Happy Mahashivatri! Today in India hundreds of millions of people are celebrating a Hindu festival dedicated to their Lord Shiva. Many will not only sing and chant all day long, but will also stay up all night whilst attending temple rituals and other ways of honouring Shiva. Religious festivals from almost any religion are often based on ritual and ways to perform certain spiritual acts. Christians also have rituals such as christening, Jews have bar mitzvahs, the Amish have Rumspringa when a youth chooses either to be baptized in the Amish church or to leave the community...in Africa, shamanic rituals pervade the continent with drums, dance, and a great wealth of musical performances.
Today in western cultures our traditional rituals have been eroded. There has been a huge reduction in religious activities and today very few go to church etc. We have instead become more independent, and have developed our own ways to create those sacred moments. It doesn’t have to be about religion, or even god... a ritual is something we do, often quite naturally and without even realised it may even be a ritual. Simple acts like smoking, drinking a cup of coffee can be a ritual. I remember staying in a rustic hut on the beach some years ago, and had an Italian neighbour who was staying very close to me. Every day i would watch him spend around 40 minutes making the most special cup of coffee i ever saw someone make. He clearly enjoyed every moment of preparing the coffee, which seemed to involved many steps that were each carried out with intention and presence. It certainly made me think about my relationship to coffee, and how I had often just whipped a cup up in 2 minutes and then proceeded to drink it very quickly. It was inspiring to watch this man savour every moment. The time he took, the whole ritual that he had made the entire day that much more special!
SO this week i ask you.. what rituals do you have!? Maybe you have to think about it a little, or maybe it is very obvious to you! Perhaps you meditate, sing, paint, create works of art, or do something very simple in a very special way.. we want to hear about it! If you like you can also speak about rituals, and if you cant think of any that you perform, you could also share some ideas for rituals that you might like to try, or have wanted to try but never did. If there is a ritual that you know about that you think is interesting or special then please share it!
"Q. Share a ritual that you perform or know about."
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