Posts Tagged ‘spiritual journeys’

 

Recipe for a Life, Redux

Posted on: April 8th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

I made sweet and sour meatballs today for the first time. And chicken soup. The kitchen smells lovely, like our family Seders of long ago. Underneath, a familiar shock, brought back by this odd intersection between Passover and modern plague. The jolt to the system of the sudden end of Ami’s z”l shiva — after only two days — to make Seder. That feeling of doing the Seder anyway, because that’s what we do, and dammit how could it ever, ever, ever be the same. So this is post-trauma, I suppose. Or just plain trauma. I dunno. It doesn’t matter. We’re all in this moment of doing the best we can with the world we’ve been given. I made chicken soup and sweet and sour meatballs for the first time today. But here’s the recipe for a life (the text follows a video recitation):

Recipe for a Life
1 cup gratitude
2 tablespoons humility
½ teaspoon pride
5 cloves love, 2 crushed
4 seeds forgiveness
2 tall stalks strength
1 tablespoon surrender
2 sprigs awe
3 sprigs wonder
½ cup hard knocks, melted
1 cup fresh squeezed joy
½ cup pounded sorrow
1 cup wisdom, sifted
1 gleaming ray of light
Two cubes compassion
Dash of fleeting time
Pinch of coarse suffering
Zest of music
Zest of prayer

Combine ingredients
Stir with abandon
Invite friends
Sing

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

Note: As a writing coach I have two open spots for new clients. Contact me at: alden@tobendlight.com.

Postscript: This prayer/poem was first published on this site on Dec. 25, 2016.

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.

Home page image: ooffoo.com

Rhythm and Grace

Posted on: May 20th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

This is another song of the Spiritual Traveler, calling on each of us to hear the music that surrounds us and to feel the power that G-d has given to each of us. Other songs of the Spiritual Traveler include: “Light, Overflowing,” “Dance in the Madness,” “Dance in the Sky, “Come Walk” and “Spiritual Vandals.”

Rhythm and Grace
Let the music of your life guide you,
And the rising sun warm you,
Bringing hope and laughter to your moments and breaths.

Let the power of your stance guard you,
As the horizon blackens and the storm approaches
Holding you firm and ready against the rising winds.

Let the wisdom of your heart ground you
When fear and doubt assail your footsteps
So that you listen to the voice of love and truth.

Let the rhythm of your life grace you,
So that the spinning earth
Will carry you on a journey of joyous adventure.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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: NASA

The Broken Sky

Posted on: April 27th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

Another song of the Spiritual Traveler, hinting that if we look beyond that which appears to be broken we will see that everything is holy. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

The Broken Sky
Look beyond the broken sky,
Cracked by a blaze of sorrow,
To the edge of the universe,
Where stars dance in endless spirals.

There is nothing as small as an angry mind,
And nothing so large as forgiveness.
There is nothing as wild as breathless love,
And nothing as free as your soul.

Look beyond the life you know,
Yearning for signs of truth,
To the shimmering edge of faith itself,
Where holiness sings to the willing heart.

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

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: If you resonate with this prayer, you will likely enjoy “Come Walk” and “Spiritual Vandals.” Other songs of the Spiritual Traveler include: “Light, Overflowing,” “Dance in the Madness” and “Dance in the Sky.”

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: TrendinTech

Light, Overflowing

Posted on: August 16th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A meditation about the seeing God’s light inside of us all. See also, “Sowing Light” and “Light of God.” This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Light, Overflowing
The light in me
Sees the light in you,
Is the light of God.

Oh brilliance!
Sparkling from your eyes.
Radiating from your chest.

Oh wonder!
Shining around us.
Shimmering with amazement.

Oh glory!
Overflowing my heart.
Touching your soul.

The light of God
Sees the light in you,
Is the light in me.

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

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: And one more called “Secret Light.”

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, 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. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: USFWS National Digital Library

A New Way of Being

Posted on: August 8th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A meditation on waking up to the brilliance inside. I began writing this at a ManKind Project (MKP) advanced leadership training workshop. This is one of many meditations that have their roots in MKP trainings, such as “Wild Broken Heart,” “This Man’s Heartbeat” and “My Work Remains.”

A New Way of Being
This waking up
Is never easy,
When being asleep is so gentle,
So familiar,
So welcome,
And a new way of being
Is so hard to find,
So hard to live,
And so hard to keep.

Journey beyond the horizon,
Where joy and grace flow freely,
Where love is sacred medicine,
Where music sings and brilliance dances,
Where the arc of eternity bends to bless you.

This waking up
Is always surprising,
For being awake is so vibrant,
So vital,
So alive,
And a new way of being,
Shimmers with ancient wisdom.

Come to a place
Where there is no more
Thirsty water or hungry bread,
No more heartless heartbeats,
Breathless breathing,
Vacant motion or screaming silence.

