Inner Sanctuary Training Build Your Inner Sanctuary Meditation — Creating Your Own Sacred Space

Build Your Inner Sanctuary Meditation — Creating Your Own Sacred Space

What comes to mind when you hear the words build your inner sanctuary meditation?  Do you think of a physical place, or do you think of a state of mind?  In today’s world, you need a mobile method that can go with you everywhere.   Creating your own sacred space is easier to do than you think.

The inner world is the realm of the subconscious, the observer.  A sanctuary is a place of safety, refuge, and peace.  The inner world of our transcendent consciousness is what spiritual traditions call spirit.  There are many theories about this awareness aspect and whether or not it is eternal.

Here is Your Inner Sanctuary Training

Most people in the modern world do not have the time to take extended spiritual retreats or pilgrimages.  Football games may provide a sense of togetherness but certainly not a sanctuary.  Watching a football game may be very stimulating but rarely gives us inner peace.

We need something to help us cope with the challenges of stressful lifestyles.  So, we want to create a technique we can take with us into daily life.  Here’s how to do it.

“Each time the losses and deceptions of life teach us about impermanence, they bring us closer to the truth. When you fall from a great height, there is only one possible place to land: on the ground-the ground of the truth.  And if you have the understanding that comes from spiritual practice, then falling is in no way a disaster, but the discovery of an inner refuge.” — Sogyal Rinpoche

Inner sanctuary training is about creating your own sacred space in your mind to take refuge and recharge.  For a physical space to be sacred, every one with it must be in the right mindset, and the physical accommodations must also mirror a sense of refuge.  And this is why people go on pilgrimages, to gather with like-minded people in a specially prepared space.  (1)

“Our danger is to think that happiness will come from outside of us, from the things we possess or the power of our group, and not from within us, from the inner sanctuary of our being.” — Jean Vanier

People are strange animals.  We find togetherness when we gather in groups with a common purpose or mindset.  Football fans in a stadium report they have a feeling of belonging and camaraderie with others who support the same team.   At the same time, they feel animosity and even hatred toward the other team’s fans.  Some people find sanctuary in the heightened elements of emotion, either positive or negative, or both.

This process aims to build your inner sanctuary meditation practice by combining methods as needed.  The most common goals of this practice include the following:

1) Help you control your internal dialogue and stop ruminating about negative scenarios.

2) Regain a state of inner peace and confidence

3) Refreshes your attitude and mindset.

Creating Your Own Sacred Space

To create a mobile sanctuary, we recommend learning a suite of methods so that you have the right tool to meet the need.  Everyone begins in a different place.  Some people have more life experience.  Look at the following groups of methods and find at least two that you can test by comparing how you react when you try them.  Your first impression is the best.  We can break down the methods into the following categories.  These methods can be combined or used individually.

  • Observing your breathing without interfering
  • By controlling your breathing
  • Use a mantra, sutra, or affirmation
  • Bringing awareness to the body while seated or laying down, also known as a body scan
  • Focus on the body while executing a movement

Inner Sanctuary Training and Your Sacred Background

Some people have no religious baggage that gets in the way of learning new methods.  Other people have some or a lot of baggage that gets in the way.  So, realize if a technique doesn’t work, it is not because the method is faulty; it is because you have something that is getting in the way of it working.

Creating your own sacred space starts by asking yourself about the following areas.  (2)  We recommend recording your answers in a journal.  As you grow intellectually and spiritually, your life will change.  So, your spiritual practice will need to be adjusted to fit your new situation:

What is the symbolism you attach to historical places?  Your historical reference will frame your subconscious and transcendental experience.  If the symbolism and typologies of sacred places are positive, then visualizing these can be helpful.  However, if your history of these places is associated with negative experiences, you will need to avoid their use.  It happens when abuse or trauma is associated with the memories of places.

Do you frame peace of mind with religious symbolism?  Attaching peace of mind to religion can be problematic.  Religious doctrines are conditional upon their criteria for membership.  You are not worthy unless you follow the rules.  So, if you don’t pray enough or give enough financial support, you are taught to feel guilty and unworthy of peace.  Removing these beliefs is essential in gaining and retaining peace of mind.

