By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
As 2016 draws to a close, it is a time to remember, let go and move forward to a new dawn. 2017 marks a new beginning, the opportunity to begin again, wipe the slate clean and a time to set goals.
For over 15 years, on New Year’s Eve, my family and I have held a Burning Bowl Ceremony. We first began to do this ceremony at Unity church long ago. The burning bowl ceremony releases energy that no longer serves you. It frees you up to allow more good into your life. It could be a pattern, belief or thought that no longer serves you, like an addiction or unhealthy habit. We have let go of personal issues, relationships that don’t serve us, habits, addictions, and attachments.
After the prayer is complete we go outside and burn our lists, one by one. We wait while each person’s list goes up in flames. We watch with interest as each person’s list burns differently. Sometimes we cheer, sometimes we cry. In the 2012 year, we said goodbye to four people we loved and let go of the sadness. In 2014 we bade farewell to beliefs about wealth, poverty and prosperity. My business doubled in 2014, and again in 2015. Could it be because of the ceremony? We can’t be sure. What I do know is that 2015 was better in every way than 2014 and 2017 improved over 2016.
When everyone’s list is burned and we have danced and cheered. Whatever we feel celebrates the release with joy. Our second list is put away. We do not burn this list, but instead put it aside in a safe place, on our altar or in a sacred box on a mantle. Our family has enjoyed this ceremony. Letting go is part of life. Making it sacred feels good.
Ceremonial work is a way to make something more sacred. Traditions and ceremonies help to mark the passing of time. Traditions give our families something to remember and incorporate into their families if they wish. Your children will remember what you have taught them. Ceremonies can help us feel a sense of community and togetherness. They connect us.
This year, my daughter and I will be together with my son David and his girlfriend in Denver. I am excited to share this ceremony with others as it is powerful. I recognize the preciousness of each moment I have with my adult children and my mother.
Learning through our experiences is what we are here to do. Sometimes we repeat them, and other times once we touch the hot stove, we never have to return for that lesson again, we know it is hot.
As I remember 2016 and all that happened in the world, and the people who have left the planet I am thankful for being here to experience it all. Now it is time to set goals for 2018. Many of us have big dreams. We have books we want to write, places we want to see and things we want to do. How much of what you wanted to do in 2017 did you accomplish? Do you remember what your goals were for this past year? Were they achievable?
While setting your goals for 2018, make them measurable and achievable. We often set goals that are not possible and this sets us up for failure and disappointment. Make your goals a stretch, but doable.
I wish you and your family all the best life has to offer in 2018.
How To Perform The Burning Bowl Ceremony
- Sit quietly and reflect on what you would like to release, or what you would like to be different.
- When you feel ready, on a piece of paper write what we want to be rid of or let go of. i.e. (I release the following with joy: debt, chaos, drama, abuse, pain, suffering, sorrow, sadness, depression, financial issues)
- On the second piece of paper, write what you want to bring into your life for the coming year. It could be the energy of (love, happiness, fun, play, joy, money) something you already have, but want more of. Whatever you want to draw to you, write it down. Fold this piece of paper up and keep it in a safe or sacred place, perhaps in a box or on your altar.
- When everyone is complete with their lists hold the first list that you want to let go of in your hands and say a prayer over it. The prayer is something simple, to recognize that what we are letting go of does not serve us and we are making room for better to flow into our lives.
- Walk silently up to the bowl where the flame is and put your piece of paper into the bowl. Let it all go.
- Then we say, Thank you.
- We begin to welcome the new energy of what we do desire in our lives. Put energy into your list of your desires. Focus, meditate on this list and then put it away.
What you can use the burning bowl ceremony for:
- letting go of lies
- anyone who has ever hurt you
- broken agreements or promises