The Eightfold Fence: How To Create Your Inner Sanctuary


Learn how the Japanese concept of the Eightfold Fence can help you create your inner sanctuary — a space of peace and wellness in your mind and home.

As explained in James Clavell’s book, Shogun, and the superb series based on the book, the concept of the Eightfold Fence is a fortress of the mind, instilled in Japanese culture from youth, creating a stronghold within oneself.

This concept is rooted in Japanese culture and emphasizes the importance of maintaining inner strength and integrity. It’s an inner sanctuary where one’s essence remains intact, a bastion of control and individuality even amidst life’s most daunting challenges.

I learned about the concept of creating an inner sanctuary in a different context when I was working on healing from trauma and looking for a way to create inner peace.

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse

How To Create an Inner Sanctuary in Your Home

Creating an inner sanctuary, a sacred space in your home, involves creating a mental or physical space where you can retreat to find peace, calmness, and rejuvenation.

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” – Joseph Campbell

When creating your inner sanctuary, you can incorporate Feng Shui principles to enhance the energy flow and create a more harmonious environment. Here are some steps to use Feng Shui to create your inner sanctuary:

#1. Choose a Space

When creating your inner sanctuary, carefully choose a physical space that resonates with you. It could be a cozy corner in your home, a tranquil garden, or even a favorite spot in nature.

This space should evoke feelings of comfort, relaxation, and peace, allowing you to escape from the stresses of daily life. Consider the ambiance, lighting, and overall atmosphere of the space.

Arrange your furniture and objects in a way that promotes a smooth flow of energy (Chi) through the space. Avoid placing furniture in direct line with doorways, and ensure there is plenty of space for energy to circulate freely.

Whether you use this space for meditation, reflection, or simply to unwind, it should be a place where you feel completely at ease.

inner sanctuary wellness

#2. Declutter

To truly create your inner sanctuary, decluttering is essential. Ensure the space is free from clutter and distractions and get rid of any unnecessary items allowing you to fully immerse yourself in a state of tranquility.

Keep your space clean, organized, and free from distractions. This will create a sense of calm and allow you to fully relax and immerse yourself in the serenity of your sanctuary.

#3. Personalize

To make your inner sanctuary truly yours, personalize it with items that hold special meaning to you. Personalize it with items that bring you joy, such as photographs, plants, or meaningful objects.

Consider adding photographs of loved ones, artwork that inspires you, or objects that evoke positive emotions or memories. These items will not only enhance the ambiance of your sanctuary but also create a sense of comfort and familiarity.

Bring nature into your space with indoor plants, which are believed to purify the air and enhance positive energy. Choose plants with rounded leaves for a more calming effect.

Incorporate symbols of peace and tranquility, such as Buddha statues, crystals, or wind chimes. These symbols can help create a sense of harmony and balance in your space.

Surrounding yourself with these meaningful items will help you feel more connected to your space and create a deeper sense of peace and tranquility.

meditation items

#4. Comfort

To enhance the comfort of your inner sanctuary, focus on creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Add cushions, blankets, or seating that supports relaxation and encourages you to unwind.

Choose soft, plush materials that feel comforting to the touch. Arrange your seating in a way that allows you to easily relax and settle in. Consider adding a comfortable chair or a bean bag for lounging.

By creating a comfortable space, you can fully immerse yourself in relaxation and enjoy the peacefulness of your inner sanctuary.

“In your inner sanctuary, you are free to be who you truly are, without judgment or fear.” – Unknown

#5. Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in creating a calming atmosphere in your inner sanctuary. Incorporate natural light whenever possible, as it is believed to bring positive energy and create a sense of openness.

Use soft, diffused lighting to avoid harsh shadows and create a warm, inviting ambiance. Consider using candles, soft lamps, or natural light sources to enhance the soothing atmosphere.

By using lighting effectively, you can create a tranquil space where you can relax and rejuvenate.

comfortable inner sanctuary

#6. Sound

To further enhance the ambiance of your inner sanctuary, consider incorporating calming sounds. Nature sounds, such as the sound of waves crashing or birds chirping, can create a sense of tranquility and connection to the natural world.

Gentle music, such as instrumental or ambient music, can also help create a relaxing atmosphere. Additionally, white noise, such as the sound of a fan or a noise machine, can help mask distracting noises and promote a sense of calmness.

