Prioritizing Sacred SpaceBy:
One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves is to create a place to meditate and then use it. For many of us with busy lives and limited space, such an endeavor can feel daunting. I know for myself that prioritizing our meditation space took time. In fact, it took about eight years of marriage before my husband and I could figure out how to actually have a dedicated meditation room in our home and we were both extremely dedicated to this idea. Making this a priority and realizing it became a powerful way of shifting our lives on a subtle and not so subtle level.
I was born a Sikh, a spiritual way of life from India that my parents embraced. Growing up in Northern California, I was really blessed to have a large Sikh community to connect with. When I would go to a friend's house, I was always taken to "Babaji's room" first. This term "Babaji” is an endearing name for respected father. There, the Sikh scriptures, which we bow to as our living Guru or guide called the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, sat on a special altar with beautifully embroidered cloth coverings. Fresh flowers would often be placed near the altar with the sweet scent wafting through the air. The room would be absolutely impeccably clean—freshly vacuumed perhaps that morning. Often, if there were limited bedrooms in a house, family members would sacrifice personal space, so that "Babaji" could have His own room. The room chosen would often be central in the home and be the most beautiful room in the house with either the most plush carpet or the nicest light coming in from the windows. There was a strong belief that by making sure that the Guru had a beautiful space in the home, the family was insuring the actual presence of the Guru, or as people of all faiths can look at it, the Divine.
I never really understood the importance of this particular teaching for people of all walks of life who are striving to experience spirit, until one day after a Kundalini workshop that I taught. A woman approached me with a question. She asked, "I am not sure if I should move in with my boyfriend or not. Can you give me some advice?" She told me that she had a nice loving relationship with him. She really enjoyed being with him, but there was something keeping her back. I asked her if she had a place to meditate. She told me that she did have a place to meditate in her home but in his house, she did not. In fact, she worried that the practice would wake him up and that he would not have the space for something like this in his home.
"You've got to create this space for yourself in his home and really for your boyfriend too!" I encouraged her.
When we do our practice and when we have a physical space to do so within our own homes, it communicates to our cellular structure within our bodies, to the structure of the house we are in, and to our loved ones that we are creating space for spirit. The very walls, the carpet, and everything in your home will get the blessing of this kind of opening. Your home can and will become sacred through the epicenter of the meditation space that you create. You also become a sacred being because when you enliven yourself with your spirit, you are more able to be present, whole, loving and nurturing for yourself and your loved ones.
You may or may not be able to create a separate meditation room in your home. I think there are many creative ways of going about it. I invite you to tap into your creativity. Here are some practical tips that I'd like to share with you that really helped me along the way.
- When you meditate, it is really nice to have access to fresh air and light, so picking a spot in your home where this is possible is a good idea.
- Keeping your space clean and perhaps bringing in fresh flowers is a great way to enliven it for yourself and others.
- The space should be accessible and practical for you and your loved ones to feel welcome. Perhaps you have a nice space, but it is in an area of the home that you don't often visit or like to go to. Our meditation area is right off of the living room, where I can see it from the kitchen while I am cooking and it becomes a welcome reminder of my practice throughout all hours of the day. It is a high priority for me that my daughter feels like it is her space too and so I have invited her to put her creations that she intends to give as gifts at the base of our altar to pray for the people who will be receiving those gifts. Often times I will find little beeswax creations and drawings that she has placed there.
- However long it takes, and whatever you have to do, if you make spirit the central focus of your efforts all will be blessed and happen in perfect time.
Snatam Kaur is an American singer, peace activist and author raised in the Sikh and Kundalini Yoga tradition. She grew up in the presence of her spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, learning the essence of Naad Yoga, a form of yoga focusing on sacred sound. At the core of this practice is an essential experience of peace and healing which helps her music be accessible to all people. Her book Original Light is a compassionate and supportive guide to creating a daily spiritual practice. To find out more about her book and online course visit snatamkaur.com.