Thursday, July 16, 2015


Whatever drop of sun I'm swirling in or waves I'm tousled amidst, I begin + end my days connecting to spirit. To me, this means kundalini yoga, prayer, meditation [my favourites include Harshada Wagner + Art of Attention by Elena Brower], or tending to my plants. Such times are elevated by sitting by my sacred space. This space takes on different meanings, looks, + are composed of different objects for different people. In the Hindu tradition, this can involve the basic five steps of the Panchopachara or the more intricate sixteen step Shodashopachara. My outline below is based upon the five step puja and can be adapted to your own spiritual or religious or universal beliefs, as I have adapted it to mine. Here is how you can set up your altar or perform a puja. Welcome to a multi-sensory cosmic experience . . .

F A R M A C Y :  P E R F O R M I N G  A  P U J A

C O L O U R |  I  am deeply moved by colour + my changing preferences delicately  suggest to me the specific chakra r energetic work I need to focus on. Self-love has always been a topic tender to my heart + have been drawn to pink [as well as purple] lately. So, my current puja is adorned with fuschia flowers, a bright little pink gratitude journal, pink crystals, pink galore—think pink! Choose a colour or colours that ground or elevate you, whatever sensation your being needs.

P H O T O G R A P H S | I always have a photograph of Yogi Bhajan on my altar along with some small black + white tattered photographs of my family members. I bathe these photos with light + embellish them with japa mala beads that a friend kindly brought over from India. I also have a small Ganesh to remove obstacles and ayat al-kursi + hamsa with an evil eye for protection.  Place whatever photographs of loved ones, spiritual or inspirational quotes, prayers, or symbols that resonate with you.

S C E N T | Dhoop sticks are a puja staple but I also love the scent of rose oil that I had purchased when I saw Amma last summer—its divine scent brings me back to her warm embrace. You can light any favourite incense, palo santo, sandal paste, or sage bundle; just take the smells in + drench your cells in the aromatherapeutic cleanse . . .

O F F E R I N G | I place a clear cup of alkaline water to sip on, an offering of a piece of fresh local fruit [naivedhya]—I love figs to call in feminine energy + my Turkish roots—as well as grass-fed ghee + rice mixed with some turmeric [akshat]. 

L I G H T | Light [diya] is offered + waved around to bask the photographs—you can use a small lamp or a beautiful non-toxic beeswax candle

F L O R A | I picked the beauty on my current altar  from the garden + thanked the tree for sharing its sweetness with me. My other recent puja focused on purple hues, which contained fresh + dried lavender blossoms. Place your favourite flower [pushpa] on your altar to blossom our heart . . .

C H A N T | I pray [recently a dear prayer 19 times] + softly sing Kundalini chants by my altar. You can do whatever grounds you + connects you to the waves of sound. Even just repeating thank you can be profoundly powerful

May this process allow you to realise that the Divine resides within you, that you are the prayer, you are the chant, + part of the Supreme. Your puja is a step in recognising that universal Truth within yourself .  . .