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Building an Outdoor Meditation Altar
If you spend much time meditating in your garden, it may be worthwhile to spend the energy to build an outdoor meditation altar.
When I lived on a cleared lot in a pine and oak forest at Yogaville, in central Virginia, I built a couple of secluded altars that blended in to the existing trees.
First, I raked out an area that was open enough to place the altar and sit in front of it, without having to cut down any trees or shrubs.
Then I raked a winding path from my driveway to the altar area. Again, I did not cut out any foliage. The path was just about twenty feet long leading off the driveway, so it was just secluded enough that you wouldn’t see me sitting there unless you were looking for me.
I placed the altar layout so I would be sitting facing east. If you have a clearing prepared you can do this, but that is not the most important aspect. What is best is to have a place to sit that is level.
I could have made a mounded rock formation and placed small plants in the nooks and crannies, but I went to the local garden center to see what statues they were selling that appealed to me.
For the altar in the photo I chose the Buddha and wedged it into a clay pot filled with small stones to weigh it down. I sat the potted statue on a level concrete block and cemented it in place. Then I placed 6 inch diameter rocks to the sides so it appeared it was sitting on a little mountain amongst the stones.
At each end of the altar a sat a flowering chrysanthemum . That completed the altar arrangement.
In front of the altar I laid out two boards to sit on, to keep me dry when meditating at the altar.
I loved being able to walk out of my house down the path to my little woodland altar. Being in nature has always appealed to me; I feel uplifted smelling the natural scents, listening to birds of the season, feeling the weather against my face.
If you have the opportunity and place, I highly recommend building a personal woodland meditation altar exactly as you wish, with or without garden statues.
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Article by Susan Helene Kramer
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