Vernacular vignette
Wedding story

Meditations and invitations

This morning I showed up at meditation to find my friend David R. in the rabbi's usual chair, in the middle of the bimah (pulpit) space facing the congregation. (Our shul doesn't have a raised bimah, so everyone's on the same level.) The rabbi is out of town this weekend, so I figured David was going to lead meditation; he and I are the regulars. But as I walked in he opened his eyes, smiled, and said, "I've been keeping the seat warm for you." And stood and beckoned me to the chair, before I could protest. So, hey, change in plans; guess today's meditation leader is me!

I structured the time as Jeff does. After a few minutes, I reminded us to release tension from our bodies, and to focus on the breath. Fifteen minutes in, I gave a small impromptu d'var on the first two lines of Psalm 121, "I lift my eyes up to the mountains from whence comes my help/ my help is from the Holy Blessed One, creator of the heavens and earth," because I had the melody in my head. I offered the interpretation that when we are firmly rooted, we are as mountains; at its root our help comes from our Source, but that Source works through us as we turn to each other for aid. We sat with that for fifteen minutes, and then did ten minutes of walking meditation. That's always my favorite part. Today I could see my breath puffing before me, and the mountains were gilded with early-morning light. Summer's riot of birdsong is past; it's a new season now, the marshlands purple and brown and straw. We ended with our usual niggun.

Afterwards, David and I went for coffee and a bagel, and he unofficially invited me to join the synagogue board. (An official invitation would have to come from the nominating committee.) Apparently they're looking for new members with new energy, and there's an interest in me becoming more active on the religion/liturgy committee, and from there it's an easy hop over to board membership. I've seen this coming for a while -- I am young, energetic, active, plus I'm the kind of super-organized person to whom board invitations gravitate -- but I hadn't expected the invitation to come with such warmth. So I think I'm about to join the board of CBI. Even though the invitation didn't come as a huge surprise, it's still gratifying.