The Best Spots in London For Summertime Meditation
Meditating outside has to be one of life’s great pleasures – and with summer well and truly settled in, it’s something we’ll get to do a whole lot more in the coming months! Luckily, London is one of the world’s greenest cities, so the opportunity to relax in nature is never that far away. If you would like a little inspiration for taking your meditation practice out into the wider world, here are some of the best spots in London for meditating under blues skies and sunshine.
Sometimes, the best place to be is right on your doorstep. Our meditation centre is situated on Hoxton Square in Shoreditch, and if we fancy unwinding outside, then the green space outside our door is the perfect place.
As this garden was laid out in 1683, it is thought to be one of the oldest squares in London. Now a buzzing community hub which is the centre of the arts and cultural scene in Shoreditch, Hoxton Square is rarely quiet – but with our meditation technique, that doesn’t matter.
We have a particular affection for Regents Park, which combines airy open spaces with manicured gardens and elegant tree-lined pathways. There are more than 12,000 roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens, and contemplating the perfection of these flowers will put you in the ideal mood to settle down and let your meditation practice take you to a place of pure tranquility.
St. James’s Square
St. James’s Square is perhaps one of the most famous, and most impressive, squares in London. With such fascinating history and architecture surrounding this location, as well as admirable public art within it, exploring for half an hour before meditating on the grassy lawn is a great lunch-break option.
Head a little out of the city to discover Epping forest, an ancient woodland and former royal hunting ground. There have been trees here since 1000 BCE (which makes you wonder if you’ll spot a Green Man, or even a couple of Ents) and archaeological investigation has unearthed some of Britain’s oldest human activity here, in the form of worked flints. They aren’t many places where you can just minutes from a motorway but feel immersed in glorious countryside, which makes this a great location for nature-loving Londoners.
Got a spare hour before jumping on a train from Euston or St Pancras? Head to Tavistock Square and catch a bit of a breather. Designed in 1806, the highlight of this square is the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, sculpted by Fredda Brilliant and installed in 1968 – and there’s lots of other art to enjoy here too.
Another ancient woodland situated in Haringey, this nature reserve is another retreat from the city that offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy meditation under a canopy of leaves. This wood is thought to be a descendant of the original wildwood that stretched across the majority of Britain 5,000 years ago, and any keen birdwatchers among you will have the chance to spot one of the three species of woodpecker that live here.
Along the Thames
One of the pleasures of living in London is all the fantastic walks you can take along the length of The Thames – the heart of this city. Make this experience all the more wonderful by choosing a couple of particularly lovely places to stop and practice your daily meditation. Not only might you get a bit of a tan in the process, you will also discover places you may never have visited by allowing yourself to wander where the river takes you.
Mayfair, Brown Hart Gardens
Found yourself feeling overwhelmed on Oxford Street? Escape to The Brown Hart Gardens, a peaceful raised terraced garden in Mayfair that’s located (rather surprisingly) above an electricity sub-station. This small oasis isn’t as grand or leafy as other spaces in London, but it is beautifully designed and a convenient antidote to shopping stress.
These are just a few of our suggestions, but with Beeja meditation, you really can meditate anywhere you want – the power of your mantra and the simplicity of the technique lets you find quiet even in the busiest of settings. So whether you head to a gorgeous Royal Park or duck into your favourite cafe, you can enjoy the peace and stillness of meditation wherever you are.
Words by Holly Ashby