sacred sites

Gratitude for a Prayer Mat

— by Tegan Northwood / April 2019

I think I just want to express gratitude for something this morning. I have been reflecting again on the miracles you can encounter while travelling and how grateful I am for my current prayer mat. I was GIVEN this (I think it's a high-quality, probably expensive mat - this would be pretty expensive here) in Granada by a man in a shop along the canal. I was wanting to buy a good quality one having been doing the prayer once a day for about five years previously.

He was Spanish so it took awhile to get across what I was looking for, and when he did he was obviously surprised by the fact that I was a white western woman... I think I had been told to go there by another shop owner, but there were only cheap cloth ones in this shop so I said 'don't worry, it's okay, but would you know where I can buy a better one?' He told me to come back and meet him the next day. I did but due to a phone messup I was a bit late... I arrived back there to find he had come to meet me on his day off and brought me a mat from his own personal collection, and would not accept any payment for it. Looking at it I knew it was good quality and would be expensive to buy. 
I wish I could have thanked him more properly, it was a real gift. I spontaneously gave him a hug (which may have been a bit awkward for him...not sure).
This was already quite soon after an amazing and unexpected experience in Cordoba at the ancient Mezquita there which I literally had no idea about before I went there!
There is no way I could have forseen this happening but it turned out to be a true highlight of my trip last year.
Remembering that. ❤️ Not quite a year but not far off.


— Reflections and photo by Tegan Northwood, who contributed her story and photos from Spain at the Mezquita de Córdoba.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque


Kraig Grady contributes these images from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi…. with comments about the magnificent resonant sound in the Mosque, and the largest chandelier in the world at 9 tons. Other superlative architectural details include 4 minarets and 82 domes, the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet, reflecting pools of deep blue tile, artistic illumination of the architecture that follows the Lunar cycle, and the use of pure white and coloured marbles…

For detailed information visit the website of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

photos by Kraig Grady

photos by Kraig Grady

More images (below) from the Mosque’s website.

Thank you, Kraig!

Kraig Grady is a composer-performer, instrument builder, and microtonalist from NSW, Australia

Gariwerd - a photo-video essay

A new series of videos, photo essay and reflections in our Rituals and Communities section:

Gariwerd - a moment at Silverband Falls

Images, videos, and reflections by Catherine Schieve at Gariwerd / Grampians National Park, November 2018

Images, videos, and reflections by Catherine Schieve at Gariwerd / Grampians National Park, November 2018