As you begin this series of exercises and meditations, you may find it helpful to create a place of refuge in your home, a place where you feel safe and welcome.

Find a small corner in a bedroom or some other quiet place in your home. This will become your place of refuge, your personal spiritual sanctuary. Many spiritual practices make use of some kind of shrine, puja, or altar that helps focus the attention on matters of the heart and spirit. Find a low table, bench, or even a cardboard box, and drape it with some pleasing material, using this as a focal point for your own journey.

Sit down in front of the table for a few moments in silence. Allow yourself to visualize what is most beautiful, inspiring, or sacred in your life, those things that represent the healing, inward journey of your heart. They need not be religious symbols, only those that hold some deep meaning for you and the life you wish to lead.

Opening your eyes but remaining silent, begin to collect a few of those meaningful objects and place them on a table. You may want to include photographs of people you love, a special quote, flowers, a candle, or something from nature. Arrange them in a way that feels right to you.

Now, for several minutes, sit still in front of the table and have a silent conversation with those things that mirror the voices of your heart. Feel their presence and allow them to nourish you. This is your place of refuge, of belonging. Welcome.

You may feel like reciting a special poem, prayer, or song. Feel free to follow the impulses that arise within you. This is a time to gently allow yourself to feel at home in your body, your spirit, your own life.

Make time each day to sit in your place of refuge. You may find yourself gradually wanting to spend more time here, other days perhaps less time. Nevertheless, try to allow this to become a daily practice.

In this place, there is nothing for you to do. No need to figure anything out, fix what is broken, or become enlightened. You only need sit, feel, and listen. Allow this to be a place without judgment or expectation, a new home, a place of rest.

Wayne Muller in Legacy of the Heart