Thursday, January 5, 2012

January Great Heart Circle

Our first Great Heart Circle of the year took the theme of blessings- how each human being can be a source of blessings and spiritual inspiration for any other. The purpose of gatherings like ours is to help us encounter each other in this kind of way, whereas if we met in other walks of life we might not be able to appreciate each other as fully. A Circle Practice like ours can be both a source and a generator of "baraka" as it's called in Arabic, or "adisthana" in Sanskrit- the power of blessings which help us grow.

To explore how a gathering could be a source of blessings, we looked at the Jewish practice of Shabbat, with the mystical sense of the Shabbat being a bride and a queen. We learned to sing a part of the Jewish song "Lekha Dodi" together, "Come O Beloved", to a beautiful tune. At the last part of our silent zen meditation session, we sang Lekha Dodi again, this time as a "niggun" - a tune sung without words - and invited the women present to feel that through them blessings were entering our circle, the men receptive to the womens' light.

During the meditation and the sacred meal at the end we lit candles, and listened to Jewish music from around the world.

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