polaroids of G-d

In the daily Tanya last week, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe explained how to ignore distractions in the middle of prayer. Basically it works something like this: (and if you take the time to really get into it, it really does work.) 

On a deeper level, you need reach the understanding that the distraction is also rooted in Godliness. This is pretty straight-forward if you realize that the distraction is not only being given life at that very moment from HaShem on high, but also, that distraction is actively given permission to distract you. Which means HaShem is imminently involved in that distraction which, in turn, means that the distraction is another channel of communication with HaShem. At this point, rather than being something that hampers your prayer, the distraction blends into the prayer as if it is perfectly natural and no longer pulls you away from your focus. You no longer hear the distraction at all.

This lesson gives you a very powerful tool to reassess your surrounding environment at all times, not only in prayer. The more you bring the awareness of HaShem in all things to the forefront, the more you gain control over yourself, the more free will you have to choose an appropriate response. As long as we deny the Godliness in a stimulus, we are limiting our capacity to respond to that stimulus. The minute we recognize its meta-worldly origins, is the minute we pull back and truly reassess. This is the moment of "I will turn and I will see [this wonderous spectacle.]" (Shemot 3:3) that made Mosheh Rabbeinu stand out in the eyes of HaShem, that made HaShem cry out to him with love, "Mosheh! Mosheh!"

From this we can see a deeper lesson that hits closer to home: The Godliness we see in all things is an essential part of our own soul. With each point of Godliness we find within the matter, we liberate another facet of our soul. We reunite ourselves.

In a way when we reunite ourselves with something that was previously separate, the world has, in a sense, become a little smaller. Every reunion breaks dow the barrier between one and an other. Until, in the envisioned end, there is only one point in all of existence, one tiny infinitely small self, surrounded entirely by HaShem. This is the root of existence, this is the root of the Jewish people. 

[And I think this is the root of the teaching: If you open for me an opening like the eye of a needle, I will open for you an opening the size of a hall. It's kind of like a pinhole camera, if you can focus everything down through a singular point, you get infinite focus over a span of time.]


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