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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Psalm for Wednesday. Psalm 94, verse 11

יְֽהוָ֗ה יֹ֭דֵעַ מַחְשְׁבֹ֣ות אָדָ֑ם כִּי־הֵ֥מָּה הָֽבֶל׃
God knows the thoughts of human beings, for they are breath.

I must begin by admitting how glad I was to first read the verse for this week, especially since I waited until the last minute to write my commentary! 

It's not that this is such a simple or transparent verse, since I don't believe that any verse in the psalms is either of those. However, it was a verse that spoke to me the second I read it. For it is a verse that in some ways expresses my idea of mindfulness.

It may be true that the essence of mindfulness is the concept of “moment to moment non-judgmental awareness”, as Jon Kabat-Zinn once said. However, from a religious/Jewish point of view, this is just the starting point. For to me, it is about the moment to moment awareness of God's presence, however one chooses to define that. 

To say that God knows the thoughts of human beings means simply that God is a part of everything and everyone, and we are a part of God. Therefore, God is aware of each thought. Or perhaps one could say that God is that within us which enable us to become aware of each thought as it arises.

But God, and we, also know that thoughts are fleeting, as is everything in life. They are as breath. They are worthless in and of themselves. They are simply what our mind produces every moment of our lives in response to what is happening. But it is God's presence that gives meaning to existence and enables us to find that meaning in each moment beyond the thoughts that our mind and our ego create.

Simple? Transparent? It may seem so, at first blush. But in fact, this realization is more profound than any of us can imagine.

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