Creation of a Sacred Space Can Greatly Expand the Benefits of Meditation
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Creation of a Sacred Space Can Greatly Expand the Benefits of Meditation

A "Sacred Space" can be a key element of effective meditation.
    With the renewed interest in the practice of meditation, many of those interested in learning this most ancient of introspective techniques are unaware that in many past and present cultures, meditation is but one part of a holistic approach to balancing one's life.  Changes in diet, behavior, attitude, and other elements affecting body, mind, and spirit have long been recognized as having great influence on the effectiveness of meditation. 

     For many individuals, a key element in achieving this desired balance lies in the creation of a "sacred space" in which to interact with the cosmos, as well as to interconnect the various inner discoveries brought about by the meditative process.  (Evidence of individual sacred spaces can, in fact, be traced back cross-culturally tens of thousands of years, and found all over the world.)  These spaces become an individual's sanctuary and for many, their "hallowed ground."

     A "sacred space" must first and foremost reflect the individual.  Whether it's a little corner of the bedroom or workspace, a garden, or an entire room dedicated to meditation and pursuit of the spiritual, it must be a manifestation of one's individual spirit and energy.  It must speak of one's inner self in such a way that it instantly reconnects you to your inner self each time you enter.  (This may indeed mean that it feels completely foreign and even uncomfortable to others.)  But this does not mean that it should be an unchanging and static environment; as you change, you will probably want your sacred space to change with you.  After all, this space is meant to help you grow beyond your present self.  Thus, a sacred space should reflect your personal growth, unfolding and evolving as you discover unfamiliar aspects of yourself.

     Before you begin creating a sacred space, you should firstly establish in your mind what you want it to accomplish.  The initial step is to choose a place that will fulfill your purpose; a space that can be singularly yours.  A place left undisturbed when you are not within it.  Once a space is chosen, sit down, clear your mind, and envision that space as it will be once it has been transformed.  No need to think in terms of expensive or elaborate decor; simplicity is often the key.  Is it a room where pillows will cover the floor and scented candles will burn?  Is it a garden where a walkway will allow you to stroll near flower beds?  Is it a corner of a room where you can sit in a comfy chair while gazing out the window while soft music plays? 

     Only you can decide.  Only you can know what the inner you requires.  Once a space is chosen, you should clear the space of every object now there.  It is essential to begin with a completely neutral space--one that each and every object placed within it is of your choosing--chosen by you, for you.  But before the first personal object in added, sit in your space, light a single candle, and mentally imagine any negative thoughts or energies from the past being blown away.  If you like, close your eyes and sing a song, or recite a poem, or simply say out loud the purpose of your new space: "I claim this place as my sacred space.  Every thought and idea manifested here will be my own.  I will come here to be alone with me."  And as you delve deeper into your inner self through the meditative process--yes, it is a process--perhaps you'll find that shells you collect from the beach are called for.  Or maybe rocks, driftwood, photographs, or other objects that bring you a sense of peace. 

     Don't be afraid to be creative.  Listen to your intuition.  There are no wrong answers if they come from within you.  This is the one place you can express yourself in any way you choose.  And once established, every time you meditate you will gain important, deeper ground into your inner self.  And most certainly, a day will come when you will find a peace that can only come from within.

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