There are lots of things where location is important but one question that gets raised quite regularly is whether or not location is important in meditation. As with most things in life, there’s no correct answer to this. The answer could be yes, no or maybe and it would still be correct. We’ll take a look at some different forms of meditation and assess the importance – or otherwise – of location for each of them.
Location and walking meditation
With a walking meditation there’s a lot to be said for varying the location so that you can have a different meditative experience each time.
Since you keep your eyes and other senses open whilst you’re walking, you are opening yourself to experiencing all those different senses. You’ll be open to the details that you observe – ones that would normally just pass you by as part of the scenery. This isn’t just limited to sights. If you’re doing a walking meditation diligently then you’ll also be listening for the sounds around you and taking in the smells that you experience as you go on your walk.
You’ll also get a physical experience that will vary according to the surface and gradient you’re walking on as well as the footwear that’s cladding your feet. You could even take in your fifth sense – that of touch – as you walk along.
So the location is important in the sense that it is actually an integral part of your walking meditation. But it’s also unimportant in the sense that there are few places that you can’t carry out a walking meditation.
Location and breathing meditation
Carrying out a breathing meditation can be independent of where you are. Or it can be linked if you’re doing one of the more physical forms of this kind of meditation.
The more strenuous types of breathing meditation where you are actually using your arms to help accentuate the flow of air into your lungs need a certain amount of clear space around you. So you wouldn’t be able to carry them out on a crowded subway train for instance!
But just concentrating on your breathing pretty much doesn’t care where you are. You’re going to breathe anyway, it’s just that your focus will be on the breaths you’re taking rather more than it normally is. The mere act of taking a deep breath and then exhaling the stale air can be the totality of the experience. Which means that it’s possible to do this anywhere.
Location and traditional meditation
Traditional meditation usually concentrates on a focus point. This can be the flame of a candle or the repetition of a mantra.
Whilst this can be carried out almost anywhere, a lot of people like to set aside some “space” to carry it out. This could be as simple as a room in your home with a “do not disturb” sign on the door or it could be a dedicated space with a meditation cushion or bench and some scented candles or incense burning to add to the ambience.
Location and binaural beats meditation
Surprisingly, although it’s a recent progression in the art of meditating, this is probably the most influenced by location.
You need somewhere to sit or lay down where you’re unlikely to be disturbed for the duration of the binaural beats track. It’s usually an eyes closed process, so you won’t be driving or walking or doing anything else that would be dangerous or just plain stupid whilst your eyes are closed.
Although it’s more location dependant than the other forms we’ve discussed, it’s still a great way to experience a deep meditative state without much effort on your part.