End of Year Contemplation

new-years-day-1913100_1920I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! I am profoundly grateful for the year behind me and for the time we’ve spent in meditation and spiritual dialog together.
I am thinking of you as I prepare my end of year ritual and I share it again with you. If you are inspired, please join me by doing this practice in your home on New Year’s Eve or at a time of your choosing near New Year’s Day. If you do, I’d love to hear from you about your experience. I will be sharing mine.
Rather than looking to what we might change or begin in the new year, this New Year’s ritual is primarily focused on integrating, crystallizing, and celebrating all the learning and blessing of the past year. I share this as one way to honor the end of a calendar year. I hope it inspires you.

Reflection, Contemplation, Integration, Gratitude, Generosity.
Begin by reflecting upon the most significant events or milestones of your life in the past year. Name them in factual, non-judgmental,  uncolored ways. Keep the description concise for the moment. You will have the opportunity to add detail in the next step.

Consider these three categories.
Spend time in reflection and make a list of significant events.

  1. Body (transformation related to form, relationship with or wisdom of the body, or the essential life force)
  2. Mind (Mental, emotional transformation, acquisition of wisdom, or refinement of mind and emotions)
  3. Spirit (spiritual insight, transformation, or deepening of self-awareness)
Now, focus on no more than two events in each category and journal about each through these suggested lenses.
  1. Contemplation: Sit quietly and bring to mind each event. See them as an observer and seek to have the deepest understanding of the event and its impact upon your life.
  2. Integration: Examine the stage of integration that you feel you have reached regarding the event. Are you still learning about it? Have you grown in wisdom because of it?  Has this experience already become a part of you? Is there anything more you need to do to access the wisdom or gift of this life event?
  3. Gratitude: Express your gratitude for what the event has brought into your life, how it may have increased your awareness or activated a transformation.
  4. Generosity: Describe how you can pass along what you’ve received for the benefit of others.
To continue your process of integration, contemplation, and celebration you can write one word for each category of Body, Mind, and Spirit which summarizes and crystallizes the year and place these somewhere in your home as a reminder of your journey in 2016.

If you chose to join me in this contemplative ritual, dive deep and truly enjoy the process. Write your own 2016 story on this New Year’s Eve. Consider this writing a sacred scripture much like your own “bible”, full of wisdom and spiritual gifts. Let the words of wisdom you have written guide you into the new year.

Optional: The Burning Bowl
If you choose, at the completion of this process you can take these journal writings and burn them. Let your reliance be upon being fully present in lived experiences and moment to moment awareness of what is real and true. Take into your being all that has come to you in this year of life. Merge with it.

Let the flames licking the pages be a reminder of the ever-changing nature of life and the renewal of mind and consciousness. Everything is in a state of becoming and we are always becoming new.  Embracing this truth frees us from attachment to things and from clinging to the outcome of our actions. We are woven together with all other beings in an interdependent world of change. The suffering caused by our belief that things will not change can be transcended and we can be free.

May we each embrace change as an opportunity to grow beyond our perceived limitations, learning our strengths and weakness. May we meet change as a call to check our intentions, our spiritual maturity, and our integrity. May change constantly rekindle the fire of commitment to our practice and help us grow into full expression.

Happy New Year. May this new year be your finest ever.
Rev. P

4 thoughts on “End of Year Contemplation

  1. I love this post.. I have been really thinking what this new year will be. This will be a great start as I recall doing this last year and look where it got me 🙂 A grandson and retirement… Wishing you all the best in 2017 to you, franny and the ladies… So excited to be able to add a meditation session in the AM.. Since I am still waking up at 5am, it is the best time to contemplate.

    Much admiration,
    Love, Peace and Happiness.

    BTW- I am starting a 9 week Dreaming and Planning Workshop to help me with my Dreambook and Planning.


  2. As I reflect on this assignment , it is time I begin keeping a daily gratitude list. I remember the big things, yet there is so much I must be taking for granted because I don’t remember the little things.
    This year I will sit (physically) with my local meditation sisters, at least once a month.
    I am also looking forward to regular away from home retreats.
    Be well, Pam


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