Thursday, April 27, 2017

Part of Your Soul, On a Table: Hoppergrass's Altar

Heartfelt thanks to Hoppergrass for sharing this photo of his altar, along with his words about the objects he keeps there.

My altar is the mantel of the fireplace in the large-windowed second-storey room where I do my morning tantric yoga and meditation practice. A buddha candle, minimally burned to exemplify the impermanence of all things, sits on a metal lotus flower, to remind me that from muck comes radiance. Four stones, gifted at an Easton Mountain workshop by Body Electric teacher Colin Brown, mark the cardinal directions around the lotus, according to designated color; they also represent Buddhism's four Noble Truths. Ganesh helps me overcome obstacles to reconciling my erotic and non-erotic personas: he is encircled by my leather cockring, symbolic of my struggle with my shadow. The small stone bear fetish, gifted at a retreat at Bodhi Mandala Zen Center, connects me to the oneness of all things. The ceramic heart, supported by the mala I use in meditation, is a rattle that I use during dry abhyanga. Finally, the not-quite-eternal eternal flame that I light at the beginning of each session as matter becomes energy; I extinguish it at the end as energy becomes matter.

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