What is ritual bathing and why do we want to bother with it?
To answer that question let’s first take a look at the concept of ritual. Ritual can be defined as “a system of rites, a ceremonial act or action. An act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner”.
Rituals originate from individual and collective activities that produce desirable results, even aligning themselves beneficially with established universal laws. Rituals may start out as a happy accident – for example, following the discovery of controlled fire, the burning of tree limbs with their wonderfully fragrant resins eventually became tribal ritual. Why? Because it was noted that good feelings beneficial to the clan were evoked by the pleasant smells and warmth enjoyed by those gathered.
Greg Braden, a geologist who has done extensive research into the various traditions and their rituals asked many different peoples in his travels for the answer to the question of why they did their chants or ringing of bells or other such ritual activities. He got many answers but none cut to the chase quite like that of one Buddhist who simply said it is to keep the energetic vibration buoyant. Science is now starting to catch up with what the ancients knew on a practical basis about working with energetic reality or vibration. A very plain, simple view of this is expressed in the adage “cleanliness is next to godliness”. The realm of possibilities opens up quite favorably the higher the rate of vibration away from the density of accumulated residue that takes place in everyday living. Have you ever needed to clean your kitchen cabinets at the handles or where they are opened? Just being alive presents itself with waste products. We secrete oils and other substances that leave a residue.
If one goes to see places like Auschwitz where horrible things took place the density of vibration can be felt – this doesn’t require a lot of sensitivity. This is residue of a different kind – psycho-emotional - of course added to the natural waste products that would take place with highly adrenalized humans jammed into horrifying conditions. At a more basic level, one is less inclined to want to eat at a dive that is filthy. Animals will tend to sniff and leave behind rotting food. All of this points to density of vibration.
We naturally tend to feel better, lighter, and brighter after we have showered or bathed. We can take this feeling and parlay it such that it has longer lasting and targeted effects. We have all been exposed to the idea of manifestation, of creating our reality. Science and quantum physics have stretched our notions of reality such that we have become more open to the idea that at some level it is our movie. Whether we work with the universal laws consciously or not is another matter altogether. However at a basic level we have the capacity to see that intention and attention are potentially powerful allies. If one does not have a lot of genuine self-knowledge the power of our attention can be used against us. Where attention goes there reality flows.
To make matters even more challenging, from one perspective we actually have three brains, not just one. These “brains” each have their own language and tend to be out of communication with one another. Hence the old story of the heart in conflict with the mind. Or the body neglected which eventually develops disease because it was not listened to. Taken collectively you have the results we see before us in the world – war, pollution, and disease run rampant, man at odds with their natural habitat. Our cultural conditioning tends to support this dissociative state.
But it is possible to collect one’s attention, to pull it away from the many distractions of organic life on this troubled planet and place it effectively on the act of intention. To do this effectively requires the cooperative communication of all three of our “brains” – that is to say our hearts, minds, and the moving instinctive functions of our bodies. This is achieved through practice – such as meditation and mindfulness (impartial self-observation) in our everyday living.
Ceremonial rituals can help us engage all of ourselves in one common aim. Aromatics are useful agents for helping us in this gathering. Pleasant scent molecules go directly to the limbic system and have an immediate beneficial effect on us that can help facilitate a quality of lucid relaxation. In this relaxed state we can go deeper within, consciously engaging the subconscious which in one sense holds the master key for creating realities. When we intend something with the whole of our being it is a powerful thing and in this way we access the creative principle with which we align in order to reach a targeted state or condition. When activity is holistic like this it tends to be beneficial not only to ourselves. Deep within we are all one – this has been said in countless ways by many sages, adepts, and masters. When we act from a place that is better connected to this reality we can benefit the collective.
You want to save the world? Start by taking a bath – clean up your act, but not in an ordinary way. Clean the palette, use the moment’s season to line yourself up such that you create a better world for yourself and in so doing create a better world for all. Following is a simple bathing ritual intended to create a fresh beginning in this new Spring season. This ritual was written to accompany special seasonal bath fizzies (bombs) made for Gaia Soap Supply, but it can apply to the use of bath salts or just essential oils as well.
A whole program can be customized for you complete with specific products such as bath salts, body oils, creams, sprays and perfumes that can be used for conscious evolutionary change. Contact me through www.egyptiangrace.com for a consultation. Meanwhile, here’s the ritual for inviting a fresh beginning:
Instructions for a Ritual Bath
Prepare your space by cleaning the bathtub and surrounding area.
Prepare yourself internally by feeling your heart, being aware of your body, and watching your thoughts. Meditation is most useful, even just ten minutes of watching your breath will start the process of bringing your mind, heart, and body into alignment. This alignment is essential for effective intentionality.
Start the bath running.
Using your incense, smudge, or Palo Santo stick smudge first the bathroom, being fully present and attentive to the act of wafting the gentle smoke throughout the area. You may wish to also smudge your body once you have removed your clothing just before entering the bathtub.
Throw the special Bath Fizzy in with full intention. There are essential and healing oils in it that were chosen for their known effectiveness in ritual. Allow the fragrance to take you deeper into the grounded yet uplifted state that is optimal for clarity and intending. Once in the tub allow yourself relaxation of the body while you maintain a lucidity which brings you to awareness of the heart, mind, and body. They can communicate most effectively in this relaxed, heightened state. Let your thoughts arise and be released fluidly.
Now bring the attention to the heart and let yourself radiate the pure energy of gratitude, love, or any other positive experience outward, and with this intend for the water and the entire space to be charged up with your highest aspirations. Use your mind to visualize this while you radiate the feeling of having realized the intended condition or goal in establishing a fresh beginning.
Once you have reached the place where you are complete you can empty the tub and bathe as you normally would, clearing the palette and bringing yourself to a place of acceptance and readiness for however your vision unfolds in this fresh beginning you have set into motion. Give thanks for the wonderful conditions that have given you the opportunity to do this work.