Creating Your Own Meditation Altar!
Meditation is beneficial for stress reduction, relaxation, improved sleep, enhanced health, slowing down the aging process, emotional stability and positive thinking. It can lead to feelings of happiness! Buddha was asked “What have you gained from meditation?” He replied “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.” A meditation altar is simply an altar upon which rests all of the items you use while meditating. A meditation altar should be placed in an area that is usually quiet and peaceful, even when you are not meditating, such as a bedroom for instance. You want to be able to see if, as a gentle reminder to take time daily to meditate. Typically, one sits on a pillow or cushion on the floor, with the altar set up on a small, low-sitting table or stand that is at a comfortable height. You can make an elemental altar that focuses on the four elements of nature - air, fire, water and earth. It is an ancient custom of many civilizations to pay homage to the elements. An elemental altar brings the power of these elements into your personal environment and brings you into harmony with the elements around you. The symbol for the element Fire, is usually represented by a candle. Fire represents creative energy, inspiration, strong will and sexuality. Water is most often symbolized by a chalice or cup. Seashells or ocean coral can also be used to represent water. This element signifies emotions, intuition, healing and reflecting. For the element of Air, one might use natural incense, white sage, feathers, or a bird image or totem. Air represents knowledge and powers of the mind. It is also a symbol of courage. Earth symbols that can be placed on an altar might be flowers, crystals or stones, a potted plant or a bowl of sea salt. It is associated with nature, feeling 'grounded', security and material well-being.