May 1998 (Vol. XI, No. 5)

BLESSINGS, dear friends. As the flowers begin to bloom, 'tis a good time to pause in the Silent Sacred Space of our own heart soil to celebrate all that wants to flower in us.

Mountains are huge contemplatives

The silence of landscape conceals vast presence. Place is not simply location. A place is a profound individuality. Its surface texture of grass and stone is blessed by rain, wind, and light. With complete attention, landscape celebrates the liturgy of the seasons, giving itself unreservedly. The shape of a landscape is an ancient and silent form of consciousness. Mountains are huge contemplatives. Rivers and streams offer voice; they are the tears of the earth's joy and despair. The earth is full of soul.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Sacred space is the playground of the soul

Sacred space is the playground of the soul. To create a sacred space, we start from nothing. We define its parameters, clear it of accoutrements, and bless the emptiness. Then we bring to the space only that which leads us into harmony with our own center, fortifies us, reflects our intention, reminds us of the reason we are there. Our sacred space is defined in such a way that everything in it becomes a metaphor for the journey out of the secular realm and into the spiritual, when we disengage from the limits of time and temporal concerns.

~ from MARRY YOUR MUSE by Jan Phillips

Certain redwood groves are holy places for me

Certain redwood groves are holy places for me because they capture silence and light. The forest is so dense as to exclude all external noise. It is possible to ignore their silence until a single bird sings within. When the single song has died not only do I realize I have heard a sound exquisite in its simplicity, but also that I have heard it so precisely because it was embedded in pure silence.

~ from IN SEARCH OF STONES by M. Scott Peck

In this sacred space, the goal is not to hide from others

When we sit prayerfully in silence and solitude we are entering the desert, our desert. In this sacred space, the goal is not to hide from others, devoid of pain, or to hold ourselves apart from and above the community in which we live. It is to receive the grace to learn to face ourselves directly so we can learn to live ordinariness, to live ethically and generously with others.

~ from TOUCHING THE HOLY by Robert J. Wicks

What is essential is to keep the heart always open to beauty

Bede Griffiths once said to me,

"What is essential is to keep the heart always open to beauty."

What could be harder in an age like ours? And yet, it is just because our age is so harsh and brutal that it is more than ever essential to create around us, in our homes and offices and meeting places, a sacred environment. To do so is to awaken the poet in each of us, the poet and the lover of life and beauty. Creating a sacred environment is not complicated; it just requires concentration and the constant reminder that the one important thing in your life is to keep your heart open to Divine Love.

~ from MARY'S VINEYARD by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut

Our homes can become sacred places

I want to remind myself and others that our homes can become sacred places, filled with life and meaning.

~ Gunilla Norris

Should a greater ecological awareness begin to shape our thinking

Should a greater ecological awareness begin to shape our thinking, new symbols would arise that could bind the scientific and the spiritual and would reinfuse all life with the essence of the sacred. We would be increasingly capable of envisioning the "blue, true dream" that is the living Earth luminous in the darkness of the surrounding sky.

~ in FROM ECO-CITIES TO LIVING MACHINES by Nancy and John Todd

A place of peaceful rest amidst my struggles

Your arched aisles wooed me near, a place of peaceful rest amidst my struggles.

~ from PORTRAITS IN RHYME by John Albert

Sacred spaces can be created anywhere

Even as a child I knew the sacredness of personal space. I remember going behind my grandmother's house to a place where I could hide behind tall weeds. I would sit for hours in my circle of stones. That space was so special I never revealed it to even my closest playmates... Sacred spaces can be created anywhere. When I felt a need for a sacred simplicity within my city home, on a sudden inspiration, I emptied a closet and painted it white. Within this purified space, I placed a stone, a leaf, a bowl of water and a sitting cloth from the Amazon -- things special to me at that moment. I had created my own sacred space.

~ from "Earth As Sacred Space" by Vijali in EARTHWALKING SKY DANCERS

A sacred space is a place where you feel protected

A sacred space is a place where you feel comfortable and protected. You are free from outside influences to meditate, pray, or just sit quietly and be.

~ Leila Castle

The quiet place has to be within he person first of all

I looked at the gentle blue-eyed Englishman and asked him how he managed to meditate and concentrate in such a noisy, busy place.

"It's not difficult," he replied. "I simply incorporate the sounds into my meditation. It becomes a kind of rhythm. It doesn't disturb my peace and quiet at all."

I recognized that the quiet place, the sacred place, has to be within the person first of all.

~ John Hofield in SEEING THROUGH THE VISIBLE WORLD by June Singer

This room was a sacred space

This room was a sacred space, a place that he had chosen to make especially his own, a place redeemed from mere "use" in which he would make a conscious attempt to be at rest and to put a part of his life in order. In short, this was the evidence that the man was able to pray.

~ from A DRESSER OF SYCAMORE TREES by Garret Keizer

Let us enter into silence

Let us enter into silence, that the Holy Mystery might take possession of us.
~ Nan Merrill

Silence entered me

One day I stood quietly gazing through our sliding glass doors... It was a windless day and without thinking, I found myself slipping into a silent world. Then, something overcame me. Whereas silence had been a visitor, a friend with whom I communed when I chose, now silence slipped into the core of my being. Without my knowing, without even my conscious consent, silence entered me.
~ from SILENCE: Making the Journey to Inner Quiet by Barbara Erakko Taylor

Wherever you live is your Sacred Chapel

Wherever you live is your Sacred Chapel if you treat is as the abode of the Beloved.
~ Nan Merrill