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A Ritual Practice for Belonging
A Deep, Soulful Visualization for Feeling at Home
Hello dear reader, and welcome to Part 3 in the Belonging series. As before, if you’ve yet to read Part 1 and Part 2, I would recommend pausing here and checking those out first. They provide some vital context and insight into why this is important to explore. Thanks again for all your responses and inquiry.
Walk in like you own the place. Make believe that you belong and it will be so.
There are times in our lives when this is exactly what the doctor ordered. You’re creating a new project, embarking on a transition, fed up with your stuck-ness, feeling amped to make the change, the leap into the unknown. You’re wishing courage came before the courageous act, but courage is more often the reward, not the precursor, of the courageous act.
Or you’re in a moment where you just need to feel whole and supported in your aspiration.
The practice I’m sharing here is for exactly that moment. This is the no-holds-barred, sure-shot mindset hack to a felt sense of belonging. To a deep, abiding sense of owning the place. To full agency in your potential and power.
Lama Rod Owens1 proposes this Seven Homecomings practice. It’s a contemplative meditation practice where, one by one, you invoke aspects of your spiritual ‘home’ and bring them into your awareness. You don’t need to be a meditator to do it. Just sit, get quiet, feel your breath, settle in, and one by one, bring to mind each of the following seven entities. Take five minutes or twenty:
The Guide: any beings who’ve been of loving support to you in your journey. This could be family, friends, old teachers. Anyone you had a deep connect with at any point and who ‘sees’ you for who you are.
The Wisdom Texts, any text or artistic expressions that have widened your view and opened your heart. This could be your favorite book growing up, your favorite film, a religious text. It could be Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” or The Bible or a Quentin Tarantino film, and anything in between.
The Community, any group or space where you feel accepted. This could be your family but most likely is not. Think of your core social circle, religious community, writing group, support group, your besties.
The Ancestors, your familial line or artistic/spiritual lineage.
The Earth, the actual Earth, as well as the metaphysical energy of stability and sustainability. Awe and wholeness, writ large.
The Silence, the vastness of all that is and all that is within, all that is beneath the noise.
Yourself, all the parts of you and your experience; your inner child, your inner calling, your inner critic, all of you.
The idea is to bring each of these aspects into view one by one. By doing so, we get to acknowledge unique parts of our self and our experience that are often forgotten, parts that our modern times don’t prioritize. It’s the deeper parts of our self, our consciousness, our community, our metaphysical background. With even just a breath of remembrance and ritual, they come back to life.
There is nothing more nourishing than this practice, particularly when we are most in need of belonging. The whole practice is a beautiful tool for enrichment and presence. I’ve done versions of it before in contemplative meditation practices. This one feels the most comprehensive, the most fundamental. And also, the most simple.
Try it a few times. Let me know how it goes.
Lama Rod Owens is an American Buddhist teacher, author, and activist. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and has trained in various Buddhist traditions, including Zen, Vipassana, and Tibetan Buddhism. This practice is from his book “Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger”.