Time never stops. It is inexorable. In moments of joy and tragedy, the earth continues to rotate and the seasons continue to alternate. Shabbat and meditation offer a glimpse of existence outside of time. There we reside in the presence of the Source: no limits, no boundaries, only the vibrations of no/thing.
Anything can be idolatrous. Therefore, question everything.
We are intersecting fields of eternal becoming.
We don’t move forward to the light until we first step through the darkness.
My poems are dreams in word form.
I love the protean quality of both dreams and poems. You never know what an image or word will turn into. Life is like that; only we don’t see it that way. Everything seems permanent and fixed, but it isn’t. As we get older and look back on our lives, we realize how much like a dream or poem it all is.
Thinking is a scion of feeling, one of the senses, a metaphorical, symbolic realm filled with the vibrant colors of awareness, the smells of memory, the voices of inspiration, the touch of knowledge, and the light of clarity.
Being is who we are authentically. Becoming is why we enter the cycle of life.
Poetry is the warp and woof of the Bible.
What are symbols? The medium through which we see and create our worlds.
Feeling involves all the senses, including thought.
Each spark seeks another spark to make a fire.
Time expands when you focus on what is truly important.
For me poems are as much oral as visual, as much spoken as written. I need to perform them as much as I need to write them.
Symbols fill the gap between raw energy and form. Poetry and dreams do the same.
Poetry and dreams are two of the most potent vehicles for unveiling the unconscious.
Fear is a cover for the courage that lies just beneath it.
Playing board games is great preparation for writing poems. They both involve play.
The most powerful ideas come to us mysteriously–like dreams.
Some physicists say that time is ultimately an illusion. Shabbat feels a little like that. Time seems to stop. That’s when life comes close to ‘Olam haba, the world to come, eternity, home.
Poems let you play with words, just as dreams let you play with images.
Whenever I complete a poem or any writing project, I feel as if I’m sending my child into the world.
How many times do we die before we die? Life is a series of transformations, shifting of shapes. We are constantly preparing for a next act.
Human beings generally don’t like change, yet flexibility is the key to survival and flourishing.
I love poetry in part because of its fragmentary quality, like dreams.
Poems resemble dreams in the rich symbolism their words express and the protean quality of their embedded images.
At its most profound, poetry unites meaning, beauty, truth, wisdom, and love.
Symbols channel energy into form.
We don’t begin with integration. We conclude with it. Fragmentation is always a prelude to integration.
A good discussion: Howard Wettstein argues that the question of belief is not important in Judaism. The question as to whether or not God exists is the wrong question. Rather the questions should be: What is your experience of God? How do you relate to God? Judaism is experiential and practical, not theological: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/is-belief-a-jewish-notion/?
Six days and Shabbat: the many in the midst of the One.
What is compassion? Recognizing that you and I are related.
Whoever did the Boston Marathon bombings, lets make sure we don’t demonize a group of people, lump people into categories, or try to close ourselves off from the rest of the world. That would be the worst possible outcome I can imagine. Of course, we should protect ourselves and seek justice, but let’s make sure we keep our hearts and heads present and realize that we are living in a fragmented, broken, wounded world. We are all wounded. While we defend ourselves and seek to defeat terrorists, we also need to reach out to one another. It’s difficult to engage in battle and to reach out to others at the same time, but that is the task we have before us.
This article puts MLK into perspective, reminding us that he was not a bourgeoise moderate politician, but a radical social and spiritual acitivist with an economic vision for justice and equality. Whatever one thinks of his economic solutions, there is no question that levels of inequality in our society threaten our way of life, our democracy, and our freedom. MLK was well ahead of his time on that. We need to remember who MLK was and his vision of a just society and not depict him as the main character in a romance novel in order to domesticate him for popular consumption. .
In a move to assert their rights in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to bring attention to gender inequalities, Mormon women put out a call to wear pants to church. We may think of women as having achieved parity in many sectors of American society, but in religious institutions women often find themselves caught in the backdraft of ancient traditions and historical precedents.
In my own Jewish tradition, for example, women have found themselves arrested by Israeli police simply for wearing a prayer shawl (talit) while praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In fact, there is nothing in Jewish law that would prevent women from doing this: it’s simply a custom that men in authority don’t like.
This is another example of religious institutions trailing behind other sectors of society in promoting economic and social progress. In the modern world, organized religion has in fact mostly stood as an impediment to the expansion of freedom and to cultural advancement. In contrast, spiritual thought and practice is much more attuned to the unfolding consciousness that is very gradually bringing humanity to a higher state of awareness and living.
Thanks to these Mormon women for helping humanity move forward just a little bit further.
In the post-Enlightenment era, at least in developed societies, most profound social and spiritual change does not come from religious institutions, but from the middle class.
Larry Kant, Mystic Scholar
When I meditate, I look at myself. I watch myself breathe, sit, listen. So who is the one breathing, sitting, listening? Who is the one watching all this? I realize that I am neither the doer nor the watcher. I am the one who contains both the watcher and the doer. I exist somewhere else in another place, in another home, of which all this is but a small part.
We are each so small and so large, so near and so far. No/thing contains us, and we contain all that is. We are right next to ourselves, yet an eternity away. We are bodies and DNA scrolls crossing space and time, conveying new stories as we compose poetry in energy, condensing and scattering, then reformulating ourselves in new patterns and structures, like a living kaleidoscope.
Freedom from bondage in Egypt still has not finished. We are still wandering in the wilderness to the extent that we are in bondage to the expectations of others. Such a plight might indicate “peer pressure,” but even more it refers to the manipulations of powerful cultural forces and vast corporate empires.
Yet, in the din and confusion of screeching bullies and con-men, it is within our power to listen to our own authentic voices and act accordingly. A difficult journey faces us, but the land of milk and honey beckons.
When an incarnate being enters into full awareness, the many and the one melt into one another
Anxiety and fear are like bushes and branches on a path. All you have to do is step over them or around them or just clear them away. Then you’re back on the path that was always there anyway.
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