I have a devotional practice I do called “puja”, which is a practice of gratitude for the blessings of life. It’s the heart’s expression of its innermost experience. It’s an expression of the longing for freedom and the awareness of the vastness of the universe that lives inside of you. It’s a way of expressing thanks for the gift of life, the blessings of love, and the opportunities of growth and awakening that come through a conscious lifestyle.
Puja is the awareness of the beauty and vastness of life assimilated into an artistry of offering. Puja can be very simple or as elaborate as you want. The offering is to yourself first and then in whatever ways you choose to share. I usually light a candle and incense and offer symbols of the five elements: earth (by offering rice), water (by offering water), fire (by offering a candle and lighting camphor), air (by offering incense), and space (all of the elements combined).
“In India, the reason why people go to the temple to be part of the puja is to meditate with eyes open. We’ll also get to close our eyes to see what we can see. But the reason for puja is to collect, to archive, and then to create an outward presence that places intention into forms. That’s just the beginning of it. Puja is “ritual” because it marks the threshold, enters into worlds of conscious and unconscious reality, because it can stir the soul and conjure the unknown that lies within. Like the best rituals, it makes its point that there is an incongruity, a space between the way things are and the way we wish they were.” – Dr. Douglas Brooks
Today while I stood before my altar […]