Reflections on Shabbos today, on bina, understanding

Today’s Shabbos was the third of the three weeks keneged bina, understanding.

This Tuesday, the 5th of Av, is the yahrtzeit of the Arizal who teaches us that bringing more awareness of Hashem into our understanding matures our intellect to properly serve Hashem.

For me today, I had several insights into where I get caught up. Again, the template is that we are a soul in a body and our role is to reveal Hashem’s compassion…but we get caught up where the garment over Hashem’s compassion (Elokim, nature) meets bina without expanded awareness of Hashem (chochma).

I think I personally can easily get caught up in natural thinking because expanded awareness of Hashem does not immediately have that same sense of pleasure or control to it as what we naturally want. This is where I cogitated today.

I came up with a meditation I want to try out a little more, although when I did it today, it brought a positive result.

When feeling that natural draw to self interest, and my imagination going after my natural thinking, faltering from pursuit of Hashem’s will (very faded and even distant, blocked), start to feel how I am surrounded by His Love – the world, air, body, clothes,…all of the surrounding things that He is providing. Then add in breathing. Now add in a sense of heartbeat and senses and the vitality of the life force within. I am surrounded by His Love and I am filled by His Light. And THIS is what is giving me the opportunity to think and be in this place of tension about whatever I am thinking. I am safe and loved and I have value because Hashem is making me.

Hmmm…Infinite light surrounding me, life force within – and I am blocking it…perhaps I am simply to not block it. Hashem, my natural tendency right now is to think these thoughts but I do not wish to bring Your love and light to this constricted place. I am in pursuit of a solution but by myself I bring all that You are giving me to darkness and I do not want to.

The reality is that the inner spiritual environment is one of helplessness and lacking in control of anything, yet You are surrounding and filling me with love and light. I choose to sacrifice my thinking – which has my biases in the center – out of love for You. I am in awe that with a focus on the truth within the forces I feel and a willful word of prayer I may bring this concealed light into the world as a blessing, a merit, a refuah shelama, a cancellation of gezeira and a satisfaction of din for the soul as it exists in myself, my family, klal yisrael and the world.

What results is that inner chaos becomes ordered and calm. I have no idea how the circumstances will come out. Part of me is so surprised that it no longer seems important Only this ability to bring inner order to chaos seems like what I want to yearn for. It seems like something I have 100 percent control over using love and will and speech. Is it enough? If I have no control over anything else, then how could it fall short?

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