A PLACE TO BREATHE | A Sacred Space for Meditation
As I climb the steep, old library ladder, I already feel my head start to clear of today’s annoyances, frustrations, and stresses. The room is in a high loft in my bedroom. The ceiling is low and vaulted – even at its highest point, I’m unable to stand up straight, but that’s ok because I come up here to sit, not stand.
When I reach the top of the ladder, I’m greeted by my beloved floor-to-ceiling diamond-shaped stained glass window. I found it myself at the Ocean Grove Flea Market and it’s one of my all-time favorite purchases. I bought it as a square window: a clear glass square in the center and many small, multi-colored glass squares all around the center. When I brought it home I didn’t know where it was going to go in my still-being-built house, but my husband took one look at it and knew it had to be put on its side, making it a diamond shape instead of its intended square form and the focal point of the home’s exterior. Now, fifteen years later, it’s the most gorgeous focal point of my meditation space as well.
Patiently waiting for me in front of the brilliant colored squares of glass is the stool my mom lovingly made by hand for me this past Christmas. I assume my position: kneeling with my legs out the back of the stool while sitting and sinking into the plush cushion on top. I reach for my “Panic Button” essential oil and dab a couple drops of the lavender, rose, and citrus elixir in my palms and rub it in. I bring my palms up to my face, take in a deep inhale, and feel all the tension in my back immediately start to loosen like a knot about to come undone.
Standing in front of me is a small wooden box draped in silk that acts as my makeshift altar. It’s not fancy, but covered in some of my favorite treasures, it has become a sacred space to me. There’s an oil-slicked abalone shell with a fat bundle of sage resting inside; a piece of an abandoned bee hive; a Ganesha statue, which is a gift from someone dear to me; a row of vibrantly-colored crystals: flashy blue labradorite, water-clear quartz, purple amethyst–spiky in form yet calming to the spirit. Hanging above my head, looking over me is a drawing of the goddess Saraswati, given to me by my good friend and meditation teacher.
I light a cone of Goloka incense and carefully place it on the base of my terracotta teepee incense burner. Watching what happens next is a meditation in itself as I find myself immediately entranced by the display of smooth, white beams of smoke quickly turning into a multitude of unfurling silvery tendrils that manifest into a veil of fog-like haze in the air above. I pick up my headphones and place them firmly on my ears canceling out all the noises of the world. It’s just me, my breath, and my thoughts now. I press play to turn on the soothing voice of my guide for this session. I tune into my breathing and feel it rushing in and out of my nostrils like velvet. In and out, in and out, with each breath the space between thoughts becomes wider and wider and I float far away from whatever was troubling me that day.
After about 20 minutes or so, the soft gong sounds, bringing me gently back to Earth. I slowly open my eyes and reverently thank the universe for everything good in my life. There is so much.
“A PLACE TO BREATHE” by Jennifer Robbins of Moonage Daydream