Friday, September 23, 2011

Inner Amida

The Shemoneh Esreh or Amida, the centerpiece of all 3 daily Tefillos (prayers) has changed a lot for me and become a more potent and exciting prayer.
Here's the way I see it.
It ties into my entire outlook on life and the world.
I believe that the greater world directly mirrors our inner world. Or more radically lately I've been wondering if the greater world (meaning the universe and what we call "reality") is a projection of our inner world (the world of our perception and inner struggles and choices).
Our soul is called Chelek Elokai MiMa'al, which means a piece of G-d himself.
Think of our inner world as a computer chip..and the outer world as the screen. We cannot function nor do anything inside the chip, so we need a screen. The screen is an arena in which to work in. So too the world is a projection of our inner world. It's an arena in which we can function in and work out our inner workings.
All the people we come across in the world represent issues that we need to tackle, especially the people that challenge us.
Every thing that happens to us happens for a reason. Our challenges and victories are all really happening inside of us while being projected onto the screen we call reality.
So while we pray for redemption and the like we're also really projecting a need for personal inner redemption.
The difference between the Inner and Outer Realm is that our inner world is in our control. So, while we can only pray and hope for the Universal Redemption, we can actually bring about the Inner Redemption single handedly.
While we can only hope, pray and take action for sustenance, we have the power in out inner world to be satisfied with what we have.

The Shemonah Esrei is written in plural language. It is a national prayer to a Universal God for all the things we need as a nation.
But for me it's also instructional.
It's a call to action for my inner world.

The G-d I cry out to in the outer world is also the Soul of my inner world.

Here are a few examples.

וְהָסֵר מִמֶּנּוּ יָגון וַאֲנָחָה. וּמְלךְ עָלֵינוּ מְהֵרָה אַתָּה ה' לְבַדְּךָ

and remove from us sorrow and sighing. Reign over us, you alone, O Lord,

While I ask the Hashem rule over us as a nation, it's also instructional for my inner world.

Remove from within me sorrow, sighing, distractions...all the man made complications that come from my lack of complete faith and then....the ultimate bliss..will naturally follow.
"reign over alone..."

סְלַח לָנוּ אָבִינוּ כִּי חָטָאנוּ. מְחַל לָנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ כִּי פָשָׁעְנוּ. כִּי אֵל טוב וְסַלָּח אָתָּה:

Forgive us, O our Father, for we have sinned; pardon us, O our King, for we have transgressed; for you pardon and forgive.

While on one level I am asking G-d to forgive our nation on another level it becomes instructional and practical.
After the previous Bracha of Repentance I now turn to my soul (which is my inner piece of G-d)....and ask him to forgive my errant ways. In other words..I need to forgive myself.

The same is true with most of the 19 Brachos.
Inner healing..Refuas HaNefesh..
Being happy with what I have. The ability for the soul to sustain the body through attitude change.
Shma Koleinu, being able to listen to yourself. Your soul should be able to listen to your complete self and attain acceptance and a sense of completion.
Which leads to the last of the Tefillos for peace.

So the Shemonah Esrei is not just a cry for help but a homework sheet....



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