Posts Tagged tiferet

DAY 18,19,20: Netzach, Hod and Yesod she b’Tiferet!!!

Two day silent retreat….so the blog was also silent. Many wonderful practices learned and practiced with the other 35 people at the retreat led by Rabbi Jeff Roth. Netzach and Hod were perfect days for retreat…to keep going and going and going, keep coming back to awareness as a way toward balance…followed by increasing awareness of the intricate and amazing interconnectedness among all things, keeping the dynamic equilibrium of the cosmos going….whew! Now, tonight, we move into Yesod…the foundation structure which ’sits’ right under Tiferet…a straight line of connection. Reminding me that heart-ful, compassionate acts in the world must have a clearly defined basis. While RAKS (‘random acts of kindness’) are nice, it’s only focused ones that accumulate toward real change.

Coming out of silence is fascinating…a combination of wanting to talk out of pent-up ideas spilling out matched with a longing for that sweet silence to continue. Having this retreat during the week of Tiferet was perfect timing (of course…it’s ALL perfect timing…it’s just that we don’t always notice that fact!)

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DAY 17: Tiferet she b’Tiferet

Harmony within Harmony, Beauty within Beauty, Balance within Balance, harmony in beauty, balance in harmony, beauty in balance. It’s magnifying that G!d-spark within. Balance as a verb, not a noun—a dynamic process of frequent, if not constant seeking to adapt to ever-changing inner and outer circumstances. Being ‘centered’ is momentary–the question is how to remember that moment….

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DAY 16: Gevurah she b’Tiferet

Sometimes the only way to get some sense of balance is to say NO! No, just because another person called and needed me to help them immediately does not mean I need to drop everything to help them right now. No, just because I would like to leave work and go for a long walk in the sunshine does not mean that that would be the wisest choice. No, just because I have the opportunity to do another presentation does not mean that I need to do that. In essence, keeping an inner balance, a harmonious life REQUIRES that I set up appropriate boundaries, that I discern the difference between opportunity and necessity. The mantra is this: “JUST BECAUSE I CAN DOESN’T MEAN I MUST”. I really appreciate the lesson of this pairing of sephirot……

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DAY 15: Chesed she b’Tiferet

Just got back from conducting a shiva minyan for a 92 year old gentleman, who was universally described as caring, loving, and generous. Mr. Chesed, I’ll call him. How appropriate to count the Omer at the minyan, in his honor, bringing his Chesed into the room to increase the beauty and harmony of the prayer community. Another one of those Omer counting moments…where the theme of the day and the events of the day are in synch.

As we start the week of Tiferet, I’m always reminded of how difficult it can sometimes be to stay in balance, with all the pulls and pushes we all have in our lives. I’m grateful to have a whole week devoted to paying deeper, closer attention to that aspect of being alive.

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DAY 10: Tiferet she b’Gevurah

It really was a Gevurah she b’Gevurah day before the sun went down!  The clearest example was helping a couple whose combined age was 185 years (!) move out of their home into an assisted living apartment. Helping them distinguish the issues of safety vs familiarity, helping them discern the positive aspects of a change they had dreaded, and then helping their family be strong enough to insist that they accept the loving boundaries of a changed living situation….I was grateful for the spiritual strength available to me on this day of the Omer journey; I needed it to help them.

Tonight was something completely new in Albuquerque—a women’s Maimouna event.  Over 120 Jewish women gathered — from across the spectrum of affiliation and observance — to mark the traditionally Moroccan celebration that follows Passover.  Harmony, beauty and balance were everywhere (along with delicious food, great singing and warm greetings)….tiferet then helped in the discernment necessary for the more serious part of the evening–table discussions on the meaning of freedom for us as women today.  The stories were powerful, funny, informative and unusual….as we went around at each table, there were tales of oppression and liberty, of limited opportunity and tremendous growth.  The whole evening reflected the theme of the tenth day of the Omer — harmony within discernment and balance as an essential element of strength.  May the hours that complete this day follow that most memorable beginning.

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DAY 3: Harmony within Lovingkindness

Often during the period of counting the Omer, synchronicities happen that relate to the theme of the day. Earlier today, during Day 2, Gevurah within Chesed, one of those happened. I was visiting soma patient in the hospital when a friend of hers came in, windblown and tired from rushing to get there. Spontaneously, the visitor said to her friend: “I really care about you, and I wanted to see you…but I really had to set some boundaries to be able to get here. So I canceled a client so I could be here.” Neither one of them knew about the Omer, about Gevurah, or about the theme of the day….it just happened!

Today, the third day of counting, focuses on Harmony and balance within lovingkindness. I’m reminded of how difficult it sometimes is to find balance in our busy lives. We talk about ‘centering ourselves’, about life being a ‘balancing act’..it’s interesting that we express these as verbs…as actions, dynamic…not as a state of ‘being in balance’, or ‘living harmoniously’. Today we can focus on bringing that desire for harmony, based in the center of our bodies, and in our hearts, through Chesed, lovingkindness. It’s as if the action of seeking harmony needs a coating of love to come to a balance point, to a place of stillness.

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