TEMENOS | Sacred Precinct
Temenos is an ancient Greek term used to demarcate a space that is sacred for the purpose of worship. Although we may not practise the act of worship so commonly in our post-modern world we still need to demarcate a space that is ours to take of the mask and just be. With more of us working from home more often we tend to blur the lines of work life and home life, which has many wonderful benefits and yet perhaps it takes away from our ability to create a space that is just for us. To find balance, so that we do not get pulled into work mode all the time, we need to create stronger boundaries. This is work time, this is my time. And my time is free of any obligations and restraints, it is sacred.
Where do you draw the line to honour your sacred time and space?
How do we demarcate a space that is sacred and separate from our everyday lives? We can light a candle, burn some incense or oils, pick some fresh flowers, brew a particular herbal tea blend, create a comfy cushioned seat, shut down the computer, turn the phone off and play music that our heart desires. These simple gestures signal to our nervous system that we are entering a different space at a different pace, shifting from one brainwave to another deeper pulse. Something special is here and in this moment we remember that our life is sacred. We are not just ticking boxes and running errands, we are part of something wonderful and mysterious. Let’s not leave these moments of recognition until our death bed, let us remember on the daily what it is that we love and value the most. If not daily, then at least at this time of year, when everything is wrapping up and coming to a pause.
How will you create the space to remember your epic role in the great mystery of life?
It sounds grandiose, because it is. Your life is precious, is it not? Your existence is a gift to the world, even if you are not sure how, it is true that you have a vital role to play. How would you like to play it? How do you know what your role is if you don’t give yourself the sacred space and time to remember what you love and recognize your gifts? You do not need to invent a miracle or save the world, you just need to know what you love and follow that. It sounds simple, like Joseph Campbell said – follow your bliss. But how do you know what that is if you’re not in the habit of listening to the subtle cues of your body-mind? It is that little voice or that gentle nudge that says – go here, say this, do that. It is not a grand fortune teller giving you your life plan, no. It is a moment to moment listening and following that gradually builds up into a flow state that just feels right as each moment flows into the next.
How can you listen to this little voice of knowing amidst the chatter of the mind?
You can’t. And this is the art of the practise. Creating sacred space and time to allow all the dust of the agitated, anxious, planning mind to settle. There is a reason that the small voice within is small, it requires us to tap out of regular mundane patterns of existence in order to be heard. However, sometimes, if we are lucky, it will get louder and louder until we can hear it through the cacophony of noise pollution. Often this is in the midst of a chaotic spell, living in a hypnotic trance, culminating in a panic attack. The little voice inside will turn into a booming grandmother tone – Stop right there young one. That is enough! Aah, then we listen. It is often at this time of year that we get caught up in a whirlwind and then fall into a heap just in time for the holiday season.
What ritual can you create this year to honour the ending of a cycle and welcome in a new way of regularly honouring your small voice inside?
Your body-mind and your home environment are your Temenos, your sacred precinct. You have boundaries that say this can come in, that must stay out. And you get to choose what those boundaries allow in. Especially in this overwhelming [mis]information age it is vital that you give yourself permission to draw a line and say no to superfluous noise so that you hear the low hum underneath it all. Your body-mind loves to have something to feel anchored to when the ocean all around is in constant motion. When relentless mind chatter is your default setting and you can't seem to sink beneath the surface vicissitudes then you may need an anchor. A regular ritual to demarcate your temenos and drop beneath the surface tension to flow with the deeper undercurrents. The following meditation could be your anchor.
Listen to the CITTA VRTTIS [MIND WAVES] meditation to create your sacred space inside and drop beneath the waves of the mind.
Beautiful photograph by Yoan @it.already.exists