05/2/10

sinai5-0countup2love. day 34 5/2 practice to descend to the mountain

the day after – coming down from the mountain.
back in Tennessee today, on Short Mountain, my brothers and sisters of the radical faerie tribe are getting over the Beltane celebrations…I heard it was raining a lot but I’m sure that it was high as always, charged with ritual magic and ecstatic fierce celebration. The day after Beltane – this is the second gathering I’ve missed in ten years – is always fragile, and soft, and wistful. It’s the day after. In Israel, the bonfires have been extinguished, the pilgrims to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai are hungover, packing up. Day after. Back home.
I’m descending another mountain this evening, leaving the luxury of the Stein Erickson Lodge in Park City and the super intensity of the Reboot summit wknd – to take a red eye back to NYC. Reboot is a nonstop conversation about what matters most to modern Jewish reality. Over 80 of us, privileged to talk, listen, learn, vision, plan, plot and re-charge whatever the Jewish spark of meaning is all about. For many of us this wknd the spark was about taking it further – not stopping at Jewish – going on to figure out how our modern lives can utilize the best of Jewish concepts, values, rituals and symbols – int eh service of our greater communities, the wider world. Universal and/or particular – this mountaintop experience gave us all a chance to reexamine what matters, what counts, how we can make a difference.
And what happens when we go down the mountain, conference over, back to daily routines and obligations and hassled lives? It’s been a big challenge for Reboot over the past 9 years as it for any of us taking time out for Shabbat, or going on a meditation retreat or just a vacation: how do we integrate the peak experience into the mundane?
When I taught about the countup to Sinai, last night, somebody asked – what happens on Day 51? who are you AFTER reaching the summit of Sinai? I don’t know yet.
But I guess – take it one day at a time – just like this count, see what happens. today is a rehearsal for day 51..for all those days after.
This morning, Rabbi Sharon Brouse led a learning about prayer and introduced this text from Rabbi Natan Zvi Finkel of Slabodka (no idea who he is, honestly):
‘Make a daily practice of viewing the world as if you have just entered it. Thank of the endless, glorious sights we enjoy. The sunshine, the air. See. Smell. Hear. Taste. Touch. Look at everything around you with newness each day and you will transform monotony into an exhilarating experience.
Today is Yesod of Hod – foundation within the splendor – one simple step at a time: the safe way to descend a mountain.
16 to go.