"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"
Summer blessings, dear friends! Where will you find your special Sacred Spavce to leisurely bask in silence this season? The forms and places of spavce are myriad, each with the potential to be experienced as sacred: in earth's secret nooks and crannies, or wide open plains and ocean landscapes ... in the sanctuary of quiet gardens, chapels, or, simply, a rocking chair ... and, always, in the silence of the Sacred Chapel within the heart of everyone. Graced are those who visit regularly ... Silent BE and see.
How do we make a place sacred? By removing diversions. By creating silence. By bringing our presence and breath to a point of stillness. By listening with our skin, touching with our energy field, feeling with our senses. By holding intent as we enter a sacred place. By drawing out the power of a place with love, courage, and attention. By inviting spirit and welcoming it fully.
There were many places I now know to have had for me the quality we call sacred. Those places were no more and no less than places where for some reason one longed to be, where one had certain feelings that varied from fearfulness to strange and undefined joy. The adult I now am has learned to speak and to write of something called "sacred space," but, as with so many sacred things, one possessed them as a child long before one could name them. Come to think of it, the same may be true of all elements of God's grace.
There is a sacred place in each of us where the entire universe resides.
We have been silent. My mother is gathering small pine cones. We cross a wooden bridge and look down at the water. The mud hens come toward us, dragging a ripple of light across the water. Never in my life have I brought anyone to this sacred place. I have come here for its silence, early in the morning. And she, for the first time in our life together knowing exactly what I need, enters with me in silence.
The survival of wilderness -- of places that we do not change, where we allow the existence of creatures we perceive as dangerous -- is necessary. Our sanity probably requires it. These places function, whether we intend them to or not, as sacred groves -- places we respect and leave alone, not because we understand well what goes on there, but because we do not.
When I sit at my computer, before I start, I say my prayers, open up, and strike a match to light the candle. To me, this is the sound of space becoming sacred. Creating a sacred space is the first step and, in many ways, the most important step in opening ourselves to the creative process. This is the gift we give to ourselves so that the multitude of gifts we are born to share have their own birthing space. Sacred space marks ours commitment and symbolizes our readiness to serve and be served by the Source itself.
That which is at the center of the Sacred Space within my heart,
is the very same which is in the sun, which is in the earth,
in the heart of every living being.
When each day is sacred
When each hour is sacred
When each instant is sacred
Earth and you, space and you
hearing the sacred through time
You'll reach the fields of light.
Soul requirements casll for silence,
sacred time alone in heart space and stillness.
A balanced life, engenders harmony of gody,
mind, emotions, and soul
in work, prayer, and recreation in the outer world;
re-creation in silence and solitude,
inwardly at home with Divine Love.
Let Wisdom teach and illuminate the way!
Cherish your times in sacred space
with silence and solitude.
The sacred is within our hearts.
It is ours whenever and wherever we are.
Sacred sites teach us this --
the redemption of our sanctity.
Steeping ourselves in a place, simmering in its bounties, celebrating its wonders, and loving its peculiarities are necessary steps on a spiritual journey. We often take for granted the places where we work and play. To get to know them again, or perhaps for the first time, involves acts of consecration and imagination. Or as Wendell Berry puts it: "My most inspiring thought is that this place, if I am to live well in it, requires and deserves a lifetime of the most careful attention."
The sacred landscape is a window into the other worlds. It is a place where beings encounter each other, and meet themselves. Be open. If you see something, pay attention!
The heart is the hub of all sacred places.
Go there and roam in it.
Landscape is more than flat land covered by floodwater, the seeping of peat bogs, a river of liquid pewter viewed from a tower. It's an influence on what a person values, what she is willing to sacrifice or argue for. The interior landscape of a soul is, in part, a reflection of the exterior landscape.
After one hundred days of confinement following a bone marrow transplant, I rejoiced in taking short walks to a nearby park. The uncertainty of my survival made every blade of grass gorgeous in its green intensity, lifting itself up, doing its part to make the world more beautiful. Every breeze touching my neck was a gift, revitalizing me. I looked a the world tenderly, intensely, gratefully.