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Wednesday
Jul292009

House Gods

     

Do you have a place of peace and calm in your home that has been dedicated to your spiritual practices – to your concept of the Divine or to your relationship with your Guru or God? A place where you can sit in quiet contemplation and in communion with that which is sacred to you?

 It has long been a tradition in many countries and among most religions and spiritual communities to have part of the home kept separate from the other usual domestic activities - a place of stillness and reflection, dedicated to contemplation of – and interaction with - the Divine.

 Whether you live by yourself or if you want to maintain a place of family worship, you can create a specific area to become the focal point where you, family members and loved ones are reminded of God’s presence and where spiritual practice - including a chosen deity - is brought into the center of your daily life. It is often helpful to have “house gods” - in the form of small statues and sacred items representing and enhancing elements of your faith or ideals- placed in this sacred space. If you wish you can also carry such a symbol with you as a source of inspiration and protection.

 You may have the opportunity to dedicate an entire room or you may only be able to consecrate a corner in your home as your sacred place; it depends on your lifestyle and your circumstances. No home or space is too small or too humble. However, it should be a place that is separate from other activities within your home; a quiet corner for a small table or shelf that can serve as a shrine or home altar will suffice.  

 Such a shrine becomes a very personal area where you place ornaments and decorations that are meaningful to you and to your relationship with the Divine. You may wish to cover it with a beautiful cloth, have flowers, candles and incense to surround the main focus of your shrine, whether this is an image or small statue of your Deity or Spiritual Master - any representation of the Divine that you can relate to and which inspires and aids you in meditation,  contemplation or prayer.

 Some people may use a rosary or mala for prayer or mantra to assist in focusing; others may feel aided by a particular piece of music. Incense can subtly change the vibrations around you; flowers reflect beauty and music can calm you. Candles contribute to a meditative atmosphere and the flame can assist in concentration and focusing of thoughts. Indeed, whatever you feel will assist you to reach a state of peace and serenity and to bring you closer to the divinity within you - into the perception of God’s presence and the universal energy – is conducive and appropriate.

 Whenever time permits, some form of purification is advisable before entering into this special sanctum like preparing your body by taking a shower or bath and using clean clothing. In many traditions certain times are set aside for the practice to allow for such preparation. You can also be spontaneous and visit the area whenever you feel you wish to do so in order to integrate the spiritual path more fully into your life as a whole. Whenever possible, it is better not to have eaten a large meal before your meditation and to feel light in body and spirit as this aids alertness and spiritual awareness.

 Benefits: The more time you spend in your sanctum, the less the chaos, haste and anger of the external world around you will affect you and the more you will be able to:

· remain stable and balanced;

· be able to make those decisions that will positively affect you and those near you; and

· maintain a happy and healthy life.

 

For further information email: adhyatmik@netscape.net

 

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