The Road to Damascus

ב׳׳ה

The Road to Damascus

The Road to Damascus passed my way. The Light was blinding, and I fell down to pray. But the vision I had was different from Saul, as for me there was no voice at all. Instead I could see that we are all Inside, connected by a web from which we can’t hide, and inside this web with me and you, are Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha too. For Gd’s plan is bigger than one religion or people, so when your call comes –be it from minaret or steeple– kneel yourself down and take a few moments to pray, thank Gd for multiple paths to help us find our way, because part of the message to Saul was in the message to me — Don’t persecute others for how they find Thee!

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For those who don’t know the story of Saul, a devout Jew who persecuted early Christians, the text is available here.

May this be a week of peace between religions and peoples, jen

for You

ב׳׳ה

for You

Is it reaching for You or

simply stretching myself open —

which is it that brings me Your Love?

For surely You’re here,

even when i can’t feel You,

it’s not as if You ever go away!

It’s only my awareness,

my desire to be an empty vessel,

that allows me to be a Mishkan* for You.

When i dump out my ego,

its desires and defenses,

the shallow trappings of this mortal life,

then suddenly i’m aware

there’s no gap between Us,

You are me and i’m a tiny piece of You.

i can Dance to Life’s Rhythm

and hand out Your Love,

Your Will and mine become one-and-the-same.

What a miracle it is

to exist here within You,

to have the honor of living this life for You!

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*Mishkan is a Hebrew word used in the Torah to indicate the Tabernacle (or portable sanctuary) carried by the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. The Hebrew word Mishkan has the same 3-letter root, Shin-Kaf-Nun, as Shekhinah, the indwelling Divine Presence.

Praying Gd gives each of us the strength to more often “dump out our ego” and become a Mishkan, jen

this great eternal day

ב׳׳ה

this great eternal day

I live for those moments when I truly know You, when my spirit dances to Your Song, the Song being sung by heavenly hosts, as even the tiniest of crickets chirps along. Hearing the Song, I can see the Unity, the Force ebbs and flows but it never goes away, connecting all life, one to another, here inside You, this great eternal day…

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enjoy the day!! jen

 My letter to G-d

ב׳׳ה



 
My letter to G-d

The stories I wish to tell,
they’re all about You,
about Wisdom and Love and Light,
about finding the message
hidden within
each chapter of this Journey You write,
this Torah I’m unrolling,
even as it is written,
sacred letters in black upon white,
the Fire that burns, heals, and reveals
profound beauty
was just hidden from sight.  

But how can I express
in words comprehensible
the ineffable I’ve found as Truth?
Like the web that binds us,
one to another,
as tiny little pieces of You.
Or the fact that You speak
— The age of prophecy is not over! —
to those with the faith to submit,
who see the only goal
resides here where we breathe,
Holy Love we can choose to emit. 

G-d, help me find words
to share what I’ve found,
to inspire others that they might believe,
so that they might stop,
if only for a moment,
yet in that moment,
truly perceive
the Unity around us,
the wholeness within us
despite whatever damage life’s wrought,
so they might Dance
with exuberant Joy,
and hand out this Love
greater than any they’d sought.
 
 

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Shabbat shalom to all, jen

as galaxies unfurl

ב׳׳ה

as galaxies unfurl
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As day turns into night
and night back into day,
The Mystery is there
if we choose to be aware.
If we open our hearts
to the possibility of The Unity,
we can stand at the edge of infinity
as we watch galaxies unfurl.

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1:23 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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1:36 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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1:58 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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2:21 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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2:27 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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2:28 pm CST (unfiltered total eclipse)


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2:28 pm CST (unfiltered sun returns)


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2:30 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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Friends–  These photos that I took yesterday with my cell phone in Bowling Green, Kentucky, are not meant to inspire you with their accuracy, clarity, or quality.  They are simply my attempt to share with you the experience of waiting and watching the unfolding of a natural phenomenon that was truly awe inspiring!!  

That Science has explained to us the “how” and “why” of eclipses does not, in my mind, make them any less a “religious” experience. Not very often, in this country flooded with light-pollution, am I able to show my sons the Milky Way or a star-filled sky.  But yesterday, we could stand together with a large crowd of mostly strangers and be reminded how very small we are, how dependent we are on the sun, how miraculous it is that moon is the right size and distance from the Earth to completely block the light from the sun, how lucky we are to be alive and able to witness such amazing moments . . . and that we are truly blessed and most surely ought to be grateful!! 

If you ever have a chance to witness a total solar eclipse, I highly recommend it!!  

And may we all find more moments that inspire awe and remind us to express gratitude to The Miraculous Mystery that is always there, hiding within and behind the rational answers provided by science, jen
 

Grateful to the angel

ב׳׳ה

Rabbi Simon said,  

“There is no plant without an angel in Heaven tending it and telling it, ‘Grow!'”

Genesis Rabba 10:7. 

A couple of months ago, there was a small thistle plant near the back gate of my patio.  And I was going to pull it out, as my boys and I use the back gate to access community green space and tennis courts.  But then, one morning, I noticed a rabbit eating the thistle plant’s leaves, and I decided we humans could step around the little thistle.  

Rabbit leaving after a thistle snack

Then, as the thistle grew and we began to get scratched on thorns when we used the door, baby rabbits began to visit, so I absolutely could not remove the “weeds” that were attracting them!!!  

Baby rabbit

After much rain and sun, and the urging of its angel in Heaven, the thistle now covers most of the walkway and is five feet (1.5 m) tall!  

And it blooms really beautiful purple flowers that attract hummingbirds and bees to drink from them…

And a rabbit still visits regularly, although I’m not sure if it’s the original adult or a grow-up baby…


My lease requires me to “maintain” my patio area, so I’m expecting my landlord to stop by one of these days and demand that I remove the thistle.  I doubt she would be swayed by my story of rabbits and the thistle’s angel in Heaven… but until it’s required, I’ll going to keep thanking the angel who grew the thistle that has brought so much beauty and life to our patio this summer!

shavua tov, a good week, to all, jen

HaMakom (“the place”)

ב׳׳ה



HaMakom
(“The Place”)

How can I express
what it is to experience
floating in “The Place” with no words,
where all discord harmonizes
into one perfect Unity and
The Mystery calls me its own Name?

To be in HaMakom
where there is only breathing
(and the One breathing is not mortal-me)
is to be transported
beyond time and space,
to where souls once were and will be.

There’s no need for signposts.
Past and future irrelevant,
transfixed in the Eternity of Now.
No directions to wander
when diffused through Infinity.
Nor feet that could touch solid ground.

There I’m forever,
no beginning or ending,
Eternal-Infinite breathing The Name.
I return awestruck and giddy,
with joy and peace overflowing,
mortal-me again forever changed.
 
 

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HaMakom
is Hebrew and literally means “the place.”  However, it is also a name for Gd.  And, as there is no place without Gd, any place can be The Place, if we are willing to open our hearts so that our eyes might see and our ears might hear. 

shavua tov, jen