Monday, May 12, 2014

Resting in God

And may we take refuge and rest in the shade of Your wings, as on the day when "The LORD came down in a cloud"  (Exodus 34:5)
                                                      --Siddur, Daily Prayer Book

How can we possibly rest in God here, now, today, just as on the day He descended upon Sinai? But that, indeed, was what was revealed on that day. The truth of what we are.

The ultimate purpose [of creation] is...that the Divine light of the blessed En Sof (Infinite) shall shine forth...throughout this world...The Divine light will be revealed...without any cloak, as it is written, "No longer shall thy Teacher hide Himself...but thine eyes shall see thy Teacher..." The Messianic the fulfillment and culmination of the creation of the world, for which purpose it was originally created...Something of this revelation has already been experienced on earth, at the time of the Giving of the Torah, as is written, "Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord He is G-d; there is naught else beside Him"... And the Rabbis, of blessed memory, explained, "They looked eastwards and heard the speech issuing forth: 'I am the Lord your God,' etc., and so [turning] towards the four points of the compass, and upwards and downwards...there was no place from which He did not speak unto them...."
                                                             --Tanya, chapter 36

Allowing yourself to rest in God is like a wave resting in its essential nature, the water. Imagine a wave rising and falling on the surface of the ocean. Observing the wave, we can see it has a beginning and an ending; it comes up and it goes down. The notions of beginning, ending, going up, and going down may scare the wave and she may think, "Before rising up as this wave, I didn't exist, and soon I will become nothing again." It seems as if before the wave comes up it's not there, and after it goes down it no longer exists. How could a wave be a happy wave if she's caught in these notions of birth and death, beginning and ending, going up and going down? But there's a way out, an opportunity for her to be saved. When she bends down and examines herself, she discovers that she is water. She's a wave, but she's also water. As a wave she may be described in terms of being and nonbeing, coming and going,. But water cannot be described in these terms. The moment the wave realizes she's water, she's free- free from such notions as birth and death, coming up and going down. The wave is water right in the here and the now.

Just as the wave doesn't need to go looking for water, we don't need to go around seeking God. Just as the wave can rest in water, we can rest in God. In the here and the now. With mindfulness and concentration we are able to touch our true nature of no birth and no death. .

                                                                  --Thich Nhat Hanh

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