Spiritual Awakening: The Sacred Space of the Mind
Rush, push, scramble, fumble . . . Did I remember/could he have taken/did she forget/where did I put it? . . . Lists, notes, Post-Its in the oddest places . . . Too much to do, too many promises, not enough time, and forgetting to BREATHE . . .
Welcome to the 21st century!
The world has sped up unbelievably. There’s more to know, to see, to do, than at any other time in history. And with technology reinventing itself faster and faster, we can be contacted and asked to deal with our “stuff” virtually anywhere. Cell phones, beepers, faxes, two-way pagers – is there nowhere we can shut out the world and say “enough?” Can we find away to shut down, shut up, and look for that Spiritual Awakening?
There is. You can go there any time you choose. It costs you nothing; there’s no club to join, no test to pass for admittance. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you choose – because it’s your imagination that creates it.
A “sacred space”of the mind is yours alone. You can learn to use it to signal your body to slow down, to breathe more easily. You can “defuse” your reaction to adverse situations. You can clear your thinking processes, sweep away the confusion of the day and your surroundings in order to focus on what’s important to you at that moment – even if it’s just to get a little peace and quiet. And once it’s “solidly built” you can access it anywhere – even in the midst of a work-crazy day!
To initially create this sacred space, set aside a period when you won’t be disturbed. Get comfortable (but not so comfortable you fall asleep). Sit so that you feel supported, whether it’s in a chair or on the floor; you’ll probably stay motionless for a while. Set the mood – peaceful and easy – with whatever self-cues you know will work (soft music, perhaps some incense, whatever will tell your body and mind “at ease, please!”).
When you are settled, BREATHE. Breathing is your friend! Take a good, deep, slow breath . . . hold it for a moment, feeling all that wonderful oxygen bathing your cells . . . and then let it out.
As you let it out, notice any tensions, worrythoughts, anything that would keep you focused on the everyday – and send them out on the outbreath. Empty those lungs as much as you can. Hold that emptiness for a moment. And start the process over again.
Deep breath . . . cleansing breath . . . life breath in your grateful lungs. Hold . . . and again, with an easy sigh, let that air out, and let it take the everyday shadows with it. Hold the emptiness . . .
Take a few minutes to do this simple breathing exercise. You will notice that you are more in touch with your body, your surroundings. Your thoughts may slow down, quiet down. You’ll find yourself not in the past or future – but in the Now.
Once you are in that safe and quiet mind, you can begin to build your sacred space of the mind. What sense do you use the most? Taste, smell, hearing, sight, touch, whichever is the one you gravitate towards, start with that.
- If it’s taste – perhaps you can imagine the tang of salt air on your tongue . . . the first sip of a good wine . . .
- Smell? Incense in a temple, exotic flowers . . .
- Hearing? Listen for the sweet song of birds, the rush of waves, wind in the trees . . .
- Sight? Fill your mind with the colors that would surround you.
- Touch? Feel the texture of your place of healing – whether it be silk, grass, feathers . .
Build it piece by piece. Take your time. Every single detail can be lovingly crafted, just as you would want it . . .
If your sacred place is a building, is it large or small? What does the entryway look like – a door, a gate, a curtain, a bridge? What is on the walls, on the shelves, on tables? How is it furnished? Do you have windows? If you do, what do you look out upon?
If it’s someplace outdoors, choose the time of year, the weather, the flowers, the trees, the birds and beasts that will inhabit it with you.
If you want it in outer space – so be it! Or places you’ve loved in literature: construct your haven in Oz, or Fionavarr, or Abode, or Ballybran – anywhere you find comfort and safety, build your sacred space there. You can be anywhere on earth – or not on earth at all; after all, it’s your creation!
Once you have created your sacred space of the mind, create the ‘you’ that lives there. But realize this is not a fanciful creation: more than likely, what you will do is see an aspect of your Higher Self – that part of us that is more than the body, more than who we are when we are awake and in this world, and the part of you that is connected to the universe. Go deep inside yourself to see the True You. (You may decide that you don’t have a body at all, but are just energy and light. That, too, is valid.) Height, weight, dress, gender – or no gender at all; it’s your soul you’re picturing, not your physical sheath.
On the first visit, just get used to this place. Savor the details, get to know it as your own. And when you are ready, leave it gently, going out the doorway you’ve made, and coming back to this plane, knowing that it is ALWAYS there for you. Open your eyes – and you will already see this world in a different light. You’re not stuck “here” – there’s a haven that’s yours, that you can get to anywhere and any time.
When you have serious decisions to make, when you have questions that you know only you or your guides can answer, when you just need someplace that is safe and sane – find your way back to your sacred space. You will always be welcome, and always be at home.