I love rituals. Well, non-commercial rituals. There is beauty in Christmas, but all this money spending and over-eating takes the beauty away from it for me. Here, in India where I’m teaching yoga at Sampoorna, I’m surrounded by rituals. Little pieces of thread wrapped around wrists, bindis to remember our spiritual journey and fire ceremonies. An openings fire ceremony when we start the teacher training course (TTC) and a closing fire ceremony at the end of every TTC. (See video.)
In the fire ceremony we offer our thoughts and emotions to the divine. We sacrifice the impurities of our lower nature into the fire of awareness, aligning us with the powers of nature and spirit.
Fire is considered sacred in ancient yogic texts: it is the divine presence; the presence of the light in the material world. It’s also the divine messenger. Whatever we offer is taken to the divine and comes back with a portion of divine energy, if we open ourselves for it.
The ceremony has a two-fold significance: spiritual and material. Spiritually it helps us to remember our mission on earth. Materially it stands for purification of the atmosphere and of us.
We purify ourselves and the atmosphere even more by chanting specific mantras and burning medicinal herbs; helping us on our spiritual journey.
The fire holds inspirational value for the soul through its features of light, speed and motion. It inspires our souls to become bright and radiant. It inspires us to burn our mental and intellectual imperfections.
By making offers to the fire, we are seeking blessings from the Divine, to help us progress during our training at Sampoorna in particular and in life in general.