Friday, July 4, 2008

Seeking Sacred Space

Recently I had a delicious lunch with my friend Anne, and she invited me to visit her garden, which is in peak season right now.

It was glorious, aglow with color and promise, ripening fruits, veggies and flowers. And there at the back of the garden, this bench and tree: an invitation to sit and revel in the glory of it.

There are sacred spaces all around us: some we create, some created by others for us, and some which just seem to emerge on their own. But it's easy, especially on days like today, with so much going on -- parades, bake sales, fireworks, car shows, house guests -- to forget or ignore the sacred space in our lives; to be just too busy to appreciate.

But I find it's really only by taking the time to stop -- if only for a few minutes -- and allow that peace to seep into our souls -- that we have the energy and patience to get through the rest of the time.

Yesterday a friend complained he'd gone home for lunch to accomplish work around the house, and when he got there he couldn't figure out where to start and wasted all the break running around in circles.

"But didn't you plan out what you would do on your drive home?" I asked.

"Oh, no, I was busy returning all these calls on my cell phone," he replied.

So when I saw in yesterday's mail, later in the day, that a new ruling in Washington State makes it illegal to drive while talking or texting on a cell, I had to smile: a government mandate to rest!

I keep hearing my friends say, "Yeah, meditation is great, but I don't have time for that." Yet these are the same friends who complain that they just can't seem to get organized; can't seem to stay on top of things.

Sound familiar? If so, it may be that you, too, need to take time to sit. Set aside your cell phone and your to-do list, make yourself comfortable someplace where you might not be interrupted, and allow your mind to wander. Don't worry about meditating, just let it wander -- but don't get to caught up in what appears.

Breathe in what sounds and scents surround you; breathe out whatever peace rises up from within you, feel your body settle into the moment of freedom, and rest. There will be plenty of time to accomplish all you need to accomplish, and your brain will be better able to wrap itself around those tasks when you are done.

... and remember: don't text and drive!

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