Friday, October 22, 2010

Noah - Ephemeral Phenomena, Eternal Source

Parshat Noah
Genesis 9:12-13: And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant, which I am placing between Me and between you, and between every living soul that is with you, for everlasting generations.   My rainbow I have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Myself and the earth. “  

Why does  a rainbow, an ephemeral phenomena, remind us of an everlasting covenant?
Looking closely at the fleeting beauty of creation, we see that the passing away of phenomena is not the same as destruction. All experience and all creation arises and passes. Yet underneath the flux of experience we can sense something eternal, something constant, something that is the source of creation. We bless a rainbow because in blessing the fleeting, we become aware of its eternal source.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ki Teitzei - Remembering to Forget

Parshat Ki Teitzei 
Deut. Ch. 25:19. "…blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!."

A paradox: how to remember to forget? To blot out the memory of those things that pursue us, drain life from us, and undermine our peace, we must “remember” or remind ourselves to return our attention, again and again, to that which gives us life.  This is the “effortless effort” we can use to gently train our minds by focusing on breath or God.  As the mind quiets, it expands and in the expansiveness, troubling, even horrific, memories can be seen from a new perspective.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Shoftim - Justice within, justice without

Parsha Shoftim - Deut. Ch. 16:20. "Justice, justice, shall you pursue, that you may thrive . . . ."  

The repetition of the word "justice" can have many meanings, among them, justice in the world is nurtured and
enhanced by justice within.  Taking and allowing time to hear and reflect on our inner voices can improve the quality of our decision-making and interaction with the world.