Make your life an offering. Live, serve, love.
Consecration, the act of making something sacred, of offering the 'fruits' of one's actions to some higher purpose or power is one of the most beautiful teachings I received in the course of my studies. The emphasis placed on consecration before every significant action has shaped and continues to shape the quality of my life in many ways and it is something I am extremely grateful to have had instilled in my life.
Consecration, which literally means 'association with the sacred', is used in religious rituals to set the stage, announce the intention and create a sacred atmosphere. All the objects to be used during the ritual as well as the place and the ritual itself are consecrated and thereby made 'pure' and potent instruments for revealing the Divine dimension to which the intentions and actions which follow are directed.
As students we were encouraged to consecrate everything, from waking up in the morning and consecrating the day till going to bed in the evening and consecrating our sleep. We consecrated our food, our individual spiritual practices, our role as teachers, our lovemaking. Through such an insistence on consecration, a sacredness becomes infused and accessible in even the simplest of actions and helps one to see themselves as an instrument of service for a greater power and good.
Consecration, if performed with sincerity, has the function of calling into awareness the motivations behind the acts we are about to consecrate. We were taught in our process of consecration to 'wait for an answer' before commencing with a particular action, and if no answer came then to abort whatever it was that we were considering doing. This answer could take many forms, but in the simplest sense it is an inner feeling of certainty that what we are about to do is not motivated by some impure, self-serving or egotistical intention.
In this way, by consecrating throughout ones day and before all significant actions, we aim, to the best of our ability, at infusing greater awareness and pure intentions into everything we do. Through this we may eventually come to lead a life that is consecrated, sanctified and uplifted by virtue, becoming a blessing and a source of light and harmony for ourselves and others.