Prayer: Are You Ready for a Spiritual Cleanse?
Why a Spiritual Cleanse is Necessary
Everywhere you turn you can find a holistic website touting the benefits of cleansing your body. Some promise the cleanse the very cells in your body…which is a pretty radical thought when you consider that your body has trillions upon trillions of cells. Price points vary but the promise is that you will be really, really cleaned out.
But cleanses only address the physical part of you. You are more than your body. You have a non-physical part and it is dominant. In fact, the non-physical part of you determines how the physical part looks and expresses. To cleanse only the physical neglects the underlying cause of all behavior.
You need a spiritual cleanse.
If you want to truly address the physical problems in your body, you must impact the non-physical causes of those problems. As Hasbrouck explains in Handbook of Positive Prayer: “What is in the heart can apparently disorder our biochemistry and actually bring on major health problems…what is in the heart can make individuals accident-prone, alcoholic, chronically unlucky in love, afraid of success, irrationally suspicious of other persons, self-distrustful, painfully shy, obsessive, or depressed, to name but a few undesirable conditions. If what is in the heart is negative or inappropriate, it will eventually defile a person’s own life in some way and also the lives of his or her close associates.”
What Is a Spiritual Cleanse?
The technique that Hasbrouck suggests is an active denial called “A Burning.” Combining written, spoken, and silent affirmations with the use of fire, a burning impresses the subconscious mind with your power to dispose of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes underlying any ongoing challenge.
Every year New Thought churches all over the world conduct a ceremony called “Burning Bowl.” UP Church hosts this sacred service on the last Sunday of the year. It is a powerful experience and I encourage you to try it if you have not.
You do not have to wait for a spiritual center in your area to host a “burning bowl.” Right where you are, you can put together your own ceremony and cleanse yourself.
Is Fire Necessary for a Spiritual Cleanse?
No. Written, spoken and silent affirmations do the real work in a spiritual cleanse. The fire helps us mentally and emotionally accept the work being done. If we have ever broken a promise to ourselves, not accomplished an important goal, or generally let ourselves down, then we may have difficulty believing the affirmations we use against a problem.
Spiritual cleanses release bottled up energy. The imagery of the fire helps us indelibly impress our subconscious mind to know that the matter is resolved. Watching a representation of our problem “burn” in the fire may be the final linchpin that helps us finally let go and let God — which is the ultimate aim of any prayer technique.
Of course, you may use fire to impress the subconscious mind about the release of any problem. But, generally, you would turn to a burning for really intractable problems — things that have plagued you for a really long time. Once we grasp the fundamentals of a New Thought Christian teaching, and especially when we submit to a daily prayer regimen, our lives quiet down. Problems do not disappear but they cease to impress us.
The challenges that arise tend to come in the form of persistent habits that no longer serve us but that we cannot seem to let go. In those instances, you might benefit from a burning.
Twelve Steps for a Spiritual Cleanse
“To conduct a burning, you need a suitable place or container such as a fireplace, large ashtray, hibachi, barbecue pit, metal bucket, or even a metal kitchen sink. You also need several sheets of paper and a pen or pencil.
It is best to do a burning when you know you will be uninterrupted for an hour or more. Since a burning typically releases energy, it is also best to do it between four and six hours before bedtime; if you do a burning too late at night, you may find yourself awake until dawn…If anyone else is present, be sure that the person will take the process seriously and give psychological and spiritual support to your purpose” (Hasbrouck).
Step One: Affirm the Presence of God
Wherever you are, God is. Your affirmation of this prayer reminds your heart and mind that you are always in the Presence of the One Power. Whatever affirmation you choose, Hasbrouck recommends repeating it “at least three times to impress it upon your subconscious mind.”
Step Two: Affirm the Powerless of Memories
Since God is present, memories are powerless. This step alerts your subconscious mind that though you may have failed before, the memory of that failure has no power over you. “It is important that you tell your subconscious mind that you want it to reveal your memories to you and that you feel perfectly safe” (Hasbrouck).
