Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Ritual to Let Go of the Past

Creating Rituals, Ritual to Let Go, Ritual to Heal, Healing Ritual, Healing Ritual Hawaii
Sometimes, letting go of an old hurt or problem takes more than an act of will. You consciously make an effort to forget about it, you talk to friends and counselors, you write about it, you pray and meditate—and still, the issue nags you like a mosquito that just won’t quit. If you’ve been down this road and still suffer from your hurt or issue, you might want to try a special ceremony to purge the problem from your life for good.

This is a ritual for marking the death of your problem; for burying it:

1. Enlist a support team to share in the ritual with you
. Even if you want to keep the problem a secret, this step is important. Knowing that there are people who are for you, who “have your back,” is key. Also, when you perform the ritual with a circle of people, you create amplified energy toward eradicating the issue. Even one other person will be a help, but if you can gather a circle of five to seven, that will be best.

2. Create a space for the ritual. A beautiful place outdoors is best. The space should inspire you with a feeling of peace and safety. Mark the spot with objects that represent the life you want to move toward—and with objects that inspire you with a feeling of sanctity. Flowers, crystals, photographs, and so on work well.

3. Gather your support circle together. Write down the problem and describe it in detail. Then, if possible for you, describe the problem aloud to your circle. This can be difficult if you feel shame about the issue, but again, this step can be of enormous help. One way to ease the difficulty can be to invite others to participate by also sharing and then purging their issues, so that it becomes a group purging ritual. Invite those in your circle to offer their support and good wishes, both aloud and inwardly, to help you become free of the problem.

4. Light a match to your paper, and watch your problem burn. Please make sure that you have a dish or plate of some sort to burn upon, and create a safe place to do this—you can, for instance, have a metal barrel to toss burning papers into.

5. When the problem has burned, bury the ashes.

6. Offer an affirmation aloud, such as “I am now free of my problem of _______. I do not need it any longer. I am now free to go on to the next steps in my life. I am grateful for the help I have received in saying goodbye to this problem. May I be of help to others who need to let go of the issues that bind them.”

If you wish, you can mark the end of the ceremony with music, or burning of sage, or a shared meal.

I sincerely hope that this ceremony helps you move beyond whatever holds you back. Please let me know how it works for you, and please share if you have any suggestions for making it even more powerful or effective.

Many Blessings,
Hiyaguha, The Life-Change Coach

Dr. Hiyaguha Cohen offers life coaching by Skype or phone and in-person Hawaii counseling. Click HERE to go to her website.

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Anonymous said...

Well, I think the mutual sharing of problems between close friends is in theory a great idea, however some things can be so shameful that one may not want a friend, a person they deeply respect, to have images of them in their mind engaged in something deeply embarrassing.

I have one close friend who knows everything about me, and though it was therapeutic to tell them, I still find it a little unsettling that this friend has seen my soul.

I have no great knowledge of Buddhism, however I do believe that there is a teaching which goes something like this (in my own words): If you deny that a darkness or sin in you exists, that is to be ashamed and to feel disgust at onesself, and this can drive you mad. It is better to accept that this darkness or sin is a part of you that you cannot remove from yourself any more than you can remove the quartz from a rock without destroying it. What I am saying is that it is ok to acknowledge that sin or darkness, wanton lustful thoughts or deeds have been part of your life and are still a part of your psyche, but that great satisfaction can come from choosing the correct path over this. It is like rising above one's genetics, like say a history of alcoholism or mental weakness in your family, to choose to be better than we are because it s the right thing to do.

To summarise, it is pointless to try to bury the past or things in ourselves we do not like, we can accept this is part of us without feeling shame, and then choose to rise above these things, knowing that we are spiritually advancing, I believe it is this which differs us from animals.

I am sorry to be at odds with your post, but I felt rather strongly about this.

Oh yes, it may be an idea to form a group of people for the specific purpose of cathartic release of issues or problems, as opposed to baring our souls to friends or relatives.

C xx

Hiyaguha said...

Thank so much for your comments. I agree with everything you have said. You're so right--if you choose to include others in your ritual, you need to exercise wisdom about whom to include. And there may be some things that you aren't ready to share, or that might even disturb others, so then you may need to do the ritual alone. But suppose, for instance, you can't get over grief at losing a partner. That's something that you may need support with--and having a community there for a shared ritual can give you enormous solace and also, closure.

As for accepting our shadow side, yes, yes, we must. But at the same time that we accept it, and even send it our love and compassion, we can, as you say, decide not to identify with it; instead, we choose to identify with the higher within us. It's like having a kid that you love but who is acting bratty--that kid needs to have a time out while you pray and meditate. So your shadow side is like that kid, and the ritual affirms that you sending the kid to camp (or to time out) so that you can manifest what you want in this world.

SheBurns said...

It is always important to acknowledge a problem, first to oneself and then to a trusted confidant or impersonal confessor, with or withuot ritual.
I am more in favor of no ritual because often the more attention we feed to the problem, the stronger it gets.
The idea of rising above is more helpful to me, and it takes practice (repetition) to levitate. I have found that the stuff that nags me can only be really released by disciplining the nagging, habitiual mind thru a repeated shift of attention. Every time, and it can be hundreds of time, the worry or guilt or shame or embarrassment comes to mind, I can shift my attention to my ideal. One's ideal can be a role model, a mountain top, a cloud, a guru, a saint, an rainbow, laughter, whatever image or activity works for you. Activities are sometimes hard because the mind can nanner away even while doing yoga. It is the image we hold in the mind that banishes other images & thoughts.

free said...

and still, the issue nags you like a mosquito that just won’t quit. If you’ve been down this road and still suffer from your hurt or issue, you might want to try a special ceremony to purge the problem from your life for good.

Lian莲 said...


Just got enlisted in Techno and saw this Blog. Interesting and enlightening. Healing process internally is a spiritual journey. We accumulated many rubbish and have been storing it in a bag we carry on our back. It is weighing us down. To talk about it, to blog about it is a form of letting go. May your readers benefit from your unselfish sharings. I will link my blog to here for those who need some 'light' down the tunnel'

With metta...