Your Blessed Presence



The vastness of You is impossible to fathom, and Your beauty often leaves me just breathless.

I fall to my knees and quickly cover my face, as the tears of my soul start to flow.

Being in Your Light is like cool water in the desert, or a roaring fire on a cold winter’s day.

I want only to be in Your blessed presence, for whatever moments this body has remaining.

finding ‘our way back Home’


“[A]ll religions are like different languages that seek to express that which is beyond words . . . so that we can remember our way back Home.”

Rabbi Dr. Nadia Siritsky, The Reform Advocate, Vol. VI, No. 2, Summer 2014.


In the first chapter of Be Love Now, Ram Dass explains that when feeling unconditional love occurs simultaneously with awareness that everything is ‘of G-d’ . . . 

“the door is opened to . . . the soul.”

Dass refers to the opening of that door as a moment of “grace,” in which a person becomes one with The One (i.e., G-d). Dass describes such a moment as “a deep sense of being home,” and he notes we feel this deep sense of home because our fears and our sense of unworthiness are dissolved in G-d’s Unconditional Love.

What a beautiful definition of Home!!

— a place where our fears and our sense of unworthiness are dissolved in unconditional love . . .

Who wouldn’t want to return there every day?!?!

Actually . . . if we were willing to admit the ugly truth about how we feel in our darkest hours . . . that is precisely the place to which each of us wishes we could return and stay — a place where we are loved so completely that we are not afraid of being rejected and we are not ashamed to be exactly who G-d created us to be.

That is, after all, the “place” from which humanity “fell” when Adam and Eve ate the apple, causing them to become self-aware, ashamed, and afraid . . .

AND. . .

from watching my own sons, it seems to be a developmental stage each of us reaches in childhood . . . when our awareness of the judgments passed by others in social situations begins to make us self-conscious and insecure.

Sadly, for many of us, that social awareness can eventually drown out our awareness of our internal sense of happiness and wholeness. It can drown out the still, small voice that tells us that we are loved unconditionally by G-d and that we are an integral, infinitely-important part of the universe.

And so, all religions try to remind us of our interdependence and they try to show us that Love, so that we might find our way back to the safety and security of that Home in G-d’s Grace.

Regardless our individual religious languages, may each of us find more moments to rest in the Grace of G-d’s Unconditional Love and, then, may we share that Love with others.

Shabbat shalom, jen

G-d’s Light




Once, as I sat in the darkness and silence of meditation, my mind’s eye opened like the swinging of a heavy wooden door, and I saw before me brilliantly blinding white light. Then, replacing the white light, I saw — in slow succession, as if the pictures were slid before me, one after another — three scenes of the most breath-taking, vivid colors: green leaves and grass, then purple flowers, then orange foliage. After the breath-taking colors, I experienced an immense sense of openness, of peace, of calm, of unity, of freedom, and of great awe. The beauty of the moment was so overwhelming that I began to cry.

About ten minutes after meditating, I realized that the three breath-taking images were secondary colors (green, purple, and orange) — which are not only created by combining other colors but are distinctly beautiful individual images created from white light — and only by seeing each of them as uniquely beautiful did I “pass” to a place of great awe.

In that moment, I understood that seeing true beauty occurs only when we respect our differences. I need not become less me, and you need not become less you, but we each must be permitted to stand in our truths and respectfully share ourselves with others. Each of us must allow (and be permitted by others to allow!) the White Light of G-d to pass through our souls and create whatever breath-taking color G-d created us to display. And each of us must come to see the beauty in the color of Light that comes from every other person!

Then, when any two of us stand together, each shining and respectfully allowing the other to shine, others around will see, in the combination of Lights, a new beautifully-vivid color that those two Lights create together.

And, if enough of us stand together, shining our true colors, our Lights will combine to create the White Light of Unity. As communities, we become capable of shining G-d’s White Light into this material world!!

. . . but, first, we must learn to see G-d’s Light shining in others . . . and we must recognize that every other person’s Light simultaneously is no less, and yet no more, important than our own light, so that we will not be afraid to let others shine . . .

Praying each of us learns a little better each day to see G-d’s Light in others and to encourage others to shine, jen

What a Love this is




What a Love this is that springs up within me, to flood the arid landscape of my soul.  It washes away the pain of my past, fills the cracks, and makes me again whole.

What a gift this is, this Love I was shown, by a rabbi who set my tears free, she assured me I’d find my way back to Gd, if I struggled to dig deep inside me.

What a treasure this is, this well that I dug, amidst a desert like Abraham my father. It releases the Love that sustains all life and lets me see Gd in all others.

What a miracle it is that I met that rabbi, at the height of my internal strife. She saw Gd in me, taught me how to dig, and now truly I have a new life.

What an honor it is to feel this Love, as it springs up from deep in my soul. May Gd help me learn to share it with others, so that they too can make themselves whole.


praying Shabbat brings shalom, jen


a chuckle for Wednesday


Once upon a time, a mystic lived up in the mountains in a hut far from civilization. A delegation of religious leaders from down in the valley went to visit him because they wanted his opinion to settle a religious disagreement.

When they arrived unannounced, they found the mystic meditating in his hut and — much to their dismay — he was naked.

The leader of the visiting group exclaimed:
I demand to know why you are meditating in your hut with no pants on!!

The mystic calmly replied:
The world is my hut, and this small room is my pants; perhaps it is you who should explain — Why are you in my pants?


Adapted from Kornfield, Jack. “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path.” (Bantam, 2001).