Friday, December 19, 2014

A Thoughtful Dance

Every day one must dance. Even if only in thought.
-Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810)

The body moves us and we are moved on multiple levels towards our joyful ascent.

Sometimes, the very thought of being in holy movement, lifts us out of the chair of despair into seraphic speculation.

The body works in seamless attunement with our spirits. If every emotion has a physiological response, can we change how we feel if we alter our physical progression?

It is easy to dance and sing, smile and laugh, when we are content.

What takes practice, is dancing and singing, smiling and laughing when we are despondent.

Rabbi Nachman encourages the dance practice as a form of therapeutic resistance to sadness and suffering.

Everyone can dance, if only in thought.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Backward Glance

Observing your life with perspective is unnatural.

We continue cruising constantly.

Until we stop.

We catch a rear-view snapshot of a life running behind us.

An unexpected compliment that highlighted your work.

A friendly stranger who who spoke a truth you needed to know.

An emotion reverberated through your body you didn’t know existed.

And you stopped.

You caught up with your shadow.

The spotlights showered your accomplishments.

You were blinded by the brightness of your backward glance.

A life well-observed is a life well-lived.

He said, she said.


Look behind you.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Craving Aloneness

As human beings, we crave being alone.

We carry an entire world inside our own experience. When we are inside ourselves, we possess an opportunity to meditate on the interconnection of soul, God and the Divine without critique from others.

A story told by the Baal Shem Tov about his childhood includes this passage: "I was drawn to walk the fields and the great, deep forest near our village. Often I would spend the night in the field or forest. One morning in the forest I heard a human voice: a Jew in tallit and tefillin, praying with a passion I had never heard. 'Aren't you afraid to be alone in the forest?' the man asked me. I answered him: 'I like the field and the forest, because there are no people . . ."

Ah, to be alone. To pray listening only to my own voice. To concentrate fiercely on all that is uniquely my own. To revel in the peace and possibility of an answer or an insight from Nature’s Universe.

And yet the reverse is also true. To be alone is disquieting. Loneliness and aloneness can be fraught with physical and emotional dangers. Difficult thoughts may discover us.

Chasing our distractions can cause an addiction of discomfort. Instead of an occasion for the Capital Connection, we form deleterious detachments and tentative traumas.

As human beings, we crave our interiority time. The silence within calls us to this open forest of mindful fertility. Feel it, fear it, face it, infuse it into your daily practice.