The Hilliard Institute

The Hilliard Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering sensory education programing, experiential learning, and academic research and publishing while also supporting philanthropic initiatives through fundraising and educational training and activities—all under the umbrella of the concept of Educational Wellness

The Hilliard Institute. 4440 Savage Pointe Drive. Franklin, TN 37064

Email Dr. K. Mark Hilliard at

or Professor Jessa R. Sexton at

What is Sacred Place and Sacred Space? A Book Reading Video Series with Dr. Mark Hilliard

Last month, Dr. K. Mark Hilliard presented portions of his latest publication at his book launch in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee. Portions of his talk are available here in three video clips.

First of all, Dr. Hilliard defines the terms "sacred place and sacred space."

In a longer clip, Dr. Hilliard tells us the fascinating story behind the book's title, The Crow's Enchanted Dance, which was inspired by a personal experience on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. He also answers "what is sacred" by dividing the term into three different types before he dives deep into the idea that there is a sixth sense: the spiritual. 

Next, Dr. Hilliard defines what a "place" and "space" are. You'll notice a lot of movement at the beginning of this video clip. Hilliard Press expected 40-50 people at the launch, but the crowd grew far beyond that. Those at Big East Fork Retreat were gracious enough to move chairs around so those who had been standing could squeeze in and sit. What a wonderful "problem" to have!

So what is "sacred space," then? Dr. Hilliard defines it as "a portal or a uninterrupted space or an open expanse within which or around which or through which life's energy flows or is stored and then released." Learn more in the video below. 

"Without mystery, life is an artless journey of the mundane." Mystery, the imagination, and enchantment: all of these are closely tied to sacred space. Find out how on the next clip. 

"Knowledge can tell us about a place. But it cannot lead us in." Sacred places and sacred spaces are real, literal locations. But entering them and truly experiencing them requires us to lose ourselves, in a way, for a period of time. 

Thanks for watching!

If you want to purchase a copy of Dr. K. Mark Hilliard's book, click on the image below. 

We also want to thank director Ryan Estabrooks for his work on this video series. Despite his filming being disrupted by such an unexpectedly large crowd (which we give thanks for rather than complaints about), he still produced exactly what we hoped for.