Here I find myself on the road again. In a hotel again. Texas this time, Dallas, then Waco, then Austin, y’all.
So, travel. Are you someone who loves it? It’s one of my favorite indulgences (or is it a necessity?) in this world. There are so many beautiful places, different climates and landscapes, so many interesting people and different cultures (even within the U.S.) to experience. I always learn so much, have so much fun, enjoy different foods and relish the feeling of exploring new landscapes. What’s not to love?
Well the one thing I missed, was a quiet space for morning meditation like the one I’ve created at home. Meditation away, just like at home, keeps me grounded, aware of the moment and grateful.
So I gave some thought to how I could create a mobile meditation space to bring with me. They’ve really helped, often just seeing them reminds me to take the time to “sit” and hoping they might be helpful to share these today with you, here are the lightweight items I now take with me that resonate a sense of stillness and peace which creates a space each morning, whether I’m in the wilderness, in a hotel, or visiting in someone’s home:
- A prayer shawl. My husband bought this beautiful scarf/shawl for me in Italy years ago and it’s perfect. It carries a loving memory. It’s lightweight which is essential for travel. When I sit to meditate and wrap it around my shoulders – it’s a metaphoric cocoon for stillness and peace.
My very small meditation journal. The only subject I’ve written about or sketched in its pages refer to meditation experiences. There are often rich moments and whispers and insights when on the road in places far from home and I’m always happy I have it near to record them.
Some people might use Mala beads or a rosary – I carry this small silver token. It sits on my writing desk when I’m at home, in a little ceramic box that has special meaning to me. I open the box only when I’m writing or creating. “I live in alignment with Divine Will” is inscribed on the other side. I love the reminder of that goal on the backside as well as the night sky/day’s light and female meditative pose carved in the front. I hold it in my hand when I meditate. Our hands are powerful conduits that give and receive energy and this token deepens that.
My noise cancelling headphones. I’ve traveled with these for years, using them on flights to listen to audio books or music, or to drown out background noise on a plane when I’m trying to sleep. Well, they also double perfectly for playing soothing music while I’m meditating. Not only does listening to a few minutes of nature sounds, etc. help with relaxing into the stillness, but the noise cancelling aspect drowns out distracting noises in the hotel.
I’m always grateful when I’m able to create a little meditation space on my travels. If I’m in a hotel room, as I am this week, there are almost always others who share the hotel room with me, but I’m a very early riser, so my temporary space is often the bathroom or a balcony (and I leave my few items in the pouch they’re packed in the night before so I’m not stumbling around in the dark disturbing others who are still asleep), or I sit on a chair in the hotel room later if I have alone time here and there. Sometimes, if I’m in a hotel and it’s just not feasible, I wrap the shawl around my shoulders, hold the token in my hand, and do a walking meditation unobtrusively outside. The shawl and token remind me to stay centered in that space.
Of course our breath, our awareness, and our specific intention are essentials for meditation/mindful time and fortunately, we carry these with us always. No packing required.
While I don’t have the comfort of my own home or a familiar setting, I’ve still found it helpful to bring these few things along with me as physical reminders of a sacred space and dedicated moments.