Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

 

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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Photo Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library

The Gifts of Our Lives

Posted on: April 4th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Divine-Gifts-6129895This new prayer of gratitude includes an alphabetical acrostic. Acrostics were a mainstay of Jewish liturgical poems, known as piyutim. This piece combines the acrostic with a four-part structure that repeats in each of the internal stanzas, using the metaphor of G-d as “well,” “source,” “foundation” and “crown.” In an early draft of a prayer called Elijah, I spelled his name with the initial letters in each of the opening lines, but later revised the piece to broaden its scope, losing the acrostic.

The Gifts of Our Lives
With gratitude and appreciation
We give thanks for the gifts
Which flow into our lives day-by-day.
A river of divine blessing.

For You are the well of Abundance,
The source of Beauty,
The foundation of Courage
And the crown of Dreams.

You are the well of Energy,
The source of Faith,
The foundation of Grace
And the crown of Hope.

You are the well of Insight,
The source of Justice,
The foundation of Kindness
And the crown of Love

You are the well of Mercy,
The source of Nourishment,
The foundation of Our Lives
And the crown of Peace.

You are the well of Quiet,
The source of Righteousness,
The foundation of Strength
And the crown of Truth.

For You are the well of Understanding,
The source of Vitality,
The foundation of Wonder
And the crown of Years.

With gratitude and appreciation
We give thanks for the gifts
Which flow into our lives day-by-day.
A river of divine blessing.

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

Postscript: Note that this acrostic is incomplete, it that I did not create lines for the letters q’ and ‘z.’ My other prayers of gratitude include several favorites: “Fresh Delights,” “Now,” “One Gift,” “Unseen Lands”  and “Sacred Cargo.”

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: Heaven Now

Vayakhel-Pekudei: For the Gift of Art

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

'Windows_Open_Simultaneously_(First_Part,_Third_Motif)'_by_Robert_DelaunayIn this week’s double torah portion, Vayakhel-Pekudei, the master artist Bezalel is named to direct the creation of the tabernacle, all of its symbols and tools, as well as the vestments of the priests. From Impressionism to Dada, from sculpture to photography, from Michelangelo to Chagall to Hokusai, the visual arts are amazing. Here’s another prayer celebrating creativity. It follows the same structure as the others in this series, which is explained in the introduction to “For the Gift of Song.”

For the Gift of Art
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of art,
For pencil and paint,
For glass and fabric,
For metal and stone,
For the gift that sees wisdom and beauty hidden in Your works,
For the skill and love that creates and crafts,
Releasing divine radiance for others to see.
Hear this prayer for those who fashion art
Revealing the secret glories of Your creation.
Make their works Your vessel.
Let heaven pour its vision through them
So that they overflow with Your light
Drawing others to Your glory.
So that when we see their works,
Our souls turn back to You in appreciation.
Together, we offer our gratitude back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: Be sure to check out the other prayers in this series: “For the Gift of Song,” “For the Gift of Words,” “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Music,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship” and “For the Joy of Learning.” This prayer first appeared on this site on July 2, 2010; this version has slight modifications.

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: WikiMedia Commons, ‘Windows Open Simultaneously (First Part, Third Motif)’ by Robert Delaunay

Soul Shine

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Soul Shine PlateThis meditation is about allowing our souls to fill our hearts, to fill our minds and to fill our bodies with the radiance of heaven, so that we can bring that light into the world as tikun olam, the act of repairing the world. The meditation recognizes the majesty within each of us, declaring that that glory must be shared. This piece appears in This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press.

Soul Shine
Let your soul shine
In your chest.
Let your heart sparkle
In your eyes.
Let joy
Fill your limbs with radiance.
Let love
Fill your hands with splendor.
You are the instrument
Of G-d’s music,
The tool
Of repairing the earth.
You are the voice
Of wonder and awe,
The song
Of hope and tomorrow.

This gift,
This majesty within,
Is not yours to keep.
It is not yours to hold.
It is not yours to hide.

Let your soul shine
Luminous, elegant,
Brave and true,
A beacon of praise,
A lantern of song,
A summons for holiness
To enter our lives
And this world.

