Chaz wrote:I'm surprised you haven't thought of it yourself.
Thank you for the suggestions.
While I mention this coming Thanksgiving as an example, that isn't what my experience is limited to. Sometimes I have friends who stay over at my place for various reasons which, being quite a small single "room" space, doesn't afford alot of privacy for something like meditation. This doesn't happen often - but when it does, it's frustrating. I have thought of some options based on my experience, but I really just wanted to "poll the audience" and see if there were things I hadn't thought of yet.
I got that.
Finding the right "container" for your practice can be tough.
The best solution in the long run, is set aside a small room in your home that is devoted to practice. That's what I did, and it works beautifully. I can go to the Shrine Room any time I like and practice without incoveniencing anyone (like my wife). We have a standing rule: If the door is shut, it means Do Not Disturb.
Just the same, if it's a matter of company - friends, family, etc. - I usually forego practice. My being a Buddhist is no big secret, but I'm uncomfortable ditching friends or family to go practice. I consider something like that to be rude. If I'm practicing and a friend stops by unannounced, my practice is over for the time being. I can always return and conclude/dedicate later.
I'll maintain that having distractions present in your practice container is a good thing. The doorbell to my front door is right outside the shrine room. That's an excellent test of how present you are when practicing. My shrine room is directly over our Bird Room. It has, among other birds, two Cockatoos and an Amazon Parrot. They get really loud when thy're excited or disturbed. Again, and excellent source of practice with distraction. My two Corgis are oftentimes just outside the Shrine Room window and they like to torment the neighbor's two dogs and love barking at squirrels and such. More distraction and I am thankful for it. Anyone can meditate where there is peace and quiet.
So, my advice, for what it's worth, is to forget about the distractions and how frustrated you get, sit down and practice. Don't make excuses about distractions. Take it to the cushion as they say. In Road Cycling there's a rule named simply, Rule #5. It says, very simply and directly, "Harden The F#*k Up". If your butt hurts - Rule #5. Don't like the weather? Rule #5. The climb is too long/difficult? Rule #5. Your bike sucks? Rule #5.
Need I say more? Yes, I know it's a little harsh. Rule #5. I'm reminded of sitting with our resident Lama one evening while he taught. he recounted every single impediment to practice you could think of and his response to them was always the same. It wasn't as course as Rule #5, but it was pretty much the same thing.