Place these Words Upon Your Heart. Adar I, Week 3

The months of Adar, which draw the Jewish calendar to a close, call us to set intentions for who we want to be and how we want to live.

What we focus on—the intentions, ideas and attributes we bring into our system—shapes and guides our actions: Energy follows intention.

This week we ask ourselves:

What attributes do I want to cultivate?
What qualities do I want to place upon my heart and before my eyes to guide me in being the person I long to be?

Exercise: Setting Intentions
Set aside some quiet time for this exercise.   

Sitting in a comfortable and awake posture, we close our eyes and focus on the breath as it moves through the body. After a few minutes, we ask ourselves to wonder about a quality (or qualities) we yearn to cultivate. Asking this question with gentleness and curiosity, we take notice of what arises. The qualities could be patience, determination, gentleness, trust, willingness, curiosity, playfulness, ease…

Sitting with the question, we do our best not to force a response. If or when we notice judgment and criticism arising, we take this as an opportunity to practice not following the judgment and instead return to asking ourselves the question with kindness.

After noticing a quality or qualities that yearn to be cultivated, we write them down on a note card and place the card where it can be easily seen. Each morning and evening we repeat these qualities aloud.

Meditation: Place these Words upon Your Heart
Once each day we sit with the qualities we long to cultivate.
As we take our seats, we bring ourselves into an upright and awake posture and focus our attention on our physical bodies, feeling ourselves held by our chairs or cushions, taking notice of where we place our hands and the position and sensations of our legs and our feet.

After a few moments we say the following prayer for ourselves and repeat it a number of times:

May I be blessed with … (the quality/ qualities we are cultivating).

After saying this prayer for ourselves 5-10 times, we say it for 9 other people creating a minyan of blessing. For example:

May this person be blessed with determination.

We do our best to let people arise in our hearts and minds. We don’t need to feel that they need these qualities. We are just sending blessings for these attributes out into the world.

At the close of the sit, we give thanks and ask for the guidance and ability to live what we love and value.

—Rabbi Yael Levy 

14 Adar I 5779

To guide you mindfully through the two months of Adar, A Way In presents a series of original teachings from Rabbi Yael Levy. These will take you week by week through both months, offering intentions, exercises, practices and meditations to help your ride the waves of these times.

These will appear on the website at beginning of each week of Adar I and Adar II, and will come to the inbox of our newsletter subscribers (sign up below) but if you would like to read ahead or engage with them at your own rhythm, we are also very excited to offer an eBook The Two Months of Adar: Time to Align for purchase containing the full two month's worth of Rabbi Yael's Adar teachings. Learn more and purchase the eBook.

We have also prepared a schedule, available on our website, to help you line up the weekly 5779 Adar teachings with 2019 dates.