Posts Tagged ‘Becoming a man’

 

Lech Lecha 5775: Let Go

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

let-godLecha Lecha. Leave it all for an unknown future. G-d’s call: faith in the journey to discover a promised land. Before Avraham Aveinu and Sarah Emeinu left on the journey that defined their lives and ours, they had to let go of their most intimate, known world. I wrote this at Shabbat Shira, an annual weekend of creativity, focused on Jewish music at OSRUI. Here’s a link to “The Journey” posted for Lech Lecha 5773 and “For Service” posted for Lech Lecha 5774.

Let Go
Let it go.
Let it all go.
Let go of the darkness
That ties you to empty ideas.
Let go of the fear
That binds you to false gods.
Let go of the chains
That imprison you in foreign lands.
Follow G-d’s voice
To an unseen horizon.
Follow G-d’s command
To an unknown destination.
Surrender to the truth
That G-d summons you
To a sacred calling,
To Torah,
To mitzvot,
To healing the world.
Surrender to the wisdom
Of letting go,
Letting it all go,
So that glorious mystery
Will open before you,
So that your life will become an adventure
In the palm of G-d’s hand.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Shabbat Shira is a labor of love from the education team of OSRUI. It’s a unique and powerful source of creative inspiration and collaboration. “Let Go” is one of five prayer/poems I began and finished over the weekend, along with a sixth performance piece and two more “starts,” one of which I’ve since completed. Here’s a link to Rabbi Larry Karol’s blog describing our collaboration on a new song we wrote together over the weekend, as well as a link to his rendition of our song “Only Now” and the lyrics. Here’s another link to “The Journey” posted for Lech Lecha 5773 and “For Service” posted for Lech Lecha 5774.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Imgfav

Vayishlach: The Descent

Posted on: November 28th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” – Genesis 32:25

Sooner or later every man faces the trial of his life. This meditation is a metaphor for the inner journey, the inner struggle, the battle to find holiness and a new name. It’s another in my series of prayers and meditations for men.

The Descent
When your time comes
And you hear the call
To become a man of power and wisdom,
A warrior and a king,
You will descend beyond the shadows
Into the black cliffs of your soul,
Where fear stalks the hours,
And rage laughs at the abyss,
Where shame waltzes with pride,
And grief howls, unrestrained, with pleasure.

You will reach a narrow ridge
Above the hollows where other men were lost.
You will crawl on scree,
Cutting your hands and knees,
As you press hard
Against the trail,
Against the wind.

You will enter a cavern of darkness,
The unseen color of nothingness,
Where your voice echoes with dread,
And your heart beats with longing,
Where your breath smells of remorse
And your ears ring with lies and deceit.

When you reach bottom
Your enemy will attack,
With skill and cunning,
For you have set free the torment within,
The power of your anguish and your guilt.
The night will last beyond the rhythm of natural time
Until you forget if you are the holiness or the profane.
Only then the grip of unrighteous fury will weaken
And succumb to your strength.
Wounded but victorious,
You will be blessed by fire from the torch of heaven.
Its light will blend with the coming dawn.
In that moment you will finally see
The face of the man you fought.
You will know in your bones
That you must take him back with you into the light,
For it was you who invited him on the journey.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are three more prayers and meditations for men: “My Work Remains,” “For the Lost” and “My Heart Knows What It Needs,” as well as a link to a list of all of my prayers for and about men.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Artable

Lech Lecha: The Journey

Posted on: October 21st, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

“Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you.”
– Genesis 12:1.

A brief meditation on answering the call.

The Journey

There will come

A moment when

You must leave

What you know

On the journey

To find who

You can be.

You can be

One who finds

On the journey

What you know

If you leave

The moment when

Your time comes.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are two more prayers about the spiritual journey: “Messengers” and “On the Trail.” Click here for songs of the Spiritual Traveler. Click here for more prayers and meditation about Journeys.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

Powerful Men

Posted on: May 6th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Here’s another prayer in my series for men. It’s a brief call to action — inspired by the men of ManKind Project around the world — summoning men to use their power in service of humanity. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Powerful Men
Men of honor,
Men of strength,
The world yearns for you.
Your wisdom, your courage, your vitality.
The call has come.

Men of conscience,
Men of understanding,
Summon the energy that is deep in your belly,
Steeped into your bones,
That heats your blood and fires your eyes,
And hold it as rod and staff,
Guide and compass,
To build, to heal,
To honor, to bless.

G-d of Majesty,
Teach me to use this power
In service to others
In the name of holiness and love,
So that I become a source of compassion and grace,
A light of awe and wonder.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here for a list of prayer and meditations for men. Two of my favorites are: “My Courage” and “My Work Remains.”

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Photo is © Gregory Tapler Photograpy; poster designed by Boysen Hodgson for MKP

Fire Within

Posted on: January 21st, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

1-heart-on-fireThe collective Jewish response to grief is joy, to attempt to live in joy no matter what. Not always an easy path, but it leads to a deep healing that allows the full spectrum of emotion into our lives. Joy and grief are welcome, because they are part of accepting G-d’s world as it is. Living in joy, with all our strength and energy, is part of claiming a stake in G-d’s future world, a world of complete happiness and peace, a world that is yet to come. This piece will appear in my forthcoming book, Song of the Spiritual Traveler. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Fire Within
My burns
Cannot be seen on my flesh.
They are in my lungs
And in my eyes.
What medicine will halt the smoldering,
The smoke that suffocates from within?

My cuts
Cannot be seen on my skin.
They are in my heart
And in my throat.
What medicine will heal the bleeding,
The tide that floods from within?

Ancient One,
Release me from the fire and the knife:
The flame that consumes hope and joy,
The blade that destroys time and seasons.

Holy One,
Rock and Shelter,
Your medicine is love.
Your salve is holiness.
Your balm is life.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
Eternal Source of wholeness and healing.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: I originally conceived this as a prayer for men. Many of us experience our internal struggles – fears, losses, shames, angers – as fire and knife. Although I don’t know if the metaphor holds for women, this piece seems more universally prayer for healing than other of my prayers for men.

If you like this prayer, post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or as part of a tweet. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo credit: zoeyryanthoughts.com

This Mirror

Posted on: November 13th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

It takes courage to see me to see myself as I really am, with my strengths and my weaknesses. This prayer is a reminder – to me and other men – that I can only become a man of love and action if I see myself clearly, forgive my lapses and bless my being. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only). The text follows.

This Mirror
With love in my left hand
And courage in my right,
I approach the mirror of my life to see
A sage and a fool,
A hero and a coward,
A king and a peasant,
A prophet and a heretic,
The rich texture of my being and my becoming.

Oh to be the summer breeze
Warmed by the gentle morning sun.
Oh to be the lazy creek,
Shaded by branches and leaves.

This mirror sees the light of holiness within,
The gifts I’ve been given,
The gifts I return to earth and sky.
This mirror reflects radiance and wonder,
A rainbow of experience and emotion,
A luminous and divine spirit.

Oh to be an eagle soaring on the wind.
Oh to be an owl soaring in the night.
Oh to be that man in the mirror.
Oh to be me.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are related prayers for men: “My Work Remains,” “For the Lost” and “My Heart Knows What It Needs.” And here is a list of more prayers for and about men.

If you like this prayer, post a link to your Facebook page, to your blog or as part of a tweet. And don’t forget to click “like” on this page. Thanks. Please subscribe. For reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column.

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