My Alter

Altar Near My Meditation Stool

I created an altar near my mediation stool for the daily practice of ordering my day. It is the first time I have thought to do this. It opened to me the idea of making my entire home a meditative gathering of icons. I assembled the items intuitively. What they had in common was love. Well, that's what everything has in common. 

A lavender candle  - a birthday gift from my children

A lavender candle  - a birthday gift from my children

The Sunday school note given to me by a friend's child I visited while at CST

The Sunday school note given to me by a friend's child I visited while at CST

My notebook with the ordering of my day with my renewing source

My notebook with the ordering of my day with my renewing source

A gift from my husband to remind me of the flock in my care, and the wooly flock I dream of creating

A gift from my husband to remind me of the flock in my care, and the wooly flock I dream of creating

'Beloved'  - the icon that has held me these last few weeks...

'Beloved'  - the icon that has held me these last few weeks...

Loved and alive, we have love to lavish on those around us.
— Dr. Frank Rogers, Jr., Practising Compassion
The dried flowers from bouquets I picked each morning on the way to class in California

The dried flowers from bouquets I picked each morning on the way to class in California

My prayer stool - the ultimate time out - what would the world look like if when children behaved badly - so called - instead of being put in a corner or sent to their room  in a punitive way, they were offered quiet time on a prayer stool? It is my dream to be part of easing this into being.

My prayer stool - the ultimate time out - what would the world look like if when children behaved badly - so called - instead of being put in a corner or sent to their room  in a punitive way, they were offered quiet time on a prayer stool? It is my dream to be part of easing this into being.

I dwell in possibility....
— Emily Dickenson

The Garden Where I Gather

This is an acrylic painting I created. It reflects a meditation we did in class with Dr. Rogers during the intensive. I do not recall the exact words, but somehow there was the idea of leaving the stressful situation in which I found myself and drawing back to my sacred core. In the meditation, I had the thought of blowing kisses to the people in the scene as they receded into the hilltops and I found myself in the rich garden below. There was no animosity in the parting, only a kind of gentle leave taking, a blessing on them, and on myself. It is this tender affection for myself and a goodwill towards others that enables compassion to flow freely. Or, is it the other way around?

To be mindful is to be in love with life, with reality and imagination, with the beauty of one’s own being.
— Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness for Beginners, audiobook

My workspace newly organized

Having put together my little altar, I was inspired to reconfigure my work space and gather some more icons. My computer screen in rest is a gathering of photographs of my choosing. It is a happy space in which to work. It softens my heart to be surrounded with things I love, memories and inspirations. And a tender heart is always a good place to begin.

 A reminder that i breathe the breath of the divine

 A reminder that i breathe the breath of the divine

my renewing source

my renewing source

Compassion yearns for the flourishing of all life, including our own.
— Dr. Frank Rogers Jr., Practicing Compassion
'Bunky's Burden' - my husband's icon of my struggles this last summer. Bunky is his nick name for me - it is the burden of the heart...

'Bunky's Burden' - my husband's icon of my struggles this last summer. Bunky is his nick name for me - it is the burden of the heart...

My children are grown now, but this photo reminds me of a time I thought myself a good mother. Lately, I am doubtful of this, but somehow this photograph holds hope in their innate beauty and goodness. Dressed up for halloween, they sit on my desk like mischievous muses.

My children are grown now, but this photo reminds me of a time I thought myself a good mother. Lately, I am doubtful of this, but somehow this photograph holds hope in their innate beauty and goodness. Dressed up for halloween, they sit on my desk like mischievous muses.

Wisdom has been described as the perfect combination of intelligence and compassion. This stone has long been in my life

Wisdom has been described as the perfect combination of intelligence and compassion. This stone has long been in my life

My daughter's tribute to Jimi Hendrix - good guitar players are saints in our house

My daughter's tribute to Jimi Hendrix - good guitar players are saints in our house

Living  things - flowers, branches, plants minister to my soul

Living  things - flowers, branches, plants minister to my soul

My husband, his wonderful paintings, our children, our creatures, the garden - beloved all, and all beloved

My husband, his wonderful paintings, our children, our creatures, the garden - beloved all, and all beloved

The sacred breath that sustains all life does so willingly, benevolently, generously, and delightedly. And in the same way that our bodies without breath would deteriorate and perish, so too without a sustaining connection with the sacred energy of love, our spirits would wither and die. Without compassion, the soul decays.
— Dr. Frank Rogers Jr., Practicing Compassion