This month's mood board is inspired by something slightly different- a monastery. While in Bulgaria we took a day trip and drove up into the mountains to see Rila Monastery, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century by St. John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church. His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex which played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria. Destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862. A characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th-19th centuries), the monument symbolizes the awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation.
What is even more fascinating is that this, and many other churches in Bulgaria, were keepers of Bulgaria's history and culture. Bulgaria was under Turkish rule for decades but in the 19th century there was a resurgence of nationalism and the church was there holding the knowledge of the countries history.
I was inspired by the grandness of the monastery and the church, but also the peacefulness I felt because it was nestled in the mountains. There were fountains that you could drink from that had the most delicious, cold and fresh spring water. The inside of the church was dark, lit by candles and you could smell the incense that had soaked into the wood. I felt the weight of the centuries of prayer in this sacred space.
Being in such an ancient and spiritual place made me want to create that sort of contemplative space in my own home. I've been searching for what the divine means to me, and while I don't tend to find my answers in church, I do have strong spiritual beliefs.
I like to create moments in my home that create space for self-reflection. I've been trying to meditate daily (operative word on try) but having a spot where I can meditate daily helps me sink into that meditation more quickly. I feel inspired by my surroundings to try to find that peace.
A sacred space is something you imbue with good energy. I think you start with a candle, a crystal, and then add a plant and you are on your way to creating your spot. Bringing in elements from nature give a space that good feeling too!
Have you carved out a corner of your home for yourself?