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Your Place of Safety

 I am back from Spring Break in Costa Rica, and it was a wonderful trip with plenty of relaxation, adventure, and family fun. I was weirdly happy to see a sloth in his natural habitat, and I found a new fascination with leaf cutter ants.  These creatures amaze me!  I'm sure there's more to discuss on that, but for now suffice it to say, the vacation was a success. 

One thing I delighted in was reading on the beach every morning.  What a luxury! In preparation for Walking With Divine Feminine, Teresa of Ávila, I read The Interior Castle, written by Teresa (1515-1582) and translated by Mirabai Starr in 2003. This book sang to me!  It's a long explanatory metaphor comparing our inner landscape to a castle:


"It came to me that the soul is like a castle made exclusively of diamond or some other very clear crystal. In this castle are a multitude of dwellings, just as in heaven there are many mansions." p. 35.


I am enamored with this image of rooms within my soul; inner places to dwell. Isn't this what we experience when we meditate on the heart?  In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali writes that concentrating on the "supreme, ever-blissful Light within" helps bring calm to the fluctuations of the mind and peace to one's being.  B.K.S. Iyengar describes this light as "the seat of the soul." So whether it's the light or the castle, there is a place within that is protective, calm, sacred, and secure.  


Just now as I'm writing this, we here in Austin received a tornado warning that reads like this: "Take shelter now in a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.  If you are outdoors...move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris." 


I think we understand this easily when it comes to getting out of physical harm's way.  We can see the rain and feel the wind and we know it's time to get inside.  The outer world is upset, and we best go in until it passes.  


It's the same with our mind and emotions. 


But for some reason we often don't think to seek shelter within.  We might seek wise council, talk to a friend, read a self-help book, or listen to an inspiring podcast.  These are not bad ideas, for sure! Or we might numb out with media, food, alcohol, or sleeping.  There seem to be endless ways we seek interior calm through exterior means. 


So I'm letting this tornado warning remind me to seek shelter in my heart, just as Teresa and Patanjali have told us to do.  I know from experience that the more time I invest in the worthwhile endeavor of inner contemplation, the more calm and peaceful my whole world is, inside and out.  It doesn't mean there won't be tornadoes, but it does mean I have a place to go that is safe and secure and requires nothing but quiet attention and dedicated time.


I mean, who wants to get hit by flying debris??


May you seek refuge in your heart and experience the calm that is your inner light; your own interior castle. 


Much love,


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