Posts Tagged ‘finding G-d’

 

Secret Light

Posted on: January 4th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

Holiness surrounds us. That’s the theme of this meditation, inspired by my recent ELI talk, “Falling in Love with Prayer” (video soon to be posted). It’s my second meditation referring to the Psalm 97 couplet: “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” A mishna on this line says that a secret light from the time of creation was stored away for the righteous to be revealed in the world to come. I believe that even G-d’s most special light is available to all of us.

Secret Light
The light of G-d
Is not well-hidden,
Not so secret,
That we must battle
The forces of nature
Or armies of evil
To stand it its glow.

It’s there,
Behind your eyes,
Pulsing from the hills,
Rising from the sands.
It’s there,
Inside a spade of dirt,
Inside the caper bud
And the orchid blossom,
In the old folks
And the little ones.

The light of G-d
Is not well-hidden.
Far enough
That you must begin the journey.
Close enough
That you will surely find it.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Being an ELI Speaker is a great experience. Learn more about it here. See also, “Sowing Light” and “Light of G-d.”

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Breathe

Posted on: July 12th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Sky and LakeThis prayer is a simple reminder to breathe and the gifts that coming from simply being. It includes a space to include a name, yours or someone else’s, so that you can use it as reminder to yourself or as a hope for someone else. Six other pieces of mine include the instruction to breathe. Three of my favorites are: “Sing Praises,” “We Are Music” and “Invitations.”

Breathe
Listen, dear __________ (your name or another name),
Remember to breathe,
Remember to fill your chest
With the sweet taste of living,
To fill your heart
With a gentle gift of peace.
The breath of God
Surrounds you.
Let it flow through you.
The pulse of the universe
Beats with you.
Let it enliven you.
Invite your inhale,
The willingness of this moment.
Release your exhale,
And surrender to being.
Fill your lungs.
Feel them.
Feed them.
Heal them.
And you will know,
The majesty of now,
And the mystery
Of forever.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My three other prayers with the instruction to breathe are: “Choosing to Heal,” “Let Your Heart Stir” and “Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem.”

Tweetable! Here’a suggested tweet. Please tweet it (with link): “…fill your heart with a gentle gift of peace. The breath of God surrounds you…” https://tobendlight.com/?p=13239

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Kedoshim: Holy

Posted on: April 18th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

HolyKedoshim opens with a spectacular line: “Ye shall be holy, for I, Adonai your G-d, am Holy.” (Lev 19:2) We’re commanded to be holy. How can we be commanded to be holy? Some say that holiness results from our efforts to fulfill the other commandments. Were that true, why would we need a separate commandment to be holy?

What if the commandment to be holy means to make ourselves witnesses to holiness? What if it means that we are to become vessels in which to collect sparks of holiness? It would be both simple to understand and the work of a lifetime: become ready to experience holiness when, suddenly, unexpectedly, miraculously, we’re in its presence.

This is a new two-part ritual to prepare us to sight holiness. I imagine doing it in a group, with drums, the group split in two. One group repeats Part 1, mantra-style. The second group reads Part 2 in rhythm with Part 1. At intervals, the groups switch parts. To help you experience it, I’ve included a two-minute recording of Part 1, which you can play while you read Part 2.

 

Holy
Part 1
Heartbeat.
Drum beat.
Pulse beat.
Holy.

Part 2
Holiness surrounds me,
Fills the empty space.
Wondrous luminosity.
Radiance and grace.
Pulsing. Pulsing.
Heavenly embrace.
Pulsing. Pulsing.
To this human place.

The Artist and the canvas,
The Sculptor and the stone,
The Composer and the notepad,
The Potter’s clay is thrown.
Creating the foundation.
Creating sky and earth.
Vast and small and present,
Yearning to be known.

Holiness is waiting.
Here and now and strong.
Waiting for a witness.
Hallelujah song.

Painted by Your light,
Sculpted, drafted, formed.
Story, dance and music.
Miracles performed.

My heart will be Your vessel,
A vessel for this light.
Collecting sparks and glimmers.
Marvelous delight.

Holiness is waiting.
Here and now and strong.
Waiting for a witness.
Hallelujah song.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Rhyming is not my “go to” poetic tool, although there are a few powerful exceptions, such as “Come Walk.” Thank you to Rabbi Zoë Klein for her suggestion to use rhyme to solidify the pulse of Part 2, daring to play with — and to send me — a few of the verses rewritten to get the idea across. Check out her debut novel, Drawing in the Dust. As my first effort creating this kind of ritual, I’d also appreciate your comments.

This is posted for the double portion Acharey-Kedoshim 5775. Note that the Torah readings in Israel are currently out of sync with the rest of the world until May 23, 2015, Parahsat Bamidbar. I’m posting prayers related to the Torah portion on the earlier Israeli cycle.

