On Routine Methods of Ritual – Self-Lead Practice Co-mingled with Retreat.
By: Kali Basman
Establishing a daily, consistent routine of returning to the Self is a safeguard, is a lighthouse, amidst the perceived darkness of the unknown. Each time we return to a heightened awareness of the Self, we become more willing to face the unknown.
In Buddhism, we practice routine methods of meditation and mindfulness where the entryway to the practice is the exact same each time. How we enter our own mindstream and approach the self, pay reverence to the self, and commit to observing the self- these becomes a daily procedure that remains fixed and complete. In other words, the access to the self is a channel we carve as a single stream, and each time we return to it the channel becomes deeper.
I find it helps to remember that everything outside of our daily routine of mindfulness is constantly changing. We don’t know how long we will live inside this body! Nothing is immune to change, as such accepting that feature of life can help us grow in our capacity to meet the confluences of a life unfolding in awareness. Having a consistent ritual to return to allows us to observe the patterns of turbulence from a grounded home.
Ritual is what turns a mundane routine into sacred. As you sit, you reach inside to enliven the heart space. You sit daily at the altar of the self and see, what is life like now? Where is sensation now? How does it feel to be in my body, now?
Part of that process is to see where within ourselves we have hardened, where we have been blinded, where we feel separate.
An awareness practice in solitude illuminates all of this. In a daily self-lead practice, we privately and potently open to our inclusiveness: our allowance of all parts of the self. It is here where we can attend to the free realms of the mind, the soft spaces of the heart. We need ritual in private, it is an essential element to a life-long commitment to opening.
In addition, carving out time to go on retreat or take a training helps us to open the bandwidth, allows us to be more awake consistently throughout the day for a given period of time. I always encourage my practitioners to seek out some semblance of retreat or training time, whether if it’s a day long practice or two weeks or three months, so that we go back to our worldly life and continue or deepen our dedication to cracking open the shells that harden us.
May this serve as a reminder to continue on the path, as you attend to the constant reengagement with awareness in many forms.
International yoga teacher Kali Basman enriches the paradigm of Yin Yoga to integrate distinct aspects of Self into an innate wisdom practice to awaken a rich inner life and radiate with ritual. Her offering honors Yin Yoga as a tool to surrender to our intrinsic wholeness.
On the textured path of mindful healing, Kali is celebrated for her integration of the 5 Elements and Chinese Meridian Theory with self-inquiry, embodied Anatomy, Buddhist Philosophy of Equanimity, and sharp intellect.