Do you have a place of sanctuary to which you can periodically retreat, get away from the world at large and feel safe and at one? What for you is a place of sanctuary? For some it’s perhaps a religious place and many may think of a church, monastery, or other spiritual place. In the Middle Ages, sanctuary was also where one went for safe keeping against the vengeance of some one, say in a Cathedral or other religious institution. One example in England is Beverley Minster. For others, it might be a special place, such as in your house or garden, or a place you go to to get away from it all, a place you is there for you. For me, it’s a quiet place suitable for peace, reflection and contemplation, for going within, to read, to meditate, to write or to connect with nature.

People often have special places to which they need to go to rest, recover and restore themselves from the stresses of life and living.

Our inner sanctuary

In another sense, the place of sanctuary is also within us. One might find one’s special place is a great place to notice one’s still point within, where one feels at one, peaceful and contented. Feeling joy at experiencing the environment and nature is another gateway to access one’s inner joy. There are many gateways. It might be the delight in a small child’s face, as she totters past you with a beam all over her face. It might be music, it might be poetry, it might be laughter, it might be memory, it might be inspiring words, it might be an intimate moment with a lover, it might be prayer or meditation. There are many moments when we can pause, take time out, breathe deeply and allow ourselves to connect with ourselves, with our inner vibration, with the vibration around us, with our own bliss-full inner essence, with the vibration of others – and remember who we are.

What is so important is to do it, to connect. It can need an effort, and maybe to take ourselves out of our ego state we may feel reluctant to come away from our absorption with the temporal, but by so doing we open ourselves up to be able to harvest the fruits of what is so easy and effortlessly available – another of life’s paradoxes.