What If You Don’t Have A Sacred Place?
It’s time to expand the definition of “sacred”
It seems everyone has a sacred place. It’s a space of refuge when the world overwhelms them. A place to rejuvenate their cells when worn down. A place to restore their mental energy when stressed.
What if you don’t have a sacred place? Perhaps it’s because you’re choosing too narrow a definition. It’s common to think of a sacred place as a static physical location, but the physical setting is only one piece of the larger puzzle.
Any escape to a corner of comfort in times of stress and overwhelm can serve as our spiritual reservoir.
It can change when it loses its healing powers — sacred today and ordinary tomorrow.
For some folks, the sacred place fulfills an idea rather than a location. You might find your perfect hideaway only to realize the benefits wane as soon as the novelty wears off.
Your sacred place meets a set of criteria. The conditions combine to create the peace and rejuvenation effect. The physical setting is only one piece of a larger puzzle.
That was a lesson I learned in my quest for a spiritual retreat. I tried the usual possibilities: parks, hiking trails, and quaint secluded hideaways in nature. These were beautiful and pleasant places, but nothing compelled me to return.
It turned out that I had found my sacred place and never knew it. No matter where I lived or my stage of life, my happy place never changed. The physical location varied from time to time, but the conditions never changed.
There’s a chic little cafe not far from me. They offer a selection of loose teas and serve it in a glass tea press with an infuser (similar to a french press). They deliver it to you on an oval wooden tray with a strainer, small cup and saucer. I prefer to sit alone, but I also like to be in the presence of others.
The peaceful decor, the scent of the proprietary blends of teas, and the process of pouring small cups have a meditative effect on me.
For a long time, it was my refuge when I needed a break from the world. But there was no storybook ending with my sacred cafe.
The tea house no longer brought me the peace and rejuvenation I sought. It became too familiar. The love affair waned until it no longer felt special.
I searched for a new refuge and found another swanky cafe. It featured different scenery and served coffee, not tea. Like the teahouse, this elegant cafe shunned the mass market approach to beverages.
They provided a pot filled with several cups of coffee and served it on a tray with a ceramic cup and saucer. I eventually tired of this place too and went back to the teahouse. The time away made it feel new again.
If the idea of a sacred place sounds foreign to you, consider expanding the definition.
It doesn’t need to be a particular location. It can be a type of place that meets a unique set of conditions to bring you peace and tranquility.
My standard for “sacredness” needs to meet seven criteria.
- I need to consume a hot beverage.
- I need sturdy props (ceramic cups and saucers, pots, teamakers, strainers).
- There needs to be a process (pouring tea or coffee).
- I sit alone, but I prefer if other people are in the vicinity.
- There needs to be a unique decor.
- I need to smell pleasant aromas (floral teas, coffee beans).
- Overexposure will kill the “sacred effect.”
If you haven’t found your sacred place, or can’t seem to hold onto one, think about what relaxes you, calms you and rejuvenates you. Write down your requirements. Find a spot that meets those needs and use it for as long as it works. Don’t worry if it stops working. Familiarity might run counter to your sacredness. Novelty may work in your favor.