Category Archives: Sacred spaces

Transforming Spaces

Making the world around us a better place starts with transforming our mind-based thoughts into pure consciousness.   Meditation, over time, helps to raise one’s energetic vibration and helps to protect one from absorbing and holding onto the negative vibrations of others (e.g., anger or irritation, fear, shame, chaos, etc.) via  Metta–the practice of generating kindness and goodwill towards all beings.  Compassion neutralizes negativity, because love generated within the whole being, from the sub-cellular level outward, neutralizes fear-based thoughts, actions and reactions.  Metta cleanses as it radiates.  We can carry what we learn from Metta into our daily actions and activities, thereby increasing our Mindfulness, as Mindfulness and Metta go hand-in-hand.

The Monkey Mind will often make us leave the spaces we enter into in a more chaotic state.  When we are hectic or worried or angry, the spaces we enter into carry will be affected.  When we live without Mindfulness, we may leave a room messier than when we entered it, making it less comfortable for others who enter into it.  Or, if we clean up a space in irritation at others who have left it messier for everyone else, the irritation that we feel poisons the quality of our thoughts and the quality of the energy that we bring into a room.  Have you ever walked into a room knowing without a word spoken that someone in it is irritated?  That irritation occupies space, and makes it uncomfortable for others to be in the room.

One really wonderful practical way to integrate Metta into our daily activities is to simply decide to leave each space we walk into a little cleaner and more positive.  Leaving a space in a more positive state than when one entered into it is an act of self-love and love for others.  When done with Mindfulness and love, it is an act of blessing and an act of inner purification.

  • If a room is untidy, for example, take a moment to straighten it up.  If you don’t have time to clean it fully, just mindfully replace one or two things into their rightful place and feel good about doing so. Un-cluttering a room with Mindfulness and Love increases your own vibration.
  • Or, play a little healing music for the houseplants, which are also energetic beings and flourish in positive environments.  The plants, in turn, will help purify the air you breathe in that room.
  • Organize a bookshelf in disarray.
  • Burn a little incense or sage with mindful intention.
  • Say a little wish or prayer for the well-being of all who enter this space.
  • If you practice Reiki, send distance Reiki to a space you know you will be entering (your office, for example, or your in-laws’ home).
  • Or, just send a Mindful blessing to that space,  with the intention that all who enter and leave it, including yourself, will be better off for having done so.
  • Recycle or find another home for an object rather than throwing it away.

There are so many ways in which we can attend to the spaces we enter.  Use your imagination, fueled by goodwill.  If we go around blessing the spaces we enter into, we engage pure Consciousness.  We live out compassion and love, thereby purifying our own energetic bodies and making the world around us a better place.

 

 

 

24 Comments

Filed under Consciousness, Mindfulness, Sacred spaces

The Necessities (?) of Life.

A couple of weeks ago, I lamented leaving the Adirondacks on a journey through them to Montreal.   The pristine wildernesses left such an impression upon me.  Like a chance encounter between destined lovers who meet each other for the first time as they are both en route to continents in opposite hemispheres, the vision settled into my mind and took root.  It has changed me somehow, and my mind has been almost recklessly calculating how to get back there, how soon I can be there again, and what I can do to prevent us having to be separated for long stretches of time.

Luckily, my partner is an experienced back-country trekker who is more at home in a tent than she is our apartment.  And, so, it took zero art of persuasion to convince her that we should plan a week-long expedition into the heart of the West Canada Lakes Wilderness area.

Now, I’m your average car-camper.  For me, camping generally means slugging along a host of  comforts and half a cupboard of food that I can engineer into a fabulous “foodie” cooking experience using the rarely employed technology of an open fire.  Clothes for every weather, paint and canvas in case I feel like getting creative in the woods, two pairs of flip-flops (one for inside the tent; one for outside), travel scrabble set, cumfy pillow, and the ever important good coffee-making paraphernalia.

Needless to say, I’ve had to practice letting go.  We’ll be eating pre-packaged, freeze-dried meals, and packing in one extra set of ultra-lite clothing.   Instant coffee and survival gear.  Every single item that goes in our packs must be set before the judge and jury of my experienced back-packer, and it would be a grand understatement to claim that she is a vigilant guard of weight management.

At first, letting go was a little difficult: “What do you mean, I can’t pack every kind of snack I think I might have the urge to chomp on?” “What do you mean, I can’t pack four pairs of jeans?” “What do you mean I’ll not be able to eat fresh fruit and veggies for a week?”  But, as we peel away all the extras, one by one, and as I settle my mind into being comfortable with only the barest of necessities, I find myself actually becoming happier and happier.

