A beautiful ceremony to say goodbye to the old year and bless the new one, from my friend, Kim P., of the blog, Afternoon Storm. Thanks, Kim!
Every year at our home we do a little pipe ceremony just before 12:00 on New Year’s Eve. Often it is just my hubby and I, but sometimes our two kids (who are 19 and 22 now) have joined in. I use my pipe to create sacred space and we light a candle. Then we do four rounds of prayers.
The first is to identify the “things” we want to let go of from the old year.
In the second round of prayers, we each speak the names of the new patterns, beliefs or relationships that we would like to bring into our lives.
With the third round, we say the names of people we know or love to whom we want to send loving energy.
With the fourth round, we say prayers for the planet. It feels like a really good way to end the year and welcome in the new year.
By Paramahansa Yogananda
This is my message to you for the New Year:
Your cup of life within and without is filled with the Divine Presence, but because of the lack of attention you do not perceive God’s immanence. When you are in tune, as one tunes in a radio, then you receive Spirit. It is as if you take a bottle of sea water, cork it, and put it in the ocean; although the bottle floats in the waters, its contents do not mix with its oceanic surroundings. But open the bottle, and the water inside merges with the sea. We must remove the cork of ignorance before we can come in contact with Spirit.
* * *
Infinity is our Home. We are just sojourning awhile in the caravanserai of the body. Those who are drunk with delusion have forgotten how to follow the trail that leads to God. But when in meditation the Divine gets hold of the prodigal child, there is no dallying anymore.
Enter the portals of the New Year with new hope. Remember you are a child of God. It lies with you as to what you are going to be. Be proud that you are a child of God. What have you to fear? No matter what comes, believe it is the Lord who is sending that to you; and you must succeed in conquering those daily challenges. Therein lies your victory. Do His will; nothing can hurt you then. He loves you everlastingly. Think that. Believe that. Know that. And suddenly one day you will find you are immortally alive in God.
Meditate more and believe in that strong consciousness that God is always with you regardless of what happens. Then you will see that the veil of delusion will be taken away and you will be one with That which is God. That is how I found my greatest happiness in life. I am not looking for anything now because I have everything in Him. Never would I part with That which is the richest of all possessions.
The excerpts above are from a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda at the International Headquarters of the society he founded, Self-Realization Fellowship, on New Year’s Eve, 1934. The entire talk is published in Journey to Self-realization, Volume III of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Collected Talks and Essays. (Self-Realization Fellowship, copyright©1997, Los Angeles; reprinted with permission.) For more information about the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, visit http://www.yogananda-srf.org.