#blogElul 4: ACCEPT

I greet the word, "Accept," with resistance, with a kind of dread. I do not welcome this word into my Shabbat, and yet here it is.

An early morning flash has me seeing Prepare. Act. Bless. Accept. as a set, and I am reminded of a breath meditation made up of four parts: the pause before the inhale, the inhale, the pause before the exhale, and the exhale. In this case:

Pause  Prepare

Inhale  Act

Pause  Bless

Exhale  Accept

I breathe with the words for several sets. "Act" doesn't seem to fit as well as the others. Maybe it is the act of taking a breath?

Next, I add a layer. I name something during prepare (e.g. the pain in my shoulder), I send my breath to it with act, I bless it, and I exhale in acceptance.  It's a practice with some potential, but I don't keep with it. I am easily distracted.

Rabbi Alan Lew says those distractions are exactly what I should give my attention during Elul.* And so I return to the four-part breath, this time with less need to name, with a sense of a wide embrace for what is here in this moment. With each exhalation I relax more and more. I expand and, yes, I accept. 

Single magnolia blossom

*Rabbi Alan Lew.This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation."   p. 69.

#BlogElul 4 Elul 5773