Hitbodedut: A Silent Scream Ritual in Nature

woman standing in a forest clearing

For this ritual, it is best to go deep into a wooded area, if you can access one. If not, any nature will do. Once you are there, either yell/scream out anything that is making you feel anger, rage, resentment, hurt, frustration, pain etc. If you feel you can’t literally scream, you can do it in your own mind, write it out, smash something (safely), or find another way to express your anger.

Learn more about this ritual here: https://www.heyalma.com/we-all-need-to-scream-theres-a-jewish-ritual-for-that/

To add to this ritual, you can make a fire (again, if safe to do so in your area) and write out/draw representations of the things you need to let go of. Then you can place them in the fire and watch them burn. Generally this ritual is more active than a meditation or simply sitting in nature. The idea is to engage your body and senses and to feel part of the natural environment.

Here’s a poem I created after a hitbodedut practice that you can read/respond to as part of the ritual if desired.



however you define the divine
the spaciousness, capaciousness of land and time
it/she welcomes us to be just
as we are
forest bathing sounds serene
but what we mean is a forest scream
get in touch with the unjust
and all we must do
just to go on
ramble, release
let it in –  light, breeze, breath
let it out – anger, hurt, stress
be in nature, be with nature
be nature
honking geese call us to remember
migration and the mitigation of risk
to start to soar
retreating waves call us to recall
our own impermanence and impertinence
is therefore called for
nothing pretty about the power of nature
the power in us
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