Temenos is a greek word meaning a sacred, protected space; psychologically, descriptive of both a personal container and the sense of privacy that surrounds an analytical relationship.
Jung believed that the need to establish or preserve a Temenos is often indicated by drawings or dream images of a quaternary nature, such as mandalas.
The symbol of the mandala has exactly this meaning of a holy place, a Temenos, to protect the centre. And it is a symbol which is one of the most important motifs in the objectivation of unconscious images. It is a means of protecting the centre of the personality from being drawn out and from being influenced from outside. [“The Tavistock Lectures,”CW18, par. 410.]
Temenos is a sacred boundary for my soul. My Temenos are the edges that keep me whole. Its my moral conscience holding me on the line each and everyday. While life can be full of challenges, Temenos keeps me grounded and focused on the here and now and all that is important.
Temenos is bordered by four important components of my life including:
Individuals I am comfortable sharing my intimate ego.
An important part of my Temenos are those individuals with whom I share my life. These are my relationships that are most important, my significant other, son, family and my closest friends. These relationships wrap me safely through support, understanding and love. These relationships are the first component of my life’s Temenos. It is the simple times spend with family and friends in celebration, a time dedicated to being together filled with simple laughter.
I pretend that my home is a little cottage in the french country side. It’s modest brick is bordered by tall green pine trees. It is decorated with planted gardens overflowing with colorful flowers, hedges with climbing planters. My favorite part of the context are the dozens of feeders attracting Wisconsin’s finest birds, winter, spring, summer and fall. With each changing season, the color of my home changes with the temperature of Midwestern air. The change of the seasons is the best part of living in Wisconsin. With the end of one season, arrives new experiences to look forward in the upcoming season. Spring brings new growth, summer holds, warm sunshine and our city’s festivals, fall, yields thousands of bright orange-colored leaves leading us to winter with the first Jack Frost snow fall (yes, its true, we only like the first snow fall because after that, it’s a pain in the ass unless it results in a snow day).
Despite my experiences, my passion to serve those in need remains strong. I do not think of it as my work, but rather my life’s vocation. My inspiration comes from those I have been called to serve. They have been my teachers and have led the development of my understanding. These experiences have challenged my skills, developed my talents and strengthened my ego. It has been through my many relationships in my vocation that I continue experience a rich, life filled with happiness and peace of mind. My vocation is the fourth aspect of my personal Temenos.
My time alone in the presence of God.
As I get older, I value my time alone in meditation. This takes many forms for me. Listening to music, swimming, blogging, reading and praying. During these moments, I focus on the presence of my mind, body and spirit. It may take the form of prayer alone or with God. This time focusses on reflections, healing, peace and remembrance.
Temenos is the quintessential safe place I go to in order to feel comfortable and at peace. These four elements are essential to complete my Temenos Circle. Temenos grounds me, whether at home or with my family and friends or in beautiful surroundings with color, in balance with song and the earth. Simple enchanting moments.
Everyone has their own Temenos. We need to let ourself find Temenos. Once you have discovered Temenos nurture and protect it. Hold it safely in your mind, with your body and spirit.
Temenos is what gives us peace.