Welcome to the
Fortress of Solitude!
In medieval times, it was a
custom for Christian men and women to sequester themselves for awhile
in a castle, fortress or monastery to rejuvenate their spiritual
“batteries.” The journey was usually a long and arduous one, their
destination being far from homes and jobs. This tradition continues
today with retreats sponsored by churches or other groups as a service
to their members. And even corporations sponsor retreats for their
employees; these are not of a religious nature, but nonetheless afford
a time of rest and reflection far from the hustle and bustle of
In the East, it has been
common for millennia for every man, woman and child to be taught simple
techniques that could produce the calming and regenerative effects
similar to those of a retreat, but in one's home or office. The West is
beginning to see the value of this and many offices offer stress relief
seminars, teaching similar techniques to those below.
So we offer as our gift to
you a few simple, short exercises that we know will be of benefit in
your life if practiced regularly. Many of our members have reaped the
rewards of these techniques; we hope you will, also.
“Be strong, and enter into
your own body: for there your foothold is firm. Consider it well, O my
heart! Go not elsewhere. . . . Put all imaginations away and stand fast
in that which you are. As the seed is within the tree, and within the
seed are the flowers, the fruits, and the shade, so the seed is within
the body, and within that seed is the body again.”
To Enter the Fortress of
Solitude, the mind must be calm. There is a simple yet effective way to
achieve this state.
Just sit or lie down and
simply breathe naturally, that's all.
When you have relaxed a bit,
lightly focus your attention on your breathing. Just be aware of your
breath as you inhale and exhale.
Nothing else ..... just your
Let your mind “ride” in and
out on it……..relax…… don't force it.
Seems easy? However, if
you're like most people who first try this technique, you'll find it's
not as easy as it appears. Other thoughts may invade, vying for your
attention. Sounds may intrude, even aromas. You may become aware of an
itch, right there in the middle of your back where it's almost
impossible to scratch! Don't worry. Scratch that itch, acknowledge
those thoughts, sounds and whatever else may be hovering in your
consciousness, and then just let them pass by. Then just return to your
You may become exasperated
after only a few minutes and say, “I can't do this.” Fine—stop for now.
You can always return later for another try. The old adage, “practice
makes perfect” is the key. You didn't grow up over night, did you? So
don't be discouraged if your first effort seems like a miserable
failure. Like many endeavors, the effect of practice is cumulative. So
keep at it; you can do it! If you can achieve only 15 minutes of
uninterrupted contemplation of your breath, you will have achieved more
than 95% of all who attempt this practice.
Once you have mastered the
breathing technique above (i.e., about 15 minutes of uninterrupted
contemplation) you are prepared to enter the Fortress. Let your mind
drift effortlessly from your breath and begin to create the following
image in your mind.
Imagine approaching a huge
fortress. The details of appearance are not important as it may be as
plain or elaborate as you wish…….
It is surrounded by a moat;
there's a drawbridge, too. At your command, the drawbridge is lowered,
and you cross . . . . on foot, horseback, cart or wagon, however you
As you cross the moat you
look down and see all manner of evil and any negative thoughts swirling
beneath you. Even though most would turn back, you hold your head high
and continue on your journey.
You have now entered into
the Fortress, leaving all the evil behind you. Before you is a huge
hall, lined with doors. Speak your name in your mind, and one of the
doors begins to glow softly. This room is yours and yours alone…...
As you approach, the door
swings open to admit you. You enter and see before you a grail (or any
vessel) with a shaft of light shining into it. You now pick up the
grail and drink heartily. Imagine the light flowing through your body,
into every fiber of your being.
Content and refreshed, you
set the vessel down and notice that the shaft of light returns and
fills it to the brim. Now seat yourself comfortably and meditate,
contemplate or just simply BE. Perhaps your eyes are closed or perhaps
they are open, just enjoy your favorite place!
When you are ready to leave,
you once again pick up the grail, drink the soothing contents and
depart. Now, as you cross the drawbridge you will notice that the water
of the moat is clear and calm and that there is no sign of any evil or
negativity. You are now at peace, both internally and spiritually…….
Slowly return your mind to
your breath and end your meditation in the usual way……….
May the Light of Lights