lev shalom

Rabbi Ted suggested the other night, at a dinner meeting of our group that is going with him to Israel for 2 weeks, in 2 weeks, that it's time to begin clarifying and setting our kavannah (intention) for the trip. Our intentions always help to determine the kinds of energy that will be available to us, especially important in times or places of concentrated power.

My usual, automatic, responses to such suggestions are quick and without much thought--I pick the first thing that occurs to me and run with that. In this case, my first choice of intention is to be open, receptive, to connect and then let go. But in taking some time to go beyond my habitual response, and finding a comment from Ashley rolling and swimming in my mind, I think about the laser counterpoint to that wide-angle, let-it-all-in, swallow-the-ocean way of being...and that is, to really pay clear and focused attention, to notice and appreciate and remember details, one at a time. 

So, as I write this, a kavannah begins to form that is a sort of combination: to pay full and open bodymind attention to singular, particular, details; to move slowly enough that I can dive in a little more deeply past the surface of a place or thing or person.

From Chris W: i'm reminded of a little quote by deena metzger that i have over my desk at work (i need to have it taped to the inside of my forehead):

there is time only to work slowly.
there is no time not to love.
And, this passage from a favorite book by philosophy professor and naturalist Kathleen Dean Moore, called Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World:
...the philosopher Zeno explained why it was a mistake to think of time as a straight line that can be divided. If a given distance is infinitely divisible, he said, then anyone who wants to travel that length will first have to traverse half its distance. Because you can't get anywhere without first getting halfway there, and because you can't get halfway there without going halfway to that point, and so on and so on, nobody can get anywhere at all. And--this is the good part--the same must be true of time: To pass from one time to the next time, you would have to pass through an infinitude of smaller and smaller pieces of time, and that would take forever.

My friend who is a philosopher says that what Zeno makes her think is, Who cares if you get somewhere? Try instead to go infinitely deep into any piece of the distance. If there is eternal life, she says, it will not be in the length of your life, but in its depth.
Our group will be visiting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Tsfat, and then going to a retreat center in the northern Galilee. The theme of our journey is "the kabbalah of creation," with meditations and explorations steeped in the particular flavour of each of the days of creation. There's still space for two more people!