Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lessons from Meditation - Toldot

Over the past three years what I have learned most from meditation is that as I sit amongst my group, I am always in awe of our groups' diversity in experiences.  This past week, as we studied Toldot, we shared our impressions of how digging the wells is a metaphor of our lives.  

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18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham; and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of living water.
20 And the herdmen of Gerar strove with Isaac's herdmen, saying: 'The water is ours.' And he called the name of the well Esek; because they contended with him.
21 And they digged another well, and they strove for that also. And he called the name of it Sitnah.
22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not. And he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said: 'For now HaShem hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.'

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During this study, we shared about digging up the wells of our past allows us to be released from whatever it is that might be holding us back.  And as we begin our journey to the past, just like in the Torah, the first well, Esek, might bring some contention.  And as the journey continues to the second well, Sitnah, one may still find strife as the look deeper into one's past. And finally we come to Rehoboth, where we have found our place.   This allows us to expand our hearts and let others in.

This session made such a profound impact on me.  If every journey has a beginning, middle and end, not just moving forward, but also going backwards, perhaps we can take time to "dig up our past." When we are far from it, then we can have the perspective to review it with new healthier insight.  I know that meditation and study led to great interest in prayer and learning, which then lead to more study of Jewish ritual and text. And through all this I have found some resolution to old traumas, wounds or simply bad habits.

I am enriched by my meditation group and I even surprise myself by my weekly dedication.  Through meditation, I have found healthier and more productive ways that now follow me into my work week.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am truly blessed by all that surrounds me, by the weekly Shabbat teachings, by the moment that led me on this journey, by the richness of the spirituality and lessons that guide me, and by my teachers, friends and strangers all whom share their lives and allow me to learn from them.

Happy Thanksgiving and Shabbat Shalom.

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