Creating a sacred space: Setting up the sacred space

Setting up the physical layout of the sacred landscape is essential to the initial effectiveness and the ability of the landscape to be recognized as sacred.
The space has to have some degree of isolation from the hubbub of life. Think of the manifestation of the inner space needed for prayer or meditation. It needs, primarily, to be quiet. Strong sense stimuli, like odors, need to be avoided. It needs to afford some degree of privacy. It needs to be physically comfortable. The balance between the amount of sun and shade that is appropriate for the climate, needs to be struck.
Artistic sensitivity is the best guide for the introduction of sense stimulating features. Quiet is enlivened by gently moving water and supported by still water. A sitting place both sets the mood of contemplation and makes it possible to ‘be’ in the space quietly. The ability to move between shade and sun makes the space usable during any season and weather. During rain, contemplation of the sacred takes on a special character. Most of us need to be under cover to appreciate the magic of rain.
These are the thoughts that arise in me when I link meditation and the creation of a sacred outdoor space. The parallels are a living metaphor, as are the parallels in so much of nature and soul-life.

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