I have come to recognize a divine dimension to Costco. If you have ever shopped at that big box store (or Whole Foods, too, as someone pointed out to me) you’ll know that those stores provide free samples in every aisle, and that’s exactly how HaShem set up the world as well. Free samples of all the divine qualities are made available to us. You don’t have to do an iota of spiritual practice nor have any sense of relationship to God to experience awe at seeing a glorious sunset, or hearing superb music, or experiencing the birth of new life. Those free samples are handed out in aisle 12. So, too, with kindness, compassion and many other divine qualities: they are all available and known to all of us as free samples that come along with the experience of being human.
When you think of having balance in your life, do you picture a life like mine? Hectic days switching from one project to another … phone ringing … people walking in and out … and then—
At that point, I take a moment and picture myself standing on my half foam roller … simply trying to stay on. In those moments, I am completely silent, as balancing while talking is out of the question.
This is a Shehecheyanu moment for The Mussar Institute (TMI). You are the first to experience TMI’s new logo in the masthead of Yashar! A result of many months of deliberation, this redesigned logo is a powerful representation of TMI: who we are and what we do.
In April and May, groups in the Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York areas organized successful half-day gatherings that brought communities together to study Mussar and introduce it to new audiences.
Each Mussar Institute mini-kallah presented opportunities for local groups to reach out beyond their own congregations and organizations and share a communal experience with veteran Mussar practitioners and teachers as well as students receiving their first exposure.
Consider where your personal speech is excessive and pointless, and commit to reducing that speech and accepting silence in its place for one week.
- Do you tend to be judgmental of others? Be silent.
- Do you prattle on about trivial subjects? Be silent.
- Do you say much where little would do? Be silent.
- Where is your speech excessive? Be silent.
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