Do you associate meditation or inner work with a specific space?  Although creating a physical sanctuary can be helpful when you are in the space, you can become overly dependent on it.  Your dependency on the physical space makes it more difficult to do meditation or inner work elsewhere.  If you are creating your own sacred space, you want it to be free of obstacles and clutter.

Inner sanctuary training helps us identify the roadblocks to the process.  Then we must take the necessary steps to remove these obstacles.  Removing these impediments can be difficult because they are often embedded in habitual thinking and values.

Dealing with habitual thinking patterns requires inner work.  We dig up our sacred ground when we deal with these scripts.   The tools for this include the Enneagram, Comparative Analysis,  Exploring Memories, and Dream Interpretation.  If you have a lot of spiritual clutter related to strong religious beliefs, begin with the Enneagram, then Comparative Analysis.  It’s also good practice to work with a teacher, counselor another partner when working through the removal of harmful thought scripts.

How To Build Your Inner Sanctuary Meditation

Now it’s time to ask about your current ability to implement these methods.

Questions About Breathing

Can you observe your breathing without interfering?  If you can, then some techniques can leverage this ability.  Most people cannot do this without experience with the two-step meditation process.  If you can’t do this, don’t worry; there are other methods.  Over time you may discover that you can do this.

Have you had any experience with Pranayama or other Indian breathing methods?  Have you had some experience with Chinese martial arts like Qigong or Indonesian Ta Ka?  If you have, then you already have some experience controlling your breathing.  If you haven’t, we have a breathing exercise you can use we call the freight train.  We’ll discuss this technique shortly.

Breathing Methods

The freight train breathing exercise is done at most in short intervals of 15 to 30 seconds.  It is a simple form of holotropic or Pranayama.  You sit comfortably and place the thumb and forefinger on either side of the nose.  Then you alternate opening and closing with your finger, breathing “in and out” rapidly.  This action will cause your diaphragm to flutter as you breathe in the out.

The next breathing method is holotropic breathing.  This technique involves hyperventilating using a rapid breathing motion.  It can produce a trance-like state and bring emotions to the surface.  Because it raises heart rate and respiration, it is not recommended for those with heart or lung conditions.

Questions About Inner Work Tools

Do you have experience using a mantra, sutra, or affirmation?  If you do, you probably already know which resonates with you.  You can review our list of the most powerful mantras if you don’t know.  Does your religion restrict your use of these tools?   If so, this indicates religious boundaries will hinder your growth.

Inner Work Methods

The beginning or two-step meditation method is one tool every spiritual explorer needs.  You do it for very short periods or as long as you want.  If you are going to build your inner sanctuary meditation practice, start with this method.  It gives you the option to observe your breathing or simply observe your posture.  The more experienced you become, you will learn to observe your breath without interfering.  This technique is the basis for many other more advanced forms of meditation, and it makes your own sacred space mobile.  You can take it anywhere.

Body scan meditation is one of the easiest methods.  All you need to do is direct your attention to your body.  This simple practice makes us more self-aware and trains the ability to direct our attention.

The use of a mantra is one of the most powerful meditation practices.  Select a mantra based on its function, general or physical, abundance or healing.  Start with a simple syllable seed mantra and then find one that resonates.  You can use these inner sanctuary meditation scripts with closed or open eyes.

“Your life sparks fires from within your innermost temple. No one can reach there but you; it is your inner sanctum. You are your own master there; only you can reach and ignite the fire.” — Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Osho


Creating your own sacred space is a process of trial and error.  Something that doesn’t work today may work tomorrow.  Conversely, a technique you used in the past may not work today.  So, it’s best to be flexible and take things as they come.  It’s part of the ebb and flow of spiritual growth.

Inner sanctuary training is essential in the modern world.  It helps us keep in touch with our inner refuge.  Here is where we connect with our intuition and our observer.


(1) Sacred Space.
(2) Special Issue “Sacred Spaces: Designing for the Transcendental.”

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