Thursday, October 22, 2009
Blessings of Being Awake: Yesterday via a webinar I listened to Ira Chaleff talk about hierarchical relationships from a follower's perspective. I felt a kinship to the man and wrote to him that he was a Vav-nik. This morning I received a a note back telling me the origins of his thinking was the Holocaust. I began to think I know in real time where my fascination with the Vav happened and yet I was not aware of a core value of mine that fed the real time awakening. I am aware this morning that since I live in fear of disconnection and that my heart's default is 'close' and a familiar feeling that arises frequently is loneliness, that living a Vav-nik life is opposition to these old experiences.
Spiritual Challenge:In studying Musar with my Va'ad group we were talking about what does spiritual mean to each of us. Part of my definition is that I live as if I am in connection, in relationship with every person, place or thing. I want a simple life and yet simple is not easy. Staying in integrity with my values demands i stay awake. And the other morning as i walked with my friends, I was bored with their conversation and left them in my mind and left the world and the next thing I knew I was down on the ground, bruised and glasses bent.
Spiritual Practice: How can I stay awake and put myself at the top of the list as I support in MULKA? I do not have a clue! I can only keep noticing my life with humor an gratitude and keep being open to learning that comes in the most surprising places.
Blessings of the vav: Yes, she is a blessing!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Blessings of Being Awake: Here in South Florida we have been waiting for the weather where we can open our windows. And it is here, at least for now. Winter has come and I am happy to shut off the air conditioner. I can feel the cool breeze flow through my condo, front to back bringing in fresh air and I take a deep breath knowing change is happening.
Spiritual Challenge: To remember whether I see change or not there is always something brewing underneath the surface and my impatience or hopelessness is not going to make it happen any quicker. The Buddhist teaching on impermanence and non-attachment or Hebrew Wisdom honoring of t'shuvah, the right of return to the true nature' or as I learned in Thoughts Without Thinker, the use of 'ing' on the end of words is a reminder that everything is a work in progress, including me. Change, change, change, I can hear the Mamas and Papas singing the song based on ancient writings. Everything is about change.
Spiritual Practice: When I feel tension related to change in my body, i will remember that breathing deeply is bringing the Life Force deeply into my hips and groin releasing the fear that gets stuck in my throat. Hope is restored; courage and past experiences are reinforcing my forward motion and a smile opens my lips relaxing my facial muscles.
Blessings of being a Vav-nik: Being able to sing full hearted 'row, row, row the boat gently down the stream, merrily , merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
Blessings of Being Awake: I heard myself laughing with a burst of energy I smile now in remembering the moment. Miryam and I had been talking about our meditation experiences and the thought crossed my mind 'i can be the rabbi and practice Buddhist teachings' and still be a good enuff Jew. I felt like I had been released from the straight jacket i was trying to fit into. 'Either or', i could hear the mind saying, 'you cannot have both!' Is that really true?, I quickly responded. I am a Vav-nik and i can have both and i can live 'the and life' that i am trying to promote in the world. I am blending Hebrew Wisdom and Buddhist practice in my life, why hide behind a facade of untruth.
Spiritual Challenge: I have to laugh at myself as I know 'we teach what we need to learn' and being a Vav-nik is more than passing out cards; it is actually doing the work, living the values I deem mine. Being alone, quiet, introspective is essential to my mental health and creativity. And in striving to remain in the world and honor the other part of me I also need conversations where we share ideas, thoughts held close to the heart, rarely verbalized. I need to get out of my head the words that when spoken take on a different tension and begin to have an energy and beauty that completes me.
Spiritual Practice: To remember the laughter so freely emoted and how wonderful it felt. To continue to believe in miracles and like Sarah, I too can bring forth a child a 99, i can bring together opposing forces and find a renewed path for myself.
Blessings of the Vav: it is never over until the fat lady sings. I am not sure what that means and i do know I can continue to learn, expose myself to new experiences and collaborations and not lose me, just most humbly deepen my relationship with the Mystery of Life.