Contemplation in organic, natural space provides for me—and likely for this monk in Thailand—a sense of peace. Walks during which I touch a stone or the bark of a tree, hear the leaves crunching beneath my feet, or water rippling in a river, I connect with a deeper level of myself. I notice my own pulse of life, I locate my being and find my capacity to be fully present to other people and in the larger world.
I say, build your temple.
Allow nature to be the architecture. Spend time with trees. Walk near a body of water.
Illuminate a small space. Light candles, open a window shade or door to permit splashes of sunshine to spill upon a floor, then sit in the luminous pool.
Find resonance and respite through rhythmic repetition. Spin a potter’s wheel, stroke the fur of a friendly feline or canine, tap a simple, hand-held drum, visit a seashore and feel the pounding of waves and the pull of nature’s majesty.
Notice scent. Breathe in the spiritual element of incense, the pine tree needles releasing their essence, the decay and new life born at the edge of a stream.
Trust in these things. Build your temple.