“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.” ~Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun How often do we set aside time and space in our lives and homes to seek calm and quiet? Sometimes we avoid doing so, and other times we crave having enough time and space for a little quiet time. Instead of waiting for the 'perfect place and time, start now creating sacred space in your home and life.
“Each place is the right place--the place where I now am can be a sacred space. (3)”
― Ravi Ravindra, The Wisdom of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra
Creating sacred space and setting aside time in our lives is important for maintaining balance and harmony . Setting aside both space and time to connect with that which we hold sacred and to take time for prayer, meditation, contemplation, calm, and stillness, can improve all areas of our lives. What do we want to remember when using Feng Shui principles to create a special space in our homes?
Feng Shui principles originally evolved as a means of selecting the most auspicious sites and arrangements for burying loved ones. Siting and maintaining cemeteries and graves developed as a mark of respect for ancestors. The shape and location of the space is one important aspect, but locating the perfect space is often difficult, so ways have developed to counter any negative energy about the locations.
Feng Shui developed into a practice that goes well beyond honoring ancestors. Today Feng Shui principles guid the organization and arrangement of space in our homes, offices,gardens, and public spaces. In our homes it is important to have some space that can be dedicated to sacred practices and sacred time. It can be as simple as a corner of your living room near a window, or as elaborate as an entire room or section of your home. Some people maintain simple altars, while others create sanctuaries in their gardens, special rooms in the home. Sometimes the sacred space is part of a home office, especially if a person works from home and sees clients for counseling, spiritual direction, or some other type of pastoral counseling. Wherever you choose to create sacred space, select the site keeping in mind the flow of energy, light, and location.
In our own sacred spaces in our homes and offices, we take into account the shape and location of sacred space, and we add indigenous plants and animals (figurines, artwork, or live animals/birds) to attract positive Chi/energy. When choosing a location for sacred space in your home, keep in mind the connection between the natural elements and art and functional objects that you use to attract positive Chi/energy and deflect negative Chi/energy.
As you begin creating your space, consider the three rules of Feng Shui creativity from the Feng Shui Lady, Angi Ma Wong, Feng Shui Dos and Taboos.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Consider whether or not your are happy or comfortable with your space, and whether or not you are satisfied with all elements of your life. Are things going well, or not? If things are going well, avoid making major changes and upsetting the balance and harmony that already exists in your home and life.
If you don’t see it, it isn’t there. Feng Shui is based on the use of “assessment, addition, camouflage, removal, deflection, transformation, and protection” (Wong, 49). Feng Shui relies on using our mental perceptions, metaphysical principles, and a spiritual process of organizing and arranging our spaces.
Everything is flexible. Feng Shui is a practice that allows us to be proactive and positive with the energy, space, and time of our lives.
Creating Sacred Space. Creating sacred space allows you to dedicate space in your home for time and practices that support you and your spiritual life. Our spiritual life infuses all areas of our life with meaning, direction, and animation. Take time each day to meditate, pray, be quiet, write in your journal, or do some other type of spiritual practice. Set aside special space for this, and include both indoor and outdoor space if possible.
Feng Shui tips for your sacred space:
Use your own traditions, imagination, creativity, and artistic sensibilities to create your sacred space. Avoid using symbols, objects, or sacred objects that hold no meaning for you. Spirituality is very intimate and personal. Using traditional Chinese symbols may or may not be appropriate for you and your home. Whatever you use to define your spirituality should be the focus of your sacred space.
Set up your sacred space away from the bathroom and out of busy hallways or entryways.
Face your sacred space toward the main entrance to attract protection to your home.
Smudge your sacred space with lavender, cedar, or sage
Keep your sacred space clean. Remove any dried and wilted plants from the space. Remove dried fruit and anything else that holds onto stale energy.
Use candles and lights in your sacred space.
Match any figurines with the element of the directions in your sacred space: East and Southeast is wood; Northwest and West is metal; Northeast and Southwest is earth; North is water and South is fire.
Cows represent wish fulfillment, elephants represent longevity and ethical values, and dragons represent new beginnings. If these symbols represent something else to you and your traditions, honor your own beliefs instead.
If your sacred space is in your bedroom, locate it past the foot of your bed. Avoid putting your sacred space/altar on your bedroom nightstand.
Use artwork and accessories that uplift and inspire you.
Colors carry Chi/energy associated with different types of energy and influences: Red equates to good fortune, Green to Prosperity, and Blue to Water. Black energy is heavy and associated with mourning. Purple is associated with royalty, riches, and spirituality.
Stones and Crystals: Tourmaline is grounding. Re-energize crystals by bathing them in moonlight.Citrine attracts abundance,
Avoid using fans as decorative art as the Chinese word for fan is a homophone from the word, ‘scatter’. Likewise, avoid using items that hold negative connotations (through meaning, experience, language, or traditions for you).
Use feather that you find near your home as decoration. Tie the feathers together in a bundle or arrange them together. Do not throw them away.
Give gifts of orange or kumquat trees as gifts for family or friends’ sacred space.
Cleanse the energy of your home and sacred spaces throughout the year. A great way to remember to do this is to perform your cleansing rituals as the seasons change and/or when special holy times begin and end.
Use mirrors to detract negative sights and energy, and use mirrors to reflect and create space and light in your sacred space. For example, have a mirror to reflect the light of candles.
Groupings of 8 crystals symbolize and energize self- development and wisdom.
When you create a sacred space in your home or garden, perform a cleansing and blessing ritual, to dedicate with intention, the space for special purposes.
Dragon motifs create Yang energy and brings balance to space.
Place religious statues higher than the head of the tallest person in the family.
Use hollow rod wind chimes to stimulate stagnate energy and to enlarge your network of friends, mentors, and supporters.
Feng Shui, like other spiritual practices, must be practiced with good intentions and a pure heart. Your sacred space must enhance your own growth, development, and light up your own soul, and it must not harm or bring injury to anyone else. When you decide to create a sacred space in your home and garden, you are setting aside a special place dedicated to time to more peace in your life. Your space represents the setting aside of both space and time to focus on the spiritual aspects of your life. Spiritual practices may include reading sacred and inspirational readings, writing inspirational songs, prayers, or poems, meditating, singing/chanting, praying, or spending time in quiet contemplation. However you choose to spend time in your sacred space, you will enjoy this time even more when you honor your own physical space. Start creating more sacred space and time in your life today.
“And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” Confucius