At the end of each year, I have a burning bowl ceremony, either with friends or by myself. I write down (on rice paper) the situations I want to let go of — things that I want to be liberated from – and say a prayer of acceptance that people or actions are no longer part of my life. In a large ceramic bowl (or a cooking pot), I light a match to this list and allow it to burn, sending the past on its way. As the paper turns to ash, so does the past. It is a simple ceremony, but one that my body knows and looks forward to.
Then I sit in silence before two lit candles and I offer gratitude for the attributes and people I carry with me into the new year. I ask for inspiration to write a list of my aspirations – affirmations of how I want to renew, refresh, rebalance, and rejoice in the coming year. What will make my heart soar? What will give me peace? What can I do to be happy? I write it all down and keep this list in a place I can refer to it — beside my meditation shrine or on my desk — to remind me that I have authority over my intentions and can bring magic to my life.
Whatever you choose to do to ring in the new year, I send you wishes for freedom and loving times in 2011!