Hellen Keller once said: “There is, I am convinced, a correspondence between the powers of the body and those of the spirit; the senses serve as entrance to an inner world.”
Rituals certainly are a manner through which our senses partake of the spiritual symbolism that we give to those same rituals. They are actions based on our beliefs or on any expectation that we wish to reinforce. They respond to the need that all human beings have to be bonded to a group, an ideal or to our most profound wishes of attaining self-realization and fulfillment.
We ritualize our actions when we give them a deeper meaning, according to our beliefs or desires, transforming them in a sort of mental programming that the more it is practiced the more effective it becomes in our moods and achievements.
Rituals are linked to our subconscious and every time we practice them the deep belief that we have attached to them is reinforced.
Sigmund Freud pointed out that “rituals are actions that allow an individual to release tensions”, but they also are a reminder of pleasant experiences, meaningful moments and historically, they have accompanied humans since the beginning of known history.
Rituals have different dimensions. They are a part of daily life and we give them a deep meaning that reaches our sense of values. The practice of a daily ritual consciously imbued with purpose enriches our life with mindfulness.
We must habitually perform rituals because of their symbolic value. Practicing them daily is never a routine because it is charged with a special purpose, before which we make a pause with total awareness in order to reinforce our most positive and hopeful beliefs and attitudes.
Because rituals seem to establish a bridge between consciousness and unconsciousness, they become a symbolic practice that recreates our intentions and contribute to our identity. They are a special sort of personal blessing for those things that are significant in our lives.
Practicing daily rituals that are charged with intention, gives vitality to those same intentions and motivate us from our inner consciousness to move forward into attaining what we wish for.
Again Hellen Keller clearly said: “When I hear people talking about faith, I am not content; I want them to go and do what they believe at all times…” Rituals are a great part of what reinforces the best of our beliefs and make possible a constant inner awareness of them.
The purpose of our ritual is the horizon of our dreams and goals. By doing it we ignite our consciousness towards it. ¿What good is ritual? It is a meaningful way to move closer and closer to our purpose.
Here are three books written by Dr. Rivas, they are available at Barnes & Noble:
*Rosa Argentina Rivas Lacayo, PHD is a founding member of the BuDhaGirl Scientific Advisory Board. For more on Dr. Rivas please go to budhagirl.com and see her bio under Science.