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Inner Sanctuary-Sonomama Practice

Updated: May 5



Without grasping,

without letting go,

just as it is,

just as it is…


Based on over 20 years of experience in Zen practice, I currently guide a meditation community called Inner Sanctuary, which means a resource for our inner peace and liberation. In this community, we practice SONOMAMA, rooted in Zen teachings. SONOMAMA means as-it-is in Japanese. The ultimate message of Zen is to be present in the current moment; all there is is the way it is now. This state is elusive and cannot be grasped or held onto. Also, the way it was before or the way it will be after is not here now. Practicing SONOMAMA, there is only the ever-present nature of now – a moment that we do not know when it appears and disappears, yet always remains in the present state.


SONOMAMA meditation is just sitting and doing nothing. No counting, not scanning, no focusing on breathing, literally doing nothing. We cease our physical activity and be. This is the time for you to be real. No judgment about true you now. All the way it is is the way it is right now. Sonoma meditation lets us be the way it is now. First and foremost, it helps reduce self-criticism! AND, it strengthens the muscles to be present and embrace reality as it is. Even though what exists is always the current state, humans create illusions and easily believe the illusions to be the truth. Accordingly, it generates suffering, being deceived by nonexistence. The source of suffering is to believe what doesn’t exist. SONOMAMA practice aims to be able to differentiate between reality and illusion to be free from suffering. Ultimately, it becomes clear that there is only the current state and what oneself is. This is Satori (enlightenment).


Inner Sanctuary is a practice space for cultivating inner peace through SONOMAMA. In the fast-paced, ever-changing, and uncertain society, having a sanctuary within oneself, a place of tranquility, holds significant value and can contribute to our well-being. Let’s practice together.


Without grasping,

without letting go,

just as it is,

just as it is…


Questions 😌

  • In what way do you cultivate your inner peace in your daily life?

  • What can you control?

  • What kind of illusions do you often tend to create?


Writing and Photography by K E I K O

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