Monday, 29 December 2014

What is your refuge?

As we go through our life experience we encounter 'storms' of many kinds that cross our lives. These could be related to, or connected with our thoughts, feelings, relationships, events in the past, events in the present and much much more besides. By their nature these 'storms' will be very individual, but it is important to recognize them if we are not to be buffeted and damaged by them. Just like a real storm when we will seek refuge somewhere we need a refuge when we deal with our own  'storms'.

This refuge could be anything really and again by its nature it will be very individual. In creating this refuge it would always help if it did not need anything that impeded easy access to it. Thus any refuge you create is likely to work consistently if it goes in the flow of your life, is not unduly complicated or needs much equipment. As I mentioned in my comment to a previous blog 'It pays to play', one refuge that works for me, among others, is my daily dairy. Here I am able to put down my thoughts, feelings, ambitions, dreams, ideas, things of interest, things that went well or not, things I felt grateful for, things that made me happy. By addressing my 'storms' in this way they often lose their sting.

One refuge we can literally carry within ourselves comes from the practice of meditation. If done consistently and regularly it creates a space in our minds allowing any storm to pass through as we come to recognize the impermanence of things of which our 'storm' is just an example. For me this has been the winner.

Very aptly a couple of months ago I stuck in my diary a picture I came across of a octopus named the Coconut Octopus which has developed an incredible strategy to find its own shelter or refuge from its 'storm'. It uses two halves of a split coconut to make a spherical fortress around itself. It then can pop out an eye and decide if it is safe to venture out.

Our refuge should be a little like that. I have other refuge places too - like listening to music, painting, or going for a walk. This dose of Vitamin N (N for Nature) will often put things in perspective which I may not be able to do when I am in a middle of a 'storm'.

So what is your refuge?

Hopeful One
A fellow Moodscoper.