A Sacred Space

One does not have to be religious to have a sacred space in the home. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an altar; it could be a peaceful corner where you can be silent and listen to your thoughts, or to try and empty the mind for a few tranquil moments.

Here then are the sacred spaces of seven people, as shared to Property Report PH. We wanted to know how these spaces are helping them through trying times, like this pandemic. Some simply gave short descriptions of their special places. What is remarkable is that for many of them, the sacred space can take a different, unexpected form — as you will see below. 

Do you have a sacred space in your home? What does it look like? How does it help center you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section of our FB page.

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Imee Contreras

(Photos courtesy of Imee Contreras)

My meditation space in my bedroom (left photo) is my place of refuge where I begin and ground my day in silence. There are Buddha statues in various postures that remind me that I can be kind and mindful in each moment, in everything I do. There are photos of my teachers whom I deeply respect and appreciate for always guiding me. This sacred space holds me when I grieve and when I’m in bliss. It’s where I go to be nothing and everything all at once.

This altar (top right photo) holds my prayers. I light a candle and ask my guides and ancestors to help me when I feel overwhelmed or when I simply want to connect with wisdom.

This sacred space (bottom photo) is where I humbly hold the seat as a student and teacher.  It is where people can come to meditate, be silent, and commune with nature. It is where we cultivate community and bring the teachings to life.

Founder of Mindfulness Asia, Co-founder of Philippine Insight Meditation Community and Nibbāna Forest Refuge

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Niva Gonzales

(Photo courtesy of Niva Gonzales)

This is my eclectic altar with Vedic, Christian & native statues. It’s in the northeast corner of the living room. Everyday I do 45 minutes to 1 hour of mantra meditation in my sacred space before 9:00 a.m.

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Connie Macatuno

(Photos courtesy of Connie Macatuno)

My sacred space (left photo) is that spot where I sit coming from a lying position when I wake up in the morning and the spot where I sit to lie down at night. The center of our garden is also sacred to me. I find that I can create a sacred space anywhere as long as I am in a space of gratitude, knowing that what is brought forth comes from His grace.

This (right photo) is my sacred space with my son Cax for the past 18 years. It’s where we pray together, usually the rosary, for our family members who are far away from us. It brings a sense of comfort that we are not alone and that we are heard, as mother and son.

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Rem Tanauan

(Photo courtesy of Rem Tanauan)

Not Exactly My Altar. I used to set up my altar and it got messed up over time. It always happens many times; its usual rhythm of change. But over the years, what stayed undisturbed are my bookshelves. I still read the books, but since I don’t have enough shelves for the books, I decided to stack them with only the bottom edge showing. The spines are hidden, so that’s the mystery. I have grown my private library with this secret: without looking at the titles, I can intuitively sense where the books are. After all, books are not just printed words, but paper — made of wood, the old life and heart of trees. There is wordlessness in all of them. That is how I sense them. I relax to the unknowing. Those moments of finding a book is always like prayer. And the shelves, yes, it is an altar.

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Atty. Cris Garcimo 

Legal counsel, licensed real estate broker (HiveScout Realty), musician and bamboo flute player

(Photo by Jaea Clyme of Padayon Studio)

Having a sacred space helped me cope with burnout, midlife crisis, the pandemic, and the loss of my brother last year. It is where I light candles and incense, arrange a desktop mini-garden, read spiritual books, write tanaga (an indigenous form of Filipino poetry), and play the bamboo flute for sound and breathing meditation (inspired by Suizen, the practice of playing the bamboo flute to attain self-realization). A sacred space is a place for reflection, prayer, creativity, healing and gratitude. It reminds me of the impermanence of life, the importance of aligning the mind, body and spirit, and the pursuit of a state of “hanay-buhay” or aligned “hanap-buhay” (livelihood aligned with wellbeing).

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Benjamin Santos

(Photos courtesy of Benjamin Santos)

This (left photo) has been my work area where most of my creative writing, drawing, reading and music works are done. I have occupied this table for some online meetings since the lockdown started. It is rarely used for dining, but my wife and I enjoy the food that we eat at this table when it is not occupied. I also spend quiet moments sitting on the bench and looking at the reflection of my “chandelier sculpture” while thinking. This table is also where I spend my time listening to music, to my wife Joji’s guitar playing, and where I “shadow-drum” every time I study musical pieces. I don’t know if I should call this (right photo) an altar although I think it looks like one. The items here are important to me.

My sacred spaces help me practice more mindful activities. These spaces calm me when I encounter difficult times, anxiety and stress brought on by the pandemic. My sacred spaces provide me with space to breathe in tranquility and order, and to breathe out chaos, grief and aggression.

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Angge Aninay Pacifico 

(Photos courtesy of Angge Aninay Pacifico)

To cope with the immense challenges of the pandemic and other difficult times, I created a few sacred spaces in my home and in my life: my mini altar facing our garden, with icons from different religions (left photo); our dining table; my vegetable garden (tomatoes, zucchinis, etc.); and pictures of my three granddaughters, Eena, Pulikay and Baby Payapa. These sacred spaces help me maintain my calmness and peace by focusing on the beauty of nature that unceasingly nurture us and on the great unwavering love between me and my loved ones. When difficult thoughts come, I go to my altar and breathe, or I sit and have a silent meal, or I immerse myself working in my vegetable garden, or I look at the pictures of my grandchildren, who are my greatest sacred space because they give me hope and remind me of a Divine Force that is bigger than any pandemic, and that cradles humanity with boundless love.