Many spiritual traditions include the use of sacred space. You can create your own sacred space for whatever spiritual purpose you desire. It can help you quiet your mind and reach an alternative level of consciousness
I like the idea of a space that transforms from an everyday corner of my bedroom to a place where I can go when I want to quieten my monkey mind and dig around in the recesses of my consciousness. Stepping into my sacred space provides a cue for my mind – this is the time for something else, some other way of thinking.
I took a bureau, placed it in the corner of my bedroom and put ordinary, everyday things on top of it: a lamp, a couple of vases and some candlesticks. Then I opened the bureau. Inside, the faux leather desk surface had long since vanished, so I decoupaged the bare wood, added a paper tape border and varnished over the lot. Then I began to fill my space.
There are no prescriptions for what to put in a sacred space. Every sacred space or altar is as different as the individuals who create them. It will depend on what you want from your space. If it has a religious focus it might have pictures or quotes or religious images. If it is just for quiet contemplation then whatever makes you feel calm. Mine has a few bird related items, images of owls and several Tawny owl feathers I have found in the woods. There are also stones and a little statue that my daughter made at school that I think of as my creativity totem. Perhaps, subconsciously, I believe the owls will help me to reach a higher plane – I’m not sure. All I know is that these are objects I am drawn to.
There are also a couple of spiritual books that I like to read passages from to ease me into right frame of mind for contemplation. I also have an oil burner which represents the elements of earth, fire, water and air and a candle – just because that also helps me switch my mind state from the busyness of everyday life to a slower, more reflective pace.
As you know, I’m not good at sitting quietly and still. That’s why there is a journal in my sacred space. I’ve recently found that it is much easier for me to calm my thoughts when I have a pen and paper in hand – it helps me screen out the mental chatter and focus on what it is I am trying to discover. It’s also helpful to record any ideas and insights I have while spending time in my sacred space.
I had a lot of fun creating my sacred space and I hope to get a lot of use out of it in the future.
photos by Bobby Pursey