SomaNews May-June 2022
Embodying Ceremony in All Life
― Muriel Barbery
In our Western culture, we have ceremonies for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, births and deaths. But what would it look like to embody ceremony in our everyday lives?
One summer a wonderful man from Peru visited us. Every morning he would greet me with a kiss on each cheek and then put my hands together and kiss them. This simple ceremony was an honoring of who I am; a recognition of another human being.
While kissing everyone we see may not fit our culture, we can certainly honor them with a smile. Observe how people often walk past each other without a smile or any kind of recognition. What kind of ceremony are we embodying there?
We also tend to take the food we eat for granted. How often do we thank the earth for her unconditional love as she shares her soil so we can grow food that keeps us strong and healthy? Or for the water that flows through her body that nourishes us? A simple thank-you is so welcome.
When we embody ceremony in these ways, we are acknowledging that we are sentient beings, and we are focusing our love and gratitude to honor the smallest to the largest. Taking the time to honor something places it in the heart ― the heart that neither grasps nor pulls away.
Each year I spend time with a special community in New Mexico, immersed in ceremony, nourishing my soul. I believe that many of us are looking for a more personal, embodied, heartfelt connection with Spirit. I witness how through ceremony we can take something that is external and embody it to have a direct experience of its essence.
Every day we wake up, and in the sky we see a radiant sun that warms us and lets us see the amazing beauty of the Mother Earth. By taking a few minutes to thank the sun for its life-giving force, drinking it into our bodies and feeling the heat on our face, we can connect from a place of sensation and truly feel what it is to honor the sun.
As we acknowledge Spirit through ceremony every day, we become a conduit from heaven to earth.
A practice for embodying ceremony
Let's take a walk to a quiet place where you can do ceremony for the opportunity of being alive in this moment.
Find a comfortable place with nature around you. Bring a small container of water and set it next to you on the earth.
Take a deep breath, and on the exhale thank Mother Earth for her soil and water that keeps us alive. Take another deep breath and listen. Are there birds nearby? What are the sounds around you?
Thank Spirit (the Source) for the ability to see and hear, and to smell the air that fills your lungs.
On the last deep breath, exhale and pour water on the earth, thanking all that is that has made it possible for you to be in this world.
Remember, every moment can be a ceremony when you honor your Self, Others and the Planet.