Yes – and no.
We can cook dinner, chuck the pot on the table, cutlery next to it (or not) - and encourage everybody to “dig in”. Or we can choose to consciously cook the meal, light a candle, have some nice music, set the table beautifully and celebrate dinner in a special way, aware of how every bite nourishes our body.
Ritual and ceremony are tools. Powerful and efficient tools at times. They can help us to set a clear intent and to keep our mind focused. They can help us to visualise.
They are vessels that hold a safe space for you and enable you to enter different realities and expand your consciousness.
In many cultures and traditions rituals and ceremonies were and still are attributed with more power than they deserve.
You don’t need a glass to drink water. The glass isn’t powerful in itself. However, its function and purpose can be.
I have seen young children and shamans drink directly from the source – without a glass. They danced freely between “the worlds” and didn’t need any aides.
And yet, many children love rituals; they use them playfully. Some shamans I have worked with said: “Rituals and ceremonies are powerful tools. They help us, and also the people we work with, to enter other realms.”
Having said this, I have also experienced them doing amazing things like shape shifting without performing a ritual.
If you are “connected”, “in tune” or whatever you want to call it, you don’t necessarily need ritual and ceremony. However, it might ease the way…
I observed that a lot of the children who carry new energies depend less and less on these tools or use them in a less rigid way.
I personally use rituals and ceremonies to help my mind to focus, to enter a state of altered or expanded consciousness, and to connect me with “the bigger picture”. It makes things easier for me :)
Feel for yourself, what is true for you – and others you work with. Crouches can be very helpful to learn how to walk after an operation. However, it is important to remember that walking freely and without them is achievable.
Why do I write this?
Because I have seen a lot of people blindly following ritual and ceremonial instructions (also common in a religious context) thinking that only through ritual and ceremony they are able to expand their consciousness, gain heightened awareness etc.
I have also seen shamans, religious people/leaders, gurus, teachers proclaiming that only if we follow certain rituals and ceremonies we can connect with the divine all encompassing source of life (or whatever we want to call it).
I have experienced and seen that this is only one aspect of the truth :)