Jummah Reflection | Just Be.

Jummah Reflection | Just Be.

Jummah Mubarak, Shabbat Shalom & TGIF.

Due to the loss of life I’ve witnessed recently, including one in my own circle of friends, I’ve been thinking a lot in the past couple weeks about impermanence.

The trip I took to the oceanside last week only emphasized for me how quickly things come and go in this world. Watching the sun rise over the horizon in a matter of minutes, while repetitive waves wash away footprints and seashells reminded me that we have limited time here, and that for most of us, our work and identity will be washed away into the waves of history.

Does this make you sad? Or afraid?

For me, it’s a relief. This knowing that I am just part of a much bigger story of humanity, and that the future of the human race doesn’t hang in the balance of what I do is enormously liberating. Clearly seeing “The Big Picture” allows me the freedom to appreciate the minutiae of my life with even greater joy. I savor small interactions with other people, and simple pleasures like a cup of amazing coffee, my kitten’s furry belly, the softness of my prayer rug under my feet.

Through practicing zen I’ve learned that the hardest thing in the world to do is to simply SIT and BE, with no other thought or care or purpose — to simply experience a few moments of my existence with all my senses, without trying to interpret or write them into a bigger narrative.

There’s wisdom there. Because those of us who are afraid of the passing of time are often the ones who are least likely to experience things fully. When you stop, and when you ARE, time becomes immaterial and your existence is fully realized, and there is nothing to fear.

I know this sounds hokey and weird to a lot of people. But I promise you, it’s not. Try it. Take ten minutes and go outside and sit in a quiet place and just BE. Don’t think. Just experience being fully human in that short amount of time. There’s no greater gift you could give yourself today.

Feature photo is a painting titled “Golden Moments” by artist Gabriel Burchman.