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Elul Week 4

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The Entirety of Being

This is the final week before Rosh Hashanah and the Aseret y’mei hat’shuvah, the 10 days of repentance, of returning. During the past few weeks, we have given attention to individual aspects of our body — the body that is the vessel, the soul within that lights the way, and the mind which guides with intention.

The final act of our preparation will focus on the entirety of our being.

Listen to the full Week 4 practice by clicking on the lotus image. All of the components of this practice are also provided below as text.

 

“When the heart vibrates, the whole comes alive.” 

In this week’s Torah portion, N’tzavim 30:14, we read,

“No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.”

This is a reminder to us that we are each capable of increasing our own joy and wellbeing, but only if we take the time to see ourselves honestly, to discern who we truly are in any given moment.  Only by seeing, can we find our paths forward, letting our hearts vibrate, moving forward in joy and aliveness. 

Our Mindful Practice

For this week’s practice, we will use a chant to help our hearts to vibrate.  The text we’ll sing is as follows:

Odeh Yah, b’chol libi.
I thank God with my whole heart.
                                          – Psalm 9.2

Find a comfortable, yet alert, sitting position. First, let the music and text wash over you, then join in with your voice when you are comfortable. Stay on the melody, or create a harmony as the song continues. When the song completes, continue to sit in the space that was created for a minute or two, contemplating how you feel in the moment, how your heart feels.

To complete the practice, consider this passage from this week’s Haftarah, Isaiah 62:10.

“Pass through, pass through the gates!”

The gates of t’shuvah, of returning, are open. Only you can take yourself through them.

See the path forward to a healthier life.

Over the past four weeks ...

You have studied texts.
You have practiced bringing your awareness to mundane activities.
You have considered your body anew, you have completed breathing meditations.
You have prayed.
You have sung.
You have practiced introspection.
You have practiced t’shuvah, as well as gratitude.

Take a moment to write down your thoughts on these practices.

What did you connect with?
What did you enjoy?
What did not feel authentic for you?  
What will continue to move you forward to the person you would like to be?

Though there may still be ailments, things that bind you, the practice of the last four weeks has been offered to help you begin the process forward to a healthier state of being and awareness.

To continue forward, the work must be continued, the practices practiced.

But each moment is an opportunity for growth of being.

 

This is the last of our weekly Elul practices, but our journey toward "shleimut" - wholeness - will continue with weekly audio meditations throughout 5780. We look forward to continuing this work with you!

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