Re: Community rituals
From: Jean Pfleiderer (pfleiderer_jWIZARD.COLORADO.EDU)
Date: Fri, 27 May 94 16:10 CDT
Hey, Rob, great--this will be fun to reply to!  :-)

>It seems to me that part of the traditions of cohousing which will be 
>passed on to future generations will be our rituals.  I am curious what 
>sorts of things get celebrated in various communities and what sort of 
>processes could become, or are rituals now.
>
>At Sharingwood one ritual we do is before every meeting there is time 
>for personal check-in, where you can say whatever you want.  Most of 
>the time this is used by people just to say briefly what's up with 
>them.  Occasionally  this has consumed the whole meeting.

Good grief!  How do you ever get anything done?  Well, the same thing has 
been known to happen to us, so, although our meetings usually have some sort 
of coming-present opening event, they don't usually include a complete 
go-round check-in.  Openings can be anything from a few moments of silence 
to a chat with the person next to you to waltzing (!)  We also have an "open 
forum" sometime during the meeting for about 15 minutes to allow people to 
say things they need to say.

>
>We celebrate the solstice with a fire and some readings.  When certain 
>trees are cut down on the common property we do a eclectic ceremony 
>which involves readings and what ever else people want to do or say.

Oh!  Imagine having trees enough to consider cutting some down!  Out here on 
the plains, we spend our time planting them, not removing them.  But we have 
had a variety of land blessing ceremonies and beating-of-the-bounds (walking 
and drumming ritual).

The men of the group recently took the first of the adolescent males to his 
coming-of-age-ritual at a cabin in the Rockies.  Can't report on that since 
I'm a woman and, obviously, wasn't there.  The women have also had retreats 
together both away from the community in the mountains and in the community.

We haven't done it yet, but we hope to build a sweat lodge on the land.

One group has sponsored several "mornings of mindfulness"--Sunday mornings 
of silence and, at least once, a tea ritual.  Others have sponsored the 
Dances of Universal Peace at our common house a couple of times.

Ours is a spiritually eclectic group, with Buddhists and pagans probably in 
the ascendancy, a sprinkling of Christians and Jews of various descriptions, 
and some humanists who just like a good party, so we end up with quite a lot 
of very nice "spirit".

Jean
Nyland


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