“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” ~ Joseph Campbell
As I walked through the twilight mountain forest toward the prayer room I felt a mixture of uncertainty of how I would use my private hour and knowing that it didn’t matter, that the greater point was to sit, to reflect, to be. Whatever unfolded, be it quiet time, a flash of insight, or just being in nature, would be sacred because that is one of the ways I return to myself.
Over the last few days of my short stay at the retreat centre I was keenly aware of the various eyes around me. I noticed people with calm eyes, warm eyes, wary eyes, and I also witnessed hungry eyes. These hungry eyes were familiar to me as there was a time when those eyes were mine.
Hungry for more. Searching for more. Chasing the big sacred moments.
How many times had I experienced moments when I was both a soulful woman while living a modern life?
How many times had I experienced that I CAN live with my head, heart, and soul aligned with what truly matters to me?
Just as quickly as those moments arrive they tended to leave like wisps of gossamer.
It is so easy to forget what it takes to sustain living in this soul-centred way.
That’s why so many of us go on retreat just to return with a sense of life shock. It doesn’t even need to be a retreat it can be a vacation or moments of reading a book that speaks to us or attending a group practice that opens us up in ways we’ve forgotten.
Moments of sacred don’t have to be “BIG”. At one time in my life this confusion led me on a wheel of searching which created an intense inward starvation. Always looking for more. Never satisfied.
At the time I didn’t know I was experiencing what Buddhists call the Hungry Ghost. These ghosts are beings that have small mouths and bulging stomachs who are not fully capable of living and appreciating what the moment has to offer. They are never satiated because they only feed on the hollow plastic food of wanting.
If I wanted a real and sustainable experience of the sacred I needed to find a way to bridge the chasm between my inner realizations and how I lived my life. I needed to stop turning away from myself with almost any chance I got and to allow myself to “find myself over and over again”. In this way I began to live in alignment with what really matters and what I know in my heart is possible and true.
I realized that sacred wisdom would not be bestowed upon me through the number of books I read, the accumulated hours of training I had, nor is it a guru-given mantra or Facebook meme.
Knowledge is information. Wisdom is how you live it.
This is the heart of an embodied practice. This is where I want to be, finding myself over and over again.
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