The forty-sixth reading from the Torah and the third reading from the book of Deuteronomy is named Ekev(עקב), a word from the first verse of the portion. Deuteronomy 7:12 says, “Then it shall come about, because (ekev, עקב) you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.” Usually the word ekev means “heel.” In fact, this word shares the same three-letter root as the name Jacob (Yaakov, יעקב), whose name actually means “heel.” He was born holding on to Esau’s heel. However, in Deuteronomy 7:12, the word ekev means “on the heels of” or “because of.” This portion of Deuteronomy speaks of the rewards that will come to Israel on the heels of keeping God’s covenant and commandments.
This past week it feel like we have turned the corner. The next seven weeks leading up to the high holidays in September are preparation and consolation for the suffering the nation of Israel has endured through its journey in the wilderness the past 40 years. Remember, the story is one of liberation from slavery/bondage. Look for the metaphor in your life. What is keeping you stuck?
For those of you who engage with The Way Seekers Group in our Final Phase Inquiry Please Read this……..
The final 5th phase in the process. STOP. I use the word final but that is not an accurate description. Yet, it does awaken us to the opportunity that there is, in fact, a destination, an ending, or at least, a “Way Point.”
As your guide, I think we need a field manual to traverse the territory we find ourselves in the this phase.
I think a lot of people skip over this step in their journey. The territory in the first four phases is unfolding. However, in this phase it is done, complete, over, full………It is the “product” of all our inquiry. This phase is qualitatively different. Movement STOPS. We are “moving into stillness here.”
If you “get” the subject-object analogy we have discussed in the past then you understand that in Phases 1-4 we are immersed as subject and now, in phase 5, we turn subject into object; We become the witness and are able to “view” all that has preceded from a higher point from when we started.
So, what is a field manual. I did some research on finding a purpose/meaning and I got this:
The field manual is a set of simple instructions that enables us to take extreme ownership even in the most extreme, chaotic, and unpredictable situations. It allows us to confront our personal landmines and avoid ambushes challenging our mission.
The field manual effectively, bullet points what we have learned so far and a to do list of to do’s for when we choose to cycle forward into our next “Phase 1 ” experience. REMEMBER, one of the descriptions of phase one is that it is called CONFUSION: CHAOS
You have heard of the saying…….”Order out of Chaos. ” Prepositions matter!.. I suggest looking at the situation differently. I suggest we look at it as finding “Order in the Chaos.” It is different attitude altogether. Instead of the goal being to turn chaos into order we accept that both are present and will remain present.
A field manual kind of implies military…..right? WAR! BATTLE.
There are 3 Levels of WAR. These 3 levels mirror loosely the three levels of wisdom according to the Buddha. The Three levels are TACTICAL, OPERATIONAL and STRATEGIC. Can you see the metaphor?
In this phase……July 19, 2021 until the end of September 2021 I will be working on developing and publishing this Field Manual.
The forty-fifth reading from the Torah and the second reading from the book of Deuteronomy is named Va’etchanan (ואתחנן), which means “and I besought.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “I also pleaded (va’etchanan) with the LORD at that time” (Deuteronomy 3:23). The portion completes the historical prologue of the Deuteronomy covenant document and begins a rehearsal of the stipulations. Part of that rehearsal is a repetition of the Ten Commandments and the famous first passage of the Shema: Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
After our yoga session on Sunday we will be making a shift in our journey. We are moving into the final “phase” of our quest; PHASE 5.
RE-MEMBER! This is a process and it is cyclical in nature. So, in many ways, phase 5 sets us up for the next – Phase 1.
We have studied many “maps of the territory” in our exploration. We have taught ourselves about the practice of meditation. And, we have met three times a week to practice yoga.
Phase One’s Mission is to awaken the mind that seeks the way.
Phase Two’s Mission is to explore; do inquiry.
Phase Three’s Mission is to incubate, contemplate, understand.
Phase Four’s Mission is a kind of putting it all together.
Phase Five’s Mission is to experience the results of our work.
If you have been a member of The Way Seekers Group through any part of the journey we started back in March of 2020 then I encourage you to engage as we move into phase 5. It is the fruit of our labors.
For Phase 5 we will adjust the schedule a bit:
Deep Yin Class Sunday @ 10am – 60-75 minutes.
Monday Meditation and Mapquesting Session @ 6:30pm – 60-75 minutes.
For those of you wanting classes during the week …. we will have a discussion of best times and schedule accordingly.
Now, Phase 5 ends and Phase One begins toward the end of September. So, we have a little over two months together to “bring it home.”
It is my intention, at the end of Phase 5, to embark on the building of “The Retreat Center” concept. I intend to keep an on-line offering as, I think, we have found the zoom sessions can be effective and valuable. Who knows, perhaps the retreat is on-line as well.
During Phase 5 I want to encourage you to invite guests to our group. I don’t intend to charge a fee for my services from now and the future. Instead, I will be looking for funding for my/our work. Therefore, come and be part of the groups’ work or not. I figure I will need to raise a few hundred thousands of dollars to get the retreat going. If you want to be part of that let me know……I guess I could form a not-for-profit entity to raise funds for the vision I have. I really don’t know. I am hoping to have some new insights as we work through Phase 5. If you have any ideas let me know.
I have described this work as a process. More specifically, it is a process of awakening to The Reality of Things. Some call it Dharma. Some call it The Tao or The Way. I have used the analogy provided in the movie The Matrix. Neo is offered a choice. Take the blue pill or take the red pill. For those of you who think this is a political reference …. it is not. It is a choice of waking up or staying asleep. It is your choice.
As we journey in our quest to awaken we know that there are three levels or aspects to the wisdom path:
1. We become aware of something either by being told about it, hearing about it or reading about it. This is the training level called Knowledge based training.
2. We do inquire. We engage our intellect in study, research, contemplation and incubation. This is the Skill based training.
3. Each one of us individually, has a direct personal experience with what we become aware of and inquire into. This experience adds to our perspective and understanding. It is what we base our thoughts, decisions, speech and actions. This is Attitude based training.
We can do levels one and two together. Only you and you alone can do level three.
This Sunday, July 18 at sundown, begins the most negative day in The Kabbalah Map. Here is some history and some keen insights. Notice the overlap of the yoga map and the vipassana map; The Yang and The Yin; Awareness and Equanimity.