For December we are transitioning to a theme of Relaxation, which we feel is a wonderful bridge from Kindness. What better to Relax into than the feelings of Kindness that we worked to develop over the last month. As we look to strategies for relaxation, and how Yoga can support us in these efforts, we may look for spaces to relax into. This is one of the things that a Refuge Meditation can offer us.
Refuge is defined as a “condition of being safe or sheltered from danger,” which is often a thought of as a space where we feel as though we can relax and find that clarity of mind. Though some refuge meditations talk about this sense of safety and security as being tied to a location (it does make a nice visualization meditation), in Hanson and Mendius’ Buddha’s Brain describe these spaces of refuge as “people, places, memories, ideas, ideals,” and is further outlined as a place “…you can let down your guard and gather strength and wisdom.”
When we have participated in refuge meditations in classes, we have taken the time to write down a few ideas, though you are always welcome to choose one particular space, place or idea that supports your calm and quiet. Below are a few prompts if you’d like to write down a few refuges prior to your meditation.
By sitting in this space of safety and security, we lower our reactivity, and allow ourselves to train the brain to come back more quickly to those places/spaces of positivity. When we dedicate ourselves to our well-being, we support our overall foundation, so when emotions or events come that may rock us, we are better able to ride them out. How about over the next week we collect a few ideas of refuge, and perhaps use them in our meditations. It’s a new month to log your meditations in our year-long meditation challenge!
Having some of these in mind will also be GREAT supports for our silent retreat in January! Head to the events page to learn more, it should be an amazing time!