Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ecstatic, mundane, ecstatic. 45m + 29m

it's just me and my breath holed up in a comfortable easy lotus posture. yet there's nothing else i'd rather have, and do. there's nowhere else i'd rather be than roaming in the inner realm which is none other than my own inner self. all this vastness, all this brightness, all this happy, sweet quiet are mine.

every now and then i see the to-do list looming in the mental horizon. i watch my awareness tempted by tendency to scroll down the list. hmmm, i should move this one up to top priority, what if i can't figure out how to handle that one, what if so-and-so say no to my request, so-and-so doesn't respond to my emails so should i call or email. you get the drift of where and how my mind is conditioned to go.

before the mental activity could gain further momentum i remember the one thing i took away from this week's torah study. i've never liked this parasha. on the surface it is as mundane as can be. how should a lender charge interest on a loan? what to do with the collateral? hey, i almost wanted to skip going to the study altogether.

i didn't skip it. i applaud myself for it.

rabbi lerner describes the narrative arc of the parasha in three words, actually two. ecstatic, mundane, ecstatic.

in this simple mind, i see this as the road map for how to live in the world while holding yhvh in my heart.

of course, the ideal world is where everybody remember the teachings all the time and think, speak, act from that place. and that would be a world full of abraham and noah. there would be no need for rules.

speaking for myself, i forget from time to time especially when i am dealing with matters of money. i need certain rules to help me stay on the path, or, as my compassionate rabbi would probably say, not to stray away so far that i can't find my way back.

and so 'ecstatic, mundane, ecstatic.' when i am in the midst of working through the to-do list i am bookended by enthusiasm, which, in essence, means 'possessed by god.' otherwise, doing the mundane is like eating dry sawdust at best. at worst? i won't go there anymore. it's not me. it's not how i want to live. it's not how the force of healing and transformation would go.

as my beloved meditation teacher says, on more than one occasion, once you are on the path, you have to examine your thoughts, words, spoken and written, and the only measuring gauge is this question, does this take me closer to god?

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