The Hindu word "Ashram" refers to a spiritual hermitage or spiritual retreat (Wikipedia, 2013). Historically, this sanctuary was located in a distance from human habitation and was a place where one would find inner tranquility and peace.
"Inner Ashram" is within every person. It is that quiet place within where you are able to explore your truth, your essence, your purity, and where you find lasting inner peace. This is not something you will find OUTside of yourself. This is INside of you. This is your inner sanctuary; where truth speaks.
I used to be challenged by the act of sitting in my Inner Ashram. Instead of surrendering within, I anxiously went from one activity to the next to avoid myself. I was terrified of being alone, of having my surroundings be quiet. I was afraid of what I might see, hear, and ultimately of what I might find (ME). At the time, I found anything to superficially get a quick "fix" for my inner angst and pain.
It has taken me years of self exploration, therapy, yoga practice, and daily meditation to finally get to a place where I enjoy sitting in my Inner Ashram, inside myself.
Each of us has an Inner Ashram. It is that part of us where we hear truth speak. It is what Deepak Chopra and other healers call "the gap."
How do we find our Inner Ashram?
1. Find a quiet place in your home where you feel safe and comfortable to relax and go inward.
2. Create and "altar" or space for prayer, meditation, journalling; a place for letting your imagination flow.
3. Play some soft music, light some candles or incense for a relaxing ambiance.
4. Sit cross legged in a comfortable place. Stay awake.
5. Focus on your breath, particularly the exhale, as this awakens your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for rest and digest.
6. When thoughts arise, say "thinking" to yourself and focus on your breath.
7. Begin to relax all parts of your body using your breath.
8. Let your eyes and mouth smile. Let your thoughts flow in and out.
9. Imagine the door to your Inner Ashram. What does it look like? What color is it? What type of doorknob is on it? When you open it, what do you see? What sounds, images, colors? What do you hear? Any words? Go into the center of your Inner Ashram where the white candle awaits you. Stare into it. Connect with your essence.
10. Ask a question from this space. See what answer you get. If you hear nothing, be with the nothingness. Embrace this space of quiet.
11. Thank yourself for allowing YOU to come in.
12. This is just the beginning....
Stay tuned for more from your "Inner Ashram."