Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

So it's Ash Wednesday. We did not go to the service tonight. Didn't even talk about it. We haven't gone in a while. I think I wish we had. I generally like the service, but I am not really interested in having the ashes placed on my forehead. It's a day of mourning and in ancient times the ashes on the forehead were a way to express repentance. I'm not certain why we do this tradition now. When I was growing up it was just the Catholics that did it. They would go to early morning mass and the kids would come to school with the ashes still there on their heads. I'm not really a fan of that kind of public display. I don't judge it. It's just not for me.

Much is discussed about what people are going to "give up" for Lent. Traditionally it's meat. When I was growing up the Catholic kids would have fish on Fridays. People today like to give up something during this period, but I suspect it's for another reason than the original penitence reason. It seems like now people use the period for a challenge or to try to establish a new habit they would like. Or to abolish some old habit they dislike.

Yogi Liz decided to become vegan for Lent. She's vegetarian so this is a bit more of a stretch for her. Mindful eating and culinary adventure are her two main reasons. But in her classes she's also talked about ADDING something during lent. A daily walk, a daily meditation, a daily asana. Something that is adding rather than taking away.

I like that.

Having just finished 6 weeks of vegetarianism and no refined sugar, I'm not really inclined to do something more for lent. But all this is food for thought.

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