The Alembic is a jar. Sometimes we call it a vessel, or a holding space. When we work with you, we hope that this metaphor gives a sense of a journey being made.
Imagine the sound of a deeply resonant Tibetan chime... a beautiful sound. You can almost sense the vibration as it gently fades, bringing your attention into the silence it leaves behind. It's a silence you feel you could somehow touch. As you connect to the silence, you can sense your body more clearly and tune into your heart. Welcome to the Yin Jar. How is this silence so portentous? How is an empty jar so beckoning?
January is a time of resolutions, but as an alternative, we offer you the Ceremony of the Yin Jar. It is one of the most meaningful tools that we use with our clients. Here, we will take you through this practical meditation. You can complete the ceremony in your imagination if you feel that this would work better for you. It will be just as powerful.
You will need:
- An empty jar, or a pot of your own making.
- A pen/pencil.
- Some matches or a lighter.
We will provide the sound of a Tibetan chime.
The Yin Jar Ceremony
Begin with three deep breaths in and out, elongating the out-breaths. Do you notice any tensions held in your body? Let them go with each breath.
Bring to mind the Tibetan chime, and ring it again. Sit with the sound as it fades, and breathe it out.
Contemplate times that have passed. Is there anything that has not been helpful to you in the past year that you wish to let go of? As ideas suggest themselves, write them down on your paper, and place the notes into your jar. Embody any feelings that come up.
Light the notes on fire and see them burn away, watching the smoke drift up into the air until it is gone. Let the feelings go with them. You can waft the smoke away if you wish to.
When you are finished, empty any dust that remains in the jar, pour in some fresh water, and rinse it clean.
Ring the chime again.
Now bring to mind the things that you have cherished most deeply. With each idea that comes up, see it as an energy and place this in your cupped hands. Give it a shape and colour, a temperature, and a sense of movement. Give each one a name, and pour them from your hands with love into the cleaned, empty jar. See them mix. What happens?
Now, wonder what you would like more of in your life for the journey ahead. What do you need? As you ask this, reach out to the jar in whatever way makes sense to you and receive what it offers; what comes out for you. Whatever you get is a gift from your intuition: make a note of it. Consider how it might help you in your growth, and to face any challenges or opportunities that may come.
When you feel that you have finished, tidy away your jar mindfully, ready for next time.
Ring the chime one final time, and as the sound passes into nothing, close your meditation.
Whatever emerges for you from this meditation, you are asked to hold it, to consider it, and to use it. Maybe it's obvious. Maybe it needs more time to reveal its hidden gift.
Regardless of the shape this has taken for you, you may want some more practical ways to bring your thoughts out of imagination and creatively into your life.
Therefore, we will be posting articles from the Alembic team throughout the month to help you find what is at the heart of commitment, and the accountability you can bring to yourself for the days to come.