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Ep. 9 - Sacred Space Is All Around Us

by Hearts Rise Up
June 10th 2019
Sacred space. It’s a personal expression of our need as human beings for spiritual nurturing. A place to tap into the deeper recesses of our soul. Sacred Space is a place that has special meaning for ... More
Welcome to the Hearts Rise Up podcast. I'm carol chapman, your co host for this episode and I'm Ansari, your other co hosts. Ye glad to have you here An rising up to life's challenges is hard work, especially in today's world with so much stress, chaos and fear, all of which can pull us down if we let it. But life doesn't have to be that hard. Sure, there's always challenges to face as part of the human experience, but we don't have to let outer circumstances or others dictate how we feel and act or define who we are now, more than ever, is the time to tap into our own inner power, because true power lies within not without. And when we dig deep and rise up to our best self, we're tapping into our loving heart centered higher self that all knowing highest version of ourself. That's what the Hearts rise up podcast is all about. The more we tap into our higher self, our higher consciousness, the more we elevate our life and the world around us.

It's that simple. So let's get right into today's episode. And and I want to have a conversation about a recent blog post that she had written and it's on our site, it was a week or so ago and it's called Sacred Space. And in that post she talks a little bit about the evolution of her meditation practice and creating the right space and how the space evolved over time and the various places that she's had a home. And so we want to talk a little bit today about how to create the right sacred space for you and your home. And also expanded a little bit around sacred spaces just in general, not only just in the home but outside the home and you want to have, do you have anything that you want to add before we get started? I really appreciate the opportunity to explore this topic more.

I know that there's a lot of information out there, a lot of opportunities for people to create sacred space in their home and there's a real need for it. And so I'm excited to just explore the topic all the way back to what was sacred to you when you were a child and the places you go in nature, the places in your home, maybe if you were a religious person, the sacred places that you perceive that in that area too. Well, I know that there's been a lot of places um, and we'll get into that that I've had in my home um as well as sacred spaces outdoors that I've been exposed to and enjoyed frequenting and that have been really important to me, to my own personal growth. Um, and just being in touch with the outdoors and with nature, but I think it might be helpful to share with our listeners just what is sacred space. I wonder if it has different definitions for, I think, I mean I think it does have definitions that are maybe vary, but it really comes down to a place where you have a particular intention that you might be practicing thinking of or that you use that space for just that one reason.

Or even if it's in a sequence of time, maybe it's used for other reasons at a different time of day or a different day of the week, but when you're going there with the right intention, it is a sacred space and then you can decorate it however you want, but it's still what your intention is exactly. So it's what you want to get out of it and how you want to be and what you want to practice while you're there. You know, whether it's just maybe sitting and reading a book or sitting down and meditating or reflecting or um some sort of contemplation or just being quiet, you know, being in the silence or even listening music. Um, but there's a lot of sacred spaces all around us and when we open ourselves up to experiencing and seeking them out, they can be extremely beneficial for us.

What places have you found to be very experiential for you as far as sacred spaces, We'll just in thinking about it, even just in talking to you earlier, one image came to mind that I had forgotten about that was when I was a child and probably 789 around that age, there was a huge maple tree, huge old maple tree where I grew up in Connecticut and it was one of those places that everyone wanted to hang around, it had the hole in it that you could kind of squeeze yourself into, you could sit on the roots and the roots were like sitting on your grandmother's feet or something. And I used to sit at that tree a lot and just have this imaginary time where you know, moving the moss around and imagining fairies in the tree bark and things like that. And I think that tree for me became a place to go and my sister too and my brother, it was a place to go when you were thinking whether you had a really sad experience happen or uplifting experience, but it seemed to gradually gravitated to that tree and I've had the same experience at certain places that have gone like in, in the mountains for instance and I'm sure you have some in Colorado, but when you come upon a certain rock or a certain area and then you find out later from the local people, yeah, that's considered a sacred space and you can feel it, you feel it when you enter the area or a grove of trees or a cave, there's so many famous sacred caves because of saints and prophets and people that may have meditated in them throughout the whole world.

Exactly. I remember a place when I was living in Asia that I had gone to. It's an island, I think an island called Lombok and it was just absolutely gorgeous and you would go from white sand to black sand, you know and it was just really magnificent. And I also remember a time when my husband and I had gone to New Zealand and we went into some really remote places um and even took a plane ride um small little plane ride um just into areas that you couldn't, you could not get to with other ways basically. But I just remember just the colors of the water out there were so Turquoise, they were just and it was it was very sacred, very sacred feeling space and I felt really in tune at one with with this area.

