Wednesday, October 8, 2008


On this Erev Yom Kippur, countless Jews around the world are beginning the observance of this Highest of Holy days with the hauntingly mysterious and beautiful Kol Nidre. Kol Nidre is a prayer of forgiveness that is derived from the prayers repeated by Spanish Jews that were forced some centuries ago to pretend that they were Christians. In order to live, the Jews were literally forced to betray their faith, and to live as imposters. The prayers of Kol Nidre beseech G_d to forgive these acts of inauthenticity, and all such acts that betray the created nature of Who we are in Truth. The observance of Yom Kippur includes fasting for those who are physically able, and many hours spent in the temple praying for the sins that have occurred since the previous years Holy days.

While I was not born into the Jewish tradition, the power of this symbolism has touched me deeply for the many years I have adapted my own practices around these ancient rituals. Yom Kippur is of course the Day of Atonement, or what for me is the practice and process of coming back into Oneness within my self, my world, and my Source. As beings of dualistic minds, we have been divided against ourselves in a virtual trance of separation. We remain eternally One, and yet experientially we are torn apart by our own faulty perceptions. Like the Spanish Jews of long ago, we are imposters. We are pretending to be mere shadows of what we were created to be. We play small in order to fit the tribal code. And yet our Souls are urging us back to our authentic state of Glory. This return to One is the very essence of forgiveness. We are called to fast from the identification with false perceptions and limited ideas. We are called to pray within the temples of our own hearts. We are not praying TO a G_d out there FOR forgiveness. We are invited to pray IN the G-awed of our very Being, and the very vibration of that prayer is what restores back to One. The only forgiveness to seek is ultimately our own.

The call of Yom Kippur is the call to live divided no more. It is the call home to One. Regardless of your faith tradition, you may want to stop during this Holy time, and reflect deeply on the ways you may be betraying the True nature of Who you are. In what ways are you pretending to be less than you really are? What parts of your person have you split off from in aversion and in shame? What are you rejecting of your self, and how may you be projecting that out as judgment of another?

If you are living in anything less than an experience of unlimited love and compassion, you are at a level an imposter. It is Love and it is compassion that is at our very core. I firmly believe that forgiveness is our function here in the realm of human story, and it is that forgiveness that leads us back to the state of One that is our Truth. Whether you are called by the sound of the Shofar, or a silent whisper in your heart, the call Home to One is universal and compassionately relentless. Please don’t betray the magnificence of Who you are. Please don’t accept anything less than a life filled with Love. It is Who you are. It is the Truth of all you behold. It is the state of One.