Daily Devotional Practice - Week 1
Creating Sacred Space
Lets start this course with a quick and beautiful way to connect us to the Earth, Sky and our Breath using a Qichong exercise.
Okay now that you are more connected and in the present moment lets begin.
The first step to living a spiritual life is creating a Daily Devotional practice that has a deep meaning for you, that brings you closer to the Divine and helps you to see the Divine within yourself.
We can read a thousand spiritual books, take a bunch of workshops and online courses, however until we actual put into play what we have learned, we aren't gaining or changing ourselves. Its the actual practice, action taken that makes real changes happen and this is when we start seeing transformation.
When I began my own daily practice I was dealing with some chronic health issues, at times feeling helpless and depressed, it was through my Daily Devotional Practice that I began to truly transform. Not only was I noticing the difference, so were my loved one. I found my way of dealing with the crisis I was going through. My practice helped me to see things in a more positive light. I found myself so much more calm and peaceful. Things that would normally set me off were no longer a big deal and I found I actually looked forward to this special time each day, connecting to Goddess. For me before bed is my perfect time and I have gotten to the point that I'm spending a good hour in prayer and meditation and then find myself able to fall asleep so peacefully and sound. I do try to also include a short time each morning, but my mornings are always different with my schedule so some times that doesn't happen, however I do know when I start my day off even spending just 5 minutes with Goddess my day tends to go so much smoother. I give you the example of myself as its important for you to find the time of day that works best for you. We are all different, and each have different hurdles to jump when finding that alone time. But please remember self care is so important, and a daily practice is just that, self care. When we take care of ourselves we are able to care for others so much better.
In this first lesson we will be talking about creating sacred space both physically and internally.
The best way to create a habit is through repetition, which is exactly what we want to start with when starting our daily devotional practice, not only the time of day, but also the place that makes you feel comfortable. A place that you can have just a little time alone without interruptions. As a mother I understand how hard finding time to yourself can be, however I will again remind you of what I wrote above. When we take care of ourselves we are able to take care of others better. Your family will benefit from your transformation.
The space you decide on should always be tidy, a cluttered space equals a clutter mind and that is opposite of what we are trying to do here. I personally like to have a few sacred objects that make me feel close to Goddess in my space. However let me remind you just because I feel that way, doesn't mean its something you need. Always remember you are your own best spiritual guide, if something doesn't feel right to you, then listen to your intuition. The goal is for you to take some of my ideas, create some of your own and find the perfect Daily Devotional Practice for you.
To begin you should try to think of a small act that you will start your practice off with, to signal your mind that you are stepping out of the mundane world and into sacred space.
Some suggestions I have used
-Lighting a Candle
-Using a Rattle
-Saining (or Smudging)
-Ringing a bell
I personally do a few to start my practice. I start with lighting my candle, from there I clear the energy both in myself and in the space by using my rattle and then I sain the area in a spiral motion. These actions not only purify the energy, it also brings the mind into the present moment, which is one of the most important things to do during your short time in your daily practice.
My next step to truly calm my mind is to close my eyes and go to my internal sacred space. In my Druidry lessons they refered to this as "The Sacred Grove" and for me it was the perfect imagine to create in my minds eye to bring me to a place of peace. The center of a forest, surrounded by a circle of trees, in my vision there are large stones that can serve as benches and an even larger stone front center that is used for an altar and in the very center is a beautiful warm fire. Often times as I enter my internal sacred space or "Sacred Grove" I will be greeted by my guides or ancestors, if you decide to further your studies here at The Sisterhood of the Sacred Flame you will most definately learn more about practices of getting in touch with your own guides and ancestors but for now lets just focus on finding that sacred space. This is also a wonderful quick practice to do at anytime of day when your just feeling stress, out of focus or just need a quick break. With time you will find yourself just closing your eyes for a minute and envisioning your sacred place and it will bring you the calmness and peace you need at that time.
For you, your internal sacred space may be sitting by an ocean, or a river bed, on top of a mountain or a cozy cabin, whatever brings your soul true peace is exactly the right place for you to envision as you close your eyes.
Here is a recording of a 5 minute meditation to help you find your own internal sacred space. With time you will be able to very quickly just close you eyes and find it within seconds but for now use the meditation to help guide you into this practice.
To sum this weeks lesson up;
Decide on the time of day you will be dedicating to your Daily Devotions
Find the perfect spot that you will use and make sure the area is comfortable for you, enjoy setting up this space up for yourself.
Decide on a way to begin your practice (see suggestions above like candle, sage, etc.)
Practice the 5 minute meditation daily
With each week we will be adding on to the above practice and by the end of these 6 weeks you will have found yourself a solid, meaningful Daily Devotion that will begin to transform your life.
For next week find yourself a notebook that you can use as a journal for this course.
And please send me an email with the response to the following questions:
1. How did you decide to create your own sacred space?
(Please feel free to include a picture if you would like.)
2. Will you be using any of the suggestions listed or did you think of a different way of performing your small act that will signalify leaving behind the mundane and entering sacred space?
3. How did you feel during the meditation of finding your innter sacred space?
Was it easy for you to feel, see, know this space? Remember for some they never actually see pictures in their minds, instead it's more of a knowing, or even a scent or touch that takes them to this sacred space.
4. Would you like to share what your inner sacred space was like for you?
5. Where you able to practice the meditation daily?
Do you feel you will be using this in your practice; why or why not? (You will not be offending me if you say it didn't feel right to you.)