Refuge is shelter or protection from danger or trouble. Why do we, in this privileged country, need to take refuge? Though most of our basic needs are met, we might be sad, tired, sick or injured. We might be anxious about the state of the country.

Did anything happen today that made you feel the need for refuge? Try the following mindfulness technique.

Come to a seated position in a quiet, comfortable place where you won’t be interrupted for ten minutes. Close your eyes. Bring to mind something that you feel protected by, lifted up by, inspired by, or buoyed by. It could be a place, a person, a faith or a teaching. Generate a feeling of goodness and gratitude.

Actually feel the warmth or lightness of refuge in your heart or belly. If that doesn’t happen, just continue the refuge image in your mind and enjoy the idea.

Try these four techniques for a few minutes each:

  1. Feel your refuge as a safe place inside.
  2. Feel your refuge as a root and you are the branch.
  3. Abide with your refuge. Abide means to remain, continue, or stay. A friend of mine tells me that Bill and I have stayed together so long because we learned to abide with each other. Remain side by side in the storms.
  4. Let your refuge carry you along, like a stream. Or like wind in your sails.

The more you practice the refuge technique, the more it happens on its own. At times when you feel confused, disturbed, or even afraid, refuge will appear.

This practice is contained in the year-long program at developed by Rick Hanson, PH.D.

You can listen to a recording of this refuge in a 20-minute practice at: