Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Maintaining Your Altar

We've talked a little bit about building a small altar of things that are important to you at or near your desk. I shared my altar to style and debt, which is sort of unintentionally embarrassing, and Colleen shared her workplace altar photographs on flickr.

Maintaining your altar is an important spiritual practice that Lewis Richmond discusses in Work as a Spiritual Practice in the chapter on failure. Why failure? Because the shrine contains energy, the energy of things and people that make you feel good. The shrine can be used for rejuvenation and to remind ourselves of our own successes.

How do maintain it? You dust. You clean. You add new objects and photographs. You don't let the plants die. Richmond recommends changing something in the altar or shrine at least once a week.

Now, you don't need to tell people about your altar. Do you see mine in the photo? It's on the shelf above the laptop. You can barely see it. But I know it's there.

Altars and shrines are not just for desk workers. If you have a job that involves travel, you can set up an altar or shrine in your car. You can even set one up in the inside of your lunchbox.