Friday, 20 February 2009

stepping into our sanctuary: a visual meditation for Lent

stepping into our sanctuary

Each of us needs a sanctuary.

It is safe space.

Bounded, secure, here in our sanctuary we are truly present to ourselves as we are.

Fear, doubt, raw emotion; these are safely contained and held. We are mindful of just being in the present moment.

Present to each moment, to each breath-gift of our being, we find stillness.

Negative self-talk, that judgemental narrative stream of self-destructive commentary, can be left outside the door like a leaky pair of old muddy boots that pinch and hurt. We have no need of treading such muck into the carpet of our self-worth.

The steps invite us to rise up and enter our sanctuary. To open the door and walk into that quiet spaciousness. To sit. To rest and be stilled.

To be enfolded in peace. And with each in-breath to breathe in love; with each out-breath, calm. Here we simply rest with our breathing, enfolded in the love which cradles eternity.

After a while we expand our awareness to the sounds around us. We become present to them and their meaning. We hold this gently, carefully, without judgement.

Then, when we are ready, we look out from our sanctuary, through the large picture window which fills the far wall, onto the landscape of our living beyond it. Mindful of each breath, held in the peace of each breath, we look and see.

Whatever we see, we see clearly and calmly, without judgement. 

And when the time is right we come back simply to our breathing and rest in the present moment.

Refreshed, we rise slowly and with great gratitude open the door and descend the steps gently back into our life.


Of course our sanctuary does not have to be a physical space. In truth it can simply be a state of mindfulness which we choose to enter. At anytime, wherever we are.

And sanctuary space is something we can offer to each other through the gift of soul-friendship.

How might the church become safe, sanctuary space too?

1 comment:

  1. I have a suspicion that many folk fear the type of sanctury you describe because they fear being "with themselves" in such an open way, sanctury makes it a safe space only if it is inhabited with grace, being gracius towards ourselves and others is a challenge.

    Churches t truly be sancturies need to become places of grace, to become so a few brave souls are needed who have dared to be with themselves...

    Praise God the gift of grace is his, or we might just find ourselves without hope!