If you’ve been out practicing the Senses Meditation I posted in the first of this series of blogs I hope it’s helped to bring a deeper connection with the natural world. To me that really is the first step. Before we step into any work with things unseen it’s important we have a good grounding in this world. So often people use their spirituality or religion as a crutch or an escape from the mundane. But really any spiritual life needs to be integrated and become a living part of our whole existence otherwise it just becomes like a hobby, or a part-time aspect of our lives. If our spiritual path is so integrated into our everyday lives that it doesn’t just help us escape our problems, but actually gives us strength and a focus to help us deal with them, then we have integration.
So where to go next? The senses meditation will help you become more aware and at one with your environment, and by environment I mean getting outside, to a woods, a river, an open park, and opening the senses each time we are there. A strong statement of intent that says I am a part of all of this, and all of this is a part of me. So the next stage would be to bring some of that back into our home and create a space that can be a focus and connection to that space, even when you are in your house. The word many would use for this is an altar, but nature table, sacred space, whatever you’d like to call it is fine.
So the next thing to do is go out to your space – the space where you have been opening your senses. Before you do anything else do the senses meditation again and open yourself up to that sense of oneness and connection. Stay like that for a some time and then ask the Spirits of Place if they will offer a gift to you, a sacred offering from this space that you can take away and bring back to your home. See if your senses guide you to some object. Walk gently, keeping your eyes in the Eyes of the Owl, and see if anything calls out to you. It could be a stone, a fallen seed or branch, a feather, anything. Be open to what might be offered.
It may be that nothing will reveal itself straight away. You may have to come back and do this a few times. That’s perfectly ok – this is about building trust and relationship, and like any human, the Spirits of Place can be suspicious at first. If your intent is clear and true, eventually you will find that object. This is your guide back to this sacred space, and one that you can have in your home. Make sure that you thank the Spirits of Place for the gift (and also make sure it is something that you can legally and ethically take – this isn’t a mandate to steal something that isn’t ours).
When you get home find a shelf or table that you can dedicate for this purpose. Decorate it in a way that feels right for you. Take this seriously though, make some effort to make it right. You might like to place an incense holder, some candles etc, and place your object in the centre. Now the two places are joined – your sacred space where you have opened yourself to be one with the natural world, and your home.
The path of integration has begun.