The Inner and Outer Game of Sacred Places

There I was sitting in the audience, my bullshit meter on full-alert, as the “spiritual master” in front of the room explained how the crystal statues and empowered blankets he was selling at the back table were an essential part of the path, or at least a shortcut, to higher states of consciousness.

Up until that point, and for a long time after, I believed all true spiritual transformation was an inside job. While we can read sacred texts, visit holy temples, or travel to remote mountains, ultimately the only sustainable spiritual change comes from within...and then it happened—A skeptical audience member had the audacity to ask what I had been thinking for several minutes... my skin crawling…

Attendee: “No disrespect, but is there really anything measurable in the crystals, statues, or blankets?”
Teacher: “Do you have dog?” (Hear that with broken English in a Chinese accent)
Attendee: “Yes”
Teacher: “Does your dog shit?”
Attendee: “Ah... yes…”
Teacher: “Would you gather pile of dog shit and make nice table in living room?”

Laughter erupted in the room, myself included.

The teacher went on to explain that whether or not you believe in the more refined spiritual energies of these crystals, the energy is still there and impacts you. There's a reason you pick up your dog's poop when it's in the house. There's a reason you change the cat's litter box. And there's a reason that the diamond ring is the symbol of “indestructible” love in this culture.

Every object, including you yourself, is continually drawing in energy from outside, turning that energy into something else, and re-issuing it.

Now on the level of dog shit—It's not a good energy-exchange to have a pile next to your couch. It is a waste product meant to be in the earth. The diamond, however, draws in light and emits light.
This was the beginning of my mind opening to the idea of sacred objects and sacred spaces.

For instance, in a city with electromagnetic pollution, heart-mind thought-fields of stressed out commuters, and environmental pollution, even the most skilled practitioner can have challenges showing up at their best. Research shows there are areas of increased crime and mental illness associated with the confluence of discordant geomagnetic lines.

Imagine waking up everyday and looking out a window from which the view is another brick wall several feet away. Stifling to our psyche to say the least, not to mention the research correlating higher cancer-incidence in those living near cell towers. If there are these less-than-sacred sites in a Universe always seeking balance, then there must be a counter-pose.

Sacred places exist on this planet, which have an equally opposite and positive impact on our emotions, minds, and bodies. Places where monks, initiates, and hermit-mystics have trained for thousands of years in optimizing their heart-mind-body fields. Places where the geomagnetics of the water, the rocks, the trees, and even the celestial bodies in the sky all align to create a coherent field of energy in the human body, mind, and soul.

The ultimate sacred place, however, is within each of us. Research has illuminated that the human heart, when holding a positive emotion, actually entrains with the brain and multiplies our electromagnetic field up to 30 feet outside our body. A research institute in Santa Cruz, CA called Heartmath has pioneered this biofeedback research and techniques. This field will impact the fields of those around us, either lifting their emotional set-point and offering access to even more elevated thoughts, or negatively compressing and draining it.

Where we really get into trouble, and just think of the last time you had a fight with someone you care about, is when both energy fields are pulling off the other. Discordant environmental energies make it near impossible for us to do the good work we've come here to do.

Let’s get practical in applying all of this to our lives, what do you say?

“Everything is sacred or nothing is sacred.”

1.) The most important sacred site is within the seat of your own heart.

To visit this place, simply bring your mind’s awareness to your chest-center, slow down your breathing. Imagine you can inhale and exhale through the filter of the heart and begin to focus on images, sounds, smells, and impressions that bring a positive emotion like gratitude, contentment, joy, or love.

2.) The sacred places and sacred sites are the ones you create for yourself all around you, whether it's with a salt lamp, meditation cushion, an altar, or inspiring images and colors. You control the sacred site that is your car, your office, your room, or your home. Starting with our immediate environment is crucial because it has the most impact on us as it is where we spend the most time. Get the EMF levels of your house checked. Declutter. Hire a Feng Shui consultant.

3.) The sacred sites in your area are those places you visit at regular times each day or month. Maybe they align with moon cycles, life events, or transitions. These places provide a space for you to completely shed the artificial electromagnetic influences of hectic lifestyle, hustle, and ambition, allowing your essential nature to reveal itself. Select places where the predominant energy field is that of nature, clarity, nourishment, and harmony.

These can include waterfalls, forests, mountains, deserts, lakes, oceans, or even the quiet corner of a park.

4.) Take pilgrimages once a year, or at least a couple times in a lifetime. Consider traveling to a sacred site where, for thousands of years, the predominant human energy field of the collective consciousness is one of spiritual cultivation and development of the highest human potential. Where mountaintop temples and forest meditation pagodas are the norm. Where the food, herbs, and the way of life of the local people has remained sacred since time immemorial.

On these journeys, if you also practice the ancient sciences(TaiJi, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation, Breathwork, Fasting) of cultivating the internal sacred sites, combined with the geomagnetic influences of the rocks, trees, earth, and sky multiplied by the collective consciousness field of that space, you may find yourself transported beyond where you have been. You may glimpse a potential in yourself that previously seemed unreachable.

These pilgrimages can intercept karma and completely alter the life-path you are on.

Everything is sacred or nothing is sacred.

Look around as you read these words. What's the state of your home or office? When is the last time you were naked in nature? What is the nature of the thoughts and emotions with which you are decorating your inner temple? And what is it costing you to live a life absent of sacred sites? What would be possible if you were accessing these portals on the regular?

I hope to meet you there one day, inside or out.

This article was originally featured in The Akashic Magazine. You can subscribe to The Akashic Magazine to get all the articles in high-quality color PDF format totally free at:


KAI VAN BODHI is a pioneer in the field of Holistic Medicine, integrating both Ancient Alchemy and Modern Neuroscience into a complete and accessible pathway to unlocking human potential. Holding a masters degree in Oriental Medicine, he is an artful teacher of meditation, taichi, qigong, and mind-body exercise.

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