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Create a Sacred Space at Home

A sacred space, which literally means a space "set apart", serves many purposes. A sacred space can give us a safe place to go to process our emotions, to connect with our feelings, to contemplate our history, to voice our frustrations, to develop compassion, or to petition for peace. A sacred space can give us a place to go to meditate and to calm our body and mind. Or a sacred space might be a place for prayer-- where we seek out the divine for strength, courage, health, sustenance, understanding, peace, or safety. A sacred space is a place for healing and connection. In this unprecedented time when houses of worship are on lockdown, it's helpful to have a designated space to use for spiritual practice. You might already have one you use, but is it specifically designated as such? For example, my own sacred space is my dining table, which is where fellowship and rituals happen in my home. My dining table converts from a work space to a sacred space when we light candles and say prayers. This is when the mood of the space changes, and our communal activities set in.  

Carving out a sacred space is a beautiful activity to make a special place for yourself, and a wonderful activity to share if you have children. Here are the 6 steps to creating your own home sacred space: 1. Find a Quiet Area of the House Look around to find a quiet area in your home. It could be along a wall, in a corner, in a spare room (if you have one), at a table, or even in a closet. Make sure everyone who wants to participate agrees on the space. You might wind up designating one sacred space for each person, or coming up with one space that is shared. 2. Orient the Space If you want to set up your space to be in accordance with a particular religious tradition, try to orient the space to face the same direction your religion dictates (for example, Islam orients their space toward Mecca). You can use a compass to be accurate. You may wish to face a chair in that direction, pin something on the wall to mark the direction, or place something on the floor to indicate the orientation you choose. 3. Set Boundaries Bring things to the space that are special to you to set this space apart from “ordinary” space. You might bring a scripture, a candle, a symbol of your faith, something from nature, a covering like a prayer rug, a meditation cushion, a photo, or a scent. Bring anything that marks the space as sacred for you. 4. Create the Atmosphere Consider the lighting. Do you want or need light to read by in your space? Or perhaps you prefer the dimness of candle light? Consider natural light as well, depending on where you set up your space. 5. Establish Rules for the SpaceConsider the degree of separation from the rest of your home to make this space set apart. The best way to do this (especially if you don’t have a separate room for your space) is to establish rules for the family about this space. For example, find those times when you will be in the space, whether it is according to the prayer schedule of your religious tradition or a schedule that fits in with your own daily or weekly rhythm. Also establish who is allowed in the space and at what time; and also when others are not allowed in the space.

6. Share the Rules  Let others know when your meditation or prayer times will be, and be open to share your experience of the space with your family when you all gather together.

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