Monday, August 23, 2010

Home as Sanctuary: A Place to Practice

We really only need a small corner of a room to practice meditation.  The instructions Master Sheng-yen gave were quite simple.  It should be quite, clean, well-ordered, draft free but adequately ventilated.  He added that we should consider this space special. To be use for practice.

Meditation room almost finished (needs baseboard)
Perhaps this is very materialistic of me, but I've always felt the ideal is to have a room set aside for practice. Some people have large rooms dedicated for watching TV or entire rooms for other hobbies.  The way people use their space is reflective of their values, or at least, what they've been conditioned to believe their values must be.  If you spend an hour or more a day doing something, it's nice to have a special space set up for doing just that.  This is a luxury and not necessary, but if you have the space, why not use it for what you really value?  When it comes to the practice of meditation, I think this is especially true.

Living rooms are for living!
This is the first time that I've actually had a room dedicated for meditation and it is a blessing!  When I enter this room, I know it is for the purpose of meditating and when I'm there, my son also knows and respects the time and space as my meditation time out.  He doesn't interrupt me while I'm sitting.  

As time goes on, I seem less and less enamored with furniture and other clutter.  I used to have a hobbit's taste for making a home homey.  There's nothing like a couple moves to make you loose your attachment for furniture and other possessions.  Now, less is definitely more.

It would definitely be more difficult for me to practice yoga if my living room was furnished.  My home may seem a bit empty and a bit eccentric for most people's tastes, but for me it is becoming much closer to what I need it to be: a sanctuary.  Shouldn't a home be just that?  All the magic happens in the here and now.  A home should naturally help us let go of all regrets of the past and apprehensions of the future.  A home should invite living in the present moment at ease in body and mind.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Went to Calaveras Big Trees State Park with the Sacramento Trail Mix meetup group today.  Checkout the event posting on the Trail Mix site.  The South Grove is particularly nice.  The North Grove is closer to the park entrance and is more touristy.


Photos from my Picasa site.