Using Dividers to Create a Meditation Space

Bookshelf or furniture divider
Bookshelf or furniture divider

The word division is often thought to be negative, but when it comes to meditation it’s actually a word that carries very positive thinking. A room divided, a space defined, and spot ready for your use as a sacred space. That’s definitely positive.

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to blog as much lately. Time is really crazy this summer, but I won’t give up for all those who write and favor this blog. Today’s post is about finding a way to divide a room so you can have a dedicated meditation space in an existing room in a way the looks beautiful, and feels perfect.

Most homes have designated rooms such as bedrooms, bathrooms, or living room space. If you’re one of those blessed people with a room you can designate as your meditation or yoga room – all the better.   But for most of us, we are obliged to create a separate space in an existing room and what better way to do this than with a creative ‘room divider’.

With some help from curtains, standing screens and book shelfs, and more, we can create a private, beautiful space that will inspire meditation everyday. The first step is to pick the room. Keep in mind the article on ‘Choosing a Space’, this shares some important information about doors, windows and traffic.

Traditional shogi screen
Traditional shogi screen

If you have a space with just one window, I’d opt in for the window on the meditation side, and push back the screen or curtain a little to let the light in when you aren’t meditating. Light and fresh air is so nice when meditating and a window really helps to provide that high ion, fresh smelling space more easily. Even if it’s hot or cold outside, open the window 10 minutes before, then close it when you begin your session with more fresh oxygen in the room.

Many use what’s commonly called a ‘shogi’ screen, or a wooden lattice work with rice paper. These screens can be found very inexpensively almost anywhere. They are light weight, easy to carry or move, let in light while still providing privacy (if that’s needed) and look very zen in their simple design. You can get them in cherrywood, walnut, black and simple unfinished light wood color. Some come with shelves built in for candles, incense or pictures. Just be cautious about fire hazard.

goldpaintedThere are also many hand painted or hand carved Asian screens that lend an elegant feel to the space. Those can be purchased on ebay, antique stores, or your local import store such as Pier One or World Market.  They can also be attained on auction site, but be sure to visit the screen before bidding. Some are knock-offs not worth the time. Some higher end screens are inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and still others have 24k gold inlay. Most of these do not allow for light to come through and give the space almost complete privacy if they don’t have feet on the bottom. They tend to be heavier so will probably need to be in a space that doesn’t require your moving it out of the way, and the cost can go into the thousands.

You can also find screens painted by contemporary artists on Craigs List, or Ebay, or even high end art galleries. Commission your favorite artist is you have the resources, and get the perfect piece of art as a room divider for your meditation space. Involve a local gallery who can guide you to a true artist who is professional and can provide the screen by managing the commission piece. Be sure the artist signs the screens and think of it as an investment.

shearsWhat is a meditation space without white shears? What is it about them that says ‘light, space and peace’. A floating white shear in the breeze from a french door  – simple peace. OK, some may not agree, but to me it’s true peaceful serene space defined. If you need to put a space in the center of a large room, or even if you don’t like screens or other solid dividers, you can suspend a lightweight curtain rod from the ceiling with plant hooks and hand white sheers to define walls. Some shears have patterns of tree branches, or vines, or just watercolor splashes. The biggest challenge in this plan is the length. If you have very high ceilings you’ll need to purchase the fabric from a fabric store, have it cut into the right length and hemmed by a tailor (unless you sew). This look creates a beautiful dream like environment with a feeling of floating peace.

A final idea is to use furniture as a divider. A tall book shelf, or the backside of an entertainment wall. Just make sure that it doesn’t need a wall for secure standing (some carpets are to soft to keep a sizable unit standing without support). I saw one space that was defined by four books cases, two on one side, two on the other, a space to walk into the meditation space in the middle. That’s almost as good as drywalling it, especially if you put up a curtain or shogi screen to hide the opening: complete privacy. Drape the back of the bookshelves if they aren’t finished with Indian prints from Pier One, something simple, not busy. Or paint them with a light, cool color. Voila, a private, dedicated meditation space.

Write if you hit a snag, or have questions. And the best of luck on creating your new dedicated space!