Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Burning Bowl

Burning Bowl is a releasing ceremony that could be done at any time, at the completion of a year or during a prenuptial party. Simply put, you write down what you want to release and you burn the paper.

Too simple?

Think about that for a moment. You travel through life, day after day, and sooner or later you’re going to do something that you wished you hadn’t, or you develop a habit that is now annoying, or you hold a grudge, or you hurt someone or yourself. Personally, I don’t have to think too long to find something that I wish wasn’t a part of me, my thinking pattern, my life, or my personality.

Granted, writing something down and burning up the paper is not going to physically do much more than making a pile of ashes. But, symbolism carries a mighty punch: shaking hands, giving a hug, waving a whole hand, or just one finger. They’re all symbols that lead you to feel a certain way.

In order to write something down on this paper, you have to think about what you want to release. What bugs you about yourself? You’ll never know if you don’t stop and think. And don’t give me that “I don’t want to stop and I don’t want to think” routine! If you don’t take out the garbage your house is going to smell. If you don’t clear out your mind occasionally, your thoughts will stink as well.

So, the first part of the process is to stop and quiet yourself, pull in your energies and breathe consciously. This is also called “centering.” You’re not doing any thinking yet, you’re settling in and preparing yourself. No thinking yet, just breathing and being quiet. You may want to close your eyes or play some soft music to help you relax and gather your thoughts.

Take your time. Let me repeat that. Take your time. You have all the time there is. If you’re rushing, one of your problems may be rushing. Give yourself a break. No pushing, pulling, kicking or screaming either.

Do you want to be calmer? Want more patience? Release what makes you frustrated. Want more happiness? Release what makes you sad. Some days you have to decide to be happy and not leave it to chance. If you get upset, choose again.

When you think of something that you don’t want to do, or have, or be anymore, write that item down on your paper. Go on to the next thought and write that down.Take whatever time you need. This is your time for you.

The next step is to actually burn the paper. Only burn the paper – not your fingers, sleeve, table or house. Choose a safe receptacle in a safe place, preferably outside. Have water ready or a wet towel in case of an accident.

As you light the paper mentally release the thoughts that are written. Give yourself another chance to make amends, to be a little different, to grow and expand in wisdom and integrity. Make sure the paper is completely burned and the fire is out before you walk away.

No, burning the paper will not make you better, richer, taller or thinner. What it will do is to help you bring to mind what would benefit you to change in your life. You can’t rectify anything that you won’t acknowledge. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Finally, go celebrate! You’ve done some very good work. Congratulate yourself. You are your own best friend. Treat yourself kindly and say nice things to the person looking back at you every morning in the mirror. The Burning Bowl ceremony could be performed singly, in a group setting, by itself, combined, or within another ceremony.

Live life to the fullest. It's yours to enjoy.