receive daily meditations by email
during the month of Elul, August 16 - September 13, 2015

Shalom! To receive daily meditations by email during the month of Elul, enter your email address in the "follow by email" box on the right.
No Blogger/Google account is needed to follow by email, but an account will allow you to post comments.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mindful of the Ordinary

A few days ago, Josh Wallach introduced the readers of this blog to the concept of hitlamdut - a learning stance that asks us to be open to learning about ourselves from all of our experiences.  When we approach each moment of our day with an attitude of curiosity and openness, instead of judgment and fear, we are practicing hitlamdut.  This kind of learning stance is incredibly helpful during the month of Elul, when we are asked to be more attuned to the patterns and habits of our daily lives.

Mary Oliver expresses the idea of hitlamdut in her poem, "Mindful."

Every day
I see or I hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It is what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

The ordinary, the common, the very drab, as Oliver explains, are invitations not only to be mindful, but also to be grateful.  Invitations to grow in wisdom.  As we step out into the world on this 9th day of Elul, let us be attuned to the lessons the world presents to us, and the endless opportunities we have to learn about who we are, and about who we can become.

Rabbi Andrea

No comments:

Post a Comment