Sanctuary Attunements

Attunements are invaluable connections to our inner heart. Many believe that attunements awaken the intuitive voice within, sometimes called Divine Guidance or our Higher Self. Within the Sanctuary experience, there is a greater receptivity to that "still voice within." Without the clatter of the world around us, a simple place and time for personal asylum is refreshing to the soul: we can think and ponder more clearly.

For many years, Tricia Clark-McDowell has been recording the Attunements of the mystical saga and guiding light of Cortesia Sanctuary, Narana. The following attunements serve to orient your relationship to Sanctuary. It is hoped that you might be inspired to evoke your own soulful calling during stillness, contemplation, meditation or prayer. If so, consider taking the next step to journal your intuitive responses. Peace be with you.

  • Attunements as a Way to Evoke Our Higher Self [Click]
    Tricia Clark-McDowell gives sage advice on how to use or further evoke attunements in your life.

  • Attunement: Practicing the Presence of Sanctuary [Click]

  • Attunement: Becoming an Instrument of Peace [Click]

  • Attunement: Choices Within Sanctuary [Click]

  • Attunement: Home as Sanctuary [Click]

  • Attunement: Embracing Your Sacredness [Click]

  • Attunement: Deep Sanctuary [Click]

Sanctuary for a Minute

Take a break right now. Breathe deep a couple of times. Contemplate on the value of sanctuary in your life by looking at any of the following images.
Blessings in your life!

Click on the title



Attunements As a Way to Evoke Our Higher Self

An important part of embracing ones sacredness has to do with attunement. Attunements, as I use the concept, are times when we consciously strive to connect to our Higher Self, and the wisdom within us. This being, this vibration is not separate from us, per se, because it is our own soul calling out to us to still ourselves and listen, and to become a pure manifestation of Spirit. The voice of Spirit can be said to speak to us through our intuition. Thus, by seeking to attune to this voice or presence within us, we open ourselves to something much greater than our conscious mind yet emanating out of it. Our true Self is infinitely capable of working in partnership with the Divine, but our conscious mind all too often gets in the way.

I am particularly grateful to Dorothy Maclean for helping me to greatly refine my own understanding of the process of attunement. The time she has spent here at Cortesia Sanctuary has been highly inspirational as well as practical. Dorothy, along with Peter and Eileen Caddy, was one of the co-founders of the now famous Findhorn community and gardens in Scotland. Through her deep attunement to nature and the angelic realm, Dorothy was able to guide the development of the gardens in such a seemingly miraculous way that, against all odds, a beautiful thriving Eden was created in a remote, windswept coastal area where previously there had only been barren sand and rock. It was the magic of the garden that first began to draw more and more visitors to Findhorn, and ultimately to the evolving community itself, which is now home to hundreds of people seeking to live in deep harmony with nature and Spirit and each other.

Long after leaving Findhorn, Dorothy continued her attunements, finding that "inner contact was relevant at all levels of life", not just for the purpose of growing a beautiful garden. She speaks eloquently about attuning not only with the essence of the plant kingdom, but of animals, minerals, groups of humans, even of cities. While one can attune to the essence of anything, I have come to feel that it is especially beneficial to simply attune to the inner Self or what you might call "the God within."

In her book Choices of Love, Dorothy suggests attuning on a daily basis at first so that you become accustomed to this sense of inner connection more and more, not just occasionally. She offers wise advice to those who are afraid of whom they may contact. "If you are worried, as I used to be, that you might contact only your own desires or mistaken notions, or even an evil entity, you can surround yourself with light; pray for cleansing and purifying, and call upon whatever helps you to feel safe and protected. You can ask for the highest good for all concerned."

To access that receptive state, she says, you might recall a peak experience that you've had that clearly took you out of everyday awareness or reality. Such a time of expansion could easily occur while watching a beautiful sunset, or listening to some very peaceful music, or being in some favorite place in nature. If reliving a former experience best allows you to enter that receptive state, then do so, allowing your memory and imagination to open you up anew to that deep sense of love and joy and peace that you felt. "...Absorb its qualities," Dorothy advises. "Then become responsive, receptive, still focused on the highest. Listen sensitively, or ask a question. Be open to what the universe is communicating to you, or simply absorb the beauty of it, the feel of it. Communication from that realm comes in various forms, so do not let expectations close any doors. Remain open and free. (p. 42)

I particularly enjoy attuning immediately after meditation, or after a period of spiritual reading. At these times I know that I am in my most receptive state and my focus is already naturally interiorized. I simply sit very still in a comfortable chair in a quiet place and close my eyes. I think it is especially helpful to keep the inner gaze focused on the point between the eyebrows, the center of will and perception, and the mind as empty as possible.

