The Gustavian Weekly

Sacred Space offers reflection and relaxtion | The Gustavian Weekly

By Sandy Xiong Staff Writer | October 15, 2010 | News

Do you ever feel like your life has been passing you by? Like you don’t even have any time for yourself anymore? Is your schedule so jam-packed that your planner is scribbled out with indecipherable and obscure dates?

Stop and take a breath of fresh air. Don’t forget that you’re not the only one who needs some time to think and reflect. Here at Gustavus, many are in that very same position. If you feel this way, you can utilize on eo f several services on campus, including Sacred Space, where you can forget about your worries and take some time off.

“It’s just a place where we offer [activities for] people to explore their spirituality, whether it be Buddhism, Christianity or even if you’re just searching,” Chaplain Rachel Larson said. Sacred Space is a monthly service offered in Alumni Hall, usually on a Sunday. It’s a neutral space to ask questions and talk about struggles that people come across often. Everyone is welcome as Sacred Space is intended to serve a wide range of people.

During Sacred Space, there are numerous things offered to help calm the mind.  One distinguishing detail is the labyrinth, a big piece of canvas that one can walk upon in meditation. “You start out with a question or topic and have a long walk, and that’s all you think about,” Sophomore Megan Peterson said, a regular at Sacred Space. “It’s a really great place to have quiet time to think and have people there who care about you. I think it’s hard to find a quiet place to kind of be yourself, especially when you’re living in dorms [where] you get no alone time.”

There is a whole array of things offered at Sacred Space, including mats where you can do yoga, cushions to sit and read, hot tea and ice water to sip on, quiet music playing in the background, all in a dimmed environment.  “It’s just a helpful time,” Junior History and Religion major Andrew Griesman said. “It’s an all-around great experience to unwind and take a break from school and classes.  You get some time for self-reflection as well as spiritual reflection, and it doesn’t cater to any specific spiritual belief.”

Something that Larsonrecommends everyone take advantage of is Reiki, which is a Japanese word meaning “universal life force.” It is a holistic, light-touch, energy-based healing art that balances the normal flow of energy throughout the body. It can enhance and accelerate the body’s innate healing abilities and heals on all levels—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. “Everyone who comes almost always takes advantage of the Reiki practitioners,” Larson said.

“You don’t have to stay for the whole duration of [Sacred Space]. You can come and go as you please,” Larson said. “It’s like the Hebrew concept of the Sabbath. You just stop and reflect.  That’s the key piece of it.”

The next Sacred Space session is this Sunday, Oct. 17 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Next month’s Sacred Space session is scheduled on Nov. 14, 2010.