Merigian Studios


A Sacred Space

A Sacred Space

The weather on the morning after Thanksgiving was gloomy. Thanksgiving day itself was beautiful; clear skies, moderate temperature and sunshine to warm our souls. As I reflected on those things I am most thankful for, I went through the usual list of things that everyone does: my family, my children, my profession, my art, my dogs, my automobiles, my health, my work, my yard, my friends and my innate sense of compassion for others. But one thing stood out beyond all others, I was overwhelmingly thankful to have a sacred space.

Most people have no idea what I am referring to. In most people's lives, they think of their church as being their sacred space. But it is not truly their's. It belongs to the church. It is set up according to the church's ideology. Those of you who use the church as the rope to hang onto to bring you your place of bliss, then your approach allows you to avoid the problems of working out life's conflicts for yourself. This seems to be a major theme amongst my patients. There seems to be a lot of confusion and frustration between what they desire for themselves (healing) and what God desires for them (illness). There is another way. Have your own little tabernacle, your own sacred space, from which you exclude everything else.

What is a sacred space? Any space that is set apart from the daily grind and usual context of life. Most of us are concerned with the pairs of opposites that we experience in life: cause and effect, right and wrong, gain and loss, fulfillment and despair, love and hate, freedom and imprisonment, illness and health. Sacred space has no function in the way of making a wage or a status. Practical use is not the dominant feature of anything in the space. The space contains only those things that are significant to you for the harmonization of your own life. In your sacred space, all things are working in terms of your vibrancy - and not anybody else's.

People go to their scared space to find themselves over and over again because the psychosocial stresses living life are profound, many times disturbing or devastating the true self.

Most people I know do not have a sacred space. A place that is not a wasteland but a field of action where they are rejuvenated. They drink from a fresh bubbling spring from somewhere within themselves and it inspires them. A joy that emerges from inside. Not from something external that injects joy into them. A sacred place that allows them to experience their own will, their own intention and their own wishes. Everyone needs a sacred space. Sadly, from what I can tell, few have one.

Of course, sacred space is intimately connected with sacred time. All we need is sacred space, sacred time and something joyous to do. In that space, almost anything transforms into continuous and increasing joy. I have my art in all of its forms. It is my sacred space. I am Thankful for it. I am alive because of it.

Sacred spaces serve as playgrounds, if you are doing what seems like play, you are in it. But you cannot come into my space and use my toys, you have to find and nurture your own. I suspect everyone's life has yielded at least a few toys along the way, perhaps a glimpse at a playground nearby. One fascinating aspect of caring for the elderly is that they seem to enjoy playing with their past life experiences and the wisdom gained from making life happen. They live finding thoughts they like to entertain.

Think of yourself when you were a child. What did you love to do? What did you end up doing? I bet those two answers are profoundly different, maybe even so different that you repressed your childhood fantasies. If you search back, you will be able to find your childhood passions and your connection to your sacred space. There might even be a connection between the past and the present. You must rediscover the true moving power of your life. The wisdom that I have gained from over thirty years of practicing medicine is that most patient's tensions, their lack of honesty and their sense of unreality came from following the wrong force in their life. I was guilty of it myself. It changed when I reached forty years-old. I have come to realize that work begins when you do not enjoy what you are doing. That holds true for your vocation as well as your close personal relationships. It is better to be alone in your sacred space than to be with someone else in their's.

If life is not play or if you are engaged in play and not having fun, quit!

A sacred place is hermetically sealed off from the temporal world. One is in an eternal zone that is protected from every uninvited stimuli of the day or perhaps the hour. You do not feel their impacts what-so-ever. Everyone needs a sealing-off ritual for themselves whenever one requires it: once a week, once a day or even once an hour. It is an absolute necessity if one is to have an inner life. People need to disengage from the fields of time to be healthy. Once one has found their sacred space, then and only then can they begin to integrate it into the other parts of their life. Little by little, the true authentic self will materialize and the old, inauthentic self will be shed, much like a snake shedding its old skin for the new.

And one will live in metaphors; everything will be different and at the same time, everything will be the same.

Posted by Amanda Sanders at 11:20 AM
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