It was just amazing. I wish I could go back, Put it on your list. Yes, I definitely wish I could go back. But there are other places that I've lived after I moved back to the U. S. I moved to colorado. I lived in colorado for 10 years and we had a beautiful piece of property that was in the mountains on the other side of pikes peak and it was at about 8800 ft and we had just beautiful um sunrises and we had beautiful sunsets. We had beautiful moon rises. Um We had just incredible rainbows. We had never seen so many magnificent rainbows just because of the way the weather patterns were, you know, we didn't get a whole lot of rain. But and I remember there was a place on the property where we had created an outdoor fire pit and it wasn't that we had a typical fire pit further away from the house, but we also had this fire pit with just these beautiful rose and pink colored rocks that Michael had had put all put all together.

And I just remember having many nights out there on that patio with a, with a fire roaring fire. It was just just mesmerized by being there looking into the fire and just being quiet. It really just, you're painting a great image that it was just, it was just amazing. So that's a good point because there are some places that on the earth that you feel are very sacred, whether it's from what has happened before in those places or just the matter of it being Gaia Mother earth, and then there's places where you can create a sacred space and so that's what the blog was about. Taking some of that, those feelings and the qualities of what you find in nature and bringing it into your home. Exactly, exactly. So let's talk about that a little bit and I think we've probably covered that. There's a but maybe we could go into a little bit more depth about why it's important to have even a sacred space or you know, sacred spaces in our home.

Yeah, I think for me anyway, having that is a place for grounding and whether it's for ending your day, starting your day finding a place of solace during the middle of the day. There are lots of reasons to have one, but I think it really tunes you in and makes you and sync with what your purposes and so hopefully you can carry that throughout your day well. And I can, I can definitely attest to the effort that you put into it because we're actually in your meditation space just for this purpose in this episode today. And it's, it's quite remarkable, it's the energy feels just wonderful and it keeps me on a high, but at the same time I feel a calm centeredness about it. So I can, I can sense the energy and the time that you and your husband have spent in this space is that, you know how they say that it is when people are typically doing something over and over in the same place, it really builds up an energy and that's why for instance, when I go to a monastery, like in Conyers, when you go in and you the place where the monks have been in there praying or chanting or meditating, then you really feel that and it's palpable in the air is, and I, I um there have been places in europe that I have, I have felt that even churches, um, and I have to say even in my, in my home, I've always had um many altars in sacred spaces throughout the house when I had my home in Colorado.

Um When we lived in Singapore, when we lived here and when we came back here, even my current house, I've got these little, many altars that in the purpose and the purpose is, it's almost as if every, I think every just about every room has something something um in it that is a sacred space where for instance, I've got one room that has a beautiful buffet with a gorgeous mirror attached to it. And I've got candles, beautiful candles and my dragon's got some beautiful dragons on it. So they're reminders when you walk. Yeah. And then in my, this one real special place, I've got um a statue of quan yin and a statue of the goddess ISis and all sorts of crystals. And it's each, each space in my home serves a purpose for me.

And and I usually have incense burners all over the place because I love it. It is, I love the smell of incense. But it also I think sets a tone. It does so and that comes from our background, whether it's our life or you know, just that it's been used throughout history exactly the same with, I love the altars like that you see in japan and places where people are also bringing the fruit in India, they bring to the altar yeah. Oftentimes, I'll celebrate the seasons and the solstices and the equinox with different fruit and things on this one altar in my dining room. Um and that's, I think that's a proposal from my dining room. Y'all bring, you know, fruit and and and food and and things from outside, even plants. I even have an altar outside in my backyard um in the garden and that's a great place to have because there can be the busy garden where you're, you know, growing fruits and vegetables and flowers and then there can be that special little place.

I have one that needs a lot of work right now. But if I have a statue back there of saint Francis and it is also where I go for memories of my past pets, I sit and think about them. That's that's wonderful. And I've seen your statue, the ST Francis statue and it's it's, you know, it has meaning. These spaces have meaning for us and they make us feel good. And that's why I think it's important to have um sacred spaces. And I've even been told before that when people come in, they see my house as a story house, you know, because I've got these little little settings and almost like it paints a story in each room um with how I've set up the space that's beautiful. And you also have a lot of whimsical things outside too. So that fits in with the story theme. Yeah, it does. Well, it's important, you know, when you look at things like fung shui setting up your house with the energies or the four directions and things like that, all that kind of comes into play because your whole house or apartment can be, or even just your room can be a sacred space too.