Experiment with different sounds and frequencies to find what works best for you and creates the perfect backdrop for relaxation in your inner sanctuary.

#7. Sensory Elements

To create a truly immersive experience in your inner sanctuary, consider incorporating sensory elements that appeal to your senses.

Use scented candles, incense, or essential oils to create a soothing aroma that enhances relaxation. Choose scents like lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood, known for their calming properties.

Additionally, use colors that promote relaxation and tranquility, such as soft blues, greens, and earth tones. These colors can help create a calming atmosphere and promote a sense of balance.

Consider painting the walls in these calming hues or incorporating them into your decor through textiles, artwork, or accessories.

By appealing to your senses with these elements, you can create a serene space that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation in your inner sanctuary.

scented candles

#8. Mindfulness Practices

Your inner sanctuary can serve as the perfect space for mindfulness practices, allowing you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and presence.

Consider using your sanctuary for meditation, where you can sit quietly and focus on your breath or a mantra. You can also practice yoga, using the space to stretch and move your body mindfully.

Deep breathing exercises can also be beneficial, helping to calm the mind and reduce stress. Simply sitting in silence and reflecting on your thoughts and emotions can also be a powerful mindfulness practice.

By dedicating time in your inner sanctuary to these practices, you can cultivate a greater sense of mindfulness and well-being in your life.

inner sanctuary personal training wellness

#9. Disconnect

To fully immerse yourself in the peace and tranquility of your inner sanctuary, consider making it a technology-free zone. Disconnecting from technology can help you escape the distractions of the outside world and focus on finding inner peace.

Turn off your phone, computer, and any other electronic devices, and instead, focus on being present in the moment. Use this time to relax, meditate, or simply enjoy the quiet solitude of your sanctuary.

By creating a technology-free space, you can create a more peaceful and relaxing environment where you can truly unwind and recharge.

“Your inner sanctuary is the key to unlocking your true potential.” – Unknown

inner sanctuary

#10. Regular Use

To make the most of your inner sanctuary, incorporate regular visits into your routine. Even just a few minutes each day can help you recharge and find inner peace.

Use this time to relax, meditate, or simply enjoy the tranquility of your sanctuary. By making regular use of your sanctuary, you can create a habit of self-care and mindfulness that can have a positive impact on your overall well-being.

Creating an inner sanctuary in your home is a personal and evolving process. It’s about finding a space that resonates with you and allows you to connect with yourself on a deeper level.

By incorporating these Feng Shui principles into your inner sanctuary, you can create a space that promotes relaxation, rejuvenation, and positive energy. Experiment with different elements and arrangements until you find what works best for you.

How To Create an Inner Sanctuary In Your Mind

Creating an inner sanctuary – an Eightfold Fence – in your mind involves imagining a safe, peaceful place that you can mentally retreat to for relaxation and rejuvenation.

“Create a space within yourself, where you can retreat instantly to find peace.” – Anonymous

Here’s how you can create your inner sanctuary in your mind:

#1. Find a Quiet Space

To fully embrace the tranquility of your inner sanctuary, find a quiet space where you can sit or lie down comfortably without any distractions.

This could be a peaceful corner of your home, a secluded spot in nature, or any place where you can enjoy a moment of solitude.

Ensure the environment is free from noise and interruptions, allowing you to fully relax and immerse yourself in the peacefulness of your sanctuary.

#2. Close Your Eyes

To deepen your connection with your inner sanctuary, close your eyes. This simple action helps to block out external distractions and allows you to turn your focus inward.

Closing your eyes can enhance your ability to visualize your sanctuary and create a more immersive experience. It also signals to your body and mind that it’s time to relax and unwind, helping you to fully embrace the tranquility of your inner sanctuary.

eightfold fence

#3. Breathe Deeply

As you settle into your inner sanctuary, take a few moments to focus on your breath. Taking deep breaths can help relax your body and mind, preparing you to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of your sanctuary.

Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your lungs with air, and exhale slowly through your mouth, releasing any tension or stress. Repeat this process several times, allowing each breath to bring a sense of calmness and relaxation.

“Create a sanctuary within yourself, where you can always find peace and serenity.” – Unknown

#4. Visualize Your Sanctuary

Now, in the quiet of your sanctuary, visualize a place that brings you a deep sense of peace and comfort.

