In this blog I share the words with which I introduced the Embodying Spirit program to the newly gathered retreatants, along with a short psalm of praise that emerged one sunny morning later in the week, when we each spent time outside in a personal "hallelujah spot," drinking in, moving with, opening to the intimate majesty of a greening world.
What is this Embodying Spirit training about?
Parashat B’reishit, which we just read this past Shabbat, helps us align with the process of beginning. It says:
“In-a-beginning (once upon a time…)
along with the heavens and the earth.
The earth was astonishingly empty and desolate
and darkness was upon the face of the Deep.
And the Spirit/Wind of Elohim hovered over the surface of the waters.”
We are at such a beginning here. This Hebrew month of Kheshvan just beginning is a “hovering time.” After the burst of creativity of the High Holy Days (a filling), the purification of Yom Kippur (an emptying), the fullness of Sukkot (the harvest of last year’s plantings), we find ourselves again at the beginning of a cycle of creativity….and so it is with this program.
This program is about allowing our spirits, as much as possible, to enter into a hovering state, hovering over the waters of our beings and of this newly forming group, where we can each in our own way tap into the raw energy of Creation emanating from the Great Mystery.
Coming into this space with one another’s support can put us in touch with the Source of our own creativity, allow us to see our abilities and talents more clearly, to confront our fears, and to move into who and what we are becoming.
As we come to honor all abilities in ourselves and in others, we forge a pathway of shalom, of peace and wholeness, to grow and sustain us in our lives beyond the retreat.
As we touch and gently challenge the limitations we’ve created for ourselves in our own minds, we may uncover new abilities, reach toward goals we didn’t even know we had, and gain the strength to address fears that might be hampering us on our path of spirit.
As we delve into the treasures of our Jewish heritage, we may discover shining jewels that have been lying right under our noses for lifetimes, just waiting to be picked up, turned to catch the light, and cherished.
Welcome to Embodying Spirit!
How green is your green!
How blue is your blue!
How calming and magnificent
are your wispy swirling
white puffs of
How sweet and refreshing
How quietly flows the sap in your
How secret and deep
are your hidden
How fully You are you
—Diane Elliot, Embodying Prayer, November 2, 2016