How Preparation and Ceremony Build Magic in the Now

Photo by @FishMakesPhotos

There is a saying about healing that you might have heard around plant medicine ceremonies. “The ceremony begins the moment you decide to commit to it.”

This has been powerfully true in my experience and applies to many things beyond plant medicine.There is value in preparation in the usual ways we might suspect, such as having your basic needs met.

However, there is also a cultivation that begins underneath the surface, that seems to bring some of the magic of what we are aiming at, into our present moment.

This perhaps is what makes ceremony so powerful. The reverence in which we must prepare for it.

Similarly, in the practice of ayurveda, the process of digestion begins long before eating the food. It begins as we pick the foods, feel them with our hands, smell them, and receive them with our eyes.

Photo by Alexander Siegel

The beauty of this is that when we actually pay attention to the process, we are in the present.

Digestion is stimulated as we prepare and while we are cooking. The preparation process is just as much of our digestive experience, as when the enzymes and stomach acids finally begin to break it down.

When we are truly in the present, we are in a state of bliss. Here occurs the dance with intention in preparation. The sway between seeing our vision, and acting according to that vision in the moment. We move between imagining our dream and surrendering to the blissful now. 

When we are present with a process, the process is alive and in flow with us.

This is where I believe our target becomes our present. Think about it. When you are cooking a meal for hours, and all of the scents shift from fresh notes of each raw ingredient, into a deep warm blend of something new…

Photo by @FishMakesPhotos

Your mouth begins to water because you can imagine yourself eating it. Your body has an actual digestive response, because your mind is already experiencing tasting the food.

The pleasure that we tend to limit to the result has now entered the journey. It is perhaps as real as the moment we often wait for.

Preparing for your Lucid Journey

Don’t get me wrong, friends. I love spontaneity. However, when I do have the forethought to prepare for my experiences, I have had the most heart warming and magical experiences during Lucidity! Beyond that, my life before the festival begins to adopt some of that magic. 

Here are a Few Ways That I Like to Prepare

Start Early!

It is much more fun to envision how you want to express yourself, what needs others might have that you can supply, and to hunt the thrift stores and gather supplies, without the rush.

Photo by Eric Allen

When we rush, we are in the future, and that blissful timeless feeling tends to hang out in the now. And for that reason we prepare.

Imagine what you want your days to looks like.

Just as in a yoga practice, we set our sincere intention, and let go of the results. This often sets us in the direction we would like to go. 

Picture your foods, your energy levels, how you want to feel emotionally, and how your clothing/music/bedding/food/essential oils will support you in that.

If you find that you want to be of service, dream up how you might like to do that.

Do you want a massage table? A yoga mat? Healthy treats, a bubble gun, or gifts made up of recycled materials? Whatever it may be, take the time to envision it first.

Imagine the details, as if in the present moment.What you feel, the smells, the images, sensations, and then ride that beautiful feeling into the preparation process.

Photo by Brian Ngo

Helpful Tips to Inspire Your Preparation Mood 

Choose something nostalgic or inspiring to bring into your preparation experience. Sometimes I enjoy playing an old Pumpkin set or groove to Polish Ambassador while I am cooking my food the day before.

You can also put on your favorite outfit while you pack, or listen to a podcast interviewing one of the speakers you are looking forward to while you craft your gifts.

The opportunities for inspiration will vary. What you choose is not so relevant as much as the intention to set a tone in the first place. You are inviting yourself into the now. You are inviting the celebration of what is to come into the now. You are experiencing the power of ceremony.

Then, when you actually get to Lucidity, let it go and just ride the ride. You have set your aim. Witness where it lands you.

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