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Barbara Biziou

Ritual as a Spiritual Practice
by Barbara Biziou

"Make sacred space
and be reminded of who you are.
You are Spirit and body
sacred space"
                       Shawna Carol
                        Goddess Chant

I have always been intrigued by the idea of cultivating an authentic spiritual practice. This longing has taken me around the world and has guided me to soaked up as much as I could from other cultures. I have participated in pujas, high masses, Buddhist empowerments and prayer circles of every faith. I discovered that the commonality in all is the cultivation of sacred space internally and externally.

The Joys of Everyday Ritual by Barbara Biziou

My personal ritual is to sit quietly sipping a freshly brewed cup of tea while I watch the world unfold outside my window. My neighborhood is very quiet in the morning and I can feel a stillness in my city that rarely sleeps. I am blessed with a glorious view of the Empire State Building and I love watching the rising sun turn the sky and buildings shades of pink and gold. I have been told that the Empire State Building is a power point in our city…and I call on its powerful presence to imbue my life with passionate possibilities. Through this ritual I have developed a deeper relationship with nature’s cycles as I get to savor all of the seasonal colors that I experience from my view on the tenth floor.

As I breathe in the day, I center myself and light a candle on my altar. I burn copal to purify my space and sanctify it as holy. My meditation lasts around 30 minutes and gives me the nourishment that I need to be in right relationship with others and with the world. It helps me feel appreciation for my friends, family and for Spirit who has given me so much.

Next I mark the sacred passage into daytime by doing a divination with my tarot cards. I consistently receive messages that give me insight into the past and present. I then use this information as a jumping off place that allows me to expand on these ideas during the day.

I end my sacred ritual by setting my intention for the day. The more I clearly define my goals the easier it seems to be to attain them. I always include in my "to do" list a part for the Universe to play. I have found that the Universe is the best partner I could have in life.

The Joy of Family Rituals by Barbara Biziou

Creating a sacred ritual in the morning sustains me throughout the day and links me with my deeper wiser self. It gives me insight on what has heart and meaning in my life. My home transforms into the temple of the Goddess and I become her priestess. It gives me sanctuary and solace.

In order to live aligned with Spirit, cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien reminds us to create the blessing way every day by doing three things.

1. Pray every day: set sacred intention.

2. Give gratitude every day. Gratitude keeps your heart open and allows us to be learners.

3. Make a life affirming action every day. Do anonymous acts of kindness to restore delight and magic into the world.

Inner Guidance Ritual.

(adapted from The Joys of Everyday Ritual)

Light a candle with the intention of calling Spirit into your home. Now focus on your heart center (the area in the center of your chest). Imagine that you can breathe in and out through your heart. Allow it to soften as you connect to the wondrous resources of the heart…peace, compassion, unconditional love and the healing presence.

Take out your journal and write these phrases, leaving plenty of space after each one: I feel________________. I need____________. I want_________________.

Allow yourself to fill in the blanks freely moving about from feelings to needs to wants. Don’t censor yourself or worry about spelling or grammar. Play with colored markers or crayons as you add colors for emphasis or to express a mood. Appreciate the freedom of knowing you are the only one who will see these pages.

Your emotions might range from profound sadness to childlike silliness. Think of this as a "mapping" ritual that will lead you back to yourself and to your own creativity, power of determination and inner strength. Let this be a ritual of connection to your own deep intuition.

"Life is only now.
Love is only now
Truth is only now.
Wisdom is only now.

Enlightenment, Self Realization-only now
Joy is only now.
Happiness is only now.
Freedom , only now
Absolute Peace, only now.

It’s up to you.

                        --Scott Morrison

 © Copyright 2004 Barbara Biziou.  All Rights Reserved. 

Barbara Biziou
Barbara Biziou, author of The Joys of Everyday Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals, is an internationally acclaimed teacher of meditation and a life-strategy coach. She teaches us how to restore ritual to its rightful place as food for the soul through practical, easy to use ritual recipes that are inspiring and fun. Barbara shows people how to incorporate spirituality into their existing lifestyles and hectic schedules – without creating extra work or stress! Email: britual@aol.com

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