And it's what you put into it. It is. And so it would be helpful to maybe share one of the, one of the steps or how do we create that? The sacred space or spaces within our home, you know, how do we start? Yeah, I think some of it is intuitively you have to, you know, if you start fresh for instance, when we first moved here and we were the first owners and so like fresh energy in the house, but we shit, we did choose this room because it was kind of in the middle and it has a nice sunset view, that would be the right size. And then we went about by what's a color that vibrates well with both of us. So we picked kind of a rose color and then we started, we had brought all these things that we had built up over many years that had significance to a spiritual significance and we brought those and decided what went where we brought in a wind chime, that's quite loud. I know I love that one time.

It really, we don't bring it because it is really loud, but what's so nice about it is every once in a while you can just hear it vibrating and so that's a really nice so you hear a little bit of a hum, a little bit of home. Yeah and then our our dogs actually enjoy coming into this room. They seem to calm down and that's quite impressive for for the puppy especially, but when she walks in this room she seems more like she comes down and lays down. She does meditate with us. I think that that dogs, animals are so in tuned to energy and I think that they feel it, they sense it and they know that this is a quiet space, this is a place to retreat and to relax and go within. And um and I think it's, it's interesting to how your spaces have evolved because you talked about in your blog, how you, you and john first started out with just some things on the table top and then you went to half a closet full closet.

Just depends on where you live. Yeah. When when I was growing up I have of course I had all my favorite things in my room and then went off to college. I think I just had pictures that would remind me of home. And then I, when john and I met and he showed me his room and meditation area, it was just a little tabletop and he had incense and candles and um some pictures and then as we, when we moved into an apartment we had a half closet and so we set it up. We called it the transporter room which is what we still call it today, that room, it was very minimal. We had just a few things in their pillows and some beautiful scarves that would hang as a curtain almost. And then we moved into another apartment that had a bigger closet. So that was nice because then we could both meditate at the same time and there and then finally when we moved into this house we had a whole room which we filled up.

Now I said in the blog and it's true it's all depending on what you like and what your style is and I am a collector. So I do have a lot of stuff and john had all the spiritual books, a lot of Eastern philosophy and so we have a lot of books and a lot of little things, arrowheads and crystals and minerals and fossils and native american rattles and then I have tibetan bells. So all things that are significant to me. And so when I look at them, I resonate well with them and they bring me to a spiritual place and what's interesting is they all come from different cultures, you know, so it's a bit eclectic which very well rounded. Yes, I like that. So I think when you are just trying to build it don't be limited by any images you think you have to to use, you know, just start with things and put it together and see how it feels and then meditate or pray or just be in silence and journal and things will come to you as to what you want to keep and what you want to not have in that room exactly where you want it to be.

And I know it's not always easy. We know for even families where you've got, you know, yeah. You know, maybe the kids are in and out and, and um, and you need some space for yourself and, and particularly if, you know, if you're living in a small house or an apartment, it's not always easy to do that. So you don't necessarily, it doesn't have to necessarily be a, you know, a a room. But it could be just, I mean you mentioned in the blog post that you have a friend that meditates and has a sacred space in her kitchen. Yeah, she has a beautiful kitchen window facing a backyard with a really pretty tree and then she is very busy house during the day. But then she has some time in the mornings that she can just make herself a small pot of tea and a cup and she has her journal and she sits there and it's peaceful and quiet and it's just as a favorite spot because of the view and you know, I can just every time I think about that, I think how peaceful that is and how it influences her whole day.

And another friend of mine, I didn't put it in the blog, but she has a very hectic life and she just doesn't have the space in her house really she feels like, so she uses a carpool line when she's picking up her kids and she has A poster on her advisor, a postcard on advisor and some other things in the car that just bring her to a very grounded and centered place. And it's like 2030 minutes sometimes waiting. So it's a great way to spend there. It is. It is, I mean there you could, you know, you can find sacred space anywhere. You just got to look for it, right? And it's got to be something that has meaning for you. So it's it's really about one setting the intention. So knowing you know who if the space is for you or if you're sharing it like you share it with your husband and then deciding where in the house. And it can be simple, very simple. Doesn't have to be elaborately right?

Yeah. It doesn't have to be elaborate. But it's what has meaning to you. I think that's the most important part. And then when you go there if like for instance, we're using this room for the podcast. But the intent is that we are helping other people through hearts rise up. So it's good intention in this room now we don't have, we don't eat in this room, we don't have company come and sit and just chat in this room. This is, has got a purpose to it. And the same thing when you're, if you have to use a space in your living room, maybe that's your little spot at a certain time of day and that's like a secret. Exactly. And I feel very fortunate that we have the opportunity to share the space at this moment in time. And it's also about creating a space that's really very personal to you. So bringing and placing objects or things that represent what has meaning and purpose for you.

