Reading Joyce Rupp's book The Cup of Our Life, I was inspired to create a "receiving ritual" by this suggestion:

"Hold the empty cup in your hands.
Look at all the room the cup has for filling.
Picture the inner part of yourself.
Notice how much room there is for filling.
Hold the cup out before you in the gesture of a beggar.
Ask God to fill you."

I originally asked some of my friends to join me for a monthly ritual salon because I had noticed that many life changes/situations/rites of passage weren't being honored. Many of us are in transition - or will be very soon. And at these times our thoughts run to what we'd like our lives to look like and the things we want to bring into them. We can wish, pray, and vision till we are blue in the face but if we aren't ready, willing, or open to receiving the blessings, we'll never be able to accept or even recognize them when they do come along.

In the invitation to this ritual salon, I asked my friends to consider three questions and let them ruminate in the back of their minds the week prior to our gathering:

1. What things do you love to do? Literally everything and anything you love doing. Some of mine are: taking a candle-lit bath, playing withmy cats, working with clay, making pancakes on Sunday mornings, skydiving, hiking a volcano in Hawaii. From the mundane to the extraordinary. Whatever you love doing.

2. What things you are good at? Whatever you are confident about, that you know "Yea I'm solidly good at that. Maybe not the best but GOOD!" Again, anything and everything from the weird to the predictable. Such as "I'm a good father to my cats", or "I'm really good with my hands."

3. And finally, under one of these broad headings (work/career; romance/relationships; home; or wherever in your life you want to bring some positive energy), what does that ideal situation look like? Again, everything and anything you would want to be part of, included, a "given" in this subject. For example if I chose work, I'd say I want it to have lots of natural light and open space, plus variety in what I do.

They were also asked to bring some kind of container. Ideally a cup or glass, maybe one where they keep their gratitude candle. Something that they use regularly and that could serve as a reminder of this ritual whenever they use it, like a coffee mug.

When each person arrived they were given a pen and a little sheet of paper printed with three columns; the first headed with a heart, the middle with a check, and the last with a question mark. Each column had three spaces to fill in.

After calling in the directions, the receiving ritual began with a short meditation that led right into a writing exercise:


"Take a moment to ground and center yourself. Breathe in fully to your belly, letting it relax and expand on the inhale, and gently contract on the exhale. Soft and relaxed. Gently breathing in and out.

"Bring your awareness to your inner self. Look for the places wanting to be filled. Your heart? Your intuition in your abdomen? Your sexuality? Your mind with new knowledge or challenges? Where is there room to grow or room for more? Where is there room for a change? See if you can find a place that seems rather empty that you would like to ask for help with. Notice any resistance to those words 'ask for help with.' Just notice what you are feeling right now."


"Let your mind clear and rest a moment."


"Imagine now a light sparking to life within your heart. Focus on this light as it grows brighter and brighter but remains contained within your heart. This light comes from an infinite source — a never dying, shrinking or diminishing energy, one that is constant and here for you. This light has something to reveal to you. As we go about the writing portion in a few moments, let your answers come from this light, this place within you. You're invited to open to this light and listen.

"Now take the hand you write with and in a moment when I say begin, make a tight fist squeezing as hard as you can till I say relax and then as slowly as you can, open the fist.

"Begin sqeezing. (30 - 45 seconds)

"Now relax and without forcing but as slowly and easy as possible, allow your fist to open. (30 – 45 seconds)

"Now imagine the light from your heart flowing into this hand that it is fully open and ready to receive. This light will bring the answers from your heart through this hand.

"Staying in this quiet peaceful space, open your eyes if they're closed, take your piece of paper and pen and:

"In the first column, please write three things you love to do. Don't over-analyze. Whatever comes to you first is the right answer."


"In the second column, write three things you know you are good at."


"And for the final column, bring to mind that area of your life you want to bring a change or clarity or positive energy to. Your home, relationship, job.

"Now list three things/qualities/descriptions of what you want in that area. Write whatever comes to you first. Don't analyze it too much."


"Now find your cup or container.
Hold the empty cup in your hands.
Look at all the room the cup has for filling.
Place your list in your cup around the inner edge.
Notice how much room is still there to fill your cup.
Picture the inner part of yourself.
Notice how much room there is for filling.
Hold the cup out before you in the gesture of a beggar.
Ask Your Higher Power, Life, Love, or God (whatever name works for you) to fill this cup and to fill you.
Remember, this source has no limits, no boundaries, no expectations
It can fulfill whatever it is your heart truly desires."


"Take a deep breath."


"We give thanks for this opportunity to open ourselves to receiving what life will bring us, today and every day. So it is."


In our discussion several people expressed surprise at how unreceptive they were to being open or willing to receive. And almost everyone nodded in agreement when someone said he found it troubling to ask for help.

The hand exercise also surprised them. They found it difficult to open their writing hands after squeezing them for just 30 seconds. The connection was made that at the end of the day it can take our bodies a long time to relax as we may be clenching parts of them throughout the day without even realizing it.

Finally, someone expressed how he was looking to bring peace and harmony back into his home with his son. During the writing of our lists for the third column he remembered an activity they had done that his family enjoyed but that they had stopped doing for no good reason. So now he could reintroduce it and hopefully bring back some positive energy into his homelife.

Next Post: 5 Senses Meditation


na gusset on July 4, 2014


Tara on July 5, 2014

This is such a wonderful idea, Darren! Though I doubt I could find anyone I know who'd be willing to participate in a ritual such as this, I like the idea behind it, so I'll be incorporating the "cup" concept into my own spiritual practice soon. Keep posting! You have a lovely writing voice.

elahne on July 15, 2014

A beautiful idea. I long to share this with another person. I feel so alone in my spiritual quest. Thank you for this sharing. Blessings on the Path

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