Monday, March 23, 2009

CREATING A SACRED SPACE


Have any of you picked up Simple Abundance, by Sarah ban Breathnach? In her essay for February 28th she asks us to ruminate on the idea of setting aside a sacred space for ourselves. She begins with this quote: You must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so where you do not know what was in the morning paper... a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are, and what you might be... At first you may find nothing's happening... But if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen. -- Joseph Campbell

I have read this essay several times, and have resisted her urgings each time, for I was picturing the little Asian-style altar that she had set up in her own home, complete with incense and a yoga mat. To be perfectly honest, that just wouldn't fit in with my Hill Country decor! Besides, my knees are too arthritic to spend any length of time sitting cross-legged on the floor.

After I sent a copy of this book out into the world, as part of our give-away, I decided to pull my own copy off the shelf and set it on my nightstand instead. When I read the sacred space essay this time - probably my 5th or 6th time - I was hit by a sudden realization: I don't need to set up a sacred space. I already have one, and have had for four years now!

My seat on the porch is my sacred space, and the smells that drift to me on the morning breeze are my incense. My cozy blanket wraps me in its cocoon, and the morning mist blurs my memory of the outside world. Each time I go there, I sink deeply into the silent blackness. Then ever so slowly, as the day creeps up from behind the hills, I am awakened right along with the many creatures that are coming to life around me. And, as the man said, when I take advantage of it, things happen!

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment (or email to becky.lane(at)vownet(dot)net) before Friday morning, if you wish to be included in the drawing for another great book. Include a suggestion for some book that really helped to advance you along your path towards the good life, and I will enter your name twice!

2 comments:

Linda said...

I have not read that book, but I like the idea of a sacred space. An alter certainly wouldn't fit for me either, but I think of my lawn swing on a hot summer day where I head first thing when I get home from work. Sometimes I just sit and enjoy the view in my yard, think, pray, read, or whatever. Hmmm...I have to find a similar space for the rest of the year though.

Hill Country Hippie said...

I had to do the same thing. When we stole half of the porch to make a bumped-out dining room surrounded by big picture windows, I ended up building a little nest in one corner. That is my sacred space for inclement weather, or for when there are just too many wasps out on the porch!