The Altar of God: A visualization based on T-2.III

This was written for the daily study of the Text we are doing at the Circle this year. It is based on “The Altar of God” (T-2.III). You might want to read this section before doing the visualization. This section is interlaced with the image of an altar, which represents the deep place in our mind which contains what we are fundamentally devoted to in our lives–God or the ego. [Mary Anne Buchowski, our Circle Administrator, added a few touches to this visualization and read it to our class.]

After quieting your mind, take a moment and look at your body from the outside, as if in a mirror.
Realizing that it is really irrelevant, look past your body–this physical structure–and see yourself going on a journey into your mind…
You are walking towards a deep place in your mind,
towards the inner sanctuary in you that contains your core devotions–
those things which have your fundamental allegiance.
See yourself walking towards an altar, a large table.
Perhaps it is made of wood, polished granite, or some other form of stone.
Visualize it however you like.
Though it is an altar, it is not a beautiful sight.
For, as you see, the altar has been defiled.
On it lay the things you are currently devoted to, and these things are largely of the ego.
On it lay bodies, trophies, weapons, food and money, and your prized possessions, as well as little walls of separation.
Realize how much you want this altar to be clean.
Say to God, “I want this altar to be holy. I want to dedicate it only to You.”
Know that the altar, though inside your mind, was created by God.
It is innately perfect and holy, regardless of what you have placed upon it.
Now start removing those things which are on the altar but are not the altar.
See yourself clearing off, one by one, the things that clutter and defile your altar.
Clear off the bodies that you value.
They no longer receive your devotion.
Clear off the trophies–the symbols of your successes and achievements, all those things for which you are proud of yourself.
You aren’t devoted to specialness any more.
Clear away the weapons–your defenses, unloving behaviors, harsh and critical words. You don’t want to attack anyone.
Clear away the food, the money, all the material objects and prized possessions.
You no longer care about the things of the world.
Clear away the little walls of separation–fear, thoughts, judgments, comparisons.
You no longer want to be separate and to hold yourself apart.
Take a moment and look to see if there are any other things defiling your altar.
Continue clearing them away until your altar is absolutely clear and clean.
Now choose something that symbolizes the Atonement for you–any symbol will do, as long as it is personally meaningful to you…
Place this symbol at the center of the altar.
It is the only thing there. It is the only thing to which you are devoted.
It is the only thing that is worthy to be on an altar which is itself of infinite worth.
For it is perfect and the altar is perfect.
Now kneel–physically if you are at ease doing so; if not, simply in your mind–and dedicate this altar once again to your God Who created it in the likeness of Himself, your God who dedicated it as an altar unto you.
You may want to repeat the words you spoke to God earlier: “I want this altar to be holy. I want to dedicate it only to You.”