From The Practice of Letting Go…
The burning tradition or practice is something I learned through workshops and indigenous ceremonies. We would first begin with a round circle talk where we shared what was on our hearts and each offer our perspectives to those that shared in how we’ve broken through conditioning, got vulnerable with ourselves and others who’ve earned that space in our lives and begun the process of letting go and healing.
We would then write down on a piece of paper what we would like to be free from, take it to the fire and, one at a time, throw them in the fire to burn physically and metaphorically. We were welcome to share it aloud, or to let it silently burn.
I remember one of the first burning ceremonies I attended was on a journey I took with a company called The Divine Destination Collection to Muskoka, Ontario. We had a beautiful fall harvest dinner. After dinner our facilitator encouraged us to write down anything that we wanted to free ourselves from and bring it to the fire to burn.
The first word that came to me was faith. One would think it odd to want to rid yourself of faith but to me faith meant limitation. I had grown up with a family deeply engrained in the Christian faith, most predominantly on my father’s Pentecostal side, and within that faith at the time who I am, and most of my actions and relations, were considered an abomination. So faith to me meant judgement, restriction and suffering and I wanted to free myself from that so that I could experience an openness to learn spirituality on my own terms with an open heart and mind. A deeply conditioned faith, even though I had walked away from it, was picking me up and putting me down like a puppet in everything I did in my life and inhibiting me from being able to experience my life fully and authentically.
There were many other times I participated in burning ceremonies – some indigenous some not, some on full moons and some spontaneously on my balcony. However, each time the act of physically writing down what I wanted to clear somehow brought to the surface something to be meditated on, brought to awareness, accepted, forgiven, cleared and finally let go and burned, making its way back into the place from which it came.