I was recently part of an online discussion about how to make each meditation session more sacred. The conclusion? Become conscious of your connections with other people/living beings.

As you sit down to meditate, our teacher suggested, think of all the communities and individuals that brought you to this moment – your lineage. This might be literal lineage – your parents, your grandparents, your ancestors – or philosophical lineage – your teachers, your colleagues, those close to you geographically. You are sitting with them and for them, and they are with and for you.

Make an offering to this moment and to your lineage and to all living beings. You might light a candle or arrange a flower or notice and offer all of who you are right now. You are offering your time and attention.

As you end your meditation session and move into the rest of your day, you can “dedicate the merit.” This means that whatever happened during that time, you wish that it be of benefit to all living beings, that it bring peace and energy to a hurting world.

What a lovely set of instructions for sanctifying life. If I approached each day – each moment – like that: being aware of those who travel before and with me, offering my energies to their benefit and dedicating what I’ve done to alleviate others’ suffering, what a holy existence I would lead! Connections sanctify.