All our lives, we need physical spaces where we are warm, sheltered, and safe. Spaces where our bodies
can rest, relax, and prepare for our forays into the activities of living.
During the month of February as we explore the idea of sanctuary, we will consider many aspects of the
concept and ask ourselves, where do I find sanctuary in my life? How do I help create sanctuary for others?
How do we take the interdependent web of existence into account and balance our own needs and wants
with the needs and wants of other living beings? What can we teach our children about the importance of
sanctuary, and how do we make sure they have access to it?
During guided meditations when I have been asked to mentally take myself to a beautiful place where I feel
safe and peaceful, I have two vivid memories from childhood that are my go-to mental escapes. One is a
grassy spot under a grove of white birch saplings where I used to sit in the dappled sunlight, feeling like I
had my own private heaven in our back yard. The other is lying on the boards of a dock, drying in the sun
after swimming, listening to the water lapping the rocks in the crib beneath the warm planks. More
recently, I have been learning to take refuge in the sanctuary of my breath. I can hear the voice of Home
Nguyen, Michael’s friend and a meditation teacher, telling me reassuringly that “your breath is a very safe
place for you. You can always return to your breath.”
As we journey together into the month to come, may we each be able to find sweet sanctuary when we
need it, and to use the energy we gain there to make a positive difference in the world around us. I look
forward to learning with you in our covenant groups, Second Hour offerings, and of course in worship and
in the daily life we live between formal shared practices and programs.
With love and a wish for ever-growing compassion in our living,