Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sacred Space as Container

Still reading Journeys into Emptiness by Robert Jingen Gunn. Came across the idea of "containers" in this writing, when Gunn was referring to Merton's desire to enter the monastery. Gunn suggest we all need some kind of container to do focused battle with our egos and says the monastery was that container for Merton and for Dogen. Jung had his own place he called the Tower.

As much as I believe zazen to be that container, the sacred space I have created in my home is the container for that container. A sangha, a church community, synagogue et all...can certainly be containers for those who have access to these spaces. It certainly seems significant to me to have this one particular place where I practice. And I certainly encourage those who come to me for spiritual direction to create such a place for themselves. 

This is not suggesting that this is the only place where practice occurs. This is one launching pad, this is just one place where our lens are cleared, this is the place where spiritual babies are born, this is that place of intimacy with all the demons and assorted myriad things that eventually give birth to an actualized spiritual life. 

And, of course, this is not the spiritual life but only part of the whole.

So you might consider, What is your container?


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