The first time that I ever came across the burning bowl ceremony was last year at a Unity church. Although, honestly, it's very similar to a ritual I had in high school where I would burn love notes and slips of paper with things I wanted to change in a big vase that I had. A very simple concept of burning up what you wish to let go.
"The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord, searching every inmost part." Proverbs 20:27
The Burning Bowl ceremony is very simple and very uplifting and really could be done on an individual basis. The one that I attended there was a short service and meditation and then some time to write out what was on our minds before taking those thoughts and burning them up.
There is something satisfying to me about doing that. Granted when I was sixteen my sermon and meditation was probably whatever was on Z93 or 97X when I was purging away my sadness. Nonetheless, I did it often. Change of boyfriend. Shift in friends. Loneliness. Confusion. I am surprised I didn't burn something every day...then again, maybe that is why I took up smoking.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me." Psalms 51:10
Do you know what I know about lamps? They get darn dirty. I have many a memory of cleaning the lamps at Girl Scout camp. You don't have to clean them I suppose, but the soot build up dims the light output. Human soul is no different. Eventually the soot of pent up emotions dims our light, and we just don't shine as we should.
I am not saying that a Burning Bowl is the answer. If anything it's a beginning to clearing out and moving on. I bring it up because it is usually a New Year's Eve thing and as I didn't attend one this year it's on my mind.
"So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24
There is a lot to be said about pomp and circumstance and prayer and giving our pitiful monkey brains something to help the process along. I say that those because I have a very metaphysical soul and I have always had a natural tendency toward and understand of strangely primal yet infinitely intelligent things like symbolically releasing our worries to ashes. If you were conducting a personal ceremony, the solitude, the intimacy, just you and God and the burdens you've held onto way too long, it would be powerful stuff and hopefully the profound result of that release would be that you would feel better and more inclined to continue on that path. In a group, I found the energy to be exhilarating...a large collective unspoken sigh of relief.
It a total out with the old and in with the new vibe.
So what are you waiting for? Let your dim light shine!
"Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house." Matthew 5:15
Verses are from NKJV Bible...well, actually they are from the internet :-P