Something about Rituals

When we perform or participate in rituals and ceremonies, we enter into a state of mind that is different from mundane consciousness. Ranging in significance from bedtime stories to weddings, ceremonies and rituals are acknowledgments that an event or period of time has special meaning. As a result, they can have the effect of drawing us into the moment, inviting us to pay closer attention and tune into the subtle energies that are always present but that often go unrecognized. In addition, as we perform the same actions we have performed before and will perform again, we immerse ourselves in a river of continuity that extends back into the past and forward into the future.

Many of us have distanced ourselves from rituals that may have seemed too constricting or too attached to an organized religion we have chosen not to follow. However, we can reclaim the practices of ceremony and ritual to good effect, imbuing them with our new consciousness, and we do not have to wait for a big event to do it. We can engage in daily practices that include ritual and ceremony, reminding ourselves throughout the day of the sacredness of this life.
In fact, if we look closely, we will see that our days are already made up of rituals, from the time we wake up to the time we retire. So we do not need to change anything except our perspective to imbue our day with an air of ceremony.

Most of our daily rituals revolve around nourishing and cleansing, both of which have always been sacred acts. With this in mind, we may pause before each meal, close our eyes, and say a silent thank you to the universe that provides. We can be as simple or as complex as we like, so long as our attitude is one of reverence for this sacred moment in this sacred life. -daily om

I like this. Got me thinking about all the rituals we practice that aren’t thought of as rituals. Exercise, coffee in the morning, letting the dog out….and conversely, complaining around the water cooler, cutting off people in traffic, getting away with something etc. We think of ritual as religious. Here’s the dictionary.com definition of ritual:

rit·u·al [rich-oo-uhl] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation

–noun

1. an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.
2. a system or collection of religious or other rites.
3. observance of set forms in public worship.
4. a book of rites or ceremonies.
5. a book containing the offices to be used by priests in administering the sacraments and for visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, etc.
6. a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service: the ritual of the dead.
7. prescribed, established, or ceremonial acts or features collectively, as in religious services.
8. any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.
9. a prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct, as that exemplified by the raising of one’s hat or the shaking of hands in greeting.
10. Psychiatry. a specific act, as hand-washing, performed repetitively to a pathological degree, occurring as a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive neurosis.

–adjective

11. of the nature of or practiced as a rite or ritual: a ritual dance.
12. of or pertaining to rites or ritual: ritual laws.

I know I worship coffee in the morning.

#8 is: any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner. Where do out rituals need to be shaken up, rewired or completely disconnected? Try driving home a different way tonight. Or sleeping the opposite direction in your bed. Use your non-dominated hand for a day opening doors and drinking you bevies. Have cake for breakfast and eggs for dinner. Walk to the store rather than driving. Take a bus merely for the ride. Laugh outloud and wear your boots to bed. It’s amazing what’ll open up in your world. You’ll jar your brain away and your attention will shift. Embrace the world you are walking through and shake it up daily. Watch what happens.

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