Earth Day is April 22, every year. There is such amazement inside this planet of ours. It's a place where we can live, learn, laugh, admire and love. It supplies us with nourishment, water, shelter, beauty, and energy. There is nothing more sacred than supplying life. So essentially, the earth is sacred to all of us. Earth Day seems only fitting, to celebrate this wonderful place we call home.
The resonance of the human heart beats at a pulse of all creation when connected to the innate beauty of nature. Imagery with a strong visual sense of nature can help promote that connection. The purpose of Good Earth Canvas is to echo positive aspects of the human experience and all beings who leave foot prints on the land, bathe in the waters and breathe in the air of our beautiful planet.
Ganges, pictured above reveals an illuminated offering placed on the sacred river of India. This beautiful photo touches the heart and reminds us that there are many things we can do to honor & care for our space, our planet. Whether going green or participating in a community cleanup, the celebration of our lives and home is something special that everyone can be involved in, even if only in a small way. Start with your own space and go from there. The hop becomes a skip and the skip becomes a jump. Before you know it, we are changing the world!
There is unbelievable power and limitless, kinetic possibilities in a sacred space. A trip to get something from upstairs gave our design director, David a great idea and it got us thinking about our own sacred space on a smaller level, not the whole planet but starting with ourselves. You see, we have a small loft space above our office that we were not using. Overtime, it just became an area of storage. We all believe firmly in the power of pause from the daily grind to just relax or disengage altogether from the outside world and reconnect to ourselves and the universe in a way that matters to us. We have a small Ohm lamp and a Ganesh lamp that we love here at the office (pictured below). This became the inspiration for our little project.
Since we all see the importance of the “me time” we don’t really have a chance to get to during the day, it was decided quickly and easily to transform that wasted space into something we would all enjoy. We decided to turn it into a space that would help us stay connected to what we feel is “sacred”. We are meditation kind of people around here. So we decided to have optional daily “us time” at 10:30 everyday. For 15 minutes a day we will go upstairs (or not, if we so choose) and have time to meditate, relax, recharge, or whatever. Sometimes we will verbalize mantras and sometimes we will be silent.
Lets talk about silence. Silence is defined as absence of sound or noise; stillness. That's something we don’t generally get a whole lot of. Silence can have a profound effect on our relationships, thoughts, and actions. It provides an environment that allows for introspection and free thoughts. Many religions throughout history have silent prayer time. We even observe silence out of respect. It means so many different things and is important in so many different ways.
A vow of silence is a vow, usually a religious or a spiritual practice taken in a monastic context, to maintain silence. In the Indian religions, religious silence is called Mauna and the name for a sage Muni, literally means 'silent one’. A vow of silence can be made to express a bold statement. This type may be to speak up against controversial issues such as child poverty. For Example, on November 30th students in Canada take a 24 hour vow of silence to speak up against poverty and child labor.
A vow of silence is also used to sharpen other senses, whether they be physical, mental, or to discover certain aspects of oneself. Roman Catholics have the prayer of the “examen,” developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. This brief prayer is not supposed to take more than 10 minutes. During this prayer a person silently reviews the day that has passed for moments of desolation and consolation. Quaker silence is also about a kind of discernment, it's basically a way of listening to the dialogue of the soul and evaluating it.
“A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness effect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.”
The important thing to remember is that people don’t need to be religious or spiritual to gain a little perspective, get a point across, or just enjoy some silence. Many groups, cultures, and subcultures throughout history as well as currently see/saw the importance of silent time.
So getting back to the unused space… We started emptying out the room. We moved boxes, dusted, vacuumed, cleared and cleaned. It literally took 2 of our guys only about 1/2 hr to clear and clean it all. Now we were ready to transform this into our sacred space.
Pictured above is the messy storage type space we had.
Then pictured below is the nice clean space we had to work with.
(Ahhhh much better!)
Now we needed to make the space fit our needs. So we ordered some pillows to sit on, called zafu. We draped some dhoti (fabric traditionally worn by Hindu men) from the ceiling, and down the walls. Then we put in some rugs. The room was completed with one of our canvases at the center focal point of the room with a small buddha statue, an incense burner and a couple of floral garlands.
All that was left for us to do was get together and use our new sacred space, which we did, right away. Everyone here loves the space and sacred time we have to go with it. We couldn't be happier.
We think it is important to nurture what you consider sacred in whatever capacity that is for you and every person. Some people may find their religion sacred. Some people consider themselves more spiritual, some find their family time sacred. Whatever sacred is for you, identify it and nurture it in whatever capacity it is. There is a necessity for time to ground ourselves. It is precious, even if only for a few moments at a time. Use that time to make a connection with your earth. Use that time to make a difference in your life and who knows, maybe you will make a difference in another person's life as well.
We strive to do that every single day!