Inner Refuge: How Can We Build It?

Who I am
Robert Maurer

Inner Refuge: How Can We Build It?

What do we need to do to build a safe space called inner refuge? We talk about it in this article.

Last update: 18 September, 2020

In a world full of stimulation, building an inner refuge is a difficult goal. Despite the necessary efforts, however, it is a very rewarding task. This space of connection with ourselves will accompany us throughout our life and will allow us to grow without ever stopping learning.

But what are we talking about? It is a kind of place to go when the whirlwind of daily events overwhelms us and absorbs all our energies. It will be a private space where we will have the opportunity to express our most intimate thoughts and be, if we want, totally vulnerable.

Everyone will have a personal vision of this space, just as each of us will need different materials to build it. Despite individual differences, however, we can speak of a common basis that characterizes the foundations of this building.

To build our inner refuge, it will be a lot to remain silent without judging our thoughts. We must let them flow without opposing, especially in the moments when we decide to carry out this little daily exercise.

In a sense, is a small meditation practice. In this article we will look more specifically at how to build an inner refuge and what benefits it offers.

How to build an inner refuge

This space doesn't have to be a place to escape, quite the opposite. It must be a place where you can get in tune with yourself and, at the same time, disconnect from the unnecessary stimuli received during the day. It will be a kind of safe haven when the storms hit us. By "storms" we refer to all those situations, daily and otherwise, that shake us, paralyze us and make us tense.

When can we start building our inner refuge? The construction will begin when we begin to question everything we have learned, when we look beyond things and we will not stop only at the superficial aspects. You may be wondering: "How to do this?", "Where to start?". We need to start from three basic ideas.

Allow yourself the opportunity to do nothing for a few minutes every day

During the day you have to find a few minutes in which to do nothing. A little trick is to take advantage of those moments when we are waiting (for example, at the doctor). Don't use your cell phone, don't listen to music and don't give in to other temptations. Give yourself those minutes to be yourself and not to think. Let time go by with the aim of finding some peace in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

In a way, you have to stop looking for stimuli to occupy the time. With practice and training, this little exercise can also be done at other times of the day. For example, when you wake up, you can meditate for a few minutes or when you come home after work, you can lie down on the sofa, close your eyes and relax for a while.

Allow yourself to be like a blank canvas

Another simple action that can help build inner refuge is to try to get away from everything that others expect of us and everything we expect of others. Try to connect with your essence by putting aside the ego, thoughts and everything that binds you to past situations.

In the inner refuge, things begin and end "here and now". The aim is that of not letting the past or the future access you.

That over time it will allow you to enjoy the present without constraints or expectations that can generate frustration. It is about connecting with what is happening inside oneself at that precise moment, to face what is happening outside and to come out, with grace, from situations that can make us shake.

Visualize a place that instills peace

Another technique for building an interior space is to visualize a place that gives you peace and security. For example, a paradise beach, an oasis in the middle of the desert, an isolated bench away from the noise of the city, a tropical forest, etc.

When you have identified this mental place, visualize yourself in it when you need to calm down and inner peace.

Possible obstacles

When you begin to build your inner refuge, it can happen that you run into some obstacles: resistance, fears, uncertainties, insecurities, pain… Don't be alarmed! This is all part of the process of building one's inner refuge. You must try to go further and let your refuge gradually take shape, without pressure or conditioning.

On the other hand, it is normal for resistances or fears to appear when we remain silent. We are not used to giving up thinking or doing nothing.

Don't get overwhelmed, it's about making small progress gradually. Practice every day to integrate this habit into your daily routine in order to build that inner refuge that can be of great help to you.

"Silence is a source of great power."

-Lao Tzu-

The benefits of an inner refuge

How does having this intimate and personal space help us? The first big advantage is that it will allow us to find strength when we face changes. For example, if we find ourselves in complicated life situations or we have to face a critical period.

Furthermore, building an inner refuge will allow us to have a place where no one can judge us; in which being able to breathe and connect with what really matters: yourself.

Another benefit of inner refuge, especially if you've been working on it for a long time, is the ability to face sudden changes that you didn't anticipate. It is a tool that will allow you to assimilate everything you live and experience from the perspective of an observer who does not make judgments.

Warning! Inner refuge is not a magical mechanism that takes us away from all forms of suffering and pain. Rather it is a space in which to face the different situations of life in a serene way and where we can find shelter when we feel overwhelmed.

A final benefit of inner refuge is that it allows us to understand that everything we need and seek is within us.

"If we do not have peace within us, it is useless to look for it in external sources".

-François de La Rochefoucauld-

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