Step Three: Release All Negative Thoughts, Feelings, Beliefs and Attitudes
Declare aloud: I now release the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes that are causing [Fill in the blank with a phrase describing the challenge.]
If you wish, tell your subconscious mind to reveal the memories. Say You are now to reveal the memories attached to the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes that are causing [Fill in the blank with a phrase describing the challenge.]
Step Four: Affirm Release of All Error Thoughts
Head the first sheet of paper with these words: I now release these errors; I loose them; I let them go; and I let God have God’s perfect way with them. The errors are the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes attached to the memories. The memories are not errors…The error lies in holding on to the particular thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes.
Step Five: Allow Any Memories to Surface
“Sit quietly, and in a short time, memories will begin to surface. Write down, preferably in short phrases, the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or attitudes attached to the memories. Do not write down the events, and do not reread what you write. Use a clean sheet of paper to cover each phrase as you complete it. Reading back what you write will tend to feed the phrases back into the memory bank. Do not censor anything that comes.
“It does not matter if you see no connection between your challenge and the memories that come…You may see nothing negative about some memory or the thought, feeling, belief or attitude accompanying it; write it down anyway. Remember, something that was positive in the past can be inappropriate in the present” (Hasbrouck).
Step Six: Tear it to Shreds
“When no more memories come, turn the pages over so that you cannot read what you have written and tear them to shreds, repeating aloud: I now release these errors; I loose them; I let them go; and I let God have God’s perfect way with them” (Hasbrouck).
Step Seven: Burn the Shreds
“Now begin to burn the shreds of paper, and as they burn, watch the flames and declare aloud: Divine Love consumes these errors. The energy is released to be reused in a new and better form. Repeat the affirmation as long as the burning continues. You may burn one scrap of paper at a time, or several. If the scraps burn at different rates, that is all right. Reduce all paper to ashes” (Hasbrouck).
Step Eight: Say a Prayer for Thanksgiving
“When the paper is reduced to ashes say a prayer of thanksgiving for your freedom from the errors of the past. You might want to use this prayer: Thank You, God, for my freedom from the mistakes of the past and the results of the mistakes of the past” (Hasbrouck).
Step Nine: Immediately Claim Your Good
“Immediately use an affirmation that claims the good that had seemed to be blocked by the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes that you have just burned…This step is important because you do not not wish to prepare clean living quarters for seven other spirits more evil than the ones you have just ousted” (Hasbrouck).
Step Ten: Go About Your Business
“When the burning is over, simply go about your business. If thoughts about the burned material come back, gently dismiss them. Tell them that they have served their purpose in your life and that they may now leave…As soon as you dismiss the thought, tell your subconscious servant: I have no more need for that thought. Deactivate it and release the energy” (Hasbrouck).
Step Eleven: Replace the Dismissed Thought
“Replace the dismissed thought with a positive statement such as: I am poised and centered in the (peace, love, joy, forgivenesss, security, strength, beauty, success, and so on) of God. The [Fill in the blank with a word that is the antidote for the negative or inappropriate thought, feeling, belief, or attitude.] in my soul is undisturbed by anyone or any circumstance, past or present” (Hasbrouck).
Step Twelve: Repeat the Burning for New Challenges
“Generally, all thoughts of the past dissipate quickly. Occasionally, one persists for two or three days. If that happens, it is a signal that there is another ‘file drawer’ that needs to be emptied. Conduct a second burning if needed. After all, you did command the subconscious servant to release whatever was causing some specific challenge, and it is dutifully trying to get your cooperation. In the second burning, focus on the persistent thought. Say: I now release the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes that are causing me to remember [insert challenge]. Go through all the steps as you did for the first burning. A third burning may even be necessary” (Hasbrouck).
Are You Ready for a Spiritual Cleanse?
Are you willing to try it? I invite you to leave me a comment below and let me know if you’ve ever conducted a burning before or even participated in a burning bowl service. How’d that work out for you? What changed in your life after that experience?