It could be a tranquil beach with gentle waves lapping at the shore, a serene forest with sunlight filtering through the trees, a majestic mountain peak with breathtaking views, or any other place that resonates with you.

Picture every detail of this place—the colors, the textures, the sounds, and the scents. Allow yourself to fully immerse in this visualization, letting go of any tension or worries.

Feel the peace and tranquility of this imagined place washing over you, filling you with a sense of calmness and relaxation.

visualize tranquil scenes

#5. Engage Your Senses

As you continue to visualize your sanctuary, engage all your senses to make the experience more vivid and immersive.

Visualize the colors, shapes, and textures around you. See the soft, sandy beach stretching out before you, the lush greenery of the forest, or the rugged beauty of the mountain landscape.

Imagine the sounds that surround you. Hear the gentle lapping of the waves, the melodious chirping of birds, or the soothing rustle of leaves in the wind.

Feel the temperature of the air against your skin. Sense the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze, or the refreshing mist of a waterfall.

Imagine any scents that might be present in your sanctuary. Breathe in the salty sea air, the earthy aroma of the forest, or the sweet fragrance of flowers in bloom.

By engaging all your senses, you can create a more immersive experience in your sanctuary, deepening your sense of relaxation and peace.

inner sanctuary in your mind

#6. Create Details

To further enrich your experience, add details to your inner sanctuary that make it feel more vivid and real.

Picture the sights around you in great detail—the colors of the sky, the shapes of the clouds, the patterns in the sand or the leaves, and the way the light dances through the trees.

Imagine the sounds in your sanctuary with clarity—the rhythm of the waves, the rustle of the leaves, the chirping of birds, or the distant sound of a waterfall.

Envision the smells that surround you—the salty sea air, the earthy scent of the forest, the floral fragrance of the flowers, or the crisp mountain air.

By adding these details, you can enhance the sense of being in your sanctuary, making it a more immersive and relaxing experience.

“Your inner sanctuary is the birthplace of your dreams. Nurture it, and watch them flourish.” – Unknown

engage your senses

#7. Feel Safe and Relaxed

Inside your Eightfold Fence – the inner sanctuary of your mind – allow yourself to feel completely safe, relaxed, and at peace. Let go of any stress, worries, or tension that you may be holding onto.

This is your sacred space, where you can release all of life’s burdens and simply be in the present moment. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the gentle breeze on your face, and the softness of the ground beneath you.

Allow yourself to fully immerse in the tranquility of your sanctuary, knowing that you are safe and protected here.

#8. Stay as Long as You Like

In your inner sanctuary, there is no rush. Spend as much time as you need to fully enjoy the peace and tranquility it brings. Allow yourself to linger in this space of calmness and relaxation, savoring every moment of stillness.

Whether you have a few minutes or an hour, let go of the outside world and fully embrace the serenity of your sanctuary. This is your time to recharge, rejuvenate, and find inner peace.

inner sanctuary in your home

#9. Return Whenever You Need

Remember, your Eightfold Fence – your inner sanctuary – is always within reach, ready to offer you solace and tranquility whenever you need it most.

In moments of stress, anxiety, or overwhelm, simply close your eyes and visualize your sanctuary in your mind’s eye. Allow yourself to be transported back to this sacred space, where you can find refuge from life’s challenges.

Take deep breaths, soak in the sights, sounds, and sensations, and feel the tension melting away. Know that you have the power to access this inner peace whenever you need it, no matter where you are or what you’re facing.

Your Eightfold Fence is a constant source of comfort and strength, waiting to welcome you back with open arms.

#10. Practice Regularly

To fully benefit from your inner sanctuary, make regular visits a part of your routine.

Even if you only have a few minutes each day, take the time to step into your sanctuary and soak in its peaceful atmosphere. Use this time to breathe deeply, center yourself, and let go of any tension or stress you may be carrying.

By making regular visits to your inner sanctuary, you can effectively manage stress, promote relaxation, and cultivate a greater sense of inner peace and well-being in your life.

“The more you trust your inner sanctuary, the more body, mind, and soul will relax and open up to possibilities.” – Unknown

peace and wellness

Creating your Eightfold Fence – the inner sanctuary in your mind – can be a powerful tool for relaxation and stress relief and to preserve your sanity whenever life feels like it’s out of control.

Your Eightfold Fence allows you to access a peaceful place within yourself no matter where you are or what’s going on around you.

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