On Wabi-Sabi Weekends, I post excerpts from my book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House.
“I would like you, even in this busy age and even though your house may be small, to set aside a space (although it may seem a wasteful use of space) to serve as a place where you can reflect upon yourself.”—Sen Soshitsu XV
If you’re lucky, you can find a space in the attic or have a small spare bedroom that you could dedicate to solitude and meditation. If you live in tight quarters, designate a quiet corner in your bedroom or even living room as your meditation space. Unroll a rug or a mat when you want to meditate, concentrating on creating a sacred space and changing the room’s atmosphere. Hang a piece of art that represents peace and spiritual abundance to you. Keep a small table in this corner for your incense, candles and other meditation tools. (If your “space” is in a public spot and you don’t want everyone to see these things, find a table with a drawer or store them in a pretty box on the table.)
You can keep your meditation space spare and lean or surround yourself with tools and inspiration. Meditating is more comfortable on a cushion or in a straight-back seat. You also might want to bring in candles, an incense burner, a photo or statue of someone who inspires you, meditation or poetry books, a plant or seasonal flowers, a picture of yourself in a relaxed, joyful state, bells or singing bowls or a stone or branch from one of your favorite natural hangouts.
Buddhist altars generally include the five offerings to the deities: incense, flowers, water, sandalwood powder, and fruit or cooked rice. You can follow this tradition or create your own offerings. CDs or iPod downloads that ring chimes at the beginning and end of a designated meditation time can really help if you’re a clock watcher.