Paula Arai

‘Rituals are adept at working with and guiding emotions. When emotionally upset, your attention often becomes more narrowly focused, limiting the options that seem possible. The proper ritual can help calm a person and expand his perspective, opening up options of response. Deep emotions become embedded in the body, so moving the body can help shift and guide those emotions. Although meditation can help you gain a vast sense of self, time and place, it often takes a long time before you experience that sense. Rituals, however, can help in times when you cannot even sit quietly, and they can be immediately effective. Soto Zen rituals that the women have found to help in healing facilitate remaining in the present. Without comparison to past events or desires for the future, healing can take place in the present moment. In an expansive experience of the present, the ego self dissolves along with a consciousness of suffering.’ (Bringing Zen Home)

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