Many places around the world have been listed as sacred sites. But are they really? Find your own sacred site inside yourself.
Many churches, holy wells, temples and ancient places around the world have been listed as sacred sites. But what does that mean? Why is one site considered sacred and another not?
Is Sacredness in the Eye of the Beholder?
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What appears beautiful to someone may not seem so to another. Is it the same with sacred sites?
A site dedicated to God is often called a holy place, a sacred site. But what if you don’t believe in God? Or, at least, not that one.
Sacred has to go deeper than that. It has to come from the inner spirit, the seat of the soul. Anything that resonates with that deep part of you will be considered sacred to you.
Find Your Own Sacred Sites Inside
There are books written about sacred sites all over the world, from temples in India, to the pyramids of Egypt and caves in France.
But what is sacred to you? First you must find your own inner core, the heart and soul of what makes you different than anybody else. Not your body or even your mind, not your personality or your identity defines your true essence. Take all that away and what do you have left?
It is important to go beyond outer appearances and get to the real you. Who are you? Why are you here? These questions can only be answered by your soul. Meditate on it. Go deeper. Find out what makes you who you are. Take away everything else, especially the mind that keeps trying to label you. Find out what lies beneath. Then you can know who you really are.
Connect With the Sacred In All Things
In reality, there is nothing that is not sacred. Everything is made by one Creator. The Creation is a sacred space. To find things that feel sacred to you, stop and listen. Hear the silent voice of the site. Feel the essence of that space. Connect with your heart, not your mind. Look at everything with the eyes of your soul. If the site wants to connect with you, it will. But don’t expect anything. Just let it happen.
I have visited many so-called sacred sites and felt nothing. Yet, in other places, I have immediately felt a recognition. My soul soared. I have felt this in the small chapel of St. Non’s in St. Davids, Wales. The tiny stone chapel was dedicated to the mother of St. David. I felt nothing in the huge cathedral, but right next door in this lesser known space, the spirit of sacred thrilled me to the core. I walked up to the altar and was surrounded by a feeling of reverence. I felt a heightened spiritual awareness. This place spoke to me. It was my sacred site.
I have also felt a connection in other places that are not regarded as sacred. The castles of Wales, built in the days of King Edward I to discourage the rebellious Welsh, are considered a symbol of oppression by some. But to me, a visit to the site was a very powerful experience; I believe that I must have had an incarnation in that time, because these castles spoke to me. They made my heart leap with joy. I wandered all through several of these castles and it felt like home. Sacred sites? Not to most. To me? Yes!
Sacred Sites are Everywhere
Find your own sacred sites where you live. You don’t have to travel all over the world to go to places described by others as sacred. You have your own right at home.
What is your favourite room in your house? Walk into that room sometime, alone, and get a feel for the space. Be quiet. Look around. See it as if for the first time. Enjoy the colours, the shapes, the feel of it. What is that makes you love it so much? Go outside and find a favourite place in a park or your own backyard. Find a tree or a bed of flowers that you feel drawn to. Sit with that place. Don’t think about anything. Just breathe it in. Put all your attention on that space. This can be your own sacred site, if you let it talk to your heart.
The world is not all lovely. Some places are full of corruption and greed, pain and poverty. But in your own little world, find a place, a sacred place, where you can connect with your soul and feel the peace. Breathe in that peace every day. Make it a habit. Then look at everywhere you go in your busy life, and see if you can find one small bit of that too to be sacred. It’s there, lurking sometimes beneath a facade. Dig a little deeper. Let that space know that your soul sees God there. Sacred spaces are everywhere and they are inside of you, just waiting to be discovered.