The Ritual of Living

"Rituals give us a system of actions that serve as a structure for us to accomplish a certain task. They are a ceremony in which we celebrate, acknowledge, and accept aspects of our life. "


You have to sit in the place you are in before you can go to the place you want to be…

I was inspired to go to a yoga class the other day.  It was a salutations class – a salutation to the moon ritual.  What was wonderful about it was that it turned out to be a small group of women and each of us seemed to be deeply rooted and focused in the art of the salutation, and the search for peace, tranquility, and a deeper connection to our selves.  There was a lightness of spirit in the space – mainly because the teacher, a beautiful soul, led us through the ritual in such a gentle and intuitive way.

And so I am reflecting now on the class and see that the ritual is really not at all about the salutations as salutations to the moon, but about finding that place and space within us, creating that openness and humility in our selves, and honoring our own souls as if we were ourselves the moon.

It is no wonder that when I do sun salutations that I am deeply moved, sometimes my heart becomes so full of emotion that tears flow freely.  Streaming tears were a regular occurrence for me in yoga for quite a while.  I would sometimes, after shavasana, where I would raise my hand for the teacher to cover me with the offered blanket, wrap myself so tightly in its comfort, sometimes even hiding beneath it so that my soul could weep freely and in solitude.

Rituals give us a system of actions that serve as a structure for us to accomplish a certain task.  They are a ceremony in which we celebrate, acknowledge, and accept aspects of our life.  Rituals allow us to be in a flow and expression of energy.  It is the practice of being present in each moment or movement, letting each part of the ritual inform us of the emotional space in which we are currently residing.  We sit or stand or sway or curl up in our joy or pain, our comfort or fear, our happiness or disappointment, our love or anger…until we are comfortable with all that they entail.  It is then that we can move forward.  We step out from them with understanding and acceptance, transmuting their energy into something that we can freely embrace and then infuse into who we are.  If we can look at life itself as a ritual, a salutation, we could then move through each moment with the presence of mind, body, and spirit, pausing in each experience long enough to drink it in, allowing it to nourish our souls, and to lead us to the next moment and the next, and the next.

You have to sit in the place you are in before you can go to the place you want to be… A simple way to express that you must live in the moment.  Be present.  You must live today in order to live tomorrow.  You must live in the flow and celebrate it all.  The salutation is in fact to one’s self – honoring one’s own uniqueness and authenticity, one’s brilliant spirit and loving soul.