A small collection of practice & meditation objects

A small collection of practice & meditation objects

During an extended trip last year to British Columbia and also on a recent research excursion to the DC region, I knew it would help me accomplish my goals if I maintained some kind of personal “centre.” I don’t travel well, and have an especially difficult pulling up stakes & heading out the door.

Occasionally and for very good reasons, I must “go.” So it has become important for me define and provide for some kind of sacred space, wherever I travel.

Typically a sacred space is dedicated with special attention and “made special” by objects which assist with focus, practice, meditation and quiet contemplation/reading of texts. Hopefully this space is also adequately lit and ventilated, free from distracting noises (especially intermittent ones) and provides a modicum of privacy.

A sacred space can be bare. It can be spare. Or it can be crowded in amongst the objects of the situation, many of which may belong to other people – as part of their lives. Or it could be in a hotel or lodging house, where the activities of others around you may be focussed upon entertainment or business.

Certainly it is your/my own attention and focus which contributes most to the “sacred-ness” of a specially-made place. I have found that if I attempt to create a small shrine with offerings and key objects, it serves to anchor the room and also provide me with a good focus for unruffled, quiet meditation.

For myself, apart from my practice texts (which I keep off the direct floor) and a tiny gong I made for myself at age 26 from a brass incense-burner, I bring a few ritual objects (such as a dorje and bell set, a small damaru – hand drum, and perhaps my larger chöd drum) I also like to have reproductions of a couple of my favourite thangkas which have traveled with me since the ’70’s – one of Milarepa and one of Mahakali, as well as a photo of my key teaching lama. Lastly I always travel with a sweet little “sky metal” (meteoric iron) rupa… shrine statue… of Tara. Somehow this little black Tara has been a terrific focal point for my attention and motivation. Perhaps you have a similar shrine object.

A beautifully handcast Tara of meteoric iron, given to me by Ontul Rinpoche

A beautifully handcast Tara of meteoric iron, given to me by Ontul Rinpoche

My point is – make it easy for yourself to shift the energy of a borrowed space while in your temporary travel lodgings. Make it your own, and carefully pack everything which will help you focus and practice. You will have more energy and more balance for anything you might undertake.

May you succeed in finding the solution which works best for yourself.

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