Emergency Refuge Area

[Image: source]

 

On my recent return journey from my family vacation (which was rather wonderful – 2 weeks unplugged in Devon and Dorset), I noticed some new areas on the motorway.

 

Emergency refuge area – with our motorways in the UK being increasingly widened to accommodate the continual swell of traffic, we are seeing the use of the hard shoulder as an additional lane in times of congestion, as well as the loss of the hard shoulder completely in order to ‘add’ an additional lane. The signage stood out to me owing to the use of the word ‘refuge‘.

 

“Mmm, this is great information, but what’s this got to do with meditation?” I hear you ask.

 

Refuge: (noun) the state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger or difficulty; a place or situation providing safety or shelter.

 

It provided me with an opportunity to contemplate refuge and meditation, and it didn’t bring to mind a busy arterial traffic route slicing through the countryside.

 

For me, my meditation practice provides a daily refuge from the changing demands of life. It’s where I invite my life to sit on the cushion with me.

 

In her book, True Refuge, Tara Brach talks of coming home to the true refuge of presence. “I’ve come to see that through [this] meditation, I was exploring the movement from outer refuge to inner refuge. By regularly contacting these facets of sacred presence within me, I was deepening my faith in my own essential being.” (p59)

 

Meditation provides us with the means to listen, deeply, in stillness, to all that is present. This is the refuge – the awareness of mind not to keep driving through our life at speed, without taking a necessary pause.

 

I offer regular monthly pauses for women in my meditation sessions in Central Watford, as well as a 5-week introduction to mindfulness: A Mindful Woman.

 

To find out more, please drop by my website for further information: Meditation with Claire

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