“The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s backyard.” Abram Maslow

T.C. Mcluhan writes “Human beings all around the world and all through time have used sacred spaces in order to find themselves.” This brings to my mind the line from the song Amazing Grace,  ”I once was lost and now I’m found.”

Imagine that this self-finding can happen at HOME. The idea of home as sacred space is not a new one. In ancient Greece, every house had an alter to Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth.

Hestia’s altars were cleaned , incense was burned on them and the fire was lit daily. This act of nurturing home as sacred space was a daily occurrence.

If sacred space helps us to find ourselves and if that place of “found self” resides in our center, then what is the effect of living in a home that is a sacred Mandala?

One would guess that it’s something like living in a cathedral, a temple or a monastery.Living in a Mandala would be  experiencing the peaceful life of a monk, an orange robed shaved-headed Buddhist monk living in a temple.

Imagine days filled with prayers, contemplation, meditation, sacred bells, rhythm, beauty, continuity, reflection, reading, writing, dreaming. Ah…my favourite kind of rhythm, a schedule saturated with meaning!

But, a home needs to have function as well as meaning.

Storage is a big part of the practical function of a home. When we were designing our Mandala home, we began by listing all of our activities and belongings. We anticipated entering and leaving the home and imagined what we would be carrying and where it needs to go. Our list looked something like this; groceries, recycling, dump garbage, compost , sports gear, laptops, business mail, firewood, coats , sweaters, boots, mitts , gloves, recycled grocery bags, library books to return. In our home design, we accounted for these items and activities near to the entryway door. We also ensured that each room has built in storage in the form of closets, cupboards, shelves and a pantry near to the kitchen.

Our outdoor rooms play a big role in the practical function of our home. They are always available and comfortable human living and activity space that gives a natural change of temperature and flexible space.

The outdoor porch near the kitchen gives us a space to set pies to cool, grow a kitchen garden, set beer in the shade, step out of rubber Birkenstock clogs, store garden baskets, keep the bokashi bucket, eat lunch and sit in the morning sun with a coffee……contemplating the delightful marriage of a meaningful and practical life centered from this sacred circle of a lived-in Mandala.