PSALM 131 – Widening the lens to achieve tranquility
A song of ascents by David.
HaShem, my heart was not proud and my eyes not haughty;
And, I did not pursue matters too great and wondrous to me.
I swear that I have stilled and silenced my soul like a nursing baby at the side of his mother; so too, is my soul like a nursing child.
O Israel, yearn for HaShem from now until eternity.
– Psalm 131
I am meditating because I want to come to the point of feeling like a baby, nursing in the arms of its mother. When nursing from its mother, a baby does not lift its eyes higher than they must go. The baby is plugged into its direct flow of sustenance, overcome with joy and comfort. At that moment, the baby has all it is looking for – all it needs.
The following steps help lead us to this level of connection and tranquility:
Step 1: Wait for those moments when we are not thinking about what we are lacking – when we are physically comfortable – totally taken care of – and then meditate on, “I am taken care of “… “HaShem, You are my Mother”…“You provided for me all I need for this moment”. These moments may present themselves on Shabbat, on vacation, at work after a successful deal, during a positive experience with a child, or even after reading this piece. At these moments, when we feel filled up – through this meditation we acknowledge our connection to HaShem, who fulfills our needs.
Step 2: We practice this meditation as often as possible – drawing the connection between our experiences of fulfillment and the Source of our experiences.
Step 3: Perfection will be when we take this meditation and slowly start to widen its lens to include that, “HaShem is taking care of all my needs”, even during times of distress. This is not a rush – it’s a progression, where once we’ve practiced enough, we can start letting in other types of experiences – those where we don’t feel fulfillment – and even experiences that can be annoying, scary or test our patience. We expand our capacity to see the Source behind the experience – to nurse from the experience – and to know that HaShem is giving us exactly what we need.
Ultimately, we will feel the same tranquility in life’s more challenging times.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I will not lack. He causes me to lie down in grassy pastures; He leads me beside calm waters…”
King David was in the desert when he wrote this Psalm – there was nothing.
This level is achieved only when we are plugged into the Source. We cannot achieve and master this when we feel there is a lack.
Most people are not able to savor the good in the “good” times, let alone the “bad” times – like sitting in a restaurant and worrying about what you’re going to eat tomorrow.
In Psalm 131, David said “I did not lift my eyes too high” – not higher than I was supposed to – I saw you HaShem at all times, behind every experience, and It was equal – “good” and “bad” – exactly the nourishment I needed.
We choose all the time how to view ourselves.
If we view ourself as a spiritual being with all of our needs taken care of, then we will feel content and rich – tranquil in the arms of our Mother above.