Rituals aren’t just for cults you know…
While for some the term ritual brings to mind frightening scenes of hooded figures, and the idea of ceremonies is reserved only for those with a specific religion, scientific research has shown that rituals do bring results in every day life, from dealing with grief to bringing luck, a ritual can enhance your chances!
Here in Cambodia there are many beautiful Buddhist traditions which involve rituals. You may have seen them ranging from the extended wedding ceremonies where the monks attend and chant throughout, to the yearly celebrations of the Water Festival which we can witness in the middle of November. The importance of these to the local community is inspiring, and being invited to be a part of such ceremonies is a special event for any of us.
Rituals Backed by Scientific Research
Recent experiments have been carried out by Psychologist Lysann Damisch of the University of Koln in Germany. Her experiments compared people’s performance in golf based on having either a “lucky” golf ball or an ordinary golf ball and the results showed that performance improved purely based on the belief that the ball was lucky. The ritual of having a “lucky” item, or a ceremony to honour nature or a newly married couple aren’t all that different. They all have power because of our belief in them.
While this may seem quite similar to the Placebo Effect, where ineffective or dud medicine (for example) is administered without the patient knowing, and they still get better because they believe in it, it doesn’t take away from the strength that this brings positive results! So the next time you pull on your yellowing and worn out lucky pair of underwear, or are in the middle of your pre-game dance to make sure your team wins, do so with pride and unwavering belief!
Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat recent Full Moon Women’s Circle brought people together in a ceremony to honour nature, new beginnings and change. This ritual is very powerful especially when performed in numbers. Rituals work in much the same way as positive affirmations, taking the time to repeat what we want, where we want to go and who we want to be makes it more likely that this will happen, and this technique is used by life coaches, business gurus and spiritual leaders alike, and when there are more minds, hearts and souls committing to the same positive affirmations, the chances are amplified.
You may have been to a yoga class and felt a bit bewildered when the teacher begins to chant, or felt awkward at an unfamiliar ceremony, don’t worry! Relax, join in where possible and let the power of positivity and belief bring you luck and success.