Let your soul shine.
Set it free.
Set it free to fill the space
Between the here
And the unknown
With abundance
And with blessings.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Postscript: If you enjoyed this meditation, you might also like: “Fresh Delights,” “Come Walk,” “Let Me” and “This is the Place.” And for musical accompaniment, here’s a link to the Allman Brothers Band singing “Soulshine.”

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: tomboyArt on Esty

Tending Gardens

Posted on: January 6th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

DSC01427_032Some gardens are tended by our hands. Others are tended by G-d’s will. This is a meditation on both the willingness to act in order to create beauty, as well as the power of refraining from action in order observe the beauty that arises from this amazing planet. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Tending Gardens
Wildflowers bloom,
A field of colors,
A meadow on a hillside,
Wild and free,
Tended by sun and rain,
Gently painted by the will of the earth.

Another place of delight,
My garden blooms,
A blueprint from my heart,
Guided by my hand
Tended with love and affection
Planted according to my design.

G-d of splendor,
Grant me the willingness to plant gardens
And the wisdom to leave other gardens
To Your loving hand.
Teach me the beauty of doing
And glory not doing.
Grant me the power to act
And the strength to refrain.
Let my will to create,
And my willingness to accept,
Find balance and harmony
In my heart and in my hands,
So that my doing,
And my not doing,
Serve Your will
And Your world.

© 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer

Postscript: Other prayers that use the “garden” metaphor include: “Life as a Garden” and “Garden of Blessings.”

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 Source: Alden Solovy

Vayechi 5775: On the Birth of a Child

Posted on: December 30th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Newborn-Baby-FeetIn Vayechi, Jacob “blesses” his children. They read like praises for some and curses for others. This is consistent with the parenting skills exhibited in Genesis, where parents play favorites, inflict trauma and neglect children. Every child deserves a loving parent, rich in blessings. For Vayechi 5775, here’s a prayer to be said by new parents who wish to provide nothing less. Gender choices are identified with a slash, such as “him / her.” Content choices are identified in [brackets.] This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and HealingTo listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

On the Birth of a Child
Precious child,
Wonder of creation,
You are proof of Divine love,
Witness to our Maker’s Glory,
Witness to the blessed partnership
Between [woman, man][us] and G-d.
What makes me worthy of you?
What makes me able to gently guide you on your sacred path,
Your own journey to wisdom, charity, righteousness and Torah?

Father of the universe,
Mother of creation,
Be my guide and teacher,
As I father/mother/parent this new life,
This precious gift.
Give me humility, compassion and wisdom
To teach her/him Torah and Mitzvot
Through my actions and my life,
So that we become each other’s blessings.

Gracious G-d, be my partner in raising this child,
For this gift is not mine.
It is ours to nurture, to grow,
And to give back to the world for tikun olam.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: For Veyechi 5773, I posted a prayer called “Near the End: A Meditation.” For prayers about family, click here. See also: “On the Birth of Grandchildren.” This prayer first appeared on this site on June 25, 2010.

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. Please take a moment to explore my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Vayeshev 5775: For Humility

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

HumilityThis week’s Torah reading shows the maturing of Joseph: from a boy who tattles on his brothers, flaunting his dreams and his special coat, to a man who knows that his gifts come from G-d. He learns humility. This is meditation about living a life of humility and service. It appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below.

 

For Humility
G-d, give me a quiet heart,
A peaceful heart,
A humble heart.
Teach me to be gentle with myself,
So that I may be gentle with others.
Teach me to be patient with myself,
So that I may be patient with others.
Teach me kindness and gratitude,
Joy and humor,
Strength and forgiveness,
Trust and faith,
Openness, willingness and surrender.

To Praise, not to be praised.
To Bless, not to be blessed.
To Glorify, not to be glorified.
To Extol, not to be extolled.
To Sanctify, not to be sanctified.

So that all will go well with your People Israel.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Although I’ve selected this prayer for Vayeshev 5775, it can be said at any time and has particular relevance during the Counting of the Omer and the Hebrew month of Elul. This prayer first appeared on this site on August 4, 2010.

