The Ritual

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The Ritual

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There is something a bit strange about doing something that your cynical about. Like the Ouija board, you may well think it’s mumbo jumbo, but deep down you think there could be something in it. If there is a God, or something like an energy or spirit world, surely it/he knows too what’s going through your mind. So, if you’re  saying one thing, and thinking another, that all knowing, all seeing entity must know; You’re saying these magic, special words, and in your mind you’re thinking, ‘This is totally FAKE, and stupid!’

This is a natural dilemma, but having done it for myself, I’ve come to the conclusion that … it’s difficult to say, but evidently, actions speak louder than thoughts! Probably closer to the mark, is that what we are tapping into isn’t an all knowing all seeing entity, but more like a natural phenomena like the wind, rain or sun: If you water a plant, it grows – it doesn’t make much difference what you’re thinking at the time.

Anyhow, my ritual that I struck upon was thus:

I chose my moment carefully, when everyone was out (it was a Sunday morning and the family had gone to church!), and I was all alone and not going to be disturbed. Then on my piece of paper I wrote, being careful to not wish bad on others, ‘Thank you – that everyone is responsible for their actions.’ Pretty simple.

And then, for the flooding garage, ‘I’m so grateful that my garage never floods.’ Again simple.

In actual fact, I wrote a lot more than this, my page ending up full of this and that, but the crux was this.

Then, curtains and shutters closed and lights off making it dark, I put my sheet on the tray on the floor in my bedroom. I lit the candles, one on the far side of the tray, one in front of me, and one on either side – in a diamond shape. Then I sat down cross legged in front, an relaxed.

Then, using my watch as a timer and closing my eyes, I started saying my mantra. ‘Om, mani, padme, hum…’ Slowly, over and over, for 15 minutes.

I then picked up the sheet of paper, and lit it from one of the candles, and let it burn away to nothing in the tray – being careful not to burn the house down!

And … that was it! Easy!

 

So… what Happened?

So, what happened? I hear you ask. Well….nothing; if you were expecting the sky to open up, and thunder erupting, sucking all the sinners up and taking them away.
But…

There were a load of coincidences.

There is a good story about the Irishman who was looking for a parking space. He was late for a meeting and getting more and more desperate. In anguish, he looked up to the sky and said,
‘Please God, I’m desperate! Please God, get me a parking space!’
He then went on, ‘ If you just get me a space, I promise I’ll stop drinking, smoking and fornicating, for ever more. I promise!’

Just then, by chance he found a parking space. Once again, looking up to God, he said,

‘Don’t worry… I’ve already found one!’

I think we’re all a bit like this now and again!

So, I suppose, going back to my own situation, when looking at things on their own, there was nothing extraordinary to report. However, when taken together as a group, it seems a little more weird.

Firstly, from that day on ( the day of the ritual) I didn’t bother about worrying about the garage flooding. When it rained hard, as it did, and frequently, I no longer rushed out with the pump, trying to beat away the water pouring down the hill in the direction of the garage. Other people’s garages and basements flooded, but ours never did. Strange? Perhaps no. I was just lucky.

Secondly, at the condominium assembly meeting ( in my absence – I had long given up attending!) they decided to install autonomous gas heating to the whole condo; each apartment having their own system. Again, nothing special here. Only that, before the episode of having my gas pipes ripped up, everyone had been unanimous in not wanting it! Perhaps, my efforts had brought their attention to the fact of it being beneficial to everyone! Who knows!

Thirdly, 6 months later, the lady next door, you remember the Sicilian family who had been so economical in their heating consumption, a lady of 54 years and in previously good health, when out shopping with her daughter, felt a bit ill and was taken to hospital. After a day in hospital – she died. Now, this was strange. She had had no previous heart or any other health problems, so here there was really no logical explanation. Other than, yes, people sometimes die unexpectantly.

Fourthly, another man, who had been arrogant about the virtues of oil central heating; and was obviously on a backhander from the administrator – [or, at least, so they say] – after a year developed a cancer, and … died. Unexpected? He was about 70, so perhaps not. But it was nonetheless very sudden all the same.

I don’t know. I really don’t know. But it was strange. Very strange.

However, if I were to tell you that since then, I have done other things not dissimilar, and … well … strange. Crazy stuff! Strange coincidences all the time!

And the man who ripped up my pipes? What happened to him, I hear you ask. Well… Nothing. He is still living in the same flat. With his wife, who now has a struggle walking. I must admit, I was a little surprised nothing happened to him. But nothing.

My reasoning for why nothing happened to him is, perhaps not very convincingly, but I reckon it’s because he is a bit dimwitted. I mean, that he is so stupid and ignorant, what he did he probably truly thought was really not wrong, and so he had a clear conscience. They say ignorance is bliss! Perhaps it’s true!

And, I have forgiven him. Obviously!: Not forgotten, just forgiven!!

 

How Stupid is This?

I often ask myself how much importance we should give these things. Trying to be more spiritual, and trusting cranky systems. Is it just stupid, or is it a good idea to give it space in our lives.

As I’ve said many times before, when I was young I would have never given it a second thought. Maybe as you get older you get a bit soft! Who knows!

Surely, I would have been more at peace with myself, and I would have had more tools available to me for coping with hard situations. But perhaps this is no more than soothing words to give reassurance. Like telling a small child about the tooth fairy, or father Christmas.

But I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have messed up so many times, in stressful situations; especially as being a musician and becoming neurotic about just about everything – auditions for example!

Having said that, I was still more successful than many. But I have a sneaky feeling that if I could somehow go back and do it all again, knowing now what I do, things would be very very different!

Don’t Worry

Don’t worry, be happy! (In the words of Bobby McFerrin) – [ Don’t worry, it may never happen… is more my motto! – very often it’s true too!]

But it ain’t easy. Not for us mere mortals.

They say, that if you want to live a long and happy life, you need to learn how to compartmentalise your life, and be able to focus on what you’re doing, and block out the rest.

I would argue though that any living organism, worries. And that it is wired into all living things ingenerately (to some or other degree), just as a survival mechanism.

The more intelligent an animal is the more anxious it is too. Just think about a deer grazing in the woods; continuously on the look out for predators. If you think about a slug, that doesn’t worry much, but that doesn’t help us much either, because we are on the other end of the worry/intelligence scale; at least I like to think so anyhow – I do doubt some people on occasions I know!

So, what is the quick and easy way to beat worry and anxiety, and have a long and peaceful life? Read on ….

 

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