hazzan Diana Brewer was ordained through the aleph ordination program. she leads prayer services regularly at the jewish community of amherst, and is on the staff of the davvenen leadership training institute.

Omer Day 16 גבורה שבתפארת Gevurah SheBeTiferet

Structure. Boundaries. Discipline. Strength. Judgement, Discernment within Beauty. Compassion. Heart. Balance. Harmony. 

Sunday, May 5

A friend gave me a Beautiful blessing today, that I might be able to create and maintain a container - a Structure - within which to find Balance and Harmony at this trying time.

Many who know me know that I am, in many ways, a very Disciplined person. Yet, at the moment, I am finding it difficult to maintain the necessary mental Discipline that I need to stay out of a morass of negativity.

Before I go down the road of beating myself up about it, let me remind myself (and anyone else who may need it) that we are at the beginning of a week of Beauty. Let me have the Discipline to account for the times that I managed to maintain the practice I hoped to engage with yesterday, as we entered this week. Let me remember that Discipline is not about getting it right 100% of the time, but about the willingness to keep trying. That is a Mighty Beautiful thought.

Today I was studying a teaching about the necessity of setting aside all previous knowledge and experience, as well as all assumptions and expectations about anything that may follow any given moment, if we hope to have a new experience. The author quotes Albert Einstein: “The consciousness that created the problem cannot be the consciousness that solves the problem.” My current OS tells me that day after day of debilitating fatigue is NOGOOD. Can I have the Discipline today to expunge those files and be open to a new experience? Could there be Beauty in what is going on in my body and in my household?                       

I think, maybe, there can be. (Fatigue takes over, but I know I am not done here.)

Monday, May 6

I wake feeling different this morning, spiritually, if not physically. I felt a shift starting already as I came to the end of last night’s writing, in fact (grateful for this practice). Today, as I walked, ever-so-slowly with the dog for her morning business rounds, enjoying the flowering trees,  I got it.

Strength within Beauty. We really are surrounded by Beauty, notice it or not, regardless of the current circumstances or our take on those circumstances. Last year at this time I was in the throes of the first two weeks with our beloved canine family member. NOGOOD. So much changed so fast. Maybe there really isn’t Beauty inside being on the couch day after day, although I remain open to the idea that maybe there is. Regardless, I can draw Strength from the things I can freely acknowledge as Beautiful and Harmonious, even if I’m not evolved enough to perceive those elements in my current understanding of my little world. I can also acknowledge the current of Strength that flows in me, even knocked on my tuches by microbes. 

Hearing the strains of a song I learned many years ago - Now I Walk in Beauty - wafting through my Heart-mind, I decided to do a quick Google search to make sure I could make proper attribution. What I found is that the text of the song (music by Libana) is an adaptation of a Navajo blessing. The word translated as Beauty - Hozho - in fact translates roughly as “Concept of Balance and Beauty” according to a note at talking-feather.com. Sound familiar? As I like to say, eternal truth is eternal truth. I leave you with an excerpt of the blessing, as found at talking-feather.com.

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk

It has become beauty again


Omer Day 17 תפארת שבתפארת Tiferet SheBeTiferet

Omer Day 15 חסד שבתפארת Chesed SheBeTiferet