An Atheopagan Rosary

I’ve been thinking about personal practices. They vary; for some, having a community of like-minded peers and going to a seasonal celebration of all or most of the 8 festivals around the year fulfills what they seek out of a religion. Others like to do something solitary now and then as well—or exclusively. Still others like a weekly sabbath, or even a daily practice that keeps them in touch with their values, gratitude and sense of wonder.

I find that—when I can make myself do it—a daily mindfulness meditation adds a great deal to my experience of living, and I’d like to find a way to do that on most days, if not all. So I’m stealing from true masters of ritual technology—the Catholic Church and the Tibetan Buddhiststo create this Atheopagan rosary.

The bead string itself is simple: 3 courses of 13 beads, with the 13th always being recognizable as the last of a series. I like beautiful things, so I went to a bead store and bought pretty beads mostly of fused glass and semi-precious stones; they feel solid and weighty in the hand. A larger one could certainly be made; I like prime numbers, so if I were going to make a bigger rosary I would probably go for 7 courses (91 beads). I place the rosary on my Focus (altar) when it isn’t in use.

To “say” the Atheopagan rosary, speak or think one line for each bead. I go through the meditation 3 times (3 repetitions of the 3 courses).

I drew the meditation for this rosary from Buddhist sources cited in a mindfulness class I took, as well as the 13 Principles of Atheopaganism as I practice it. You can write your own, of course, and I may write different ones for seasonal sabbaths or other uses. But the main point is the use of repetition to reprogram your brain to embrace the qualities in the meditation: to make a better world for you, for those around you, and for all of us.

NOTE: If you’re like me, be ready for a lot of internal chatter disputing these statements—that’s why they’re powerful. With time, that fades, and you start to experience the meditation’s statements as true.

First two courses of 13:

May my heart be happy

May my mind be at ease

May my body be healthy

May I know peace today

May those I touch know kindness

May the Cosmos be honored

May the good Earth be revered

May my heart be grateful

May I act with integrity

May I know that I am loved,

That I deserve love.

That all deserve love.

May all I am and do, be of love.

(repeat)

Last course of 13:

My heart is happy

My mind is at ease

My body is healthy

Peace is with me today

I am kind to those around me

The Cosmos fills me with wonder

The good Earth is generous

My heart is grateful

I act with integrity

I am loved,

I deserve love,

All deserve love.

All I am and do is of love.

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