Posts Tagged Malchut/Shechina
Foundation within Indwelling Presence
In building construction, the best foundations are often not the most rigid, but the ones that are designed to deal with changing soil and weather conditions. Our spiritual foundations need to have the same kind of resiliency, adaptability, flexibility to respond to the changing conditions of our inner landscapes. As we get VERY close to Shavuot, we realize that we have no idea what may be coming. All we can do, every day, actually, is to cultivate the kind of inner plasticity to ‘roll with the punches’ as difficulties arise, delight in good surprises when they come, and maintain our deep connection with the Source of All. This kind of foundation dwells deep within the Presence…and in each of us.
Splendor within Indwelling Presence
For many people, awe is the basis of our first spiritual experiences. Being amazed at a natural phenomenon is one accessible experience (tonight the clouds were illuminated by the setting sun, highlighted against the glowing mountains, for example). Feeling in touch with some larger reality, as at a birth or a death, is another. For others, it is the clarity that accompanies an intellectual realization. For still others, the sense of overcoming overwhelming odds and accomplishing a difficult task. In all these cases, we remember that there are many magnificent aspects of the Divine, each contributing, each facet magnifying and beautifying the Whole. Each of us is part of the splendor that is inextricably part of the Holy Presence, that One of which we are a part and which is a part of us. The prayer “Ayn od milvado”, loosely translated as “there is nothing except the Oneness” reminds us of the eternal unfolding in which we are honored to participate.
Endurance within Indwelling Presence
We’re on the home stretch toward Shavuot as we enter the last Shabbat of this year’s Omer journey. Having gotten this far on this daily practice is evidence of a certain kind of endurance, but it is just a hint of the kind of endurance we all need throughout our lives. One component of creating a new reality, or recognizing the new Reality which surrounds us daily, is patience. An important component of endurance is patience. The practice of meditation, an ancient Jewish practice as well as a spiritual technique used by many other religious traditions, is one of building the kind of internal patience needed to contribute to a world where Presence is not only present (which it is all the time) but a world where we are aware of that Presence. The Hebrew word for meditation is Hitbonenut, based on the root word Boneh, which refers to building. Let this Shabbat be one where we meditate, be in joy during Shabbat, and build our spiritual connections.
Harmony within Indwelling Presence
Today is Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the New Moon. Each new moon represents potential, hope, expectation. We are getting close to the fruition of the Omer period, anticipating that which will come on Shavuot. Each year, each month, each week, day and moment is full of revelation. Our job is to be open to see it, honor it, receive it…and then pass it on. Today, we particularly focus on harmony–the complex interplay between individual notes (or lives), which, together, form something completely new and interesting as a result of the interaction. We hold many often conflicting ideas, values and interests simultaneously–the challenge is to recognize the underlying harmony not to be distracted by the apparent disagreements.
Discernment within Indwelling Presence
Gevurah is sometimes called Judgment; here, the careful judgment between the good: those pearls of wisdom, relevant encounters and authentic spiritual experiences which enhance our Divine connection, and those other life events which distract us from Holy Oneness or masquerade as genuine, but are empty once the glitz has faded. Our search for valid spiritual connection requires examining our choices with wisdom, asking for guidance from appropriate sources, and acting with integrity.
Lovingkindness within Indwelling Presence
Today we enter the final week of Counting the Omer for this year. This seventh week is like Shabbat, a pause, an opportunity to reflect, refresh. We envision the world we desire and pray for, a world at peace. Lovingkindness flows into this final week, blending transcendent and immanent energies. We join our individual compassion with that of others, multiplying its power and bring that combined force into the Presence that dwells within us. What a force for the Good, for the Holy, for the Possible. Let us begin this final week of the Omer with enthusiasm and hope. We CAN change the world.
Indwelling Presence within Foundation
The Zohar says that if the world contains just one righteous person, that person sustains the world. Each of us has the opportunity to be that righteous person, to be the pillar that upholds the world. Remembering today that the Divine Presence is always within us, surrounding us, upholding us, inspiring us, we can find the inner motivation toward righteousness. We are part of a “Kingdom of Priests”; each of us is majestic, part of the Great Majesty. Today we treasure that inner Presence, allowing it to fortify our own foundations.
Indwelling Presence within Endurance
Today is a day to remember that the Source/the Force/the Holy Oneness is always with us, a wellspring of strength that helps us persevere through pain, anger and fear. This past week has been overfilled with disaster and tragedy, a week where the energy of Netzach, persistence, was unfortunately necessary. Boston Marathon bombings, terror suspects bringing a huge city to a halt, and a disastrous earthquake…and, of course, the many tragedies that make few headlines because we have become immune to the deaths due to uncontrolled guns and civil wars, to malnutrition, neglect and domestic violence. Today, let us remember that helpers, the heroes, the survivors, all those who, fueled by compassion and morality, fight to help us recognize the humanity behind the tragedy. May we all recognize that Presence within us calls each of us to right action and gives us the energy to endure.
Indwelling Presence within Harmony
Today, as we are horrified by the events in Boston, grateful for those who rushed in to care and mourning with families and friends of those dead and injured, we pause. It is hard to remember a bigger picture when faced with anguish and fear, yet, when we can, it helps us heal, each of us connected inexorably, to each other. The Indwelling Presence within the Great Harmony appears in selfless acts, in spontaneous assistance, in the rush to aid and to understand. May all who need comfort find at least some small portion of it today, remembering that we are held in the arms of the Holy One, as we end the week of Harmony and Balance.
In English, the word “Presence” can be taken so many ways–as in ‘aware’=present; as in ‘attending’ = not absent; as in ‘gift’= a present; as in ‘an additional, noticeable energy’= a presence. I was thinking, as this day of the Omer count began, of looking at the word differently: as ‘pre’ ’sense’…before sensation. G!d energy surrounds us, pervades us, dwells within us. It existed, as we are reminded in Adon Olam, before there was a before. The Divine precedes sensation…and then infuses it. It’s everywhere–Ein Od Milvado…there is nothing except this Presence. Today we pause, at the conclusion of the third week of counting the Omer, to recognize how Divinity contributes to our balance, simultaneously supporting and enlivening the beauty of our lives.
Indwelling Presence within Harmony….In English, the word “Presence” can be taken so many ways–as in ‘aware’=present; as in ‘attending’ = not absent; as in ‘gift’= a present; as in ‘an additional, noticeable energy’= a presence. I was thinking, as this day of the Omer count began, of looking at the word differently: as ‘pre’ ’sense’…before sensation. G!d energy surrounds us, pervades us, dwells within us. It existed, as we are reminded in Adon Olam, before there was a before. The Divine precedes sensation…and then infuses it. It’s everywhere–Ein Od Milvado…there is nothing except this Presence. Today we pause, at the conclusion of the third week of counting the Omer, to recognize how Divinity contributes to our balance, simultaneously supporting and enlivening the beauty of our lives.