The dictionary offers a simple definition of meditation, but our minds tend to embellish the definition and make it into something mysterious and esoteric. There are many different types of meditation, and the external form of any one of them may be the image we carry in our minds of what meditation is. This image may scare us off from even contemplating meditation. Some people use words to meditate, some use images, and some use sounds. Many people also meditate with closed eyes, but I find that this can cause drowsiness and encourage daydreaming.
For our purposes, let’s define our quiet-corner practice simply as “concentrated breathing with eyes gently open.” This is simple and effective.
As you begin to sit quietly in this fashion, breathing deeply, you may want to introduce an image or a sound into your practice to deepen your concentration, but this is not necessary. If all you ever do in your quiet corner is sit quietly with eyes open and breathe, you can consider yourself meditating.
Light a Candle
Since you will be sitting in your quiet corner breathing deeply with your eyes gently open, you might want to observe the source of light in your corner. If you find yourself there in the morning and your windows are enough to allow in natural light, open your shades wide and notice how the light changes as time passes. If you’re there in the middle of the day, you might want to draw the shades to dim the light. At this time, you can also observe shifts in the light patterns. Drawing the shades is a way to soften the mood in the room and create an atmosphere that is unique to that time of day.
If your quiet time falls after the sun sets, light a candle, or light many candles. Candlelight can be especially soothing and create a special mood. There’s something about the flickering light and the color generated that softens and changes your everyday surroundings. This will alter your perspective. And this is the true reason you need quiet-corner time. By lighting candles at the beginning of your quiet-corner period, you will be marking off this time as special.
As you sit quietly in your corner filled with candlelight, cherish each moment and consider it perfect.