If you really want to know the divine, try leaving all the words behind. Get outside your houses of worship with their readings, rites and sermons, all the boxes into which we try in vain to fit a domesticated Holy One. Put down all your books with all their purported answers to all life's ultimate questions.
Leave the words behind. Give the left brain the afternoon off.
Now, go outside.
Take your shoes off. Let the soles of your feet touch the earth itself. Lift your arms, open your hands. Face the sky. Close your eyes.
Now just listen.
Listen for the presence of the holy in the wind in the trees, the rain dripping down through the leaves, the thunder shaking the very ground on which you stand. Listen for the birds in their branches singing about the glory of Creation.
Now listen even more closely. Listen for the ruach, Hebrew for air, the very breath of G-d, the very air we breathe, without which we could not live. Listen as it whistles through your nostrils as you draw it in, departing as a soft sigh as you exhale, reminding us that G-d is always as close as the air we breathe.
Listen a little longer.
And then maybe, just maybe, that soft, still voice will finally come, reminding you that you and all of Creation are infinitely valuable, that you bear the divine image and that you are deeply loved. And maybe, just maybe, that slow smile, that sheepish grin, will creep over your face reflecting your dawning recognition once again that the Holy One has been there all along, right outside your window, patiently seeking your attention in the din of noise and banality that we call our modern world.
All photos taken by the author at his home, New Coverleigh, in the heart of Orlando.
Harry Scott Coverston
If the unexamined life is not worth living, surely an unexamined belief system, be it religious or political, is not worth holding.
Most things worth considering do not come in sound bites.
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Wisdom of the Ages, Commentary on Micah 6:8