Ask your question if you have one (or write it down before you begin), and then just wait quietly for a response. I prefer to write down the response as it flows through me, little by little, but that is because I am a writer. Perhaps you will simply wish to feel the response in whatever way it comes.

If nothing seems to happen at first, don't be discouraged. Wait a little longer or try again another time The environment you select for such work must be conducive, and you cannot be in a hurry or impatient for a specific result. Again, open mindedness is essential, otherwise your busy little mind will influence the outcome. "If you do receive a message," Dorothy says, "trust it and act on it. If you don't receive any specific communication, accept it without anxiety."

I would add a word of caution to this. In the beginning, don't rely on this process in momentous matters. Build up gradually. Learn to be an accurate perceiver of truth, through the wisdom of your own God given intuition, not through your ego or personality. Attunement doesn't necessarily happen overnight. It must be cultivated with great care and attention over time. Be grateful for any insights you receive, test them if you must, then expand upon them in your daily life, reaping the benefits. This is one way that you can become deeply connected to your sacred self and bring that sacredness into daily life.

Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

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Attunement: Practicing the Presence of Sanctuary

Be in the moment with love- fully in the moment with love. This will end all pain. Open your heart in every experience so that it embraces without fear. Then you will enfold your past. In the temple of peace I will always be there. And you will always know the right thing to do. No one will be your enemy, because you will have made a true friend of yourself.

Love always finds a way beyond all tears and pain and sorrow. Love is the only way. Peace comes when you feel that love. Don't be afraid to love with a vast capacity to forgive. Feel me in the deep pools of your eyes filled with tears. Feel me in your aching body. Feel me in the weight of a heavy heart. I am reminding you ever to love, soothing you with every cool breeze, filling you with my love when you eat. I live within your every noble thought, your every kind and loving deed. If you listen, you will do the right thing always. You will not cause pain or feel pain, and the past will have no more power over you. All pain will be gone from your body.

Lift up your heart to soar above all frailty to the realm of Spirit. A heart focused on me will always be happy. Eyes that behold me can never weep. You are never alone in your struggles. Expand your physical body into mine and be comforted by my presence within and around you. Feel the glow of my light softly illuminating all dark crevices filled with your past bad karma. Soon you will be empty save for my grace. You will be a vessel of pure love, a worthy container for my work and blessings, an emissary to a world in need. But first, you must purify yourself.

Be guided only by my wisdom. Do not listen to your ego; you have nothing to be ashamed of. All is will. Listen carefully to the silence within you, which is ever filled with my presence. Trust what you learn there. It will enliven you and bring joy into every moment. As if you are a song emanating from my lips, softly touching and soothing all beings. All beings.

Such is the human power to transform. But it must always be done through gentleness and kindness, with words that stroke and inspire. I am grateful to speak through you, but I can only do that when your heart is quiet and at peace. Only then can you hear my voice and feel my guidance, strong and true, ever leading you towards your own inner truth and Self-realization.

Within you is a vast place of calmness and bliss, a beautiful temple of peace that opens to the sky. Upon the altar there, place the offerings of each day of experiences, no matter what happens. Visualize the altar as being white, as a symbol of your high ideals and intentions. Let it be made from marble, that I may chisel you to my design and make you a worthy instrument of my peace, which is infinite. Blessings will flow beyond anything you can imagine, strengthening you and empowering you like a pillar that reaches up to the heavens. But I seek many pillars to construct this temple.

The words of the Great Ones are within you. Let them emerge in their own way and time. They will reach and touch a world that has forgotten the God of small things. I hold things great and small, yet it is the humble gestures that touch me so deeply: the forgiveness of unkindness, the setting aside of anger, the patience with ignorance.

Remember, peace is the way of the soul. Accept all in the spirit of peace, as it is given to you. These experiences are all my gifts with which to teach you. May you be filled with the sweet fragrance of my presence, refreshing you and guiding your every thought. Come and go in peace. Breathe in my peace. Give it to all.

Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

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Attunement: Becoming an Instrument of Peace

Every moment can be a haven of peace if you wish to make it so, a gentle retreat from the idea that your own self will is what is directing your life. If you can simply cultivate seeing and feeling yourself, from this moment, as a willing instrument of God's peace or God's joy or love for all, you won't have to try so hard to make it happen. When you are engaged in effortless effort through attunement with the Divine, then you truly become a living sanctuary that others can readily perceive, like the glow of a candle that draws the worldweary to your door. That glow penetrates deep forests of sadness and dense thickets of tangled desires. It suffuses warmth into cold hearts and soothes aching bodies, tired minds.

