This post is dedicated to one of my wonderful friends who needs a little meditation pick-me-up…
My favorite meditations are ones that require some small action, mantra, or visualization. This meditation shows you that your place of refuge can be found inside. An inner refuge acts as a kind of cocoon, where you retreat to do the sort of self-examination that leads to inner change. There, you can shed your masks, assimilate your failures, and savor your joys. Consciously retreating to your place of refuge can help you digest your life experiences. It can give you both rest and the resources to act from strength.
Try this meditation in a physical refuge that makes you feel safe. You might have a place in your home – a meditation corner, a tree in your backyard, or even your bathtub. Or a public place – a community garden, a park, or a coffee shop. Wherever makes you feel calm and at home.
Discover true peace and wisdom when you take refuge within…
Take 15 minutes to sit by yourself. Breathe into your belly, allowing the breath to gradually deepen. With each exhalation, imagine that you’re letting go of tension in your body and mind. Now, visualize yourself sitting in a beautiful place where you feel safe and protected: by the ocean, in a garden, or in the woods; in a special room from your childhood; or in a holy site such as a temple, a church, or an ashram.
Imagine that there is a wise and loving being sitting in front of you. If it feels natural, you can imagine this being in the form or a great teacher, such as the Buddha, Christ, Kuan Yin, or even an animal guide. Alternatively, you might sense this being as one of your ancestors, or a beloved relative. Or this being might have no form at all.
Recognize that this being has the most profound wish for your happiness and is the embodiment of wisdom and love. As you sit with this spiritual being, focus on the thought, “I take refuge in you.” Notice the feeling state that arises as you consciously imagine taking refuge in this being. If you have a question or a problem, you can bring it before this guide and ask for wisdom. At the end of the meditation, imagine yourself drawing the energy of this spiritual being into your own heart. Then feel the wisdom and love that have, in some way, entered you.
Reference: Yoga Journal 2012