Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Surprises That Nurture the Soul

Blessings of Being Awake: I laugh as i type the words 'being awake' thinking that it is way too early to be sitting at my computer. And what brought me out of my bed as I was watching my chest rise and fall trying to get back to sleep, was the thought that Robbie had found me through this blog. And each time that thought crossed the mind I felt an emotion that filled my chest and bubbled over as the joy of connection, of loose threads being gathered into the fabric of my life, creating a foreground to my life's tapestry. I am thinking that I am a part of a whole that is my life. The emotion rises again, the tears fall and I am happy through and through.
Spiritual Challenges: Thirteen years ago I said 'yes' to the voice that told me I was going for a trip around the world. This summer I have had experiences, like Robbie, where those connections came back to life and I am now feeling that the dream is real. You see, I took this trip, I wrote about it, I made connections that drifted away and when I came back to NC, I went back to my life as I had known it. And I drifted from home to home, not sure where I wanted to live and added to my academic credentials and below the surface of life the Mystery was working. I love surprises like these. I feel like I have been found, validated and my challenge is to stay here, be nurtured and just enjoy! I am a part of a life, my life.
Spirirtual Practice: One foot in front of the other I walk though my life, a walking meditation, of paying attention to the gifts wrapped in various packages, and of letting things go and choosing non-violence, of remembering to focus on the core of life-LOVE, of listening to my teachers who come in all sizes and shapes and of continually seeking the Divine in myself as well as others. And most of all believing in me and my dreams for they are good, they are very good.
Blessings of the Vav: who knew my fascination with the Hebrew letters and language and taking myself seriously would lead to this blog. Devorah said that if I became a rabbi, and i was strongly resisting that call, I would also become a healer. I believe her now, as my heart's wounds are mending and its capacity is expanding. Who knew? She knew!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lamed Vavniks

Blessings of Being Awake: A few weeks ago when I was doing some training in India I gave away my Vav-nik cards. In wanting them to understand where the card fits into a larger frame of being leaders, I told this story.
At any one time, in Hebrew Wisdom tradition, there are thirty-six righteous people walking the earth. The term Lamed Vav-nik comes from the number that each Hebrew letter represents. Lamed is 30 and Vav is six, thus 36 or Lamed Vav-nik. These righteous people have a soul whose primary mission is to do the mending of the tears in the fabric of the universe, to heal the separation we experience that does not exist in reality. In my first hearing of a Lamed Vav-nik he was a tailor who appears to be sewing fabric, yet is going deeper to the soul of the person's clothes he was repairing.
As our India host Anupam heard the story, he smiled and after I had finished said to me that he liked how I had explained about the righteous people. I was aware that in that moment I had reached across cultures and found common ground.
Spiritual Challenges: When I first heard Dovid Zeller, may his memory continue to be a blessing, tell the story of the man who met a Lamed Vavnik I loved the story and wanted to learn it so I could retell it. In fact each time now when I tell the whole story I can feel my throat getting tight and my heart filling up with emotions I cannot describe. Telling the story to Jewish people is easy, they either know the language or want to know more about their faith. And I wanted to make the story universal and so I began collage-ing in my mind my various Avatar-Lamed Vav-nik experiences.

Of course there has always been Jesus, yet growing up I had always thought of him more as a threat to my being, as many Christians that I encountered wanted me to 'find Jesus and be saved.' As nice Jewish girl this frightened me as I was not grounded as I am in now in my personal relationship with my G!D and my tradition. Despite these fears, in my first trip to India when I was at the Seik Gobin Sadan Ashram outside of Delhi, I had a conversation with the statue of Jesus early one morning where he called me "sister' and I called him 'brother.' He was helping me get clear on my mission to Israel and meeting the Arab people I needed to build bridges of understanding with. Then in Pondecherry I met the energy of The Mother, the spiritual partner of Sri Aurobindo. Her energy kept me at the Ashram until after her birthday where I hear thou you walk through the Valley of the shadow of death I will be with you. In South Carolina I enjoy the energy of the Meher Baba and his ideas of don't worry be happy and in New Delhi I met and can still fill the hug of Ama, the hugging guru. Thirteen years ago I traveled to Pondecherry to experience the energy of what Andrew Harvey described in his meeting with Mother Meera and then last year met her in person in Raleigh, NC during a darshan. And then there was my dream where I left my friends and went into the mountains led by an energy that I knew was Shekhinah. And then I lived the dream and felt Her Presence and found a peace I rarely experience as I walked the trail into the mountains in Colorado in real time.
I am challenged to confront my mind that likes to separate these people from the rest and not see the gifts of the others I encounter. Who knows who the Lamed Vav-nik really is? Believing that everyone is the Messiah and has the energy to heal their wounds and others is my challenge especially when I need to include me.
Spiritual Practice: The story of the rabbi who tells the abbott that 'one of you is the Messiah.' At the end of telling this story, I again choke up and the emotion rises. Noticing these as teaching moments when the heart opens to truth is a reminder that I am at the right place and the right time and I am at one with the universe.
The Blessings of the Vav is when I include me with others. There is really no need to judge or separate me out as truth is that we each are unique and we each are connected and living the paradox of this reality. This is my practice as I heal my wounds and pray for the rippling affects of the tidal wave of loving kindness washes over me. And I can breath deeply knowing i have again said 'YES and' to life.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Entering the Promise Land

Blessings of Being Awake: When I looked at the date on the last blog entry I could not believe it was so far away. Where have I been? Well, I have been to Prague to visit Phyllis for a week, to Boston for Joni and Stefan's wedding, to Greensboro to work and to India for two weeks of a glorious return and leadership training work. So there must be so much to write about.
Spiritual Challenge: so where do I begin? From here and looking back I must say it has been an amazing spiritual journey. In fact from India I signed an e-mail 'the spiritual pilgrim.' I am waking up to say to myself, right place, right time! When are you going to get it that is all you have to do is show up! You are the vessel, you are the wisdom, you are TZiPi, authentic, kind, brilliant, focused, humbly human!
Spiritual Practice: noticing the doubt that sneaks in and then hold onto that intention of a circumcised heart, keep the neck loose as i did when i first arrived in India. It was so simple like I had been doing it all my life moving my head from right to left! And the song that comes from my heart is the refrain 'Love is all you need, love is all you need, love is all you need!'
So as 5769 ends and 5770 begins at sundown tonight I make a promise to myself to stand erect, chest open, shoulders back, bracing against my erect strong back as I move forward into the promised land, into the abundance waiting for me and anyone else who takes the same risks. It is there and I am going after it and i can feel the joy, taste the deliciousness of the fruit and feel the welcome of all those who meet me. I am home and in joy!!!
Blessings of the vav: and there is always one more thing and it does not have to be doom, it can be joy so why not prophize from hope, connection, love and truely live that truth.