Mary our Mother is always with us, closer to us than our own jugular vein, more intimately interwoven with our being than our own breath, always holding us in infinite love to her heart, always trying to inspire us into our deepest, calmest, and finest selves. Waking up to the miracle of this all-enfolding passionate concern from the Mother of the Universe is the most wonderful thing that can happen to anyone in this life and the entry into the conscious human divine childhood that awaits all true lovers of the Mother.

Our tragedy is that we are so rarely open to the one who is always open to us, so rarely vulnerable to the one whose always-open heart is so vulnerable to our pain and difficulties, so rarely awake to the messages that are always arising out of her silence. This is why learning to "inspire" ourselves is so important. A Christian saint, Bede Griffiths, once said to me, "What is essential is to keep the heart always open to beauty, for she is beauty." What could be harder in an age like ours? And yet, it is just because our age is so harsh and brutal that it is more than ever essential to create around us, in our homes and offices and meeting places, a sacred environment. To do so is to awaken the poet in each of us, the poet and the lover of life and beauty.

Creating a sacred environment is not complicated; it just requires concentration and the constant reminder that the one important thing in your life is to keep your heart open to Divine Love. I find that having a small altar to the Mother in every room of the house helps; listening to great sacred music provides constant joy; reading one or two lines of an inspiring sacred text or poem to her before beginning my day ensures that it begins subtly perfumed by her. Finding time to walk in the park or by the sea brings her close.

When I do these simple practices, I find that I talk to her more during the course of my day; I find myself asking her advice about all sorts of things — relationships, business arrangements, even what kinds of fruits and vegetables to buy, inviting her inwardly to meetings with friends and colleagues. The Mother is far simpler than we are; she does not need fancy invocations or elaborate images. Just like a human mother, she is delighted by anything one of her children offers her in love; a pebble or a daffodil enchant her just as much — or more — than a jewel or a gold statue. All that matters to her is our sincerity. One stick of incense lit to her in true adoration delights her as much as a thousand masses.

This month I invite you to transform your environment into one sacred to her. Meditate on what brings you simply into her presence and see that you regularly find time to do it. Make your homes temples to her, by putting up small altars, playing sacred music in her honor, inviting her into every activity from cooking to vacuuming to walking to shops to answering dull letters. Very soon the rewards of such remembrance will start arriving — in deeper inner stability and a constant subtle sense of joy running like a stream under all other thoughts and work. Ordinary life, if she is constantly involved in it, will slowly reveal her face in all of its details and become what it essentially is — the normal flow of her unbroken miracle.

Andrew Harvey in Mary's Vineyard by Andrew Harvey, Eryk Hanut