How attention to our breath opens a door for our bodies to experience joy and vitality
Movement and Dance
How movement and dance can open our spirit and awaken our childlike exuberance and sense of play
How foods, herbs and medicinal plants can deeply connect us to nature as they regenerate and revitalize
Practicing mindfulness meditation opens our awareness of spirit, body and mind, cultivating compassion and well being
Getting inside texts from a Neo-Hasidic perspective opens a world of new meaning that we can apply to our lives
Chant and Song
Singing sacred melodies with and without words (niggun) opens our hearts and connects us to one another and creation
Facilitating regenerative agriculture mitigates climate change, just one of many actions that help all of Creation share in and protect Earth's bounty.
Designing a kitchen garden, homestead, drip system, composting, natives, pollinators... you create the space to grow and heal as you tend the planet.
Plants have stories and meanings they teach us. Some of their wisdom is to improve our well being and some is for the betterment of nature.
...אֱלֹהַי, נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַֽתָּ בִּי טְהוֹרָה הִיא
My Divine Creator, the soul that you have placed within me is pure. - Morning Prayer
There is a story in the Talmud I love about a gentleman considering converting to Judaism. He went to see Shammai, a teacher, and said to him, "I will convert if you teach me the entire Torah while standing on one foot." Shammai chased him away. But the man was persistent. He went to see another teacher, Hillel, with the same request. Hillel said, “That which is hateful to you do not to to another. The rest is commentary. Now, come and learn.”
The lessons in this teaching are many.
Let's start with balance. Can we keep our balance on one foot while engaged in something important to us? Can we keep our balance in general? How can we do so in the face of difficulty or distraction?
The next lesson is the most central to Torah: Love your neighbor as yourself. Five books of the Torah are boiled into these few words. It seems simple enough. Basic. But it begs the question: Who is our neighbor? Is it the family down the block? The beggar on the street? The person in my town who looks or believes differently than me? The plants, trees and rocks?
And finally is putting this essential teaching into practice. First we must learn to love ourselves; doing nothing hateful to ourselves. Then we must extend that to others. All others. While this teaching seems so basic and simple, it is one we still have not mastered as a species. Not yet with ourselves, not yet with others, and not yet with our planet. And so... we study to cultivate love and compassion for ourselves, for all those around us and for the great mystery that is life.
Come and learn.
... וַיִּיצֶר יְיָ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָ֗ם עָפָר מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָה...
And the Divine created the human being (ha-adam) from the dust of the earth (ha-adamah)... - Genesis 2:7
The earth is breathing at all times. We may not see it obviously in a moment, but we see it clearly when winter softens into spring or summer becomes fall. These are expressions of the earth breathing. In this Shmitah year - this year of rest and release for the land - the breath of the earth is more front and center in our awareness. It is ours to support observe and that breath, and invest in ensuring its well being.
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