Sunday, September 20, 2009
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.