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Sunday, May 20, 2012
I’ve been studying many texts this month on yetzer hara, “the evil inclination,” and how it is essential to step toward and dwell with the aspects of ourselves, that are difficult, uncomfortable, painful, that by acknowledging, witnessing, welcoming what is present, without harsh judgment but compassion instead, suffering fades and blessing blossoms. I have certainly seen this in my own life, though it is not an easy thing to do. It requires courage, humility, clarity and faith.
A particular teaching that stood out for me was found in an article by Rabbi JamesJacobson-Maisels titled Inviting the Demons In. In it he quotes Rav Moshe Hayyim Ephraim of Sudylkow, “…one who is wise…will understand that there is great light covered and hidden within that darkness for ‘there is no place empty of [Divine Presence].’ (Zohar).
I am doing a lot of studying, practicing, and teaching mindfulness meditation, in the midst of seeking balance between family life and my own inner life, creative energy and physical exhaustion. Some days it feels like I’ve taken on too much, other days I feel joy in the abundance of all that I am able to give and receive. There most certainly are some “demon” seeds for me to get to know better when I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I wonder what it would be like to be like the seed heart above, split in two, one part of me could “be” and one part could “do,” but then I’d never find my own center, or my boundaries. Unified, even if distracted and distraught at times seems the point of being human, and so I practice, practice, practice, finding wholeness; this is the wisdom of mindfulness, being here now, even in the busy, busy, busy, rush of life flowing, remembering to pause and notice my breath or tiny seedpods forming a heart in the muck on the forest floor, and Divinity in everyone and everything (the delicate pastel seed pods and the dark sticky mud).
I see two doctors this week for check-ups, neurologist and allergist, a transition meeting at the high school for my daughter who will be graduating in a few weeks, (graduating!!!! Prom pictures soon, I promise!) attending her senior project presentation, meeting with two study partners (meditation teacher training and Torah Yoga)…and teaching in The Healing Womb on Thursday this week. All of this after another full weekend, I cannot talk right now or walk very well either. My brain really is tired! Time for some compassionate rest in bed with the AC cranked up. Summer is rapidly approaching.
If you do not see me blogging as much or visiting your beautiful blogs, well, there are just so many hours in a day and I am sorry if it seems I am not generous to you with my time. I am giving what I have to give and that is all any one can do. Right now, for the blogging world that means mostly just sharing what lives here on my pages. I know, I know, blogging without obligation…still it makes me sad, and I miss “strolling” around this beautiful international neighborhood, and so here is another “demon” to offer tea and cookies to; Guilt, a longtime companion.