Our minds are altar-makers. They are raised places, moving through the world, filtering and sculpting sensory data into stories. These altars of the mind honor what aligns with our preferences and reject what doesn't fit our values.
Homes and cities provide countless physical altars where we honor the varied actions of living. In a kitchen, the cooktop is an altar for transforming raw food into nourishing meals. The bathroom sink is a raised place where we honor the purification and beautification of the body. A bed honors sleeping, dreaming and loving. An office desk is an altar to creativity and commerce. Apples stacked in a grocery store bin honor nature in the marketplace of exchange.
On these everyday, altars we concentrate nature into seeds of imagination. Day after day we cultivate some of these seeds and weed out others. Through choice after choice to honor this and neglect that. In this way, the garden of the world is formed and reformed. Mostly we tend the garden unaware of what is designing us and what we are designing. Yet, each stopping point—a desk, a table, a market bin and more—offers us a chance perceive what the world is offering itself and that select ways to interact with it that foster sustaining ways of dwelling here now.