Rituals to Invite Balance and Well-being

By changing the way you do routine things
you allow a new person to grow inside of you.

~Paulo Coelho

This site is a compilation of rituals and stories from many different people around the world. Each post is a different person's response to an invitation to share their rituals for healthy living, activities or behaviors they do regularly for the purpose of bringing value to their well-being. Perhaps there is a ritual in these pages that will catch your attention and find its way into your own life. To help keep this site alive, comment on what you read, share your story if you try one of the rituals, and submit new rituals.

Welcome and Enjoy!


Paying Attention to Relationships and Cats

A full account of my own rituals and their history could be a tome in themselves and it's a little daunting to try to share just enough to fit into an email. I'll limit myself to the present and near present, skip a lot of detail and going into why's and wherefore's. You'll see that for me healthy living includes paying attention to relationships.

This morning the clock radio went off at 5:30 p.m. tuned to the CBC radio station with some pleasant classical music. As she does every morning, L said sleepily "Hit the button?" Sometimes it's "Eight minutes?" During this time I slowly come to a sense of the day, the temperature, my urge to cozy down or to get up, what it's like outside, where the cats are - which is usually somewhere on the bed on my feet or in the crook of my knee or between us.

A while later in the kitchen I drink as much water as is comfortable and go into the living room, lay on my back and do some core muscle exercises while stretching my hands over my head. My big cat, Socks Bear, who we have taken to calling Kung Fu Panda, has his own rituals that he performs in a dance with L and me in turn. Cats are very addicted to rituals. Since my hands are out there he butts them and I absent mindedly, since I am concentrating on pulling my stomach in or lifting a leg in the air, grab a front paw or a back paw and tug. He loves it and purrs and pulls until I let go, and there is more of that.

I then move to the cushion for some half lotus Zen sitting. This is the one element that has almost always been present for over three decades. At this point my other cat Diva, who we have called ninja kitty for some time, as well as various babyish names, comes over for her turn. Little Bear heads off to some ritual with L that I haven't inquired into. Diva used to be able to climb into my hands and curl up completely inside them. Now she climbs in, pushes them apart and settles with chin hanging over my forearm and a slight purr. I wonder briefly about attachment to the pleasure of this trust as I concentrate on counting my breaths from one to ten, eyes open. The world of sound/sight /touch fills my senses, stray thoughts come for an instant or longer and pass by as I return to my breathing. I am amazed at the fullness of life. L comes in for her own meditation and then goes in the other room to turn on the TV for the news. I switch to chakra scanning which shuts out the announcer. As I finish - and Diva knows how long it usually is and will be unbearably cute if I meditate too much longer, doing things like standing up, looking me in the eyes and putting a soft paw on my mouth - I lift her to my shoulders and begin to stand. Socks comes over with a mew, and I pick him up in my arms then proceed to do a Zen one step per breath walk into the kitchen with the two of them. He jumps down to see if L will put her breakfast plate down for him and Diva stays on my shoulders fascinated by things I do in the kitchen. Finally I cut up a few green beans I keep in the fridge and bend down so she can jump off then give them to her as a pre-breakfast snack.

L usually leaves 10 or 15 minutes before me and I have insisted on a ritual good-bye kiss so she calls and I come to the door. We exchange a few sentences, often about logistics. Today it's about the rain and how wet it is.

The meditation awareness comes back to me during the day and often I tune to my breathing and notice the widening of awareness and relaxation it brings.


1st cat photo source
2nd cat photo source

No comments: