Where is our sanctuary? Where is that space we all need to both find strength and peace? With all the teachers, the methods, the gifted, the people from other dimensions, ascended masters, time travellers, aliens, television and book stars, reincarnated, psychics, shared secrets, special diets, sacred forgotten practices, dreams, special drugs from the rainforest . . . why are we still so lost? Do you know where your sanctuary is?
“Sanctuary” and “Asylum” have become exchangeable words in our ever maddening stampede to dumb down the entire English language. The difference between the two is one of those slight shadings that manages to take a word and deepens and enriches its meaning. “Asylum” is what we seek when we are running from something. It is a place where the protection from that something can be much broader than a finite space and has varying degrees of power – often put in place by power. We are “granted asylum.” “Sanctuary” is more something we seek out when we are looking for something. It was originally intended to mean a religious place but the element of “safety” was eventually added to it and some of its meaning was lost and certainly confused. “Sanctuary” as a spiritual place where we might feel safe suggests that we should seek a religious place that has been created for such a purpose, or a place in nature where we can feel that spirit. It might even be provided by a special shrine or place we create within our home where we go to practice our spiritual endeavours. It refers to a specific contained space that creates a state of being.
Much of what has been presented to us as spiritual or religious has moved the whole journey from being an inner one to being one that engages and involves the outside world. We surrender our self. It has been perhaps, one of the most effective attacks on us as spiritual beings because it has put other people and things in control of our own connection. Continue reading →
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” Ajahn Chah
“If we want there to be peace in the world, we have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid in our hearts, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s the true practice of peace.” Pema Chodron
‘Peace can only exist in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace. What is “this”? A diploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace some day.” Thich Nhat Hanh
For many years there was a sadness to the wandering . . . a sense of isolation, a loneliness that was hard to explain to anyone. How could we be standing on a hill overlooking the most awe inspiring world we live in and feel sad? How could we be with people we loved and admired and feel lonely? And yet I did.
The world was supposed to end this week. Once again people predicted horrible events and a big change. People got rich off of other people’s fears. Some people stopped breathing, waiting for it to happen.
It didn’t end.
But this week I found myself standing among the people in my life, overlooking the beauty of the world and I felt chains of bondage slipping off. I found myself letting go of emotional tangles and wishes for things that were not in my control. My sadness and sense of loss lessened. . . and a quiet, directed resolve taking it’s place.
It was like the world sighed.
I opened my eyes.
I see lights of connection. I feel their strength. I sense the hope. I taste freedom.
Ever wonder about the people you meet who you just enjoy because they say all the right things? You have that deep connection when you talk about things beyond the weather, which celebrity did what, and what your favourite television show is. They know all the buzz words and before long, the two of you are finishing each other’s sentences, and you talk long after everyone else is out of steam.
You have several conversations with these people and you marvel to others how alike you are. It seems magical and you swear you know who they really are. Then, somewhere along the way, as you hang out, things don’t seem quite right. This person knows all the words, but what they talk about knowing and what they actually do, are miles apart. In practice they are often angry, abusing others, manipulating people and worse. They are up and down and all over the place emotionally and seldom happy. They have no real direction and nothing is ever their fault. Continue reading →
“Stop ‘fighting’ for recovery. Your body and mind; your heart and your soul – it’s been a war zone for far too long. Make peace with your demons. They didn’t come only to torture you… They came to show you where your cracks are; to open the hidden wounds; to illuminate your dark sides. Your demons came to teach you to take care of yourself – they’ve dragged you through hell to do it. You’re at war with yourself. But you can’t eradicate the parts you don’t like; you can’t shoot your way to health and happiness. You need to lay down all your weapons of self-destruction and listen to what these little devils have been trying to tell you – really tell you. They’re just the messengers, and in trying to shoot them you just keep shooting yourself. Healing lies in acceptance – the good, the bad, the dark, the light, the beautiful and the ugly. Harmonious connection between all facets of your perfectly flawed being.”