Monday, January 04, 2010

Ritual

It has been said (and confirmed) that I have a knack and need for ritualization. Breaking dawn is often my time for ritual. The lighting of symbolic candles. Gentle music. Settling into a cozy corner on my daybed. Setting aside time. Greeting God. Saying, 'I am here'.

My mind wanders, but the blank page and fountain pen call me back. Books to my left. Coffee to my right. Quilt over legs and cushy pillows behind my back. Surrounded by the lilting sounds of chanting monks.It is dark and quiet inside my own little womb created here.

In the womb, we are surrounded by water. It is the air we breathe while attached to our mother. In my womb, I am attached to God. Present. We are one. For brief moments, there is no separation. I swim in the amniotic fluid that is life. No separation - like a fish in the ocean.

“You are the boat. Life is the sea,”.* We are not separate. My earthen boat of humanity is held by the sea. Surrounded. Air above. Water below. Fire within.

Where (or does) ritual manifest in your life? Also, has your word for the year found you yet?

*quoted in The Book of Awakening.

'setting sail' © lucy - taken @ shilshole bay, january 2, 2010

15 comments:

claire bangasser said...

I enjoy the image of your being attached to God in your womb.
Thank you.

Maureen said...

"You are the boat. Life is the sea."

When the sea is rough, it seems impossible to be still. Yet, if we lean into the wind, and not rail against it, we find the boat has stayed the course.

Barbara said...

Alas, I have only a theoretical love of morning. After I feed the kittehs, I often light some candles and pray Vespers. Before I fall asleep, at some ungodly hour of the morning, I pray Vigils. That's on a good day, although I realize it is foolish to make such a distinction.

I certainly love the image of our being enwombed in the Divine. That places us so much closer to the One who sustains us than we even can imagine.

Kel said...

womb water
what a wondrous place to begin the exploration of your theme for this year

The Pollinatrix said...

Nice! I see you have dived right into the water theme.

I love my morning ritual, but because I have four children, can't always indulge it fully. I was blessed this Christmas to receive the stunning book Celtic Benediction, by J. Philip Newell. It's a wonderful new enhancement for my morning (and evening) ritual.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Loving the uterine metaphor. I do rely upon rituals for comfort and contemplation in my spontaneity.

Sue said...

This is beautiful words, Lucy.

I have been meditating on the concept that my mind is an ocean (the big "I", as opposed to the little "I" who catches me up in its attachments and angers and fears and stuff). I love that thought. It brings peace and stillness to me straight away.

lucy said...

thanks, claire. me, too.

maureen - i loved the little boat in the picture. it was SOOO windy that day, but it definitely stayed the course and appeared to be having a joyous time, too!

barbara - i am as surprised as anyone to find this little ritual time in the wee hours. night time finds my brain tired and focus weak. but isn't it wonderful there are so many options? from whenever to never!

kel - "womb water" love it!!!

pollinatrix - i am definitely going to check out your new book. i loved reading newell last fall and begin a class in celtic spirituality this week.

tinkerbell - spontaneous ritual - fabulous!!! it's my favorite kind!

sue - "the mind as an ocean" YES!


thank you all for your fabulous comments and for joining me on this morning's ritual.

Karen said...

You have such a way with words/images--I felt myself floating with you. As usual, you're speaking to where I'm at--I'm currently trying to find my way back to the rituals--realizing, finally, the NEED for them. Without their anchoring effect, I'm aimless and forlorn. I've haven't quite gotten back into their rhythm, but I'm getting there...

lucy said...

karen - your description as rituals and their "anchoring effect" is perfect! part of being "the boat" is perhaps having a good anchor?!?!? keep paddling.

storyteller said...

reading your post reminds me how important rituals are in my life ... and how easy it is to lose my way when I don't take time for them
Hugs and blessings,

Tess said...

Like Barbara, my love of early morning is theoretical only, but I would like to change.

I love your description of these floating, ritualistic moments. Really beautiful. Also I must say I had an irresistible urge to giggle when you mentioned the chanting monks. I could see them there so clearly, a little group of them huddled in a corner of your room, chanting away.

I discovered a really beautiful MP3 download at the weekend, called Monastery Garden, it's what it says on the can: 58 minutes of birdsong and buzzing insects, with monks chanting in the distance. You can download it here if you feel so inclined: http://bit.ly/68ozbt

kigen said...

The sailboat photo is almost identical to pictures of I've taken along the Hudson River in NYC, the far mountain range being what are called The Palisades in my neck of the woods. Can pictures also be synchronicity?

I wonder what are the titles (if you care to share) of the books to your left? I miss you Lucy!

lucy said...

storyteller - may you find the perfect rituals to give you balance and peace in the coming year.

tess - now don't be giggling at my monks. they are quite a nice lot and really take up very little room (& they don't eat much at all) :-)

if you're going into marketing, i'm a sucker. i've spent the afternoon listening to birdsong and buzzing insects at your recommendation. aslan is a bit discombobulated with that one. how does your lucy do with the chirping stereo?

kigen - i'd definitely say that pictures can be synchronicity. those are the olympic mountains in that view.

per your request, i believe the books to my left this morning were the Bible, The Book of Awakening, my Keel's Simple Diary, God with Us and The Sea Around Us (a recommendation of yours, i do believe.)

Jens Foerster said...

Are you sure that's mother and not just a slow-witted example of father?