Habits, religious rituals or what do we do without the cat?

Religious rituals often develop from mystical experiments or experiences. A person searches for a new path to the divine, has an experience and returns home. He brings stories from the sky, maps there or something else. The community then repeats the words, works, prayers or actions of man in order to be able to experience this. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Often even the most original ideas become dogmas or no longer work for everyone. A story I heard from a yoga teacher here in India describes a great Indian saint around whom the followers faithfully gathered in the ashram to meditate daily. The challenge was the little kitten the saint owned. A constantly purring and meowing being that streamed through the ashram. The meditators felt disturbed. So they considered tying the cat to a post outside during meditation so they wouldn’t be disturbed. This became a habit. They tied up the cat and meditated. The years passed and the habit solidified into a ritual. After all, no one could meditate unless the cat was tied to the post. One day the cat died and panicked fear caught the meditators. A serious crisis, because how should you meditate now? How should you get to God? In her mind, the cat had become a means of rapture. Beware, this story warns, too much of a repetition of religious rituals to cling to their own will. So flexibility is as essential as discipline. What jewelry, what daily habit, what ritual do you have?

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