I was reading Susan Piver's blog, tonight, and one of her posts was on Shrines. She said that, "Different people create different shrines in their homes. A shrine can help anchor a contemplative practice." She then shared a picture of her shrine and asked others to do the same. So this is my response.
When I moved, a few months ago, the first thing I did was contemplate where I was going to place some of my most precious objects--a Kwan Yin statue, my crystals, the stone heart with Namaste carved in it--because my new fireplace had no mantlepiece. What was I going to do?
I had no clue, until I had a sudden vision of my stacking tables, unstacked, lining the living room wall. Would it work? I wasn't sure, but I had to find out. I loved the idea of walking into my living room passing shrine, after shrine, after shrine, after shrine.
So, here they are:
I love passing these every day. They give me a great sense of peace.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Susan for the WritingSpirit Book Writers Community. I interviewed her about "Meditation, Mindfulness and Writing." She was genuine, generous, and wise.
I asked her how meditation and mindfulness might help a writer go deeper, open up more, or write with greater authenticity? How could it help?
"I love thinking about this question. My answer to it is always evolving. And I learn more, the more I practice both. If you think about it, when you write, two things are required. Not much different than what’s required of a musician who is playing in a band, for example.
When you’re writing or playing an instrument, you have to have complete absorption in what you’re doing. You’re writing is very precise. You want the right word. You want to capture the right feel or visual or piece of dialogue or whatever it might be. Very precise.
At the same time, for both writers and musicians, one requires a sense of panoramic awareness, a kind of letting go at the same time. If a musician doesn’t listen to the other people in the band, he or she will go in the wrong direction. But if he or she takes his or her mind off the instrument for one second, then it's all a loss. So, it's the same for a writer. You have to pay attention to what you’re writing. You have to hold your mind to the page, which is not easy. At the same time, have a sense of spaciousness so that you can feel what is rising in your mind.
So that combination of precision and spaciousness is exactly what meditation is. You have the precision of focus on the breath and the spaciousness of awareness of what is going on in your mind and around you. There aren’t many activities that combine those two things, but meditation and writing."