Focusing the mind in meditation takes practice and effort. It’s sometimes helpful in the beginning to have props or tools to help focus the wandering mind. Here are some that can help to create a sacred space and bring the mind into a a meditative place. A short video of Tools for Meditation shows some of the physical props available to support your practice. Below the video you’ll find more on them in detail.
1) Meditation bells. Often made of brass or nickle, these bells are used in temples as a way to shift from the space of ordinary mind the the place of higher mind or quiet mind. Ringing the bells and letting the one tone ring until the tone dies out is a nice way to begin and to end a meditation practice.
2) Stones and crystals may be beneficial to keep on an altar or in a sacred space that is designated for meditation. They are beautiful and stones like amethyst hold soothing properties that they bring into the place.
3) Scents to soothe. Scents like lavender, frankincense and eucalyptus elevate the mind and move it into a peaceful place. Scents have long been used in meditation practices particularly in the form of incense sticks. The smoke that wafts upward when they’re burned is symbolic of prayers and thoughts flying to the Divine.
4) Yantras give mantras a form. Yantras are physical representations of a mantra. They are similar to mandalas in that their purpose is to guide the mind to the inner realms to merge in the point in the center where all is one. Yantras are often carved on metal.
5) Symbols, sacred images and icons. Sacred images have long helped to elevate the mind. Find some to keep in your sacred space can help to merge the mind in the Divine.
Any of these tools may be helpful. Each individual will find that they connect more with one tool or another. Experimenting with them will help to find out which ones work for you.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.