Selecting Altar Items
Each session you are given a prompt. The items you add to the altar are the physical forms of the prompt.
When you first get the prompt, I encourage you to sit silent for several minutes meditating upon it.
I have found it very helpful to next spend 10 minutes or so writing the things that are coming up for you in that moment in an altar journal. Write the various responses that came to you and possibly go into further detail about any of them.
Until the next prompt, be on the "lookout" for something that can represent the reponse (or multiple items for multiple responses). I put "lookout" in quotes because the eyes are not the only way to gather items. There are other ways that items will present themselves- perhaps through a feeling, or through a circuitous association.
It is important to give this period of gathering a bit of time, which I will get into in the next section. This time allows spaciousness in finding the items. There is initial activity when the prompt is first introduced, with ideas generated. And then, with some time, the mind chills out and the prompt goes into the subciousness, now and then surfacing in your thoughts. New memories and ideas arise, new potential items are thought of. And, when you are least expecting them, items sometimes will appear to you that feel perfect.
The items can be pretty much anything. They can be physical things you encounter while out in the world- a leaf that represents their love of trees, a tennis ball that recalls a funny situation. It can also be an artwork that you create to represent the prompt in an abstract way. It can even be words written on paper. Perhaps these can be seen as placeholders for the physical item if or when that is found.
While I urge you to add something each round, do not feel pressured to complete or have the perfect item for a prompt. You can always respond to a previous prompt when new thoughts and items arise.
The prompts are never complete. They are open questions without conclusion that promote inquiry and connection. The prompt may even become internalized and hover close by as a way to connect to your beloved as you move through the world.
When you have completed the program as I have set it out, you can continue in your own way. You will have learned its essence and will have the tools to keep going at your own discretion and pace. You may choose to give yourself prompts, or you may find new items for past prompts, or new items unconnected to a prompt. You can always add new items and shift up the altar.