How to create
your sacred space
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are”
– Chinese Proverb
Create a tranquil area in your home for yourself or family members to retreat for meditation, prayer, or just some peace and quiet. This can be a room or a small corner within a room. Each sacred space should be personalized for you.
What is your sacred space? Is it a room that is a peaceful, meaningful space for your meditation practice? Or is it a designated place in your home where you feel more centered, grounded and connected to what’s meaningful in your life?
If you live in a small apartment or have a busy household, your sacred space may be as simple as a single object such as a statue, sculpture or private altar deliberately placed in a special location. For others, their sacred spaces could be as expansive as an entire room or garden.
Regardless of the size or location of your space, it’s simple to use objects, lighting, scents and sounds to more tangibly connect with the sacred or spiritual side of yourself. Choose colors, sounds and smells that look and feel good to you. Choose objects that inspire or help you get focus on the ritual of your meditation, prayer or other sacred practice. Eliminate distractions by using a comfortable meditation cushion.
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour”
– Old Zen Saying
If you cannot designate an entire room to your sacred space, consider using a bamboo screen, shoji screen, curtain or other boundary to make your sacred space feel more contained, relaxing, and personal.
And what should you include in your sacred space? There are myriad objects to choose from, but you should select those that are meaningful to you, whether you choose talismans that are symbols of peace and safety, artwork that evokes a sense of peace and calm, or photographs of friends, family and meaningful locations. You may also wish to include plants, flowers, and other living things.
Scented candles, essential oils, and incense can contribute to your peaceful mood. Spicy and woody Frankincense awakens higher consciousness and is good for meditation. Sandalwood helps guide one toward enlightenment. Lemongrass helps concentration and purifies. Relaxing Clary Sage is centering for the soul and Jasmine is calming, relaxing and lifts the spirits.
Lighting is also an important element. Scented candles provide ambient, dimmable lighting. Sounds, whether from musical instruments, a small fountain, or your favorite calming music complete the environment.
And of course you want to be physically comfortable in your space. Make sure the temperature is to your liking, and that the surface you are sitting on is supportive and appropriate.
Whether your life is urban, suburban or rural, whether your home is a sprawling estate or a studio apartment, you can create a special place for simple reflection, traditional meditation, ritual and ceremony. Make your sacred space as comforting and meaningful as possible. But above all, remember that this space is yours.