Ritual vs. Habit - What's the Difference?


The difference between a ritual and a habit is about who is in control… the mind or the brain?

The brain automates, it is brilliant at making things simple and it does not like to waste too much time and energy in performing simple duties, it loves habits. Habits are mindless, they are things we do to get from point A to point B, and we do them out of convenience or routine.

The mind on the other hand is more strategic. It wants to plan and it wants to be aware. It wants to feel everything and is curious. It asks questions. It also takes over when we feel deeply.

So if the premise of mind over brain is correct, shouldn’t we try to use our mind more in order to live better? Could it be that the “au currant” word: mindfulness is really up to something?

I think so. I believe that ritual is born from mindfulness. Mindfulness requires us to become aware of ourselves, our feelings, our situation, our interactions, and more importantly it also leads us to gratefulness.

Everyday people ask me about BuDhaGirl; they want to know about the jewelry and this “concept” of setting intentions. That’s when I begin to explain the importance of ritual and the joy received by truly being present and living in the moment. Invariably their head begins to nod, it is as if… yes, they know this, but how is it that they have forgotten it? Habits. That’s why. Habits are sneaky things that make us believe we are in control.

Take a moment to think about what you do out of habit. Then, take another minute to see if you can transform these actions, these habits, into ritual. Remember that rituals like habits are physical, intellectual and spiritual.