Since the late fall of 2012, a close friend and I have been practicing synchronized meditations. Patricia is in Bergen, Norway and we have a 6 hour time difference. Every day, at 9PM her time, and 3PM EST, we do tune in, and dedicate time for what we have called "breathing together". We started with 20 minutes but soon, I found myself meditating for 33 minutes. Whenever I can, I go to Rollins Chapel, and sit in the Shanti Hindu Temple. In this picture, I was there during the evening because there are days when we cannot "meet" at our regular hour. If that is the case, we text each other. Ever since I discovered it, the Temple has been an inviting space for me. I like the smell of incense the room has retained throughout the years. I like that it has been filled with prayers, and chanting. I like the arrangements on the shrine. And it has been warm in there, and quiet, although sometimes people come in, move about, light lamps, sound bells, sing, pray, spin - and when they bring food, and I am in the space sitting, they leave some for me.

Below is the shrine I have set up in my room. It is a small room and ideally, I would have liked to set up my arrangement on the floor, but I am grateful for what I have right now. I really enjoyed designing it and observing the choices I made. A box that used to contain postcards contains a candle holder. I put a smooth, white stone on top of it because sometimes I burn incense. Usually, it is also where tea lights sit. Two eggs are in there: one, a dark graphite-colored granite egg; the other, a real bird's egg I received at an auspicious time from women friends. My parents gave me a tiny "szerencsefa" [tree of luck, in Hungarian] for Christmas years ago. It has got shards of green jade for leaves and is mounted on a piece of flat rock. Patricia sent me a mini Soul Clock card: it is behind the tree. Our "beebook", for notes, in the color of yellow, sits right of the tree, and there is another little book called "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life" I also received from a friend, left of the tree. The card mounted on the lid of the box portrays a Chinese calligraphy tiger. I wanted an animal in my arrangement and I was looking for another card I remembered I had had showing a wolf but I couldn't find it. I had reoccurring dreams with wolves as a child and I still vividly remember them. In the close vicinity of the box are also sea shells, a plant, my dream diary, a book a friend of mine wrote and sent me 4-5-2012, a hand-painted treasure box, a Rubik cube, and a jar that contains accomplishments and wishes for 2013 I wrote on New Year's Eve.

My chair, for sitting, is about three feet away, facing my shrine.

Shrine Menu:

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