Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Pray continually" with the help of my iPod and Rav Rosensweig

It has been a long time since I have posted anything, which hopefully I will comment on later. I just had the idea this morning about the concept of "praying continually," which comes from Paul's 1 Thessalonians 5:17, but resonates with most religious traditions I believe.

For example, I believe the Zen tradition encourages a being present in the moment, whether one is walking or driving or doing the dishes, which has a sense of "praying continually."

But I want to talk about how listening to Rav Michael Rosensweig can help me accomplish this -- at least striving to be present to devar Hashem at many moments (even if not "continually"). I often begin listening to the Gittin class first thing in the morning and then on the way to work and back home again, and any time I go for a walk or do various chores around the house. While I should certainly give the shiurim more focused and concentrated time, I find having Rav Rosensweig's analysis and creativity with me so much is quite rewarding.

I have tried to find other sources of this type of constant inspiration or exploration, but have found works like the Catholic Divine Office, which contains prayer, song and reading, as something that just doesn't connect with me. I have also listened to many other talks from the Buddhist tradition, but for me they lack the passion and creativity of the Rav Rosensweig's shiurim. I have even tried philosophy lectures on iTunes U or poetry from Pennsound, but they don't give me that constant, non-stop drive.

While there are obviously, many, many other shiurim on, I must declare that Rav Rosensweig is my Rebbe. And like te tradition states, I can learn much from simply being around the rebbe (of course for me, "being around" is been 5,000 miles away and listening on my iPod). Simply listening to the energy and the non-stop exploration, creativity and the commitment to a maximalist spirituality, I learn much and am inspired much.

1 comment:

GSK+ said...

Well, here it is American Thanksgiving, & here you are expressing thanks for your Rebbe, & here I am thankful for your posting which allows me to 'see your voice' again after a time-away.

Mine has become a notoriously undisciplined & fairly-boundariless spirituality, but I still find value in filling the open/empty spaces of a given day with repitition of a given short prayer from a given world religion -- stopping a time or 2 (certainly at bedtime) to ask what this prayer has taught me this day.

I admire your disciplining into a wedding of form & content that can play continually into your continual prayer. I hope you will share the fruits of that here.