Monday, February 11, 2008

The Sabbath

For many years, I considered my twice-daily meditation sessions as sufficient observance of the Sabbath, without setting a full day aside. However, in more recent years, I have begun to see the value of some kind of regular Sabbath observance, even if not along all of the strictures in traditional Orthodox observance. For me, the spirit of Sabbath observance is to set aside a day to remove oneself from the normal humdrum activities of daily life for a period of regeneration, contemplation, meditation, rest, relaxation, spiritual inspiration, etc.
The common notion of the term “recreation” is to engage in sports, outdoor activities, etc. as a form of this kind of respite. However, the real etymological spirit of recreation is to re-create, to go back to our roots and create anew. In this sense, that is what the Sabbath is about, and while common recreation activities might be helpful, the more quiet forms encompassed in traditional Sabbath observances provide opportunities for deeper spiritual introspection instead of the mere diversions encompassed in the more common forms of recreation activities.
General conceptions of Sabbath practice involve both remembering not to do things that are done at other times, and observing special activities to do. Focusing on spirituality and related topics is the key, and can include studying, reading, writing, meditating, resting, etc. The focus should be on pleasant interactions with others, avoiding controversy or engaging in subjects such as politics, news, work, current events, etc.
I would encourage everyone to consider engaging in a little bit of Sabbath practice in this vein on a regular basis, whether it be on Saturday or Sunday or some other day of the week. I see great value to such a regular respite.

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges



Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.

What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!

DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”

“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta

“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible

Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest: