Journey of the Soul: Making the Omer Count
Welcome to the twenty-second day of the journey. This is the first day of the fourth week. This week’s new kavannah (intention) is Being in the Unknown
In this fourth week of the journey, we step further into the wilderness.
Last week, we explored the ways in which the wilderness is uncharted territory. We introduced the
concept that the wilderness can be a place of hard-won transformation
and change. This week we examine the feelings and habitual reactions that frequently come up in such places of unfamiliar terrain.
Today, we acknowledge that being with and in the unknown can be more than a little uncomfortable. Our automatic reaction is to want to get out of it as soon as possible. We want to go back. We want to race ahead. We want just about anything other than what and where we are right now. But now and here
is the only place we are in.
We are in good company. Concerned that the Israelites would have a change of heart and want to go back to Egypt, God led our ancestors a roundabout way,
rather than the most direct route.
Sue Monk Kidd writes: “Transformations come only as we go the long way round, only as we’re willing to walk a different, longer, more arduous, more inward, more prayerful route. When you wait, you’re deliberately choosing to take the long way, to go eight blocks instead of four, trusting that there’s a transforming discovery lying pooled along the way.” When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions
Recognizing that there can be discomfort in the unknown, we want to offer some practices to put in our spiritual backpacks to help us stay the course for our journey through the wilderness:
1) Curiosity: When we encounter either an uncomfortable feeling or roadblock, an attitude of curiosity can be helpful. Rather than making an immediate judgment, learning to be an “observer” who is genuinely interested in whatever comes up for us allows distance to see more clearly.
2) Patience (savlanut in Hebrew) Often when we come up against discomfort, our reaction is to want to find a quick fix. Notice your desire to fix the situation right away in order to get out of discomfort and begin to develop the quality of patience to see what emerges on the long route.
3) Friends: (chaverot/chaverim in Hebrew) In walking through the “I Don’t Knows” in life, it’s so comforting to find friends who will either walk beside you or remind you that you will find a way through, even if neither of you know what that looks like.
The questions to each one of us on this twenty-second day of the Omer are:
What have been your habitual ways of encountering the unknown? Are you generally excited about what you don’t know, or wary or scared? Think about a situation in which you really did not know what to do, or even how to move forward. How did you eventually walk through? What did you learn about the unknown from that experience? Which of the practices above (curiosity, patience and friends) do you want to develop more for the journey you are on right now? Perhaps write your responses in your journal.
Blessing for Counting the Omer:
Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’Olam asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Holy One of Blessing, who makes us holy with sacred obligations and commands us to count the Omer.
Counting: Today is the twenty-second day, totaling three weeks and one day of the Omer: Hayom shnayim v’esrim yom, she-haim sh’losha shavuot v’yom ekhad la-omer.
Blessings to you on this new day. We are delighted to journey together.
Rabbi Cindy Enger and Rabbi Jill Zimmerman
If you received this email as a forward, we’d love for you to join us. Click here for more information and to subscribe to the counting of the Omer.
Copyright © 2014 The Jewish Mindfulness Network, All rights reserved.
You’re receiving this email because you joined the 49 day Omer Spiritual Journey hosted by Rabbi Jill Zimmerman and Rabbi Cindy Enger.
Webinars and Classes begin next week and are filling up! www.ravjill.com