Tuesday, October 7, 2008
GRATEFULNESS AS AT-ONE-MENT
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is viewed at the very least ,as an uncomfortable day.Fasting and other physical deprivations such as not engaging in sexual activity do not contribute to a sense of rejoicing or celebration.On the surface, there is not much for which to be grateful.
Yet,beyond our physical needs which are suspended on this day, all of us I believe yearn for a sense of inner harmony with ourselves and with the world around us.In other words, our deepest desire is for at-one-ment, to feel at one with life, not to struggle with a sense of fragmentation, disorder even chaos. Feeling torn apart, ill at ease,in conflict with ourselves and others is a source of terrible suffering and mental anguish. Much of this disharmony arises from an insatiable desire for more, a gnawing sense that nothing we have is good enough, our inability to accept our imperfections and go forward with our lives. In a word, we are stricken with ingratitude, blind to the gifts that have been given freely. Perhaps we need to be deprived in order to restore our sense of gratefulness by which at-one-ment can be attained.
Yom Kippur bids us to pay mindful attention to the fundamental realities of our existence- our bodies, minds and hearts. We experience the miracle of each minute function of our bodily beings-breathing, our senses of sight, smell, hearing, touching and taste; mobility of myriad parts of our physical structure from our legs to our eyelids; the wonder of our minds to think, to speak, to imagine , to remember and to anticipate. The amazement associated with human feeling-joy, even sorrow, empathy, love,even anger,gratefulness. So many gifts, so little gratitude.
I pray that this Yom Kippur bring us closer to our sense of oneness and harmony, to a fuller awareness of how grateful we can be and how this perspective of gratefulness can bring us increased reconciliation and at-one-ment with ourselves, others and with the Source of all things.