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MEDIT8: NIGHT FIVE. (+ Advent, AIDS Day, Pause with Purpose)

 This Chanukkah R’ Sharon Brous of IKAR (LA) and Amichai Lau-Lavie of Lab/Shul (NY) collaborate to create a virtual ritual upgrade toolkit getting us to shine our light with more purpose and intention.  For 8 nights, illlumin8 will instigate conversations as the candles burn, so we can elaborate, recalibrate and celebrate!


Medit8: NIGHT FIVE

“In a world where each man must be of use and each thing useful, the rebellious Jews light not one light but eight– not to see by but to look at.”

Charles Reznikoff


There was a rebellious Jewess back in Jerusalem in the early 1990s who hosted spiritual events at her home on a hill, and there I stumbled unto New Age and first met meditation. At one such circle Sonya put a big white candle in the middle of our circle and invited us to sit silently and try to just focus on the flame for a few minutes. And once I got past my eye-rolling and chattering judging mind, I just melted into the flame. It was simple, powerful and helpful, a practical  tool for more mindful presence.


I don’t meditate as often these days, but I do still light a lot of candles. And I sometimes remember to just sit in silence and stare into flames for a bit and breath. When I do that – I resolve to meditate more often..

Well here they are – tonight’s five flames are ready to be activated  as an invitation to meditation:

How about five minutes of quiet meditation into the fire, once the menora is lit?  Ok. Even five seconds. Or five deep breaths.

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This week, Jews throughout the world light for Chanukah. But today also marks the beginning of Advent, as purple candles of hope are lit in churches each Sunday leading to Christmas. Candles are also lit tonight all over the globe for World AIDS Day, to remember the millions who’ve died and to pray for hope, remedy and healing for all of us.

All noble reasons to do what rebellious souls seeking solace do well: self-medit8. Pause to light a candle (or five) and stop to look, remember, hope and be more present.

HIGH FIVE!

 

Amichai