Friday, May 28, 2010

what is jealousy?

during torah study rabbi lerner asks, what do you think jealousy is? this is while we are examining a torah portion about making a woman drink 'cursed' muddy water if her husband has a fit of jealousy. it doesn't matter if she has really committed adultery. i can see why women over the ages are outraged over this. but then, coming from a culture and tradition where women suspected of adultery were bound up, locked in a cage and thrown alive into water i can see why i sort of feel like, well, at least she is not drowned alive. it doesn't make the practice less humiliating, shaming and traumatic though.

i digress.

what is jealousy? i'm really grateful that my rabbi is always looking for a way to make the ancient torah relevant to me right here right now. i think jealousy has to do with feeling not enough, not good enough, not having enough. it has to do with the fear of losing control. o yes, i know these feeling so, so well. for so long i was so caught up into them, totally bought into them. not anymore. through the power of meditation i realize that the sense of enough-ness that i crave can only be found within me. i cannot find it in anyone else and in anything else. i may have the illusion that so-and-so makes me feel so great about myself. i may think if only i had this or that i would be so happy. but what really happens is when i get what i want the mind goes quiet. the light of my self shines forth. it is that light that gives me the experience of being enough, having enough. but, aiya, the experience only lasts as long as i am connected to the self and the mind thinks that to sustain the connection i have to go for more stuff, more control. meditation is the only way i know how to strengthen and purify the connection in a real, lasting way.

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