No, I’m no talking about the excellent Web site www.sacredspace.ie.
I’m talking about creating sacred space in your “classroom.” In particular, I’m referring to the notion of inviting the children/young people to occasionally get out of their seats/desks and to find a place in the room where they can sit on the floor and be “alone.” I tell them that this will be their sacred space for the year and that, from time to time, I will invite them to go to their sacred space for some quiet prayer time.
Providing the young people with this space accomplishes several things. On a practical level, it helps with discipline because it “divides and conquers.” If you try to lead guided reflections (meditations) when the young people are sitting next to each other, the temptation is too great for them to interact and misbehave. When they’ve gone off to their sacred space, you have some degree of “buffer zones” between each student depending on the size of your room. More importantly, it provides the young people with a degree of privacy. Individuality is very important to young people and this gives them an opportunity to experience it. (Of course we need to provide experiences of community to offset the rampant individualism of our culture but that’s another post!)
Today, I’m going to run over to Walgreens to pick up some mini battery-operated devotional candles (advertised as “smart candle tea lights”) – they are on sale 3 for $3. I’ll get one for each student and then, when it is time for them to go to their sacred space, I’ll invite them to come forward one at a time to take their little devotional candle with them to their sacred space…a sign that the light of Christ is accompanying them.