Exploring Parsha Lekh Lekha

Exploring Parsha Lekh Lekha

Exploring Parsha Lekh Lekha

Session – November 10, 2016

7:00-7:15Early arrival; set-up

7:15 -7:30Ongoing arrivals; preparations to sit

7:30Begin promptly

7:30-7:40Plan for the evening

  • We’ll start with a 20 minute sit, followed by 5 minutes of walking meditation. Then we will explore part of this week’s Torah portion, with teachings given to me by Rabbi Liz, followed by a 15 minute guided meditation. We’ll have a few minutes to share our reflections, and close with a last 5 minute sit.

Introduction to sitting and walking meditation

  • We are creating for each other a community of practice: there are no levels, no beginners, no advanced.
  • The essence of sitting meditation is to find a physical posture that supports you and allows for stillness, then focus your attention. The most common object of focus is the breath. Each time you find yourself distracted by a thought or a sensation, gently return your attention to your natural breath.
  • If you have a practice related to the breath, you are most welcome to use it.

7:40-8:00A 20-minute sit

8:058:10 Introduction to walking meditation

  • Read walking meditation instructions

8:10-8:15 5 minute walking meditation

8:15-8:25 Torah portion

  • The Torah is divided into named sections (parshat) to be read in sequence
  • On Simchas Torah, the last of the Tishrei holidays, we have just started at the beginning
  • This week the 3rd section, called Lekh lekha, is being read
  • Here’s the first verse
  • “The LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.’”
  • But how do we recognize that land?
  • Another translation says “go to yourself,” that is, to your essence, your source, the root of your soul. The teaching goes on to say “When you set out on your journey in this manner – no matter what it may be that YOU plan to do – you will be better able to discern where God is present, where the holy sparks are hidden that you, and perhaps only you, are able to lift up.”
  • So our teachers suggest this rule: “when you are uncertain if you should do something or not, you should pay attention. If you sense clarity in your thinking, in your inner awareness, then you should do this thing. This is the meaning of God’s promise ‘I will show you (ereka)’ This word implies clarity of awareness.”

8:25-8:40 Guided meditation

  • Read Guided meditation from Rabbi Jonathan Slater

8:40-8:50Reflections from participants

8:50-8:55A 5-minute sit


  • invitation to donate
  • Guf Va'Nefesh - Body-Mind-Spirit Integration Workshop by Tana Saler
  • Tuesday November 22, 2016 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Details on the ORH website; carpool – contact me before Mon Nov 21
  • Next meditation group Thurs Dec 8, same time, same place

9:00Clean-up and departure

Guided meditation – from the teachings of Rabbi Jonathan Slater (The Institute for Jewish Spirituality), as given to Laura Doliner by Rabbi Liz Bolton

  • Bring to mind a decision that you are facing, or that you have faced.
  • Reflect on the options before you.
  • Feel your body – the rhythm of your breath, your pulse, the tightness or ease of your belly or shoulders – as you consider each option.
  • Observe the chatter in your mind – the voices that argue for each side, the names you call yourself for leaning one way or the other – as you consider each option.
  • What is the difference between the inner response to each option? Without judging yourself for having one or the other, can you sense where one path seems more likely the correct one?
  • Notice when your thinking is clearer, when your awareness is brighter.
  • How would it feel to allow these sensations to guide you in making a decision – beyond the “rational” process of evaluation, assessment, balancing factors etc.? Might this be a way to sense God’s will working through you?