Autumn is a good time of year to reset your meditation altar for the coming holidays.
I like to have a candle take center stage so that I can practice candle gazing or tratak at times; particularly in the evening as the day peacefully closes.
With the bright deep colors of Fall I choose spice and orange for my Fall Solstice Candle. I like to lay out a mat of multi-colored pressed leaves over my meditation table cloth. They should last through the early winter.
And with the new calendar year, January 1st, I choose a white candle to match the crisp newness of winter days, particularly when light is reflected off a new snow. As I live in The Netherlands, I have the opportunity to enjoy several snows through the winter.
A big plus about candlelight is it reminds me that warm and caring attitudes nurture relationships.
Next, if you like scent, place an incense holder alongside your candle. I like to burn sticks of sandalwood, but that is my personal preference. The wafting smoke of incense reminds me of the transient state of attachment to earthly possessions; yes, they can all go up in smoke at a moment's notice. It is better to meditate on the qualities that are permanent like unconditional love, rather than request objects that will fade away in time.
To depict a particular Fall holiday or celebration, such as Thanksgiving, I decorate the altar with flowers, plants or leaves. As Christmas approaches I use a few choice sprigs of holly with berries as I have a few trees in my garden. Perhaps you live in an area where you can bring in leafy branches, or can stop at a flower stand if you choose to.
Inspiring photos of saints on your Fall altar can remind you of what you aspire to in your life. I like to keep a photo of Sri Sarada Devi and the Blessed Mother Mary on my altar.
And other objects that remind you of the purity of your soul such a crystal stones are a worthy addition to your array.
Enjoy creating your Autumn altar; it should inspire your daily meditation.
Interfaith Prayers and Meditations
Children's Prayers of Thanksgiving
Winter Solstice Meditation
Article by Susan Helene Kramer
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