Learning how to pray. A story of how I found comfort in spiritual minimalism.

I'm sharing today a rare peek at my altar. Glamorous, isn't it?

There are no crystals; no fetishes.
I have no pictures of gods or goddesses.
No tokens of ancestry.
No water bowls. No flowers. No fruit.
And I do it on purpose.

At one point in my spiritual journey, I had seven different altars erected at once. Yes, you read that right: seven. It was complete madness.

If something came up and I'd miss my prayer appointment, I felt guilty. 
If the water ran dry--guilty.
If I wasn't into it and cut the prayer short--guilty. Dust? Guilty.
If I felt stupid (and I did) when visitors would see all these strange, table clusters crammed in every corner--guilty.

It took me about six weeks of this insanity to realize that "guilt" and "spirit" were two words which didn't fit together and that my practice to honor had somehow convoluted itself into a way to self-shame.

Now, I choose to keep my altar clear of frivolity. Buddha reminds me that peace of heart only comes from peace in mind. Lit in his hands is the biggest little flame that could; I am but one small person but have the power to comfort or destroy the lives of millions around me.

At his feet rests the first feather I recognized as a gift from the Sky people, reminding me that every situation can change based on perspective alone.

All of this, this tiny little bit of nothing, is nestled beside my front door to help me remember that effective worship is not bound table side, it is in me. I am a walking prayer and I take Spirit with me everywhere I go.