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Welcome to the twenty-ninth day of the Journey of the Soul. This is the first day of the fifth week. This week’s new kavannah (intention) is Finding Our Way.
In this fifth week of the journey, we find ourselves more than half-way through the Counting of the Omer. This week in the wilderness, we explore what is needed to find our way through.
The terrain is challenging. The pitfalls are numerous. Much remains uncertain. But there are some common occurrences in the wilderness experience of Journey of the Soul that are helpful to look out for and tools that can be helpful as we navigate onward.
We may fall down. We may get lost. We may experience a number of feelings — fear, doubt, remorse are among them. Our feelings may be so powerful that we want to abandon the journey.
This week we explore some common habitual reactions to these wilderness obstacles. As in everyday life, “stuff happens” on the spiritual journey, and all the more so, in times when there is no map. We all have years of automatic reactions, sometimes conscious and often not.
We will also examine some intentional responses to our wilderness encounters, skills and tools for our spiritual backpack. With awareness, we begin to see that we do have choices. Mindfulness practice has a great deal to offer us as we make our way forward towards the promised land.
Gradually we learn that we do not need to be slaves to our automatic reactions, aversions and cravings. This is freedom. In addition, we begin to see that we are resourceful, and we have the capacity to be courageous. Together we continue through the wilderness, and with each step and breath, we are finding our way through.
Mindfulness Practice: Today’s practice is about tuning in to where you are at this moment of the journey, as we begin to Find Our Way. Sit comfortably in a quiet space. Set a timer for ten minutes. Gently bring your awareness to your breath. Bring to your consciousness the journey you are currently on. Imagine that you have woken up, set out, and have begun to journey. Now, you see off in the distance the terrain becoming challenging. Notice the feelings that come up for you. Notice the thoughts that emerge. Without a need to change them, gently breathe into exactly where you are. Visualize yourself making your way through with calm and clarity.
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-ninth day, totaling four weeks and one day of the Omer: Hayom tishah v’esrim yom, she-haim arba-ah 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
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