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Greetings!

 

 

Lisa Goldstein

 

It's winter and most of us are back to the grindstone.  It is so easy to forget our many blessings in the midst of the daily routine!  

 

We thought it would be a good time to bring you a new series of teachings, readings and resources, focusing on gratitude, to support your ongoing practice.  

 

One thing we are particularly grateful for is the opportunity we had in January to be with friends old and new who joined us for retreats in California.  The words of wisdom, the songs of praise and the renewing silence are still echoing within us.  

 

Whether or not you were there in California, we hope that these resources support you in your journey.  We always welcome your feedback about what topics or types of resources you would find helpful.    

    

 

 
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Intention to Gratitude

 

Sheila Weinberg

"As we sit together these days, may we listen closely. Listening as the leaves or the rain or the snow falls and finding silence there....Listen and discern. Can you move toward the life-giving, the worthy-of-praise, the wholesome, and allow the wanting and fighting and resisting the silence, to cool in this moment? This is our practice. Growing stronger and kinder and more able to know when to speak and when to hold our speech."  This was my invocation at a recent retreat.

 

It strikes me that listening to the silence is a form of gratitude.  In the deep listening we realize how full every moment is. How infinitely full! In the rushing and grasping of our lives, we tend to forget. In the listening we have a chance to remember. It is that simple - but not that easy! That is why we practice!

 

What is gratitude? It is connection, intimacy, heart opening, reciprocity, listening, love, kindness and more.  It is a signature of our humaneness.  It reminds us that we are part of something much greater than our self-centered egos can grasp or remember.  We teach our toddlers to say "thank you" as an initiation into the preciousness of community. We keep teaching ourselves to say "thank you" as we grow, mature and journey on. 

  

Sheila

 
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My Morning Practice

 

Rachel Cowan

Once I have turned off my alarm clock - a lovely app called I-Qi Clock, and sit up in bed, I wait a minute and then begin my gratefulness practice.  

 

It is deceptively  simple: as I reach my arms above my head, I recite "Modah ani l'fanekha" (I am grateful before Your Presence") and then gradually bring them down to my lap, turning my palms up to radiate gratitude out, completing the prayer.  

 

Then I think of one thing for which I am actually grateful at that moment.  When I have focused on something,  I proceed to recite the Shema, and then "Elohai neshama she natata bi tehora hee" (God, the soul you have given me is pure). 

 

As I pull up the shade to see the weather, I bless
God for creating both light and darkness, for creating peace and everything that is, and then bless God who renews in goodness each day the work of creation.  I remember that we can change at any moment.

It is so simple, yet I need to be careful not to say the words by rote.  

 

And when I do remember, I actually do start the day with a more open heart, more ready to appreciate what has been given me, and to be more mindful as I work with all that is so challenging.  

 

Rachel


 
 
 
Retreat Corner - 
Shacharit

In November, Sheila Weinberg, Sylvia Boorstein, Jeff Roth, and Myriam Klotz led an incredible retreat.  

Here are brief excerpts from the morning davvening - a teaching followed by a chant.

Modeh/Moda Ani

Elohai Neshama

Halleluyah

Kol HaNeshama
 
 
 
Summer 2012 Retreats
-----------------
Save the Date -
registration details to follow
 
Trinity Retreat & Conference Center
West Cornwall, CT 
 
Open Shabbaton
7.5-7.8.12
 

Rabbis 7 Cohort
2nd Retreat

7.8-7.13.12

 

Silent Shabbaton
7.13-7.15.12
 
Hevraya
7.15-7.19.12
  

 
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