Creating space with no room
Spiritual books often recommend you have a dedicated space in your home for prayer/meditation. Most of these books are American, where land and space is much more plentiful than here in little England. I live in a two bedroomed mid terrace house with my husband and a scruffy, messy dog who steals anything at his height! Having a dedicated space which I can access whenever I want is not feasible.
I could set up a space next to the bed (in the half a meter between the bed and the wall), but I pray in the morning and at night and my husband gets up much later than I do. I could set it up in the office, but that feels wrong to me. The lounge? Well my husband may want the lounge or the office when I want to do my evening prayer and it seems rather selfish to tell him to stop what he is doing and clear out as I want to pray.
As such I tend to pray in three different rooms depending on the time of day and where he is.
So I have created my prayer bag. This contains:
- my prayer shawl
- Book of awakening
- Home made prayer beads
- Lighter for candle
I commissioned the shawl from this lady, the whole process was delightful from start to finish. It is extra long, so I can coocoon myself while I’m praying. This creates a physical holding where ever I am, it reminds me that I am held by God.
A candle represents God and creates light (I do have a candle in all the spaces I pray in), it also means I can read my daily prayers in the mornings when I get up before dawn.
I use my prayer beads for different purposes depending on if it is the morning or evening prayer sessions.
The books uses are obvious!
The bag itself is beautiful and was made for me years ago by my sister in law, it means I don’t have to juggle things as I walk up or down our precariously steep stairs and protects my things from Buster’s hair and him stealing them and leaving teeth marks all over them.
It does mean that my prayer is associated with stuff, but I do find setting out my things at the start of a prayer session to be part of a ritual and help to ground me and focus me. It is hard to settle into prayer and this helps greatly. A combination of the physicality and the ritual helps to create a physical space for prayer even though the location changes.