burning Bowl Instructions
Start the New Year with a Burning Bowl Ceremony
We invite you to let go of anything that no longer serves you through the powerful and symbolic
release of the burning bowl ritual.
Break free from what holds you back and set your heart ablaze with zeal and the promise of a
the wonderful year ahead!
Supplies You’ll Need For the Burning Ceremony
◇ Matches or a lighter
◇ As safe, burn-friendly surface , bowl, pot, fireplace, etc.
What Is a Burning Bowl Ceremony?
The burning bowl ceremony is a fire ceremony that helps us release old, unwanted conditions or
events in our lives. We name and let go of the old that no longer serves us—and make way for new
When it’s time to clear out unwanted memories and conditions from our lives, a burning bowl ritual
offers a sacred and powerful way to release negativity.
The burning bowl makes space for new beginnings. It can be done at any time. Unity offers a Burning
Bowl Ceremony at the close of each year, before intentions are set for the new year.
Letting Go Gives Us Freedom
For centuries, indigenous groups used smoke as a symbol of their thoughts and prayers rising to the
Great Spirit. Engaged couples have also released the past in a burning bowl before taking their
Whatever the circumstances, the purpose of the ceremony is to shift consciousness. It’s about
becoming still, naming what you want to release, and letting it go.
When we let go and let God we experience freedom. Letting go opens us to the power of inspiration,
insight, wisdom, and love.
Write Down What No Longer Serves You
On a piece of paper, write what you want to release. Know that letting go begins the moment you put
pen to paper. It is your conscious awareness that activates the release of problems, thoughts, and
things from your life.
Describe the events as much or as little as you want. It can be as simple as a name or word, or
more in-depth. Let your heart open to the flow as it releases old wounds, negativity, or unhealthy
thought patterns. If you get stuck, keep asking yourself “what no longer serves me?”
Visualize the Smoke Taking Your Thoughts
In a safe place, light a fire in a pot or bowl, or gather around a fireplace or fire pit. Then drop
your paper into the fire.
As you watch the paper burn, visualize your unwanted thoughts rising up in the smoke, being
released from you.
Allow yourself to experience whatever you are feeling: fear, anxiety, sadness, loss, gratitude. Let
the feelings lift as the fire consumes your paper.
Offer an Message of Release, as the smoke travels up, say an affirmation of letting go:
Today I release what I don’t want. I let go and let God (source, universe) do the work in this
sacred experience. In this, I am healed and renewed. I open my heart to love, and I am blessed with peace, joy, and harmony.
Once the paper has been burnt and cooled, you may choose to scatter or blow the ashes into the wind
or pour them into a body of water, away from you and your property.
Celebrate the end of the burning ceremony with the acknowledgment that you have closed the door on a part of your life that brought you sorrow and negativity.
After completing the ritual, take a moment to turn toward the future. Visualize what you want to
experience in life and how you want it to take shape. Write your intentions on a piece of paper or create a vision board. Put it in a safe place. Take it out.