Living in this fast-paced world is hectic, stressful and draining at times. You encounter morning traffic, long office hours, and the evening rush five to six times a week. You see people rushing everywhere, bumping into each other, gulping down food and drinks while answering their mobiles.
There are places you can go to recharge your mind and your spirit. All it takes is the effort to find one. Places like these are called sanctuaries. In religious terms, a sanctuary is a consecrated place where objects considered sacred are kept. It can also mean a safe refuge from danger, like the animal shelters and wildlife sanctuaries.
Where and how can one find a sanctuary? Is this a special place? Let us explore some of the ways on how to find one.
- Go to a public park and find a quiet spot. It depends on what your interests are – flowers, birds, animals, trees even a sports field and watch your favorite game. You choose a place where you can enjoy the scenery without being too disturbed by other people wandering about. Bring some snacks, a good book, an umbrella, a blanket and have a picnic. You can do some sketching or take some photographs. This can be your own personal space where you can go visit every time you need to relieve your stress.
- A wildlife sanctuary or a zoo can also be your sanctuary if animals interest you. Spend the day walking around and learn something new. You can just observe the animals or sit down and people-watch. Keep an open mind and do not think of anything else but enjoying the day by yourself.
- A church can also be a sanctuary. Go there after the mass. You can spend some time there to just savor the silence and the serenity of the place. Enjoy the chirping of the birds as they flit in and out and fly about the high vaulted ceiling.
- Booking a day in a resort or an oriental spa is another option. You can have a relaxing massage and aromatherapy session to soothe your tired body. The combination of the various scents of flowers, aromatic oils and incense can give solace to your tired mind. The ringing bells, the tinkling of wind chimes, the trickling artificial waterfalls, and the sound of the wind as it rustles the leaves of shrubs and bushes around the space all contribute to a general sense of peace and well-being.
- A river, a brook, a pond, the sea are also places that you can visit. The idea is for you to spend some time away from the mad city rush and forget it while in your own sanctuary. Do something that you do not do regularly. Start a new hobby.
- Your own home or apartment can be a sanctuary too. Assign a special room or corner that you can surround with your favorite things, one where you can add thick curtains to muffle the background noise and enjoy the silence, where you can find the most comfort. Play soothing new age music.
A sanctuary can be anywhere you are. It is your personal “sacred place” where you can spend some quiet moments to reflect, to think things through, and to commune with yourself and nature. Most are free, some with a small fee. It does not matter where it is. The important thing is that this place is your own sacred space, a place where you can meditate and seek inner peace.