Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sacred Space

This is a short guided meditation that I wrote for my confirmation class to illustrate in a really experiential way, that we all have sacred space.

I thought I'd share...

There’s something that’s a little hard to describe, but there’s something about a place. It might be a memory that comes up, or a feeling – a feeling of being safe, or unsafe – think about it. We all have spaces that are sacred to us. We can feel it when someone else is there with us because we’re just so aware of the space. For instance, your bedroom at home.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine your bedroom at home. Imagine yourself lying on your bed, playing a game, reading a book, or talking on the phone. You’re lying on your bed. Picture it. Feel it. What does it feel like? What does it smell like? Know all the little details, feel them – how light or dark is it? Is the door open or closed? Is the window open or shut – is the shade drawn? What does it feel like? Think of three words that describe to you what it feels like.

Now, imagine that someone just walked in, uninvited and unannounced, into your bedroom and they’re standing just inside the doorway. And it’s not just anyone – it’s the one person on this earth that you truly do not like.

How do you feel now? Is it different from how you felt before your sacred space was invaded? Now imagine that person accepting that they are not welcome and graciously leaving your space – whether or not they’d do that in person, imagine it happening. How does it feel now? Is there still some anger or annoyance, or bitterness left over? It would make sense if there were. If that’s true for you, imagine yourself putting down the book, or the game, or telling the person on the other end of the phone that you’ll call them back in a few.

Imagine yourself getting up, standing in the middle of the room so you can see the door, and lighting a candle. If you’re not allowed to have candles in your bedroom, don’t worry – you have permission just this once. Light the candle and hold it in your hands. Watch the flame. Imagine the light of the flame driving out the darkness of the feelings that were left over by your unwelcome visitor. Imagine that all of the negativity is getting burned up, consumed along with the wax of the candle. Imagine that the barely discernable smoke that comes from the flame is the prayer, rising to God, that this space be clean again – not the sort of clean that comes from vacuuming or dusting, but the sort of clean that describes a place you know you’re safe in. Take a deep breath as you look at your candle. Your space is your own, again, so now you can blow out the candle and put it aside.

Go back to your bed and sit on the edge. Just sit there. Sit there without picking up anything to do, sit there and revel in the fact that your space is okay again. Sit, and breathe, and be in your space. Sit and breathe and be in your space, your safe, comfortable, warm space. Sit and be in your space for a few moments more, even while I don’t say anything at all. When I sound the bowl again, open your eyes and come back to this space, but for now, just sit on the edge of your bed and be in your own sacred space.

…As you can see, there are sacred spaces everywhere, and we all have them. And there are some sacred spaces that groups of people hold in common – this church is one of those. We do a lot to keep it sacred, but the biggest thing, the most effective thing that makes is sacred is that God is encountered a lot here – God is encountered in the music, in the prayers, in the people, in the sermon, in the communion, in the symbols, you name it...

No comments: