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Meditation Table

A meditation table can be the main focus of your meditation space or a meditation table can be a small part of it, depending upon how much space you have. Remember a meditation table is only a tool; you can still practice without a meditation table although the use of a meditation table can help to focus your meditation practice.

When setting up a space for the practice of meditation, little is needed. A meditation space can be as simple as a clean, empty patch of floor on which to sit. However, many practitioners of this sacred art find that some specialized items can assist them in obtaining the correct thoughts and feelings of contemplation. A special bench or cushion can aid reflection by helping align the spine correctly. Many meditators also possess a special meditation table, with a drawer in which to store meditation supplies. The meditation table is used to hold objects of deliberation. These can include flowers or a living plant, incense, candles, or photographs of one’s meditation teacher. It is recommended that only one object at a time is placed on the meditation table for consideration, since the use of multiple objects divides the attention. Rumination upon multiple objects is difficult, and may not produce the desired effects of calmness and peace. Some teachers of meditation have used photographs of people they had difficulty accepting, because the idea of meditation is that love and compassion apply equally to everyone, no matter how disliked.

Meditation tables can be very simple – no more than a few pieces of wood put together into a shape which will hold devotional objects - or more complex. Traditional meditation tables are usually decorated in some way, and have one or more drawers for the storage of meditation supplies. They are usually made of wood, simply finished. Some luxurious examples double as other pieces of furniture. A coffee table, for instance, has a removable veneer top which lifts off to reveal a cushioned meditation table surrounded by a small rock garden.  These types of meditation table can be very expensive.  For those who wish to incorporate a traditional, authentic experience into their meditation practice, meditation tables are available from Tibet, Nepal, India, and other places where meditation has been practiced for thousands of years.

Whether exotic or mundane, simple or ornate, it is not the form of the meditation table that matters, but its function. The meditation table should be of a height that is easily viewed from your meditating space. If you meditate on the floor, it should be shorter than if you use a stool or bench. The table should be large enough to hold devotional objects, but not so large as to make its presence obtrusive. Choose a meditation table suited to your space and habits when engaged in contemplation. The use of a meditation table could improve your ability to concentrate and reach a meditative state, enabling you to achieve your dreams.

By Sam Norton

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