Sites of sādhanā

Rasa Ravi, 2020

At home on a specific spot

If it is possible, the śikharin always sits on the same spot on a meditation cushion, used only for this purpose, or even on a small mat, by which he or she spiritually marks the boundary of space for sādhanā. Ideally, he or she sits before an altar. If having an altar is not possible, the śikharin lights a candle, at least. An altar can be a pretty simple one represented by plants only. The candle to be lit can be the inner light.

At home in a dedicated room

If it is possible, the śikharin dedicates a room only for the purpose of sādhanā. Worldly activities like eating, sleeping, or mundane chatting should be avoided here.

Irregular places elsewhere

Anywhere in nature, in an unknown place, in a group somewhere, etc. The śikharin should take his/her cushion and/or mat and mark his/her spiritual space in this new place.

Regular place elsewhere

In this case it is better to find a good spot where the śikharin feels good. Meditating on the same spot has a strengthening effect by which a semi-dedicated place is created. This can deepen the sādhanā.

In a kula, with kulins

The kula itself is a group of kulins rather than a location. Of course, a kula should meet regularly at the same place, but what is more important is to practice with the kulins themselves.

In an ardhaśikhara

An ardhaśikhara is somewhere between a kula and a śikhara. An ardhaśikhara always has a dedicated room for sādhanā, possibilities for sleeping over and cooking, etc., for a given number of people. However, the length of stay may be limited.

In a śikhara

Same as for an ardhaśikhara, with the difference that long-term stays are possible. Here antarins live their spiritual life according to a routine, which a visitor must be prepared to follow as well.

In seclusion as an ekamuni

It reflects a very high level of sādhanā and is reserved for older antarins only. This does not mean that any śikharin of any level cannot meditate in isolation, for example in nature, for a long period of time—it is, of course, always beneficial and rewarding. The seclusion of the ekamuni corresponds with his or her high practices, not with detachment itself.