Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Nature is God's Niggun"

When I was in AmeriCorps, I found myself in a very low tide in my ocean of life. Luckily, I had wonderful teammates who helped me get through it. I didn't quit, even though towards the end, I desperately wanted to. My precious teammate Val introduced me to the following poem by Rami Shapiro on a day I was feeling particularly low. I thought it was so beautiful. (As a note, "niggun" is a Hebrew word for "song.")

Nature is God's niggun,
a wordless melody of unfolding life.
To awaken to God we must hear the niggun,
To awaken to God we must listen in deep silence.
Silence arises when thinking ceases.
If we would know God, we must quiet the mind,
Cease the chatter that passes for knowledge.
When in fact it only flatters the foolish.
We cannot live without words,
but let us not imagine that words are sufficient.
As a symphony needs rest to lift music out of noise,
so we need silence to lift truth out of words.

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