You feel deflated and spent after a long workday, wishing for a peaceful haven from buzz and activity. So do you want a quick way back to peace of mind and sweet emotions? A home altar may be the perfect solution for you.
Though a foreign concept in Western life, an altar can provide you with sanctuary and a way to regaining both your center and energy.
An Home Altar doesn’t necessarily mean building a small church or shrine within your living quarters—although in some Eastern cultures the more fortunate own a fully decorated room dedicated just to meditation and worship of the Divine.
Yet your sacred space can be a simple coffee table or bookshelf. You can then display images and statues resonating with your vision of a higher and blessed life.
Whether you add reminders of an aspect of God stemming from your religious background or other faith, statues of celestial beings can change your brain and raise your consciousness, according to neuroscience.
Additionally, an altar can be a healing place where you take temporary refuge when life is just too much.
So here for you, three compelling reasons why an altar for home can be a beautiful addition to your home features and how a sacred space in your apartment or house can grant you well-being and inspiration.
1. Scientific evidence
Neuroscience tells us that religion makes us more humane. In the words of neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, M.D., author of “How God Changes Your Brain,” “… contemplative practices allowed our ancestors to envision a better world … and the creative processes within our brain gave us the power to make some of those visions come true.” Apparently, meditation activates the anterior cingulate, containing the von Economo neurons associated with compassion, resulting into a better relationship between ourselves and the world. In turn, this connection leads to a better relationship with the Divine. Also, when we don’t feel others’ pain, we become depressed and isolated.
Moreover, we have plenty of scientific evidence that meditation can slow aging by lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system.
2. Benefits of devotion and faith
Faith and devotion go hand in hand. Faith helps you conceive what logic can’t. This is one of the reasons why those who expect miracles are more likely to experience them.
Moreover, returning every day to the same place for your meditation signals to the brain that it’s time to relax and slow down—which makes for a much deeper and beneficial spiritual practice.
Your brain then calms down thanks to feelings of love generated by your devotion to images of divine beings. And this has a generally calming effect on your body-mind.
3. Opening a door to miracles
An altar helps you manifest more quickly by putting you in touch with powerful, invisible and benevolent beings.
But how do you build an altar?
Select statues of archetypal beings that evoke in you love, self-empowerment, compassion and evolution. Below are some examples.
- Mother Mary
- Ganesha, the elephant-headed being who removes obstacles
- Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth
- Ra, the Egyptian Sun God
- Shiva lingam, associated with Shiva, the deity who removes bad karma
- Vishnu, the God of wealth.
- An image of your spiritual teacher or Guru
If possible, place the statues or images in a way that they face East.
Decorate the altar with fresh flowers and burn some delicious incense to invite your sense of smell, which helps you relax further. Natural sandalwood, jasmine or rose are some good choices.
You can also add:
- An item that speaks to you of success
- A cutout image from a magazine or download that reflects what you want to manifest
- A rock from a sacred place you’ve visited
- A gift from your spiritual teacher or Guru
- A photo of the people you love (or need healing)
- Anything that reminds you of a divine power or your divine origins
- A mala—a necklace made of sacred, precious (or semiprecious) beads that you can use to count your mantras. You can also wear the mala as a special ornament containing your loving prayers and celestial blessings.
- Sacred ash and red powder from rituals you have sponsored. I put mine in tiny bowls so it’s ready for use. If you wish, you can put some on your forehead—it’s believed to magnify the effects of the rituals.
- If you have planetary incense, you can also keep that on your altar.
Then light a candle or ghee lamp on a safe surface and offer some fruits. You can sit in front of your altar on a pillow or chair. Recite a prayer and thank the celestial beings you’ve invoked.
Just make sure you are comfortable.
Relax and use your favorite meditation technique. If you aren’t familiar with mantras—the sacred vibrational sounds from the yogic tradition—you can recite OM for a few minutes.
You may also like some soft-sounding devotional music, such as bhajans.
In addition, studies on sound frequencies show that you can reach deep states of relaxation through sacred solfeggio.
Ideal days for meditation
While it’s beneficial to meditate on any given day—full moon days and Thursdays offer particularly auspicious time windows. New moon days are believed to favor an experience of deeper silence in mind.
You can also sponsor Vedic rituals for the archetypal beings of your choice to speed up manifestation time, experience miracles and remove bad karma. These rituals are always scheduled during especially powerful time windows.
Enjoy your practice!
by Lalitha Devi
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