Day 48 of Counting the Omer
Tomorrow is the last day of counting the Omer before Shavuot (which means "weeks" in Hebrew) starts on Tuesday night. Shavuot celebrates the receiving of the revelation of Torah at Sinai. All sounds very mythical and Biblical, doesn't it? It's actually one of my favorite holidays because it is a time when the entire community comes together to study, pray, eat, meditate and celebrate. In fact, the group Wilderness Torah is literally going up to Mt. Tamalpais on Tuesday night for what's being billed as "a Night of Revelation." A Kabbalistic rave. An ecstatic encounter with the Mystery. Gotta love that.
Preparing for revelation is simple but not easy, and there are many different perspectives and preferences for when, why and how to prepare. It's kind of a peculiar question, that of how to prepare to receive revelation.
For me, having some time for spacious unencumbered silence is essential. I need to get quiet inside and surround myself with quiet in order to listen for the first faint whisper of revelation. Outside distractions begin to fade away, and the sound of my own breath and beating heart deepen and become more expansive.
Consider all possibilities. Open your heart. Invite your curiosity to come forth. Trust in the likelihood of grace. Lean on others; that's what they're there for. Practice faith.
The offering of one’s heart happens in stages, with shadings of hesitation and bursts of freedom.
Seems to me that there are immense possibilities for healing here. Speaking of healing, today I co-led a workshop on healing body image at a day-long "Art of Healing" program at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In our workshop session we spent some time discussing a prayer called Borei Nefashot that is part of the Blessing after Meals. This prayer is used to bless having eaten any food that falls outside of the categories of the other prayers (fruit, bread, etc); it basically serves as the overarching catch-all blessing (for things like water, chocolate, and others) Here is one interpretive translation:
Blessed Are You, YHVH, Our Divine Source, Sovereign
of All That Is,
Who creates great souls/beings and their
for all that has been created
to sustain the soul of all that is.
Blessed is the Life of All the Worlds.
There is something quite powerful about honoring those parts of ourselves that are lacking, imperfect, yearning for wholeness, within a context (and time frame) of preparing to receive Divine revelation.
Are you ready?