All of these little cravings add up– so much so, that if I weren’t willing to work loose their stranglehold on me (and one or two moments certainly popped up in which my willingness evaporated), I would miss out on the opportunity to be where my soul finds absolute respite and harmony.

Thank you, Katie, for helping to free me a little bit at a time.  Adirondacks, here we come!!

14 Comments

Filed under Mindfulness, Natural World, Sacred spaces, Whatchamacalit

Creating A Peaceful Space

“I Stop For Suffering” recently shared a marvelous post, which offered a few simple steps on how to create a peaceful life.  Having read her post, I was inspired this morning to write a complementary piece which offers a few simple steps to creating a peaceful living space.  A peaceful environment can really help to reduce stress and make your home a sanctuary of rejuvenation. Let’s start by focusing on just one room in your house–a room that you would like to transform into a haven into which you can retreat for a few minutes of quietude, journal-writing, meditation, yoga, or some other means of self-centering.

1. Designate this room as sacred space.  Decide that from this moment forth, it will be treated by you and everyone who enters it with respect, mindfulness, and care. (Note: the comment of vpitts231 below has a really great point: perhaps it is unfair to ask others to treat the space as sacred; if doing seems unethical or unrealistic, designating it as sacred to you alone is an excellent option).

2. Care for it as if it were as dear to you as your own eyes. This advice (taken from Thich Nhat Hanh) is the key to generating Mindfulness.  Treasure everything you touch, do, and practice in this room.

3. Clean it daily. Keep it free of clutter. Sweep it (even if it doesn’t appear to need a sweeping).  Dust it (even if it doesn’t appear to need a dusting).  Imagine that as you sweep and dust, you are sweeping away the clutter, debris, and webs of thought in your own mind.  As you clean the room, you clean you.

4. Place a plant in the room and care for it daily.  Be careful to acknowledge and provide its light, watering, and feeding requirements.  Talk to it gently. Play music for it. Love it and care for it as if it were as dear to you as your own eyes.  It will help to purify the air in your sacred room, so give it lots of love.  Just a little attention every day goes a long way to making a plant flourish.

5.Create a focal point for your self-centering practices.I have a little altar with a statue of Buddha in my sacred space.  I meditate daily here, and spend a little time each day tending to my altar.  As I tend to my altar, I engage in Mindfulness practice.  I place a bowl of freshly cut flower-buds in water on it every few days.  I light a Reiki-charged candle before the Buddha every morning just prior to my meditation, and I let it burn all day long.  When I see the candle later in the day, I am reminded of the moment of quiet and stillness that I offered to myself that morning, and am often rejuvenated just by the remembrance of it.  My partner just placed a list of wonderful affirmations before the base of the statue.  I read these affirmations and take their wonderful energy into my meditations.

6. Open the windows. For a little time each day, open the windows and allow a little bit of fresh air to circulate.  This will help to sweep away any stagnant energy.

7. Smudge the Room. Every once in a while–perhaps once a week–smudge your room with sage and/or sweetgrass. I take a few leaves of sage and place them in a seashell that I picked up from the beach on a very special day with my stepdad, Roger.  I light them and let the smoke waft up from the seashell as I walk through the room. I allow the smoke to clear any residual negative energy, concentrating particularly on corners, doors, and windows.  I like to smudge myself, to0, as part of my Mindfulness practice; it feels like a warm energy bath, cleansing away toxic thoughts and residue from interacting with the world outside my sanctuary.

Photo Credit and lovely article on smudging, by “Way of the Wild Rose”.

8. Place a crystal somewhere in the room and cleanse it once a month or more. Crystals come from deep within the earth, and they emit high energetic vibrations.  Having a crystal in your room will help to keep your room energetically clean.  For more on crystals, see a really nice series of posts by Cauldrons and Cupcakes.

9.  Play classical or tranquil music in your room, even when you are not in it!  Sound vibrations also help to clear out rooms of stagnant energy.  Your plant will love it, and your crystal(s) will amplify the positive vibrations of the music.  You’ll be amazed at how wonderful your room feels when you enter it, even if your music has finished playing.  Two of my favorites:

10. Just Be. Enjoy your sanctuary.  You will feel good in it. And, when you feel good, when you feel centered, when you feel relaxed, when you feel Mindful, you will be much better equipped to deal with the world outside it.

Peace, Everyone!!

17 Comments

Filed under Meditation, Mindfulness, Sacred spaces