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. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Credit: Courage for Life

Sephardi Quarter Note

Posted on: November 2nd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

sephardic-womenThis prayer/poem is about the beauty of Sephardic song. The inspiration came during a class taught by Galeet Darsahsti at OSRUI‘s Shabbat Shira, an annual weekend of creativity, focused on Jewish music. Music is a common theme for me, such as: “For the Gift of Music,” “Sing Hallelujah” and one of my favorites “We are Music.” This appears in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Sephardi Quarter Note
If you listen
To the space between
The notes and the half notes,
The space between heartbeats,
You’ll hear quarter notes of love and yearning,
Ancient music of hope and sorrow,
Infinite in variation,
The echo of generations.
Notes that bend toward G-d.
Notes that linger with longing.
Notes that plead for redemption.
The voice of sorrow
And the voice of laughter.
Notes of surrender.
Notes that refuse to surrender.
Notes that cry out to Zion and Israel.

If you listen
To the space between
The notes and the half notes,
The rises and the falls,
The trills and trumpets,
You will hear a rhythm and a pulse
Calling out:
Adon Olam,
Yedid Nefesh,
Shachar Avakeshcha,
Yodukha Rayonai.
Master of the Universe,
Beloved of my Heart,
At Dawn I Seek You,
My Thoughts will Praise You.”

In the space between the notes,
Dreams of G-d
Touch the core of being
To become music.

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

Postscript: Thanks to Galeet for including this prayer/poem in a recent email to her fans, as well as her suggested changes to this piece. More prayers incorporating the theme of music include: “We are Music,” “Life as a Symphony” and “For the Gift of Song.”

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: BuzzNet/Jewish Art House

Breisheit: About the Rainbow

Posted on: October 17th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Seeing a rainbow brings an immediate sense of beauty and awe, a sense of the wonder of creation, which is why I’ve selected it for Breisheit. This is from series of prayers in the voice of the one who has a question that doesn’t need an answer. Other prayers in this series include “About the Heavens” and “About Shabbat.” To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

About the Rainbow
Majestic Sovereign,
Source of beauty,
When did You decide
To create the rainbow?
Was this Your design?
Or perhaps it was a
Fantastic discovery
The moment Your Divine Light
Burst through the firmament of heaven?
Did You know that
Your Glory
Could be refracted
Through a simple lens of water?
Or were awe and wonder created
When You first saw
Your own colors,
When You gasped
At Your own brilliant light
Arching across a deep blue sky?

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are links to “For Creation, the prayer I posted for Breisheit 5773, and “This is the Place,” the prayer I posted for Breisheit 5774. This prayer first appeared on this site on October 5, 2010.

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: ScienceBlogs.com

Finding My Beshert

Posted on: October 5th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Beshert HappensHere’s a new prayer for finding a life partner, a “beshert.” More people have asked me to write on this topic than all others combined. It’s been on my list and unaddressed for years. I can’t explain why it’s taken so long, especially since I’ve written prayers for recognizing romantic love, “For New Love,” and about maintaining that love, “For an Open Heart.” Perhaps it’s because I struggle with the idea of a divinely-ordained life-partner. Note: language choices in this piece are identified by a slash “/” and optional inserts with [brackets]. To who are looking for a beshert, blessings on your journey.

Finding My Beshert
G-d of joy and celebration,
Of generations and futures,
Bless me as I begin/continue
My search for a life partner,
A man/woman for me to love and to hold dear,
A man/woman to love me and hold me dear.
For this is Your will and Your way,
That couples should bond to serve each other in joy
And to serve You through the fullness of family,
In mourning and in rejoicing,
Marking the days with thanksgiving and grace.

[My search has taken longer than I’d imagined.
Grant me the courage to continue
And the faith that my wait will be rewarded.]

G-d of our fathers and mothers,
Lead me wisely to a man/woman
Of character and strength,
Wisdom and understanding,
Torah and mitzvot,
A man woman of ____________ [add your own hopes and dreams].
Lead him/her swiftly to me,
A gift beyond measure.
Open our hearts to each other
And help us to keep our souls
Pure in service to each other and our family/families
All the days of our lives.

Blessed are You,
Source of blessing and love.

.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, מְקוֹר הַבְּרָכָה וְהָאַהֲבָה

Baruch atah, m’kor hab’rachah v’ha’ahavah.

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

Postscript: “For New Love” and for “For an Open Heart” appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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: The Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay

 

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