Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

s'licha~forgiveness



broken heart in hand
i stand before you and YOU
s’licha- forgive me



For Jews around the world and throughout our history, these weeks from Tisha b'Av through Rosh Hashanah, the ten days of returning (t'shuva) and Yom Kippur are a time for allowing our hearts to break open, for compassion, lovingkindness, tenderness, generosity to flow through the cracks, to see clearly our imperfections, asking for forgiveness from others we have hurt with or without intention, from the Holy One of Blessing and from ourselves as well, so that joy and healing will refresh our spirits and bring wholeness to the world, born anew each day.

A central prayer in Jewish liturgy describes the thirteen attributes of mercy that God offers us in all moments. This is perhaps the truest essence of BEINGNESS and as we are one with the ONE, our truest essence as well. It comes directly from the Torah Ex. 34:6-7 after Moses comes down from the mountain with the ten commandments and sees the golden calf, an affront to God and breaks the stone tablets. He returns, back up onto the mountain where God reveal’s God’s self to Moses in this way:

“Adonai, Adonai, el rachum v’chanun, erech apayim v’rav chesed, v’emet, notzer chesed la’alafim, nosei avon vafeshah, v’chatah v’nakeh.“

“The ONE, The ONE, compassionate and loving, slow to anger and overflowing with lovingkindness, and truth, showing mercy to the thousandth generation, forgiving transgression, sin and wrongdoing, cleansing it all away.”

We repeat this passage many times not only during the High Holy Days, but also throughout the year. A reminder that it is within the power of each of us to emulate the example of the ONE to the best of our ability. It is expected, of course, that we will mess up, that we will not always be fully compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness or faithful, that we struggle to forgive, that we transgress, that we will chet/sin, miss the mark over and over again. Still we try to turn, make t’shuvah, see the truth, the emet, who we really are, our essence, which is good, loving and kind, but not perfect.

And so dear friends I ask of you for s’licha, please forgive ME for all the times I did not respond to your gentle, generous comments, to your personal emails and phone calls. Forgive me please for the times I spoke too soon or held my silence, for acts unkind or for not acting when I should have or could have in a more compassionate and generous way. I am human, though sometimes it is as if my own heart becomes cold and hard like a stone and I have to stop, take a breath and see what is happening within. I miss the mark; I mess up, unintentionally and yes admittedly sometimes with intention, when I am angry. I think if we all take time to look deeply into our hearts we will see that none of us is blameless, yet our essence is still good, loving and kind. We are all prone to turn away from instead of to the present, when circumstances are too painful, or inconvenient, or we simply do not have the energy to stay, to be our most loving selves.

May the Holy ONE of blessing grant each of us the strength to say “I’m sorry” and mean it…to forgive one another, to forgive God for “things” not going the way WE want them to go, for life just being life; messy, difficult, tragic, hurtful, disappointing. 

May we be graced too with the courage to forgive ourselves our imperfections, our cruelty, our inattention, our indifference.

May our hearts crack open just enough to remember (Rosh Hashanah is also known as Yom Hazikaron-the Day of Remembering) that though broken, we have the potential to heal others and ourselves with simple acts of lovingkindness, assisted always by the Holy ONE, holding all of our jagged pieces, so that we remain whole and holy despite our failings, while we practice turning, returning to our essence, the ESSENCE many times each day. 

May it be so for a thousand generations and more.

I will be offline again for a while, as the Holy Days are near, so again, forgive me for not responding to your messages (in advance)... I truly appreciate all of you and your devotion to reading this blog! I do want to share some exciting news however...


Beyond the Dark Room: An International Collection of Transformative Poetry has been published and is now available at Amazon. Thank you to Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik for gathering all of the fine poets in our little poetry community online, for the love and hard work she poured into this beautiful book of brokenness and healing. I am deeply honored to say that I am now a published poet in a "real" book for the very first time, as four of my poems can be found inside this book along side the writing of twenty other poets far more gifted than me. I offer deep gratitude to my mentors and friends, Janice Lynne Lundy, Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg and Toni Bernhard for reviewing our book and a special note of thanks to Dr. Nurit Nora Israeli for the exquisite forward and poetry of her own (twenty-one other poets, s'licha) that is also included in this slim text filled with pain anguish, with compassion and love.

All proceeds for this book will be donated directly to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders. May the healing flow to you and many others around the world as you read our words and through the funds raised for this exceptional organization.

Finally a reminder that there is a new post up for Rosh Hashanah on the Minucha B'Lev page AND The Healing Womb will be open again starting tomorrow, Friday September 14th @ 11:30am to 12pm est. For information about dialing in to the live tele-meditation circle or to listen to the podcast afterwards view The Healing Womb page.




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42 comments:

  1. Wishing you much love and a healing heart!
    Thanks for your visit and lovely comment;o)

    ***
    Hope you are having a very nice week****

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  2. Laura - thank you so much for posting a link to the anthology here ... it means so much ...

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  3. Laura, this post on forgiveness, t'shuvah, was just what I needed to read today. I love considering the image of our hearts as stones cracked open, held tenderly in the hand of the One. L'shanah tovah!