And I, in, in your space, I can see there's, you have just, you have different Buddhas and you know, um different um hindi, um Saints and saints and I love that, that pot right there, that's with the dragon because I love dragons. I have so many dragons in my house and some things are antiques that I had just gotten over time. Some are things that have been gifts and some of the things that I have found that I'm really attracted to. For instance, I grew up loving horses and my other, I guess you could say animal totem that really helps me be grounded and strong and solid as turtles. So I have lots of little turtles around in here and they're whistle turtles and just, you know, whatever makes you happy. Well, you know, I don't know what that reminds me, I don't know whether, you know, I have a little mini alter in the living room in the corner by the bay window that has three turtles on it.

So I'll have to show that to you next time you're over it. And then the reason for the, it was in the blog too. But the reason for the rattles or the bells or even just clapping is to shake up the energy and break up and I clear a space. So this is, I learned this from a friend of mine who does a lot of shaman training and studying and so before we would do a meditation or something, she would rattle the room. And I've also been to some ceremonies where rattle and drum are really important for starting a ritual and then the bell to um, especially the tibetan bell. So there's a lot of meaning in that. But even in a more practical sense, I go to Toastmasters. And so Toastmasters is all about clapping. So it's clapping is to acknowledge the person, but it's also to help energy in the room. So if you're, if you're feeling like you're in a space that's really low, you know, just start clapping or whistling.

That also changes the energy. So, and that reminds me I've been to one of your Toastmasters and now that you're describing that, I can see how that once you, once you get into, once you you get into the Toastmasters Toastmasters meeting, you actually are creating sacred space because you're all, they're focusing your energy on one another, being there for one another helping one another. Yes, very, very supportive. And I think that that's really interesting how you mentioned the clapping because that is a that is a ritual that you have in Toastmasters and that your particular group, that that's a ritual that you do every single time. And that's, that's really, really important. What other kinds of rituals have you? I do light candles or maybe some oil, aromatic oils, but mostly I think it's making sure it's pretty silent in the room.

Now a lot of people use music and I do like ambient music. If I am going to do something like what I call a journey where I go in with an intention and meditate and try to get images and then I journal it afterwards. But if I'm just going in to meditate, then I like the silence. Well, there's always the birds outside and things like that, which is fine. But in general, the silence is very helpful to bring me into the space quicker. And then I have other things like the techniques that you learned about the different meditations that also help you go in quicker and not that quick is important. But when you are trying to balance your time out during the day, you want to give quality time to things like meditation or prayer. So what are the, those techniques that you use? The mainly is the breath and I know we've talked about it before, but just focusing your attention on the breath and let's say you come in and you're just starting out when you pay attention to how your breathing and then take three really good deep, intentionally filling your lungs and exhaling completely and then start just following the natural course of your breath.

And I say put attention on the inhalation, exhalation and the still point, the still points. Exactly. That's one of the things that I do in my meditations as I focus on the still point, it's amazing. It's those pauses because that's where the silence is and what's nice is, I mean, I've meditated on trains and planes and everything, but when you're in a meditation room and you catch yourself observing yourself and then you kind of lose the feeling and you open your eyes if you're in your meditation room and there's something like, okay, yeah, I can go right back in versus if you're on a plane or on a bus or a train or something that it's a little harder to go back in, but you can meditate anywhere I believe. Well, I've I've done it a lot of times. I'll wake up in the middle of the night and I will grab my phone and I'll put a meditation, um guided meditation on or I'll put some music from Pandora off a calm meditation and I that that will just get me back into a sort of that I'm still in that lucid state, but it's a great opportunity to just go within in the, in the middle of the night, particularly if I wake up when I've got, maybe I got something on my mind and I started thinking about it and I don't want the mind to just go awry, got to just reel it in and you know, go into meditation and then I might have to deal with my husband snoring and if that's the case and it gets too loud another room most of the time I can tune it out, but sometimes I can't and I have to go into another bedroom, I have another space where I can I can do that.

