"People ask me, 'What can we have for rituals?' Well, what do you want to have a ritual for? You should have a ritual for your life. All a ritual does is concentrate your mind on the implications of what you are doing. For instance, the marriage ritual is a meditation on the step you are taking in learning to become a member of a duad, instead of one individual all alone. The ritual enables you to make the transit.
When eating a meal, realize what you are doing. Hunting peoples thank the animal for having given itself. They feel real gratitude. The main rituals of mature hunting tribes, like those of the Americas, were addressed to the animals. On the Northwest Coast, the principal rights were when the first wave of salmon came in, and they were intended to thank the salmon.
And so, sitting down to eat, realize what you are doing: you are eating a life that has been given so that you might live.
When I was working on the gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, I had a lot of meals with the monks. Their grace before meals is the most beautiful invocation. It goes like this: ‘Brahman is the cosmic, universal, life consciousness energy of which we are all manifestations. Brahman is the sacrifice. Brahman is the food that we are eating. Brahman is the consumer of the sacrifice. Brahman is the ladle that carries the sacrifice to the fire. Brahman is the process of the sacrifice. He who recognizes that all things are Brahman is on the way to realizing Brahman in himself.'
Every ritual is of that order, properly putting your mind in touch with what you are really doing. And so, we should realize that this event here and now: our coming together to help each other in the realization is a beautiful, beautiful ritual.”
​​-Joseph Campbell

​From A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Thursday April 28, 2022 16:22:08 MDT by Dale Pond.