Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Night Meditation

by  Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

וּמְסַדֵּר אֶת הַכּוֹכָבִים בְּמִשְׁמְרוֹתֵיהֶם בָּרָקִֽיעַ כִּרְצוֹנוֹ.
[G!d] arranges the stars in their heavenly courses according to Divine will.
Evening liturgy

 וַיּוֹצֵ֨א אֹת֜וֹ הַח֗וּצָה וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ הַבֶּט־נָ֣א הַשָּׁמַ֔יְמָה וּסְפֹר֙ הַכּ֣וֹכָבִ֔ים אִם־תּוּכַ֖ל לִסְפֹּ֣ר אֹתָ֑ם 
G!d took him outside and said,
"Look out at the sky and count the stars,
if you can count them."
Genesis 15:5

Let G!d take you outside
at night.

Gaze outward at the sky
gaze 
and gaze.
Experience the stars
flecks of light against the dark night.

Breathe in
breathe out
and let yourself be.

Pick a star
any star
focus your gaze
on a single point of sky.

Reach deeper
beyond that star
beyond that point
far into the distance
to the next 2000 galaxies
outside our own.

Breathe in
breathe out
and let yourself be.

As you can
allow your heart 
and your soul 
to sense that vastness.

Breathe in
breathe out
and let yourself be.

Maintain your focus
hold that pinpoint in the sky
and those 2000 galaxies.

Hold the space.
Hold the place.
Hold the time.

Breathe in 
deeply, 
breathe out
allow your heart 
to hold it all
for a quiet 
moment.

When you are ready
take a risk.
Widen your vision
to the neighboring stars,
then to their neighbors,
and theirs,
slowly
very slowly
and then to their neighbors,
gradually
until you hold 
the entire sky 
in your gaze.

Breathe in
breathe out
let yourself be.

Gently
star by star
absorb awareness
of the Universe,
its hundreds 
of billions (1) 
of galaxies
all filled with stars.
Slowly
star by star
allow yourself
to begin to fathom
the significance 
of perhaps
70 thousand 
million 
million 
million 
stars. (2)  

Breathe in
breathe out
let yourself be.

Each morning we say
מָה אֲנַֽחְנוּ
What are we?

The Psalmist asks
מָֽה־אֱ֭נוֹשׁ כִּֽי־תִזְכְּרֶ֑נּוּ
What are mortals 
that you are mindful of them? (Ps. 8:4)

Take it slowly.

Breathe in
breathe out
let yourself be.

Consider.
What are YOU
in this
Universe?

Breathe in
breathe out
let yourself be.

(1) http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/06/500-billion-a-universe-of-galaxies-some-older-than-milky-way.html
(2) http://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/galaxies


Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in 2005. 

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