Thursday, October 27, 2011

Resting in G-d's Ark

Parasha Meditation Noach
Bereishit 5:9-11:32

The word in Hebrew for ‘ark’ is ‘teivah’ which also means ‘word.’ ‘Come to the word,’ G-d is telling us. This is true all year long, but especially now, right after the holidays when we have been earnestly working on ourselves. If we practice now doing things right, it will be easy all year long!

Sit comfortably in your chair, close your eyes and take deep breaths several times. Breathe deeply and feel completely relaxed in all of the limbs of the body. After several minutes of relaxing breathing imagine that you face the turbulent sea. There are bright shining threatening waves as far as the eye can see. Each stormy wave “of the waters of Noach” represents another one of your worries. Worries about your place in the world, about parnassah (money), your health, your children your future…Visualize how each worry is whisking over you, almost drowning you, making you pant to be able to breathe.

Within the sea of your worries there is a light – a small space of peace. You hear the voice softly whispering into your ear ““Come to the ark.” בֹּא אֶל הַתֵּבָה “Come to the ark.” בֹּא אֶל הַתֵּבָה. Listen to the voice and enter into your personal ark. Now you can float safely above the waves of your worries. You are neither cold nor wet, just floating…. You are floating...floating allowing Hashem to steer the course. you breathe deeply and relax even more, knowing that all your worries will evaporate in your trusting that Hashem will steer you to secure shores.

From within your ark you feel the waves of the flood above and below you, while you are being safe, safe inside of your teivah – your word of Torah and Tefilah. You pray to Hashem, Hashem please save me!!!! Without you I will drown and perish. You feel Hashem’s presence and you experience how the waters purify the world and yourself. Imagine how each foamy wave washes over you and cleanses you from all of your worries.

Remember When the flood of worries tries to engulf you, have faith in G-d. Instead of drowning, you will be lifted above the water by the taivah, words of prayer and learning.
Feel b’Noach, at rest, in complete peace with yourself. Take a breath in as you imagine the sound “No”. Breathe out while you imagine the sound “Ach” Repeat five times then open your eyes.

Worries mundane matters are sometimes referred to as ‘the waters of Noach.’ In addition to the destruction, the flood also purified the world, and brought rest—noach—to G-d. So also there is inner purpose to the worries we experience that flood our lives. The worries are meant to force us into prayer and strengthen faith in G-d.

The story of the flood can be a positive one. The solitude, quiet and relative security on an ark guided totally by G-d’s hand could provide comfort. An ark differs from a boat in that it has no steering mechanisms. The word teivah, ark, is only used in the Torah in reference to Noah’s vessel and to the basket in which baby Moses was sent off onto the Nile. In both cases, the hope of humanity was set afloat with G-d alone to steer the course.

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