meditating, since it is a constant practice, can be a part of a person’s everyday life. Through doing it regularly, the person can improve, little by little, on their sense of connectedness, to themselves, others, and the world. Not only that, they will bring this peaceful and positive energy to many aspects of their lives.

Do many cultures practice meditation?

Yes, many cultures bring meditation as part of their expression. It has been going on for many centuries, and although it is not always in the same way, meditation usually is a time of quiet and reflection when the person connects themselves to the world, to their spirituality, and entities they believe in.

The scenario of its practice, facing an altar, has been used in many religions for a long time. It is nowadays present in the practice of the catholic religion, in which people sit facing the altar and the priest perform the ceremony, but also when people go to church alone to pray, for example.

So creating your altar is nothing more than creating this physical space, filled with things that bring you peace and connectedness, so you can get in touch with your spirituality.

Conclusion

This article explained the basic principles of meditating. It showed its main benefits, what can cause people to look for it and what are the goals people usually aim for when meditating.

Aside from that, the article explained how a person, that is taking up meditating, can build an altar in their place, so they can have a peaceful and comfortable environment to do their practice in.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.

References

https://chopra.com/articles/sacred-space-how-to-make-an-altar-in-your-home

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