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  4. Oh Laura - how beautiful of you to shine your uniquely divine light on our collection. You ask how are you beside "us". you are one of us and one. with us and moving beyond yiu, my dear, are a living manifestation of the awesome capacity to survive and thrive. Happy New Year to you. Gentle steps ....

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  5. An excellent heartbroken. The photo is beautiful.

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  6. Wonderful sharing of healing through examination.

    You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

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  7. Laura, miss you, love you and know you are always there. Thank you for your beautiful words as they were needed this early morning...

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  8. So much I enjoy learning about your spiritual heritage and practice, Laura... Blessings to you & you celebrate these high holy days. And congratulations on the book! Also love the photo images today... Happy Days ((HUGS))

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  9. Beautiful words and meaning Laura,bless you!

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  10. That first photo, like your words, are very inspirational, thank you.

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  11. Wonderful post ~ Divine ~ Forgiven ~ (A Creative Harbor)

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  12. I hope you enjoy the Holy Days with you family and congratulations on the poetry book!

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  13. You have a beautiful voice Laura.
    A sacred post♥♥♥

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  14. i never tire of any language, prophet, friend, or life experience calling me out to be my most loving self.
    thank you for this renewal of love, through forgiving and embracing.

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  15. Thank you for these thoughts of healing to the broken places, it is heart-felt. x

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  16. Laura, thank you for this post on forgiveness. Your words are so wise. May this coming holy time be full of more grace and blessing for you. Congrats on the book. And how generous to send proceeds to such a worthy cause.

    T

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  17. Have a wonderful holiday, Laura. There's so much truth in what you said here..."I think if we all take time to look deeply into our hearts we will see that none of us is blameless, yet our essence is still good, loving and kind. " That is the essence of human nature.

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  18. Beautiful. Just beautiful to listen to this chant. Your words asking forgiveness are a prayer. I promise to read it daily as it has touched me so, This is a learning experience coming here today. I want to tell you a story about my own discovery of forgiveness, may I e-mail you and tell you? I love this being here. I need to find out more about these jewish Holy days. Forgive me for not knowing all I can and should know about Peace in our hearts.

    Much Peace, and a very large Thank You

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  19. May we each allow this opening of heart... receiving your blessing here with these words that have been said for thousands of years... beautiful haiku and photos... and congratulations on the book publication!

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  20. Hello Laura,

    Thank you for introducing the concept of 'a heart, though broken can have the potential to heal ourselves and others through simple acts of kindness, tenderness...'

    This is an enlightening perspective for me. Reading this entry, I pause every now and then, close my eyes, and feel the tranquility it brings me.

    Thank you so much for the comfort you brought my heart. :)

    Krissa/Maria
    lostforwords101.blogspot.com

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  21. I enjoyed being here and reading your post today. I learned a lot and have to over-think a lot but I know something shifted inside today. Thank you.

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  22. It's been good to read this. Thank you.

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  23. Congrats on the new book!

    Lovely shots and moving tribute.

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  24. As always, dear friend, your words warm my heart and cause me to stop for a moment and give thanks for you.

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  25. Well thought out...the photo is quite thought provoking....

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  26. A lovely haiku about forgiveness, and great picture.

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  27. I was unable to hear the chanting.... the whole post is wonderful as forgiving is just as important as asking forgiveness. Enjoy your holy holiday and congrats on being published!

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  28. An interesting post here, Laura. I liked the haiku very much. There is not one among us who does not need forgiveness. Congrats on the published book as well.

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  29. A wonderful post, Laura. I wish you a happy and healthy new year. xo

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  30. forgiveness can be a hard thing if we really seek it, not just the token freedom we often ask for....very cool found heart as well....

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  31. excellent post. Thanks for providing so many details, really moves past the point of poetry and merges with the realm of understanding and emotional assistance. Great read. Thanks

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  32. Thanks for stopping by MammothLakesDP!!!

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  33. What a beautiful posting...very unique and touching...may you enjoy your holy days, Laura, as you seek your divinity. You have a beautiful voice, I enjoyed listening to you chanting.

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  34. Thanks for the lovely thoughts ~ I appreciate them ~

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  35. Dear Laura~
    This post made my day, made me happy; and I learned quite a lot, as well. Your sweet spirits shows, flows in this and the preceding post. I am thrilled to hear your health blessed you with an active summer. Good to hear your voice again.

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  36. This was a very beautiful post and I love the image of the broken heart in hand.

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  37. Always inspiring!
    Congrats on being published - a wonderful achievement!

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  38. Oh, I've wandered all over the prose padded place here, Laura!! Wow, I had no idea all that you do in the way of creativity, healing and spirituality. Your practice and mentoring are inspiring. Congratulations on "Beyond the Dark Room," Laura...so wonderful!

    Thank you for the wisdom in this and the background into these Hebrew words.

    Your chant is absolutely peaceful and beautiful.

    This visit really made the close of this day brighter. Thank you for what you do, Laura. You're a gift.

    By the way...Marianne Williamson!! Love her...A Course in Miracles...so good.

    Warm smiles to you.

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  39. Laura, thank you for sharing such beautiful work. You have blessed me.

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