Monday, December 8, 2008

Davening

By: Margo
I sometimes miss davening. Not the praying to an invisible God, nor the mandatory aspect of it, but I miss the intense concentration and meditation. I felt like I was delving deep into myself and simultaneously drawing closer to what I thought of as God. That part was lovely; it helped me reach self-knowledge, it brought me to a self-centered place, it enabled me to focus. Even after I stopped believing that the Torah is divine, I would talk to "God" intensely, just talk. That was great. Then I realized that God almost definitely wasn't there, and I stopped talking to myself.
Maybe I'll look into meditation. Or maybe I'll just resume talking to myself. It was easier when I thought I was talking to another being, though. Now I just feel crazy, except that it's crazier to talk to yourself and believe you're speaking to an invisible being than it is to just talk to yourself, fully knowing what you're doing. ;) Maybe I'm not so crazy, after all.

5 comments:

  1. o, wow, so cool to have both of you contribute.

    Margo: Very interesting how you tied it into your "crazy" thoughts. (Not that your thoughts are crazy, just the topic of crazy). I like your little analysis. Although I didn't know that talking to yourself comes from the lack of prayer. But yea, there are different meditation stuff out there.

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  2. I always had a huge problem with davening. There was only a very small period of my life where I actually liked doing it. The problem for me was mostly centered in the fact that I never learned how to read Hebrew with as much ease as English. While I had most of the prayers memorized like all kids, I changed schools too often before sixth grade and missed out on a learning shmoneh esrei, so it was a burden to try to say it for a long time and I just faked it for years. I slowly started teaching it to myself at some point, but it was still nothing I loved to do. I actually felt extremely deficient because I had conversations with people about how spiritual and wonderful it feels, and I was missing some part of me that couldn't appreciate it or something.

    But then, I felt the same way about the kotel. I even tried to make myself feel something for some bricks the first time I was in Israel when I was 15. By the time I returned at 17, I decided I just was weird and would never feel anything and stopped going. Since then I've been to Israel like 10 times or so and have only been to the kotel about twice and those times it was to meet someone or other. And this all well before I went OTD.

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  3. Hi guys,

    Just wandered into your unique, very intriguing living space and thought I'd leave behind a little fingerprint.

    Wow! Such a potpourri of thoughts, emotions, feelings. I can relate to some, not all, but that's probably a good thing cuz human beings are supposed to be varied otherwise things would be very boring.

    About the prayer thing, I still find it difficult to daven formally, but I have learned (maybe cuz I'm getting older I'm feeling like I'm getting somewhat wiser) that my preconceptions about God being there/listening/not being there/not listening were really very off, very immature.

    Now that I'm a mother and I see what it's like to have kids and field their various and sundry requests, it gives me a whole new perspective. Like, what, my two-year-old wanted to bash my whole house in with a broom today. I'm gonna let him?! Okay--now I'm the two-year-old and I want someone's cancer cured, someone's bank account plumped up...You get the picture...

    Just a thought.

    Cheers!

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