Posts Tagged ‘trail’

 

Three Meditations for Tu B’Shvat

Posted on: January 24th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

Here are three meditations for Tu B’Shvat. It’s also called Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot, the ‘New Year of the Trees,’ which begins Wednesday evening, Jan. 27, 2021. A festival of renewal and hope, it’s celebrated as an ecological awareness day, as well as a day for planting trees.

Orchid, Cedar and Date Palm
If only I could see
Your love as an orchid blossom,
I would smell the secret scent of holiness
From the heavens.

If only I could see
Your love as a cedar in Lebanon
I would stand tall in the strength
Of Your glory.

If only I could see
Your love as a date palm,
I would become the sweet fruit
Of divine plenty.

This Prayer is a Tree
Could it be
That a prayer
Is like a tree
Falling in the woods?
No one needs to hear
Its thunderous crash,
For its nutrients to soak
Back into the earth.
For its hollows
To provide shelter.
For it to become
One with life itself.

Let your prayers
Pour out upon
The fertile ground
Of your heart.
Let your prayers
Feed your aching soul.

Could it be
That your prayer
Is like a tree
Falling in the woods?
No one needs to see it
Crack and tumble
For it to clear space
For new growth.
For it to open space,
Letting sunlight
Penetrate the deep.
For it to become
One with life itself.

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.

“Orchid, Cedar and Date Palm” and “This Prayer is a Tree” are © 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. “Tending Gardens” is © 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer.

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Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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

Orchid, Cedar and Date Palm

Posted on: May 10th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

A simple meditation inspired by nature. Israel is home to roughly 30 varieties of wild orchids. I took this photo of a pyramidal orchid — בן-סחלב צריפי — on Friday on a hike from Tel Socho to Givat Yishaiyahu, about 40 minutes from Jerusalem. Every Shabbat we sing: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree, growing tall like a cedar in Lebanon.” (Psalm 92:13)

Orchid, Cedar and Date Palm
If only I could see
Your love as an orchid blossom,
I would smell the secret scent of holiness
From the heavens.

If only I could see
Your love as a cedar in Lebanon
I would stand tall in the strength
Of Your glory.

If only I could see
Your love as a date palm,
I would become the sweet fruit
Of divine plenty.

© 2020 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 my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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

Let’s Hike Together in Israel

Posted on: April 13th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

I wrote this meditation — “On the Trail” — after 17 days thru-hiking and  mountaineering on Mount Rainier. In Israel, I’m still an avid hiker. So… let’s go hiking together! Really. When we’re done sheltering in place, Via Sabra – the experiential Israel tour pros – and I invite you to hike with me in my spiritual Israel. We’ll have a professional tour guide describing the land and plan a variety of cultural and culinary experiences. For those inclined, I’ll lead a variety of spiritual experiences. If you’re interested in finding our more, drop me an email.

On the Trail
G-d of beginnings,
G-d of mystery and adventure,
The path is steep,
The route is hidden,
The trail a narrow ridge line,
Exposed and treacherous,
Slicing between majestic canyons,
Rising to the awesome sky.
The load is heavy, the destination unknown,
But the journey has rhythm and dance,
Song and story,
Ancient music that rises around us,
To take us from sunset to sunset
As we move into the glorious unknown
Step by step,
Moment by moment,
Day by day by day.

G-d of the wayfarer,
G-d of the traveler and sojourner,
Divine light of wonder and truth,
Lead us.
Show us the way
Across vast open spaces
And through tight, narrow passages.
Guide us.
Show us the way
Through stormy days
And moonless nights.

Blessed are You, Source and Shelter,
Guide and Compass, Oasis of Strength,
You lead Your people from trail to trail,
From trial to trial,
From darkness to light,
With love.

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

Postscript: This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer. It was first published on April 4, 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.

Photos of Alden Solovy

New Adventures

Posted on: June 7th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

IMG_4466This prayer is about reaching the end of a trail. It’s my second hiking prayer, again using the hike as a metaphor for life. Here’s to seeing you all “On the Trail.”

New Adventures
Every new adventure
Begins at the end of a trail,
Seen or unseen,
Physical, spiritual,
The place where going on
Makes no more sense,
The place where one more step
Would be a betrayal
Of every lesson learned along the way.

Every new adventure
Begins with a choice to enter the unknown,
To explore the wild and the majestic,
The wilderness and the mundane,
To invite new moments
Of holiness and challenge
Into our days,
To invite struggle and triumph
To walk beside us.

Every new adventure
Begins with faith in the journey,
Discovering faith in ourselves,
Finding faith in the daily blessings that
Surround us,
Guide us,
Carry us to
New vistas,
New horizons,
New landscapes,
Wonders beyond imagination.

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

Postscript: See also: “On the Trail,” “On the Road,” “For Travel” and “Being Lost.”

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Photo Source: Alden Solovy

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