And when it is the middle of the night, I prefer to stay lying down because I just think it's just better for my my my energy level the, you know, the rest of the day, once I get up, but I do find that sitting in my sacred space, I get into tend to get into deeper states of meditation. Yeah, I agree. We have meditated laying down, but I usually I tend to fall asleep if I do that. So sitting up and like I said in the blog originally, it was all sitting cross legged on the floor with pillows. And now, as we've gotten older, it's more likely in the chair and the dogs have the pillows, but it has been, I mean there have been times where I've been very strict with myself with techniques and things, but I think the most important part is to use your mind and your breath and just, you know, focus, focus and put that attention Exactly. And the time you can say that it stretches or you can say that it flies, but It goes by quickly.

And when I learned transcendental meditation a long time ago, that was the first meditation I learned. And they used to say 20 minutes of transcendental meditation is like a couple hours of sleep. So you really can refresh your body and your mind and sacred space is really, I mean you really even your own inner being is your sacred space. It doesn't have to be a physical space. So exactly. We carry it with us. It's nice to have the space, the environment from that standpoint, but at the same time you can be on a busy bus or train or airplane and there's all sorts of noise around you. But if you have your own, if you tap into your own inner sacred space. In fact, sometimes that is I used to challenge myself when I worked in a busy mall here in Atlanta, I would challenge myself to go out during the holiday season to sit in the middle of the mall when it was crazy and really focused and it was almost like everything around me became a blur and you could feel the energy but it wasn't interfering at all with what I was trying to create.

It was very cool. Yeah, it is, you just got to get creative with it. So for all of you out there listening to this episode, um it's really all about getting creative with your own space, setting an intention for what you want that space to be and finding the right space in the home and just getting um setting it up and getting creative with what has meaning for you, what objects, what symbols, what rituals, what you know what things work for you. You know, you may you may be into prayer and and that's that's quite all right. Um that's an active form of meditation. So um so I think that um there's lots of benefits of going into um into your home and looking at and and figuring out what feels right for a sacred space and make it your own exactly anything else you'd like to close with.

No, I just think there's like we were talking about there's so many opportunities to find the sacred in every moment. And so if you think about tick, not han the Vietnamese um monk who he talked about finding sacred moments in everything you do and in fact one of his books was about washing dishes finding the peace and doing that. So it's really any of the mundane, what you think of mundane, They're not necessarily mundane, but the daily chores that you might have to do or sweeping a porch or chop wood, carry water, all these things that are great philosophies that just kind of start thinking about those and it's those simple things that really create big benefits really. It really does and it's all about the focus focusing on it because you can really get into washing the dishes if you really, if, you know, if I had my druthers, I prefer to wash dishes then do laundry, you know, seriously, I don't like doing laundry, but I like washing dishes.

I like the way the water, you know, feels on my hands. I love the soap, um the scent of the soap and I love, you know, getting the dishes nice and clean and yeah, it feels good. It's a chance to use all of your senses. And I think in these times it's really important to do that because we get kind of numb a little bit from our, our digital world that we're surrounded by and we can use it to good purpose like you do when you wake up and you listen to a meditation or a podcast, but there's a there's a lot of that has kind of created a numbing nous and we've become a little more isolated sometimes by the technology that's supposed to connect us. But we really can make use of the moments. And those sacred moments as well as the sacred spaces by feeling the environment around you with all your senses. Exactly. And I, you know, I I use my phone for meditation because I have different pieces of music that I like to use.

I even have my own recorded meditations that um are quite, quite fascinating to listen to listen to your yourself in a guided meditation. Well, I think this is a wonderful discussion. I've enjoyed it and I have to and I hope that we'll hear from some of our listeners to see what some of their sacred spaces are like and what they have done to make them special that maybe they wouldn't mind sharing. Exactly. And thank you for joining us today everyone. Hey there before you go. We hope today's show inspired you to believe in and tap into your own inner power, dig deep and rise up to your best and highest self. Just a few things before we go, we'd be so grateful if you'd leave us a review on Itunes because those reviews are important to our show and we'd love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others on your favorite social media channels. Finally, are you rising up to your best self every day, Let us know more about any tips and strategies you have to share by reaching out to us at www dot hearts rise up dot com.

Or email us at hello at Hart's Rise up dot com. Thank you. Bye for now. I know dear listeners as you contemplate your sacred space and as a thank you for tuning into our podcast today. Here is a nine minute meditative piece of music by john, sorry. It's called Breath of the Valley enjoy. Mhm mm hmm.

Yeah. Mhm mm hmm. Yeah. Mm hmm mm hmm mm hmm. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. Okay. Mm hmm. Mhm mm hmm.

Ep. 9 - Sacred Space Is All Around Us
Ep. 9 - Sacred Space Is All Around Us
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