Creating a Meditation Altar
April 1, 2008 · Print This Article
This is one of the meditation altars my wife and I have created in our house. A picture says a thousand words and the picture above has many different pictures within it. Each item on the altar represents something meaningful to me or my wife.
This altar consists of a nice cloth we purchased at Govinda’s restaurant in Tucson, placed over a filing cabinet. On the cloth, we have placed several items which have meaning to us personally. You’ll see several pictures of meditation Gurus, saints, and even a picture of us on our wedding day. There is a small decorative tray filled with sea shells, as well as a polished rock, coins and paper money from India, a candle holder and candle, a statue of a mother holding a baby, an incense holder, some dried flowers, and a piece of coconut shell.
So you can see, the items that are used to establish a meditation altar can be quite varied. Creating your own meditation altar is quite easy. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
7 Tips for Creating Your Meditation Altar
1. Your meditation altar can be set up in any room. If you are creating a meditation space, I suggest establishing it there. Otherwise, choose a place where you would like to be reminded about your good intentions and goals. Many people establsh an altar near their front door, as a blessing for those who enter the house.2. Use an existing piece of furniture, like a short bookcase, a filing cabinet, or a small table. Or purchse something nice that is either free standing or you can attach to the wall.
3. Use a nice, colorful cloth to drape over the piece of furniture you’ve chosen for your altar.
4. Place items that are meaningful to you on your altar–items that represent your intentions and goals for meditation. These might include:
a. Candles b. Incense c. Pictures d. Sacred texts e. Personal objects f. Decorative objects
5. Once you’ve established your altar, invoke the blessings of saints and sages of your tradition. Ask that they instill power into your altar for the highest purpose and support of your personal growth.
6. Practice ritual at your altar. This might be pausing in front of your altar when you pass it, and allowing your thoughts to turn toward meditation, God or a positive intention you’ve set for yourself. Or you might wave a candle, burn incense, or any other ritual you feel comfortable with.
7. Clean and dust your meditation altar often.