Last night at sunset, on the night of the new moon — the time when we return to promordial darkness — the High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah began. It is the Jewish New Year and begins the ten days of awe ending with Yom Kippur.  It is a time of introspection, of reflecting on the year that has past, a time to consider how you have wronged others and to seek forgiveness. 

In my yoga class yesterday morning, my teacher began with a meditation in honor of this time.  We were asked to think back on the year that had passed and ask ourselves if there was someone with whom we were unkind or caused some harm through our words or actions, someone whom we might need to ask forgiveness.  Then we were asked to reflect on who has hurt us this past year, to whom we might need to offer forgiveness.

I was surprised at the people that came to mind in that space of silence.  I offered the peace that my yoga class brought to me back to them, both the person I have wronged and the person who has wronged me.  They were connected to me and to each other in that moment, enmeshed in the human web of brokenness and longing for wholeness. In that space some healing began.

I invite you to take a few moments of your day to join with our Jewish sisters and brothers and reflect on the places in your life that need some forgiveness extended. When have you wronged someone?  For what do you need to ask forgiveness?  How have you been wronged?  Is it possible right now to extend forgiveness for these hurts?

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

(photo taken at Golden Gardens beach last Saturday)

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