Come to a place radiant with light illuminated
And life enlivened,
Where beauty glistens and awe shimmers,
Where the pulse of your soul
And the wonder of creation
Beat with the pulse of the universe.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: Maya Angelou’s poem “Alone” — read during the workshop — includes this:
“…How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone…”

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: Alden Solovy

Happy Birthday, To Me…

Posted on: April 26th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

It’s my 61st birthday. So give yourself or a friend a present… a copy of This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. Yes, it’s a birthday sale! And CCAR Press is offering 30% off on This Grateful Heart. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, go to grateful.ccarpress.org  and use the promo code Alden30 at checkout. It’s valid for 24 hours only and takes 30% off the retail price, making it $10.46, plus shipping.

Thank you for your support of my work. I am, indeed, a Grateful Heart.

Giving Thanks
To whom shall I give this grateful heart,
This joy that shines through the center of my being?
To you my friends,
Who hold me, support me and carry me along the way.
To You, my G-d,
Source of strength and hope.

To whom shall I give these praising lips,
This gladness that echoes from the depths of my voice?
To you my friends,
Who teach me, guide me, and honor me along the way.
To You, my G-d,
Source of wisdom and truth.

To whom shall I give these powerful hands,
This energy that infuses my bone and sinew?
To you my friends.
Together we will build this world into a temple of justice and peace.
To You, my G-d.
Together we will bring the light of holiness and love.

Blessed are you, my friends,
In our moments of celebration together
And our moments of service to each other.
Blessed are You, G-d of All Being,
Source of my life,
Creator of joy and gratitude.

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

 

A Land Your Heart Knows

Posted on: March 22nd, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A new song of the Spiritual Traveler. It’s about hearing the music in your veins, the music in the wind and the music in the sky. It’s about trusting your heart, trusting your eyes and trusting your breathing…

A Land Your Heart Knows
There is a land
That only your heart knows.
But if you trust the music in your veins
You will journey to the place
Where love and power,
Innocence and wonder,
Merge inside your soul.
And you will emerge
Shimmering with light.

There is a dream
That only your eyes know.
But if you trust the music in the sky
You will rise to the place
Where limits become possibilities,
Where endings become beginnings,
Where horizons flow toward you in the color of light.

There is a moment
That only your breathing knows.
But if you trust the music in the wind
You will become a river of blessings,
A fountain of hope,
A well of healing,
And a source of peace.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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: Alden Solovy

Seeking the One

Posted on: March 6th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A meditation on seeking G-d and the flow of love, a song of the Spiritual Traveler. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Seeking the One
Somewhere, in the middle of the ocean,
Unseen, unheard,
A white-capped wave breaks into one thousand seagulls soaring toward the sun, to become a ray of warmth sent back to earth.

Somewhere, inside your heart,
Unseen, unheard,
A golden prayer breaks into one thousand sparks soaring toward the Soul, to become a radiance of blessing sent back to earth.

You are the catalyst of holiness,
The alchemy of the divine,
The wisdom that flows from G-d’s river of light,
The hand that shares healing,
The heart that radiates love,
The seagull soaring toward the sun,
The spark soaring toward the Soul,
The one seeking the One,
Seeking the One,
Seeking the One.

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

Hello! New here? Want more? Subscribe here to receive my newest prayers by email. 

Postscript: See also: “Prayer with Wings,” “Rise on Wings: A Prayer of Borrowing” and “Give Love Wings.”

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: Alden Solovy

The Pulse of Holiness

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

Yesterday, in the early morning, two ideas drifted in and out of my consciousness as I drifted in and out of sleep. Love, and holiness. After waking, this is what I wrote.

The Pulse of Holiness
The love
That echoes love
That whispers love
That breathes love
In the quiet stillness of morning
Is leading you toward light,
Toward understanding,
Toward G-d.
For love is the pulse of holiness,
The beating heart of radiance and wonder,
The rhythm of creation,
The energy of blessing,
The starburst of the divine.

The love
That echoes in your heart
Resonates eternal
With all beings,
With all souls,
With the wisdom of the ages,
And the wisdom of the earth.

Yes, love is the pulse of holiness.
Let it flow through you.
Let your countenance shine majesty
From the core of your being
To the edge of the universe,
To fill the world
With splendor.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also, “Evidence of Holiness.

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: NASA

Spiritual Vandals

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

A song of the Spiritual Traveler, the one who has a profoundly unexpected experience with angels at the gates of mercy. As a result of that one moment, the Spiritual Traveler will never be the same again. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Spiritual Vandals
At the gates of an ancient city
A spiritual vandal cracked into my heart.
Stunned,
Expecting the blood of my grief and shame
To sizzle on the hot stone,
Ready to shout,
‘How dare you touch that sacred place,’
I saw a river of light flowing through me.
Starlight. Moonlight. Sunlight. Your light. My light.
Light from the moment of creation.
So much radiance and glory.
Suddenly on my knees,
My forehead on the pilgrim’s path,
I wept.

Now I wait at the gates
For you.
To invite you close,
To let me see the fissure in your heart
Ready to burst,
To touch it with love,
To crack you open
So that you can see the majesty and the beauty
That flows through us all.

Listen,
Dear sisters, dear brothers:
Do not fear the vandals who guard
The gates of mercy.
For mercy is love,
And love is light,
And light seeks light,
And these angels only want to show
That it’s been inside you
All along.

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

Postscript: See also “Come Walk.”

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: Photo by Alden Solovy

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6