April 16, 2014

Why We Need Sacred Space (& 4 Ways to Find It).

Outdoor Altar

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” ~ Joseph Campbell

If you’re starting a solitude practice, or already have one, a key part of it is finding a peaceful place that makes you comfortable and inspires the development of your highest self. We’ll call this your sacred space.

In the best of all possible worlds, you’ll return to this sacred space every time you take your alone time. Even if you only get to it once a week or so, it’s very important to create a sacred space as a symbol of your quest to discover and nurture the incredible, unique being that you want to share with the world.

Don’t feel you have to devote an entire room to your solitude practice, but that would certainly be the ideal. There are many options for you to choose from. Find whatever resonates with you. Below are a few ideas to get your imagination going. Choose what works best with your lifestyle.

Have a room of your own.
If you have a spare bedroom in your house, claim it as your sacred space. Even a large closet works well. Or an unused pantry. Take a look around your home to see if there are any spaces that could be consolidated and cleared out to allow room for you.

Head outdoors.
If you live in an area with nice weather and have a shed or similar structure outside, you can turn it into your sacred space. If your only time to practice is a lunch break at work, find a park. Claim a specific area that you will return to each session.

Go to your corner.
If you live alone, an ideal spot for your sacred space is a corner of your bedroom or living room. (If you co-habitate, make sure your partner doesn’t mind.) The bedroom is preferred, since you’ll have a door to close for maximum privacy. You may wish to set up a tri-panel screen to section off your area. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can even decorate it to suit your personal tastes.

Shelf it.
If you’re really low on space, a simple shelf or a dedicated accent table will do the trick. You’ll fill this space—or any other—with your power items, objects that represent and support your deepest self. Again, try to section off this area with a screen or place it in an area with low traffic.

A former partner and I used to share a studio apartment near the United Nations. Apartments in New York are notoriously small; you can imagine the kind of cramped quarters a studio would offer. We both practiced meditation, so finding our sacred space was quite a challenge.

There happened to be a loft-type ledge in the main living area that was probably intended for storage. We found that if we stood on the couch, we could climb up into it rather easily. And to our surprise, the ledge was just wide enough for a zabuton (square meditation cushion) as well as an incense holder, a candle, and a few other meditation accoutrements we liked to have around.

What luck! You can see that almost any home arrangement will accommodate your sacred space; you just have to get creative.

When you find (or create) a place that resonates with your deepest being, you’ll discover how restorative it is to simply be there, quietly doing whatever gives you joy—reading, meditating, painting, whatevering.

Making sacred space is essential to your wellbeing. It is your sanctuary, the recharging station for your soul.


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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: courtesy of the author / Wiki

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