The Burning Bowl
An Rx for the Spiritual Health of the AIDS Advocacy Movement
On the day of New Year's Eve, I was blessed to connect with Unity in Chicago, part of the Association of Unity Churches (see unity.org.) A spiritual movement free of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability, or sexual orientation, Unity follows these five basic tenets:
It is a fantastic, loving movement dedicated to peace, love and understanding without dogma, drama or fundamentalism.
The love of my life brought me to Unity on that day, after years of my being relatively adrift in my spiritual quest. I have always believed in the immense power and infinite wisdom of the universe and the truths inherent in all the world's religions. I have reaped the rewards of the universe while synchronous with its guidance, and experienced the pain indicative of being in its shadow. Much of my struggle came from attachment to negative thoughts and energy.
The Burning Bowl ceremony, which took place that day, so simple and so beautiful, continues to resonate with me. The service consisted of writing down the things/issues/thoughts/feelings/hurts that no longer serve your purpose, and hold you back from the wisdom and the compassionate love that is part of every one of us. The list could be as short or long as needed. As the paper touched the flames, and all those words became ashes, you began to release this ponderous baggage from your life.
I wept like a baby. The healing I experienced through this meditative exercise set my course for the year and, I pray, for the rest of my life. I felt 20 pounds lighter.
It occurs to me that there are at least three things we, as a national AIDS advocacy movement, could and should release into the fire.
None of this will come easy. Nothing of any consequence is. In this country, there are over a million people counting on us, and countless millions more across the globe, who also know it ain't easy.
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This article was provided by Test Positive Aware Network. It is a part of the publication Positively Aware. Visit TPAN's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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