Return of the Soul

I thank you, O God
Who lives now and forever,

that You have restored to me my soul with mercy;
great is your faithfulness

The above is the Jewish tradition's Modeh Ani prayed as soon as one wakes up. Before one gets out of bed, before the toes touch the floor. Ever since I came across this prayer from the excellent book about traditional Jewish prayer, movement, and meditation Minding the Temple of the Soul, I have been praying it as prescribed.

According to this book, the
Code of Jewish Law explains "when a person is asleep, the holy soul departs from his body." I have always asked myself what the soul does when I am asleep. Does God take it to be cleansed, repaired, schooled, taken on field trips complete with roller coaster rides and cotton candies just like a granddad would?

And yesterday, after teaching a Practicing Yoga with Sacred Poetry (by Rumi, Hafiz, and Gibran), I learned another prayer from another book while climbing stairs (
Yoga Barn, where I led the workshop, has a flight of stairs): O God, may every step I make take me closer to you. I am confident that it is possible to pray unceasingly. All the time. In all ways.

How about you? How else can you fill your day with prayer in relation to your activities?

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.

-from Psalm 104

1 comment:

Rebecca Johnson said...

Hi Roy,

I am currently praying with the image of the mountain meditation. It is very, very helpful for me right now. When I am in the midst of something difficult or even nothing at all, I imagine myself as a mountain and I just shift into being that mountain. Grounded, immovable, wise and quiet. It helps to be surrounded by them. They are my beautiful teachers. Thanks for asking. : ) Love....