Enter Into Joy

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The spirit is boundless

A whirling Dervish in Turkey

December 28, 2010

Cast Aside What Limits You
— By Dov Baer of Mezherich

The human body is finite;
                  the spirit is boundless.
Before you begin to pray,
                  cast aside what limits you
                  and enter into the world of the Infinite.
Turn to God alone
                  and have no thoughts of self at all.
Nothing but God exists for you
                  when self has ceased to be.

Dov Baer (d. 1772) was the chief disciple and successor of Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tov or “Master of the Good Name,” founder of the Hasidic movement of Jewish mysticism, which places devotional prayer at the center of the spiritual life.

Line 2:
the spirit is boundless

Right hand (dominant):
Here I am . . . a moving co-ordinate, a fuzzy hologram, detectable only with special goggles that can see me whirling through this infinite ocean of spirit.

There are no boundaries on this map. In fact, if there even is a map, it’s way beyond our comprehension.

This spirit . . . this energy . . . is within, without, in front of, behind, on top + below.

There are those who impose boundaries, when in fact there are none. I’ve done that. Sometimes it’s so frightening, too threatening to consider the infinite power within reach, if we could just lighten our load, and get out of the way.

the spirit is boundless

Left hand (non-dominant):
We have been so fortunate – to be graced with this wonder world where the most humble moth can take our breath away with its beauty + easy flight. We’re not sentenced to a dreary moonscape of grey gravel + rock. Here we are, where boundless spirit takes its form as a redwood, a house cat, an elephant, a butterfly, a tulip. The experience of the intense beauty of it all is followed quickly by the hot threat of losing it all.

The spirit is boundless.

And we are a tick on a timeline – or not. This is our wonder world to protect + appreciate, and honor. The spirit is boundless and it is fervent. It will survive, when the elephant, the flower + I do not.
— Karen Blessen

Starting December 27, 2010, I chose this passage to “unpack” —  line by line — as a daily practice to take me into the New Year.

And what is the “unpacking” process? It involves deep concentration on one line at a time, and then writing my response to that line – first with my dominant hand, and then with my non-dominant hand. There are plenty of references on the web to the process of dominant and non-dominant hand writing. If you haven’t tried it, you may want to. I venture a guess that you will surprise yourself.

I’ll be interested to see what this passage has hidden for me.


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