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Shemini: G-d on Tiptoes

Posted on: March 29th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

still-small-voiceEarly in this week’s Torah portion, a very simple line appears: “…the glory of G-d appeared unto all the people.” (Leviticus 9:23) The simplicity stands in contrast to the scene from parashat Yitro in which G-d appears in smoke and fire, the earth quaking. Here, G-d’s glory arrives without fanfare. This meditation for parashat Shemini is the mirror of my Yitro meditation, “G-d’s Voice.” The prayer maintains the structure of the first, borrowing the forth stanza and the closing lines, setting up both connection and contrast. This appears in my book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

G-d on Tiptoes
What if G-d arrived unannounced?
No smoke. No thunder.
A gentle appearance of radiance and love.

What if G-d snuck in on tiptoes?
No earthquake. No blast of the shofar.
A luminous presence of wonder and glory.

What if G-d’s voice whispered in your ear,
So quiet that you had to hold your breath to hear?
A silent surrender of hope and faith.

What if holiness packed the empty space with light
As your lungs filled with the one divine breath
Together with every other living being?

What if G-d’s voice is as near
As your willingness to listen quietly
To the soul of the universe,
As a sense of calm and peace
Pass through you?

What if that moment
Is now?

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: After a friend assured me that the Torah’s paucity of language assumes we know, precisely from Yitro, that G-d’s arrival is full of wonder and terror, he then said: “Of course, we do have the image of the still, small voice.” (Kings 19:12) Here’s another link to “G-d’s Voice.”

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.

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Yitro: G-d’s Voice

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by Alden No Comments

voice1Together, standing at the foot of Mount Sinai, the Jewish people witness the moment when G-d descends to the mountaintop to enter into a covenant with Israel. This Shavuot meditation, based on Parashat Yitro (Ex. 19:16-19) asks us to imagine that moment, the very moment when G-d’s glory touches the earth. It appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

G-d’s Voice
What if G-d’s voice was so near
That your bones rattled
As thunder echoed inside your chest?

What if G-d’s voice was so near
You could feel the wind hit your face
As your feet seemed to slip on shaking ground?

What if awe and wonder surrounded you,
So close that your knees buckled,
As a pillar of fire from heaven descends to earth?

What if holiness packed all empty space with light
As your lungs filled with the one divine breath
Together with every other living being?

What if G-d’s voice is as near
As your willingness to remember
The moment we stood together on Sinai,
Amid the smoke and the lightning,
Hearing the great blast of the shofar?

What if that moment
Is now?

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

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Postscript:  If you like this prayer, you might also enjoy: “To Hear Your Voice,” “I Saw G-d” and “In Plain Sight.”

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 Source: Celebration Church

Shemot 5773: Finding G-d

Posted on: January 3rd, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

“And the angel of Adonai appeared unto him in flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said: ‘I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’ And when Adonai saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush…” – Exodus 1:2-4

What does it take to see holiness in a burning bush? What does it take to see G-d all around? This is a meditation about waking up to find G-d. This prayer echoes the theme in another piece called “Seeking G-d.”

Finding G-d
Finding G-d is
As simple as
Breathing in
The morning air,
As simple as
Seeing
The light
Around you,
As simple as
Feeling
Your heartbeat
Fill your chest.

Ah, my dear ones,
Learning to breathe, to see, to feel
The presence of holiness…
That is the secret.
That is the journey.
How quiet and still,
How open and aware,
How ready and willing must we be
To see the
Extraordinary
In the mundane?
Before we can see a
Bush in flames
That is not consumed?
Before we take off our shoes
In the light of awe and majesty?

Finding G-d is
As simple as
Breathing in mystery,
As simple as
Seeing the radiance around you,
As simple as
Feeling glory fill your limbs,
And wonder fill your chest.

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

Postscript: Other prayers about finding G-d include: “To Hear Your Voice,” “To Seek Your Glory,” “To Seek Your Love” and “To Know Your Word.”

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: Geabler

Summon My Heart

Posted on: November 6th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

G-d is all around us, in every moment and every breath. Yet the Holy One of Old still calls us to seek and discover the glory and the might, the wisdom and the word. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

Summon My Heart
There is no summit,
No peak,
No mountain top
For me to find G-d.
G-d has already found me
In small moments and quiet breaths,
In the howling winds and the raging sky.

There is no road,
No trail,
No path
For me to find G-d.
G-d has already found me
In toil and in rest,
In the moonlit night and the glow at daybreak.

And yet,
G-d of Old,
You summon me
To wander and roam,
To journey, to discover.
To know You in all things.
To see You in all beings.
To love You with every breath.
To serve You with a full heart.

G-d of wisdom,
Grant me adventure and wonder,
Joy and amazement,
Seeking Your holy Word,
Praising Your holy Name.

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

Postscript: Two more prayers of heart: “This Stubborn Heart” and “My Heart Knows What it Needs.” And a prayer about wandering: “Your Light.”

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