Monday, April 25, 2016

Practice paves the way

היום שני ימים בעמר
Today is two days of the omer
גבורה שבחסד
A day of strength in a week of loving kindness

As part of this year's process, I've made a conscious decision to recycle some old omer posts.

The following thoughts are from 5769/2009 - a couple of years before I found the Kitchen. The years following continued to be tough on my practice--this was only the top of the downhill slide. But I didn't run away, I modified but held on to my practice, and I was able to find someplace to run towards. Now, I get to work on integrating what was to what is into what will be.

Of the many teachings that I received from my teacher, Rabbi Alan Lew, z"l, I think those that came from seeing how he lived his life touch the deepest. Primary of those teachings is the importance of integrating spiritual practice into your life, not looking at it as something apart from your life. A large part of that integration involves commitment to the practice. It is the commitment that brings the rewards--both when the practice is "working" and when it's not.

As one who loves ritual and needs that time and space to process, I have experienced the joy that spiritual practice can bring. But it's now, when understanding what I'm doing becomes elusive, that the commitment is at it's most potent. I am forced to look at what I'm doing from different angles, different views, to find my way. It is the ultimate in processing, for while I want to run away--I cannot, I will not. For ultimately it is within the processing that I will find the guideposts I need.

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