Friday, December 18, 2009

The Spiritual Struggle

The spiritual struggle is revealed in times of great stress and disequilibrium.

Like an illness, this struggle can be recognized by markers and symptomatic qualities.

What are these markers?

Loss of meaning and purpose, despair, grief or loss, hopelessness, anger at God, feeling punished or abandoned by God, guilt and a need for reconciliation.

To be disconnected from your self and from others is to be at spiritual risk.

When people are at spiritual risk, they have spiritual needs and low spiritual resources with which to meet them.

Seek to discover where your spiritual resources reside. Build them like an altar to your inner sanctuary. Daily.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Darkness Restores the Light

The eternal light was ignited in the full darkness following the destruction of the Second Temple in 165 BC.

I imagine that it was not easy for the Maccabees to find that one cruse of unopened sanctified oil amidst the debris and the rubble.

Was the miracle that the oil lasted for eight days?

Or did the miracle begin with the search?

During the dark night of the soul we find our strength, our resilience, and our determination to seek the light in the morning’s illumination.

This Saturday evening, December 12, at 5:45 p.m., I will light the second candle of Chanukah in the lobby of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center (at 16th and Q Streets NW). Following the candle lighting, there are two films being shown at the Washington Jewish Film Festival. For more information, visit

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Awareness of One

This morning I entered into the awareness of the One.

At precisely seven thirty, my friend and I descended into the womblike basement of the Washington Center for Consciousness Studies on Swann Street NW.

A flashlight escorted us to the soft pillowed area that was to be our meditation corner for the next hour.

A Hindu musical mantra streamed into our consciousness.

The voice of the leader penetrated the physical space.

She spoke of the unity of our being in the field of our awareness. She asked us to sense the energy surrounding and connecting us to each other.

Then silence. More silence. Deep silence.

A burning sensation reached my heart and illuminated an emotion I had politely tucked away inside my closed memory box..

Inside my being, a flame glimmered. My mind was still, but my body was busy interpreting the details of my excursion into my own awareness.

Then a familiar voice and melody saturated my soul. One into One. One becomes One. Echad B’Echad. A Hebrew Kirtan version of the Shema by my colleague, Yofiyah grounded me. Suddenly safe, I offered a smile inside this cavern of solitude. I even giggled. I swayed with the music of my Jewish renewal roots.

I opened my eyes and caught a glimpse of the One smiling back at me.