Our lives are permeated by ritual in all shapes and forms. We tend to think of ritual as something religious or formal in nature, but in truth we practice ritual on a daily basis from the order in which we go about our morning routine to the checklist of what we like to do at the end of each day in preparation for bed. Rites of passage, celebrations, tributes, fanfare, important all, to the fabric that keeps us going, alive and in sync. Our lives are rich in ritual.
The word ritual comes from the Latin ritualis which pertains to “correct performance” as in a rite of passage or a customary way of doing something at a specific time in a specific way for a specific purpose. Even more ancient is the original concept of ritus associated with the Sanskrit rtá meaning the proper or natural order of the cosmos.
Ritual as January’s theme can help you get grounded. The holidays are full of festivities and obligations that can be happily anticipated and enjoyed yet can also include commitments that can be overwhelming and stressful. Cultivate awareness of ritual in your life as a counter balance to the season we’ve just experienced.
The theme of ritual connects to the Lotus posture, our Pose of the Month. This classic pose is one of many meditative poses and traditionally begins and ends yoga classes. It is part of sadhana, which means practice. And all practices are in essence a prescribed form of ritual.
I’m connecting my monthly themes to those of my spiritual teacher, Jacqueline Valdez. Her January “Word of the Month” is inspiration, and its saboteur is vanity. I see the connection of her theme and mine as ritual being an inspiration to be present in the act of ritual for its own sake. Yes, our rituals have reason and purpose. However, detaching oneself from the outcome is also part of our spiritual practice. For more on the word of the month go to Jackie’s site: saintsintraining.com
Reflect upon and practice ritual in any way that may serve you. Be mindful and attentive to your routines, however mundane they may seem. Brining a mindfulness to the rituals in your life can help get you through challenging times. Rituals can bring joy and comfort to yourself and to those near and dear to you. Celebrate the conscious act of repetition and find the inspiration of a life rich in ritual.