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Sanctuary: An Introduction

The greatest needs in peoples' lives today are for safety, peace and comfort. Yes, there are the consummate needs for love and freedom. However, a personal connection to a place and feeling of refuge, where one is free of fear, obligations and desires, is key to healing and regenerating the weary spirit.

Sanctuary is the perfect word to describe our need for renewal. It literally means "sacred place." It describes humanity's reverent and compassionate attempts to honor, protect and celebrate nature and animals. Sanctuary also embues a sacred quality to human places, as in places of worship, or natural settings (forests, springs, etc.) that feel charged with tremendous energy.

Each day we need to give ourselves the grace to find those islands of time and space to reclaim an inner sense of peace, empowerment, and compassion. We need daily waysides to "recharge the batteries," receive creative inspiration, engage in quiet reflection, or to offer comfort to another. In short, we need to value certain periods of time and places in our life as if they were sacred gifts we make for ourselves, and to others, for inner renewal.

Dr. Christopher Forrest McDowell and Tricia Clark-McDowell are pioneers in educating people on the day-to-day practical aspects of Sanctuary. Their extensive research and very personable writings express the breadth of the subject and are generously offered in this section of the website.

  • For in-depth study of the foundations of Sanctuary, study the sections on Basic Concepts of Sanctuary and 7 Principles of Sanctuary Work.

  • For information on how to make your home, or a particular room, a sanctuary, visit Home & Room as Sanctuary.

  • Inspiring and practical information is given in the sections Nature as Sanctuary and Garden as Sanctuary.

  • For the very personal and human side of Sanctuary, visit the sections on Relationships as Sanctuary and Sanctuary for the Ill & Dying.

  • Sanctuary Attunements offer further ways to embrace the spirit of Sanctuary in daily life.

  • The section, Sanctuary: Potpourri Quotes, Resources & Commentaries, holds an assortment of material that is always evolving. It includes quotes, practical strategies/exercises, resources, commentaries and writings from others who are addressing topics related to Sanctuary.

  • Sanctuary Music highlights the beautiful music composed and arranged by C. Forrest McDowell (with Jeff Defty) in their ensemble Confluence. Their CDs, Sanctuary and Amber Moon, feature full ensemble arrangements encompassing guitar (McDowell) and cello (Defty). Thousands of people have been deeply touched by this very special music. Also in this section, look for listings and reviews of other inspiring music, best described as "sanctuary music."

  • Don't forget to visit our online Store for product information unique to Sanctuary and Peace.

If you wish to contact us, arrange to visit Cortesia Sanctuary, or have input and material about sanctuary that you would like to offer, please Contact Us.

With deep blessings and reverence, peace be with you.