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I invite you to think about how to make your work area a sacred space. Iconography is first and foremost a contemplative form of prayer, and creating a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere can help us become aware of God’s presence. Orthodox Christianity teaches that we pray with our whole bodies – not just with our minds, but with our senses – and that we were made to seek, create and drink in beauty. Beautiful spaces foster prayer.


Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a workspace sufficiently clear to feel restful; it will get messier as we progress, tidy up at the end of class using it as a time to reflect

  • Light a candle or have a vase of fresh flowers at your workspace

  • Play music you find beautiful and peaceful softly in the background (remember it must be turned down when speaking on Zoom)

  • Try to limit incidental background noise or other distractions

  • Silence your cell phone

  • Choose an intention for this workshop and turn it into a prayer, write it on a card and place it where you can see it; write your intention on your icon.

  • Write out a verse or some other inspirational quote

  • Release any expectation of yourself, let go of your inner critic.

“Some days,

doing ‘the best we can’ may still fall short

of what we would like to be able to do,

but life isn’t perfect – on any front –

and doing what we can with what we have

is the most we should expect of ourselves

or anyone else.”

- from The World According to Mister Rogers, 2003

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