Spiritual Preparation -- Elul 5776

Martin Buber experienced God in the immediacy of I-Thou, a meeting of two beings (God and individual) that creates a new existence in the immediacy of their encounter, without an intervening third party perspective of the split self dispassionately viewing the I participating in the world.

In meditation, we attempt to empty the self of the trappings of the world that we shove into ourselves constantly, and just penetrate to pure being. Focusing on the rhythm of breathing, we let go thoughts as they enter, and simply become a human BE-ING rather than a human DO-ING. By emptying the self of all but pure being, we cease to feed the ego, and simply exist.

In last night's Elul worship at Beth Torah, we sang:

Return Again Music: Schlomo Carlebach Lyrics: Rafael-Simkba Kahn © Schlomo Carlebach All Rights Reserved

Return again, return again Return to the land of your Soul Return again, return again Return to the land of your Soul

Return to what you are, return to who you are Return to where you are Born and reborn again Return again, return again, Return to the land of your Soul Return again, return again Return to the land of your Soul…

For the first time, I understood "the land of your Soul." It's the unadorned, pure existence, core self that continues to exist within that we complicate with all of our strivings and ambitions, our accomplishments and our sorrows. It's pure being, a gift of existence from God.

By praying or meditating, we can discover the joy of that pure self, created in God's image, without fear, or guilt, or suppositions, or pretensions, or any of the emotions that we cause ourselves resulting from our incursions into the world.

There exists, within each of us, a pure self, an image of God (in my belief system), a being created in joy and experiencing joy from just existing in the world of Creation.

May this Elul enable us, unburdening ourselves of guilt by repenting with those whom we love and receiving their forgiveness, to discover the pure BE-ING within, the pure self, the image of God, and in our immediacy with others, our I-Thous of the future, discover daily fulfillment and the Land of the Soul.

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© 2016 by Rabbi Mark H. Levin.