How many meditation accessories does a person need?
To meditate, you don't really need any meditation accessories. You can practise certain forms of meditation anywhere in the world and in almost any posture. Even at the traffic lights of a busy main road in New Delhi you can pay attention to your breath. You can also practise body awareness in the dentist's chair.
But there are more formal forms of meditation for which meditation accessories are very helpful. The benefits of meditation accessories can be seen on two levels. Many people find it important for atmospheric reasons to set up a nice meditation place. Singing bowls, cymbals and incense sticks can transform a brittle room into a small temple.
The other aspect is the physical level. If I can sit up straighter thanks to meditation cushions, or sit better on my heels with a meditation mat, I avoid annoying distractions of discomfort or pain. Just as an empty desk usually helps us to concentrate, a pain-free back helps us to focus fully on the exercise of the particular meditation practice.
Our lives are turbulent enough, we should take every opportunity when meditating to make the setting as conducive as possible. The thoughtfully chosen meditation accessories can create this framework for us. The absence of distractions of any kind is a big plus, especially at the beginning of sitting meditation.
Incidentally, Lotus Design produces most of its sitting mats and cushions in various workshops for people with disabilities in North Rhine-Westphalia. For us, fairness and sustainability always start where you live and work yourself.
How do I choose the right meditation accessories?
In this article, we would like to give you a brief overview of which meditation accessories are traditionally used. Perhaps one or the other product will appeal to you. Some products also make excellent gifts. We believe that the goal should not be to artificially "upgrade" your meditation practice, but to find the accessories that enrich your meditation.
A meditation cushion is probably the most basic meditation accessory - in the true sense of the word. There is actually a whole range of different meditation cushions. When choosing the right meditation cushion for you, it depends above all on the meditation position you prefer to practise in. Cross-legged? In the Burmese seat or perhaps in the heel seat? The position of your legs during meditation plays an important role in choosing the right yoga cushion. For more details, we recommend our article on meditation cushions.
Anyone who likes to practice meditation sessions of more than a quarter of an hour should consider a meditation mat. A meditation mat is filled with cotton or virgin wool and makes sitting in meditation for longer periods of time easier. Zabutons support and protect the knees and buttocks during meditation. The zabuton and the zafu in combination are traditionally used for sitting meditation and in Japanese Zen meditation.
The covers of our zabutons are made of pure cotton and are very durable. Due to the high quality workmanship, you will enjoy our meditation mats for a long time.
When you think of knee pads, you probably think more of ice hockey than of meditation accessories. Sitting on a meditation cushion for a longer period of time can be painful at first, and in case of doubt can even lead to cramps. Your body is not used to sitting still for long periods of time in the meditation posture. Meditation knee pads can be the solution. You can put these knee pads under your knees as well as under your ankles to relieve the strain while sitting on the meditation cushion for a long time.
Singing bowls are a meditation accessory that have been used in religious ceremonies for centuries. They often fulfil the same function as our church bells and are usually made of the same material. Traditionally, a singing bowl is used to mark the beginning and end of a session. But it can also be used for sound meditation and singing bowl therapy. By the way, you get the best sound when they are struck on a soft coaster. You can find different coasters for different sized singing bowls at Lotus Design.
Cymbals are small double shells made of brass or bronze, which are connected with a leather strap. Originally, hand cymbals come from India and Tibet. They are used to mark the beginning and end of a training session. The sound can help improve our concentration on meditation - it practically provides the acoustic frame. There are blank cymbals or decorated cymbals adorned with the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism, the Ashtamangala.
In Feng Shui, cymbals are used for energetic room cleansing. The high frequencies are supposed to cleanse the atmosphere and open the room. Our cymbals are available in different sizes.
Anyone who has ever been to India or Nepal will immediately remember the smell of incense sticks. They have been used there for centuries in religious ceremonies and meditations. Incense sticks are traditionally used for pujas (worship ceremonies) and to cleanse rooms. The intense smell of the incense sticks appeals directly to our senses and we almost automatically enter a different state of mind.
The combinations of natural fragrances make our incense sticks very rich. Our incense sticks are completely free of toxic substances.
The last meditation accessory we would like to introduce to you here are malas. Malas are prayer beads that are very common in Hindu and Buddhist countries. A typical mala has 108 beads and one guru bead. Malas are made of different materials and in different lengths. At Lotus Design you can find neck malas as well as arm malas. The first step should be to choose a prayer chain that feels right for us. Just see which mala appeals to you!
With a prayer chain you can practice mantras, which are said to have many healing effects. Repeating vibrating sounds loosens the fascia, or connective tissue, in the area of the head, neck and shoulders. In addition, the calming part of breathing, namely exhaling, is prolonged through regular mantra chanting or speaking. In this way, your mind becomes more and more calm.
We hope that this article has given you a rough overview of the different types of meditation accessories. At first, these objects and rituals may seem strange to us. Those who get involved are often surprised at how intense the effect of meditation or mantra chanting is. The great art is to shut down our conditioned performance thinking and to remain accepting and open in our basic attitude.
Even when meditating, every day is different, every moment a new chance to calm the mind and experience stillness.