It’s Hashem’s world, we’re just living in it.
I find it really difficult to remind myself of the above, especially when the going gets tough (and oddly enough, also when the going is smooth as silk, as if I did everything myself while Hashem was in the nosebleed seats cheering me on).
We like to think we’re in control. It’s only human, and we are just that. On a subconscious level, I am aware of the fact G-d is running the show, but giving into the loss of control does not come easy (or at all).
I’ll confess: I find it excruciating difficult to sit still….because, essentially, sitting still equals letting go. My skill set for trust could use some sharpening.
From the moment my alarm shoots me out of my bed until the second my head hits the pillow at the end of the day, I am UP. It’s very hard (read: impossible) for me to stop, to slow down, or to relax. I am gogogo all the time. I’ve always thought that that was the best way to live my life. Setting goals, accomplishing them, making changes, making noise. There is no calm before the storm in my life. I am the storm.
There is room for energy, but there is little room for peace.
I’ve always blamed my lack of peace on Hashem. He put me in this world with a mission, and there ain’t no time like the present to get it done. Right? Right…? If I am on this earth, then I better spend every darn second proving myself. Onward!
Society has an obsession with tranquility; in the same breath that we discuss our endless to-do lists, we talk about zen, yoga, smartphone-less nights with our families. We talk about it, but do we really know what it is? We’re in motion all the time and we talk about finding peace, but I have yet to come across many people who have achieved it.
Well, friends, I did a bit of digging, and the answer I found was fascinating: Meditation. The answer to it all is the profoundly Jewish practice of Meditation.
I’m sure when you think of meditation, your mind immediately projects an image of a yoga studio: dim lights; the smell of incense fills the air; a smooth, soulful soundtrack in the background; maybe a gong being sounded for added effect. And while that is great, this meditation is a horse of a different color. This meditation is focused on making your everyday G-dly.
We throw around the phrase: “Making a home for G-d in the physical world” a lot. I’d go as far as to say that it is the most used phrase in my Jewish household after “Everything is divine providence” or “It’s a mitzvah to always be happy” or “Everything G-d does is for the best.” We say it, but I’m not sure we know what it means.
How does one make a home for G-d in the world? Which world: the one at large, or the one in your heart? What are the actions that need to take place?…and how do you know if you’re doing it right?
The Tanya breaks this practice down into several parts. There is thought, speech, and action involved in ‘building’ this home. Thought is the most elusive, and therefore, in my eyes, the most exciting. What can you do with your own thoughts to shake yourself out of doubt, scarcity, and fear; how can you think yourself into a state where you welcome Hashem into your life?
When you stop. Ah. Breathe. Ah. Recognize Hashem’s presence in your life. Ahhhhh. Realize that Hashem wants you in this world. Ahhhhh! That true joy can be achieved by merely existing. Ahhhhhh!!!!That no activity, no action will shift you until you feel G-d’s presence in your life, until the flow of faith streams within you.
When you meditate on the greatness of G-d’s existence, and the far stretching corners of infinity that He reaches, where is there room for doubt?
Open yourself up to the belief that life really is bigger than you. Hashem knows things about us that we cannot even begin to comprehend.
It’s that simple, and that complicated.
…So, you’ve meditated. Now what?
What a great question!
—–>Next week…what happens when meditation awakens your need for change (even when you stubbornly don’t want to).