Saturday, January 23, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:30 am on Zoom—Inspired by the deep structure of the Shaḥarit Service, Rabbi Matt will lead us through Qi Gong movement, niggun (wordless melodies) singing w/guitar, spiritual reading, and meditation.
The Four Worlds Service is inspired by Kabbalah and the teachings from Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi. He taught how the four parts of Shaḥarit — Birkhot Hashaḥar, Psukei D’zimra, Shma U’virkhoteiha, and the Amidah align with the Kabbalistic worlds of physical/assiyah, emotional/yetzirah, mental/briyah, and spiritual/atzilut.
As an alternative to liturgical forms of tefillah (prayer), Rabbi Matt will share practices that align with the Four Worlds that are not siddur-based. Qi Gong for physical (because it involves body movement), niggunim for emotional (because they open our heart), a spiritual reading for mental (because it brings in a sense of awe), and silence/meditation for spiritual (because it is an invitation into connection with Goddess—whatever your preferred Goddess language is!). Reb Zalman taught of the “deep structure” of texts, prayers, and mitzvot and it is from the deep structure of the “Four Worlds” that this service is based.
Specific notes on the Practices:
Qi Gong is a slow movement practice, coordinated with breaths. It originated in China and is sometimes called the “Chinese Yoga.” The practice aims to cultivate and align chi, or life-force. Benefits people can experience are relaxation, increased physical health, and a sense of “flow” in the body. The forms that I chose have resonance with specific prayers and themes from birkhot hashahar:
1. In the “Cloud Hands” form we focus the most deeply on the breath. This has resonance with the word neshamah that means both breath and soul.
2. The “Connecting Heaven and Earth” form resonates with the intention for loving our neighbors as ourselves and by utilizing our practice to be connected to the earth as well as to Spirit.
3. “Opening Up to Greet the Day” is resonant with “modeh ani” as we open our arms and our hearts to the world in both gratitude and surrender.
4. The “Immortal Form” is meant to build inner resilience and strength and aligns with “ozer Yisrael b’gvurah.”
5. We end with a “Closing Form” that is akin to amen and ends the Qi Gong practice.
When we sit in silence you are welcome to just sit, practice any form of meditation, or to listen to the prompts that I give.
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- Meeting ID: 824 1330 9293
- Password: 929054
Many blessings! May we find peace in body, heart, mind, and soul.