Once you experience the wonder and satisfaction of illuminating the path for some lost soul, through perhaps the simplest kind act, you will want to do so again and again. And you will want even more to keep your own self clear and strong, knowing that a finely tuned instrument produces the purest sound, that a clean lamp shines forth the brightest light. Doing just a little good, now and then, in this wounded world that requires so much help, will cease to satisfy you one day. When that time comes, you will embrace the reality that you can only be truly happy when you are working everyday for the well-being of others. To serve in such a selfless way is an incomparable blessing upon the world and upon your own soul. Behind that feeling of sanctuary, for which we all yearn, is none other than the luminous face of Father/Mother God, drawing you back, drawing each of us back to our real home in Spirit. Let us take the journey together.

Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

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Attunement: Choices Within Sanctuary

Whenever you have a deep inner experience that leads you further into that place of total peace, hold this state in your heart's memory, treasure it. It is a divine gift that can permanently change you, if you allow it. Relive it daily in your memory if not in actuality. Then the realization you experienced momentarily will gradually become fully integrated into your consciousness. This is the way of spiritual evolution.

If a great teaching comes to you and then you never think of it again, what good has it done you? Likewise, if a negative experience occurs in your life, and you think instead of that event, over and over, what good does that do you? You must sort out, in a sense, and prioritize which thoughts and memories are worth reliving and which you are better off relinquishing. Why carry the weight of a chain of bad experiences around your neck to drag you down further and further when you can choose to wear a lovely strand of peace pearls? Why not let whatever good there is in your life multiply many times over, simply through your appreciation of it? Isn't this the ultimate wise investment?

So, in your moments of sanctuary time, relish every sweet thought or good feeling that comes to you. Smile in contentment at your great good fortune that you are fully capable of choosing the good over the bad, the positive in life over the negative, the joyous over the sorrowful. Every time you consciously choose to focus your thoughts in a particular way, a groove or pathway is etched in your brain. Every time. Wouldn't you rather have scenic highways of peace and joy winding through the green hills of your cerebral countryside than deep, muddy ruts of bitterness and disappointment?

Notice the kinds of choices you have been making in terms of what you think about during your average day. Notice how these thoughts affect your energy level and your overall motivation. Resolve that you will gain more control over the content of your thought patterns, willing yourself to release what does not serve your highest good. Don't be afraid to be ruthless now and then in ridding yourself of thought tyrants who have destroyed your mental peace day after day, even year after year.

The evolution of your soul is a beautiful and wondrous process. You are not a helpless bystander. You are the sculptor who wakes up each day and picks up the chisel, deciding what goes and what stays. Choose wisely.

Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

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Attunement: Home as Sanctuary

The mystery of the human psyche can never be fully known because it holds the stories, the feelings, the thoughts of many lifetimes. Sometimes pain or sadness rises up unbidden, from places you know little about, or the rigors of living in this imperfect world weigh heavily on your shoulders and heart. Then more than ever you must seek a place of solace and peace that asks of you nothing for the moment, only offering you a haven, a safe harbor.

When you make your home (or any part of it) a sanctuary, it becomes an embodiment of your highest ideals and your most noble dreams. It becomes the physical environment that holds the pattern of remembering - to be calm, to be generous, to love yourself and others without expectations, to consider the needs of your soul which yearns for beauty and quiet. Once you have mindfully woven these aspirations into the space around you, with all the sincerity of your best intentions, then this space will continue to support you, even when you're weary and may have forgotten your clear intentions or temporarily lost your peace of mind.

Without some kind of physical sanctuary to sustain you, you would be required to constantly remember on your own. While this is certainly a goal, it is human to forget yourself now and then and to lose sight of that for which you are striving. The home which truly is a sanctuary serves to bring you back to center, to that loving home within, to your refuge in Spirit. Your home embraces you, soothes you with arms that are not human, keeps you company even when you are alone.

It takes vision to create a sanctuary in your home. Initially you may have to work at it and really think about what serves this concept and what does not. Take your time. Start with one room or a corner of a room. Simplify, deep-clean it, reflect upon the feeling that you want to inspire there. If you have to empty the space entirely and begin fresh, do so, adding one item at a time only when you are sure that it belongs. If later you determine that it does not belong, remove it.

Sanctuary is not created overnight but one thoughtful step at a time. And realize that always the things, the objects, the furnishings that comprise a pleasing space, are secondary and subservient to the hearts desire to be at peace there. So even once you have created your home to be more of a sanctuary, don't ask it to provide what you may be unwilling to give to yourself - periods of absolute stillness. Don't expect mere objects to hold the peace that you cannot feel. Don't look to a cozy chair, a warm fire, a room with a view to soothe you when you are not living in a way that nurtures your spirit. Do the inner work and the outer work simultaneously, and then you will truly discover how the two aspects support and further each other. Sanctuary within and sanctuary without.

