A regular meditation practice is one of the best and most accessible ways to focus on your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. By setting aside time to intentionally ground yourself in the present and practice letting go – of thoughts, assumptions, false beliefs, and past traumas – you are giving a gift to yourself. It is a gift of calmness, clarity, and positive energy. Your meditation practice is a time to remind yourself that you, just as you are, are enough.
The beautiful thing about meditation is that it can be done almost anywhere, and it doesn’t require fancy accessories. Just you and your breath. However, a regular, intentional meditation practice can be enhanced by a few key items and accessories. While they aren’t necessary, they can make your meditation more comfortable and more healing. From being more physically engaged to getting in touch with the fundamental elements, here are ways to use accessories to go deeper into your meditation practice.
9 Useful Tools to Enhance Your Meditation Practice
The tiniest aches and pains that occur during meditation can derail an otherwise soothing session. After all, you are supposed to be focusing on sensations in the present. If physical pain crops up during meditation, it will be hard to focus on much else!
Using a zafu, a cushion typically filled with buckwheat hulls, keeps away some of the unpleasant sensations that come with sitting for a prolonged period of time. A zafu aligns your spine so that you can sit tall, and makes for deeper breathing and energy flow throughout the body.
A zafu on a thick carpet can cushion your ankle bones. But if you don’t have that, a zabuton is a complement to the zafu that provides extra comfort. A zabuton is simply a pillow upon which to place your zafu. It lifts you up higher, which can be a nice feeling during a meditation meant to uplift your spirit and confidence. Plus, the combination of a zafu and a zabuton is an attractive pairing in your dedicated meditation space, and both can be used for additional comfortable seating for you, your family, and guests.
Introducing the element of fire by using candles has many benefits. Trataka is actually a specific candle-gazing meditation that practitioners use to focus and to purify the body and spirit. Place a candle at eye level – on an altar in front of your meditation spot is best – and gaze at the reverberations and flickers of the flames. During a closed-eye meditation, a strongly scented candle can have therapeutic and relaxing effects.
What energies are you looking to channel or strengthen after your meditation? Choose a crystal to help ground you in that intention. Select crystals like amethyst or rose quartz for inner peace, jasper for clarity, and black tourmaline or citrine for motivation. You can cup crystals in your hand, place them in a bowl on your altar, or – if lying down – place them at points on your body to align with your chakras.
Use sound and vibration to stimulate energy flow throughout the body. A singing bowl can be struck for a powerful reverberating sound or stroked with a mallet for a softer, more sustained sound. Try striking a singing bowl to create a prolonged and mellifluous hum while you prepare your space and settle into your meditation position.
Doing some gentle yoga stretches before meditation clears the mind and prepares the body for a long period of stillness. At the end of your meditation, seated asanas on a flat surface offer gentle stretches to get your muscles warm after prolonged sitting. Grab a yoga mat to have at hand right after your meditation session ends.
Using savasana to relax into your meditation? The floor can get drafty – keep your body warm by draping a yoga blanket on top. That blanket, or even a second one, can be placed under your neck in the same position. A blanket can also serve as a substitute for a zafu or zabuton. Roll it up thick to act as a zafu, and thinner to place as a layer under your meditation cushion.
Reading a few passages from a favorite book on mindfulness points your spirit in the direction of your intention. The act of holding a physical book, feeling the fibers of the paper, listening to the sound of pages turning, and receiving loving messages will bring calm and affirmation that you can take with you into your meditation.
Phone and headphones
Many of us use meditation to break away from the grip that phones and mobile devices have on our attention. However, for those who enjoy guided meditations, a phone or computer and some headphones are a must. Streaming services and YouTube offer an ever-expanding variety of guided meditations. Using headphones provides an immersive experience and blocks out distraction. If guided meditations aren’t your jam, a pair of noise-canceling headphones is a good choice if you can’t escape some of the more disrupting noises in your immediate environment.
Sites like Amazon have wide selections of these meditation accessories, but in the spirit of community, small woman-powered businesses like mine are deeply grateful for your support and patronage. I take time to carefully curate products that delight me and enhance my practice, and my hope is that my offerings can do the same for you.