Our ancestral rabbis tell the story of a man who was bitten by a wasp and ran to the river to ease the sting in the cool water. When he got to the river, he came upon a child who was drowning and saved him. The child thanked the man, saying, “If not for you, I would have drowned.” The man replied, “If not for the wasp, I would not have been here to save you.”
The Mussar Institute has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on December 1, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The goal is to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.
What Do You Need Now?
What do you feel you need right now? Some support for your Mussar Practice? Some balance in your life? Some time away from everything? How about spending an uplifting Shabbat with other Mussar practitioners, in a beautiful setting in nature with spectacular sunrises?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then please join us for The Mussar Institute’s annual Kallah in Zion, Illinois, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Just a few places remain for this wonderful retreat, which will run from Thursday, November 12 to Sunday, November 15. Click here now to register and treat yourself to some R&R for your soul. You will feel invigorated by the teaching and rejuvenated by the engagement with others on the path. Questions? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for those of you who have already registered … a wonderful time awaits you! See you soon!
Video Blog: Check out this short video blog by Rabbi Chaim Safren of the Calgary Kollel in Canada, and one of our esteemed TMI teachers, on the subject of Contemplating Tragedies.
New 3-minute Mussar video blogs come out a few times each month and deal with everyday opportunities for Mussar practice. Very engaging and sometimes even fun!
Save the Dates: The 2016 Practice Retreat dates are set: April 10-13 on the West Coast and June 5-8 on the East Coast.
Shambhala Course: Shambhala Publications, in partnership with TMI, is offering “Transforming Heart and Soul: An Online Course on the Jewish Tradition of Mussar.”
The seven-week course is led by Alan Morinis using video lessons and live conference calls and is based on his latest book, With Heart in Mind. TMI members are eligible for a special discount. Join now for this and other benefits.
The Practice Corner
The core practice for cultivating gratitude is not learning to say thank you more often but in slowing down enough to allow you to access a fuller view of the magnitude of the gifts that you are graced to receive.
Wherever you see that you have received or are receiving something that is contributing to your life—whether you may evaluate that gift as beneficial or detrimental in this moment—
The more you contemplate the multiplicity of sources that are involved in every (even apparently “trivial”) aspect of your life, the more you will become familiar with the truth of your existence, and the more you will feel gratitude arising in your heart.
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