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Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Still on Blogcation but...
I want to share a link to a poem I wrote for Buddha Chick Life:
There are many words of wisdom to be found in this month's issue, focused on the power of the present moment. I hope you will take time to read the work of all of the contributors to Buddha Chick Life.
This is a photo that has been posted here before, I couldn't access the bright yellow dandelion that can be seen at the BCL link. I have a new computer (yay) but need a different cable to upload recent photos (hopeful that will happen soon.)
...also sharing a meditation for this week's Torah portion (Va' Etchanan Deuteronomy interpreted from 3:23-3:24 and 6:4-6:5) I wrote for the Jewish Meditation Teacher Training program I am in through IJS, so you can see I have not been totally idle on these expansive summer days:
Va’ Etchanan, like Moshe rabbeinu, I pleaded. “Please God don’t let this end for me. I see the magnificence of this world You created with each step, as I walk over the hills, through the woods across the fields. Please God, please, let me continue this journey, walking into ha’aretz hatov, the good land, walking through the land of my life, that you have so generously provided. I’ve come so far these past four months; April, May, June, July…”
With a lump in my throat, Va’Etchanan, I pleaded. And God allowed me to walk to the top of the hill, to see the land, feel the earth beneath my feet, knowing, like Moshe, my days are limited. I shall not enter the land on these legs, on these summer sandaled feet; I have MS, and remissions, like deep revitalizing inhalations, inevitably must be exhaled when a new exacerbation stops me in my tracks, immobilized without a wheelchair. These are small deaths in this grand life. I’ve died many times this way; limbs that cannot lift without assistance, physical sensations truly deadened, speech silenced to a barely audible, slurred mumble, thoughts vaporous, until…
Shema: at the top of the hill I listened. I heard the birds, the wind shushing through the trees. I felt the coolness of morning air on my bare arms, legs and face. I sensed God’s voice, God’s Presence.
Yisrael: I stopped wrestling with fearful thoughts, memories, predictions. For a blessed moment, I stopped struggling.
Adonai Eloheinu: God, my God, your God, God of embodied separateness.
Adonai Echad: God of all Being, of Unity, of Oneness.
V’ahavta et Adonai Elohecha: you, I, we shall love God, abundant Creator, womb of all the worlds.
Bechal-l’vav’cha: with all your, my, our heart(s), mind(s) --and bodies, these fragile vessels that hold soul and inform a sense of separate selves.
Uv’chal-nafshecha: with all your, my, our soul(s), the fluidity of being-ness NOT separate from God, from the birds, the trees, the earth, one another.
Uv’chal-m’odecha: your, my, our very-ness, all that we are, offering our most focused effort, attention, intention shedding “self” in the dissolving door between duality and non-duality, separation and ONEness.
Ahhh yes, the door...
If you, I, we, shema, listen, feel into these words, repeat them silently:
l’vav’cha, nafshecha, m’odecha,
we may observe an inhalation, a little birth, at the start of each word and perhaps an exhalation, a small death, at the end. Most certainly we all hear “echa” echoing like footsteps leading us to the dalet, the delet, the door of EchaD, ONE.
This reverberating sound, this exhalation, “echa” reminds us that we need a sense of you, me, separate selves, in order to do mitzvot, to live in this world. We need to identify as separate selves to love God, love each other, to appreciate the blessings of Creation; to make bad choices and good ones. We need to understand too, that we are souls embodied in intricately functioning and sometimes mis-functioning bodies, so that ultimately with our very-ness, with all that we are, with our most focused effort, with attention, with intention, with m’odecha, we can pass through the dalet-delet-door to EchaD, complete ONEness.
Va’ Etchanan: We will still plead, bargain, desire more time, more of many things, but mostly time I think, as like Moshe rabbienu, we mature into wiser, human beings deepening our compassion, expanding our gratitude, teaching what we have learned to our students, communities, friends and children. Inhaling and exhaling little births and small deaths along the way until the final exhalation “echaaaaa” completely dissolves any remnants of a door.
Find a stable way to sit on a cushion or chair. Lengthen your spine from the tip of your tailbone to the crown of your head. Close your eyes or soften your gaze. Shema, listen to your breath flowing in and out, to the ambient sounds in the place where you are sitting. Listen to the sensations in your body, the feelings in your heart, the thoughts in your mind. Yisrael, notice the struggles, the wrestling between desire and contentment, or whatever else arises for you as you continue to sit breathing in, breathing out. Adonai Eloheinu, perhaps you notice a sense of separateness from God in some breaths. Adonai EchaD, perhaps you sense Oneness, the door dissolving, soul flowing through the cells of your skin in some breaths. Small deaths, little births; breathing out, breathing in. Whatever you experience is ha’aretz hatov; the good land, the land of your life.
gentle steps my friends, gentle steps,