ceremony | iHanuman


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Journal Post

This is a question I have been getting more and more of lately, so I think I will write a bit...
Being optimists, it important to look into our lives and our history with a clear and balanced view. This means seriously considering what is happening around us and what those elements are, that have brought us to the dire consequences that we face today as an entire species. Why are we in the mess we are in? How do we get past this global dilemma?
The word individual means undividable. Therefore we are all in this together, yet, each of us is responsible for our place in the circle of life. It's a wonderful thing to know that we are all contributors to the whole, simply by way of discovering and enlivening our humane values.
A dear friend who has a strong, clear and constant connection with the Central Desert Aboriginals of Australia gave this message to me. I pass it on to you.
They asked us to look into the starry night sky and bring the starlight into your eyes. Feel the light coming through the top of your head and draw the light down through your body and through your feet and root the light into the earth. They say that the earth needs intensified and descending starlight energy very badly and that we can bring it down.
We now find ourselves halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Earth-based spirituality celebrates the period from February 1st-February 4th by observing a holiday called Candlemas.  One of eight fire rituals in the traditional calendar, it marks an important time of purification and passage.  It is interesting to note its counterpart in the Christian tradition, in which the holiday Candlemas marks the ritual purification ceremony performed at the Temple of Jerusalem for the infant Jesus and his mother Mary.
There is an aspect of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga practice called tristana. Like "yoga" it is both a practice and the state achieved through the repetition of that practice. I'm hoping to get up a few blogs that will look at tristanafrom a few viewpoints, all of which have emerged organically from practice and teaching. First of all, though, let's lay the groundwork with some definitions and background.
Many of us complain about how hard it is to start doing daily meditation or yoga, or to quit smoking or lying or biting our nails or masturbating or any number of things connected to "turning over a new leaf." We may make solemn resolutions, but within a short time we often find everything is back to the way it was. Then we gradually become cynical and conclude that we may as well give up; that "we'll never change."
Vow practice is more formal than making verbal resolutions. Most of us at Human Kindness Foundation work with vow practice and we have found it extremely helpful for making real and lasting changes.
After a very powerful ceremony a few days ago, I woke up thinking of this blessing for Thanksgiving. Hold Hands. Close your Eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths and drop the weight down into your feet. Feel your place on the ground. Give Thanks for the solid foundation on the earth and for this physical structure surrounding you; This beautiful home; a place for families to gather.
Last night was the full moon and I spent the entire day in ceremony. This full moon was a particularly auspicious one because it is the Full Moon of Initiation and the Lunar Celebration of the Beginning of Winter. Traditionally�Â�  all of the harvest had been stored for the winter and all debts for the year were paid. Traditionally ceremonies were held to release our shadow selves to the eternal flame that burns through the winter and let it burn in transformation for the spring. We release those parts of ourselves that no longer serve us so we can preserve energy for that which we want to flourish in the new year.
Today was the full moon and I spent the entire day in ceremony. It was the final day of our herbal medicine class. The ceremony was one of my favorite aspects of this class. We brought it into every day by brewing herbal teas, lighting candles and gathering in circles over the course of nine months. The idea of coming together as a community, a tribe or a counsel harkens back to ceremonies of yore when everything was sacred. If you did not hold ceremony before planting this year's crop, you could not expect a good yield.
, we were taught how to lead a ceremony. This particular ceremony's intention was to let go of grief from this past year; this could be the loss of a loved one, a job, or anything else which you chose to let go. Three days later on the autumnal equinox our cat died and I found myself holding ceremony for 24 hours which concluded with a full moon circle.
In my last post I wrote about the necessity of intentionally and consistently surrounding yourself with people and activities that feed your Spirit. Over the next couple months I'd like to share with you some short vignettes from something that I do personally that continues to nourish, challenge and inspire me: Meditating with Asha.
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