Ultimately, when you sit in your sacred or power spot and close your eyes, even that precious space will melt away. So much the better. Let the entire physical world fall away while you remain present and awake. When you slow your breath and quiet your tempestuous thoughts, therein will you find your greatest sense of sanctuary and your deepest sense of being at home with yourself. Once you are truly at home with yourself, you will be at home anywhere, anytime, with anyone.

Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

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Attunement: Embracing Your Sacredness

I am claiming sanctuary. Although my body may be restless and even uncomfortable at this moment, I remind myself that my body is a temple. I gently request now that my body relax and let go completely of all feelings of constraint, real or imagined. I gradually allow my breathing to slow down, gratefully releasing with each deep exhalation the physical and mental burdens that I have been carrying far too long. I fling the doors and windows of my bodily temple wide open and let the sunlight and fresh air pour in.

I am claiming sanctuary. I need and deserve this time to regenerate myself. I am feeling more and more calm. My mind is happy to release all of its disappointments and fears, all worries and pain. My mind is of the Divine. Like a candle flame, I glow with a softness and warmth that fills me with peace. This is not an immaginary sense of peace. This is who I really am. This peace and well-being is mine whenever I wish to access it, the natural birthrite of my soul.

I am claiming sanctuary. In this very place where I am, however imperfect, I am consciously choosing to affirm my own goodness and strength. And no matter what goes on around me, I can decide to hold on to these good feelings, moving through my day and my life with grace and ease. In spite of all tests and distractions, no matter how great the challenge, I trust that the inherent wisdom within my soul will guide me. My soul in turn is held safely in the hands of Spirit. I am so well loved and cared for that I know, in my heart of hearts, that I can stop being afraid of the circumstances and people that have appeared to be holding me back. In reality, nothing can hold me back when I am in tune with Spirit. I am as free as a bird, flying high above all earthly cares.

I am joyfully claiming sanctuary because I now understand that I cannot fully thrive in this world until I have learned how to seperate myself from its incessant demands. I claim the God-given legacy of freedom for my body, mind, and soul: freedom from fear and ill treatment, freedom from pain and failure, freedom from ignorance of my higher purpose in this life.

My soul is blessed. I want to be an instrument of peace and healing within myself and in the world. I ask to be guided by my heart's love and by Spirit-guided reason, will, and activity to always do that which it is right for me to do. And I offer my  deepest gratitude for these precious moments of peace, however brief, and for this calm feeling of sanctuary that can only deepen and increase the more often I choose to claim it. I embrace my sacredness now and forever.

 Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

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Attunement: Deep Sanctuary

You yearn for a feeling of sanctuary. Yet life is full of seemingly endless challenges, heaped one upon the other with little respite in between. You yearn for peace. Life gives you pain and suffering that sometimes seem beyond your capacity to endure. You yearn for stillness. Instead, life pushes and shoves you in all directions until you are certain of only one thing: that you are lost. But you must carry on as best you can. Calm and soothe yourself. Keep your heart pure and open to yourself and to others. Eat a pure and simple diet, and fewer sweets. Drink more water. Walk outside more often. Live more simply. And remember to practice the presence of God, Who is your greatest sanctuary. That attunement will open the doors to all healing, all wisdom, all peace.

Your sanctuary already exists within you. Slow your breath, calm your mind, and find that serene place within you, as smoothe as a still pool of water without a single ripple. You are deep and still. Even if the breezes of distraction create ripples and waves upon the surface of your mind, far beneath the restlessness is always a place of great peace. Go there now and allow yourself to sit ever so quietly.

Now let the feeling of quietness spread in all directions, slowly, ever so slowly, reaching to the far edges of the pond and beyond, far beyond, erasing all doubts and fears and tension. Practice peace in every waking moment, even to the point that your aching head or wounded heart or weary body becomes a constant reminder to you of your purpose and deep intention to express Spirit in all that you do.

Let your worst fears, your deepest pain, whatever is the bane of your life become the instrument of your deepest healing. This is the path that you are being shown. Walk upon it with joy and certainty that you will arrive, in good time, precisely at the place you are meant to be. When you choose to walk with God, your stride lengthens. In leaps and bounds and giant steps you travel through life. Big tests become small, great distances and seemingly impossible tasks are swallowed up in a single intuitive moment of truth. You are truly a mobile sanctuary, if you choose to be, gifting your peace to others wherever you go. This is the path you are being shown. Simply walk upon it.

Copyright 2007 by Tricia Clark-McDowell

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