On pages 211-212 of Circle of Life: Traditional Teachings of Native American Elders, James David Audlin talks about the importance of ceremony:
traditional peoples worldwide, the philosophy is, as one Grandmother
put it to me: 'Let everything you do be a ceremony. Let just the making
of your bed in the morning be a ceremony, in this way to mark an ending
and a beginning, giving meaning to the day.' Among observant Muslims
and Orthodox Jews there are traditional prayers for just about every act
each day----beginning with getting out of bed. The teaching is that everything
we do is, or should be, a little ceremony. Even such things as
urinating and deficating, for instance, are sacred acts if done
respectfully, participating in the cycle of life. Within all the
ordinary, washte events of daily life, the wakan is there----as Kabalistic Jews and Sufis know----and it is good for us to remember and respect this presence."
my opinion, it's good to give days structure. Granted, there may be
some days when you want to sleep in or otherwise let things be----a
Sabbath, if you will----but it helps if one, on most days, has a reason
to wake up. There are alcoholics I know or have heard about who let
each day become a blur, and it's recommended that, once they sober up,
they attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on a regular basis----even
each day or multiple times each day. Why? So they can have structure.
For a number of people, their jobs provide them with structure and
purpose. And yet, it is possible for one to feel that one's job does
not provide him or her with purpose. Karl Marx touches on this when he
talks about alienation from one's work.
Presently, for me, there
are a number of things that provide my days with structure. There is my
weekly church attendance and my attendance at my church's Bible study
(when my church is holding a Bible study, of course). There is my
reading and my blogging. And there is my academic work. There are
plenty of times when I wonder if what I am doing is bearing any fruit,
in terms of helping people or helping myself to make contacts. Yet, my
tasks do give each day meaning and structure.
But I don't think
that Audlin is just talking about providing each day with structure, for
he's also discussing seeing significance in the tasks of everyday
life. This, in my opinion, includes being mindful and grateful for
people, places, and things that we often take for granted.
About Halloween. . . .
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