Friday, October 5, 2012

Good to Sacred: Getting to the Next Level

As we move forward, I think we are finding less and less inspiration from churches themselves - church buildings, architecture, and art. But I think it is still important for us to be able to meditate on BIG TOPICS, which is made possible by spaces that help us leave our every day life behind. Churches were built to do just that. But with a little practice, we can build good mediation places - sacred spaces - anywhere. 

To start, let me remind everyone that I believe that every atom of our universe shares in the movement towards unity and connection, that is, every atom participates in the divine. Any space is sacred, from the cubicle to the tree canopy to the inside of my laptop. 

This was one of my favorite spaces - sitting in a big tree
 All spaces are sacred because they exist. So finding sacred spaces is a misleading project. My intention is to help us recognize the sacredness of our world. To do that I want to take advantage of the brain's chemical triggers.

By creating situations - "spaces" - in which our brains change gears, we can get better at recognizing the unity and divinity of parts of our lives that seem mundane, boring, and petty. So when we talk about creating sacred spaces, what I mean is creating spaces that are particularly suited to helping us practice observation and meditation skills.

Do you want those kinds of personal good spaces?

Over the weekend, think of the two big parts that make a good space into a sacred space:

1) The Space Itself: it has to provide some sort of break with your normal environment. Your brain needs to recognize that it is entering a special place so it can leave everything else behind. A physical doorway can do that, and so can random, natural beauty and geometric, architectural beauty. That's the primary function of the special space, but it should also have some practical features: easy access but fairly access, so you can go often and count on some level of quiet, and a place to be comfortable, like a bench or chair.

For a while my space was a rooftop, and it was perfect: I brought out a chair and I was the only one there (obviously), but it was near my life, and had a lot of beautiful architectural and natural visual cues. Plus it had air conditioning white noise, so it felt really isolated. But one day the building locked the roof door, and that was that.
(c) Sinfest Comics got it all figured out

I'm a huge fan of rooftops as sacred spaces.
This picture is from my old spot.
2) You and Your Habits: my rooftop space didn't happen by accident. I went there to read and study and talk to myself and write. If someone else came up, we would only have transcendental conversations. That's because I didn't want to ruin the space. If you find a place, leave your phone in the car or put earphones in. Do whatever you can to make yourself open to the space, whatever you can to cut your cord with other spaces. With some practice, any space can become sacred space.

What are your sacred spaces?

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