A Place Apart

A young monk went to his Abbot and asked him for some words of spiritual comfort. The Abbot said to him, ‘Go and sit in your cell. Your cell will teach you everything’. Similarly we read of Jesus: that he rose early and went up onto a high mountain, into the wilderness, into a lonely place to pray. He went apart and so must we when we meditate.

If possible it should always be the same place. A space used regularly for meditation gathers to itself its own aura of concentration. In India there is usually a corner of the crowded living room that has a curtain drawn across it, where each member of the family goes to sit undisturbed. It does not shut out the noise but it does become a sacred space, a place apart.

‘Day after day’ says the Bhagavad Gita, ‘let the Yogi practise the harmony of the soul, in a secret place, in deep solitude, with upright body, head and neck, which rest still and do not move: with inner gaze which is not restless …then his soul is like a lamp whose light is steady, for it burns in a shelter where no winds come.’

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