Rituals for Creating a Temple Space
I have learned that rituals are inquiries, an interaction, a tantric dance. They are an invitation to the universe ~~ inviting in response. They are an interaction between our material world and the spiritual world. A call to spirit. Rituals are signifiers of an embodied practice. The mistake we often make in our material culture is that its about possessing object — the palo santo, the candle, the wand. In the busyness of our lives, we forget how we need to activate these objects with our full body presence and intentions. How can the world help us if we don’t know what we’re asking for? We make assumptions that everyone knows how we’re feeling, what we’re thinking and what we need at all times. We give away that power to others. Rather, we have the freedom and power to conjure our reality at all times, like casting a spell — so it comes down to our attention, intention and open inquiry that isn’t attached to an outcome. We can do our rituals, and afterwards, its about letting go and surrendering to the outcome completely. Our own desires can only take us so far. The harmonious orchestration of the universe can take it from there.
The ritual of creating a home (or office) is a spiritual practice. There is no shortcutting or transcending into the cosmos with this one. The only way is through daily deliberate actions in the material realm that often require making mistakes, breaking things and dealing with delays. No one was able to build a home just by meditating. The constraints of time, space and energy are in fact your companions. They provide the structure for our creativity to flourish.
This is my final month in my home atop the ridge of Tesuque, Santa Fe. It has become my temple over the last 7 months of devotion. Alters have emerged in every corner. Flower arrangements, sprinkles and little reminders surprise and delight each corner. An honoring of the space that reflects back my own beauty and divinity. The sweet choir of a space well loved. The harmonious resonance of space that has been honored.
How can every moment and action in our homes be intentionally crafted? How can we cultivate a space that allows for the fullest appreciation of life? How can the tools in our space open up new possibilities? How can the geometry of a space inform the types of inquiries and ideas we seek to explore?
For me, this begins with a deep listening to the space and what is wants to be. In every space, there are three dimensions: a functional aspect, an aesthetic aspect and a spiritual aspect. Some of the inquiries that I sit with are: What is the function of this corner of the universe? What does the aesthetic beauty of this space evoke for me? And what is the spiritual energy of this corner of the universe? What is it inviting you into? What part of your body feels activated? What emotion does it conjure for you? What aspect of yourself comes forward?
A beautiful exercise to train this muscle is: Whenever you enter a new space, listen to how you body feels in that space. Where are your senses drawn to? Where do your eyes fall? What do you smell and what feelings are conjured?
Take moments to jot down your observations in a journal. I also recommend using your iPhone camera or camera to snap shots of spaces that you really love and take down notes as to why. A great designer is not only someone who has refined their ability to listen and observe, but who methodologically practices how to create new realities that resonate for them. You are the world’s best designer for your own life. Sit in the seat of your inner interior designer, and interview and study yourself.
An Offering: Temple Design Worksheet
I created this worksheet to help guide you in your journey of re-discovering or creating a new sacred space in your home or work. May it serve you on your journey of designing your gorgeous space!