Tashlikh

This cool, overcast, but beautiful day ushers in a new month and the true arrival of the fall season. I see leaves begin to turn their colors. Some of them have also begun to release from the trees because I see them floating on the river...

I have a day to myself - a day to spend in almost total silence - and such a gift it is...

I revisit my experiences on the river yesterday, yearning to be in the healing waters once again, knowing that next week I will be Santa Fe and will not have this opportunity to visit and commune with the river and the heron...

I reflect further on the insights given to me by an intuitive friend on the role that the river and my paddling upstream and downstream play in my life, as well as the significance of the heron, and even the bass that made his presence known so forcefully yesterday! There are so many messages being revealed to us everywhere - if one has the eyes to see and the ears to hear!

I marvel at how I practiced Tashlikh at the river yesterday, without even knowing it - as if an ancient impulse bid me to do so. It is a practice done during the High Holy Days, and is defined as "casting off." One simply walks down to a river or a place of flowing water to empty pockets and symbolically cast off one's sins and all that does not serve.

But I did not simply empty pockets at a shoreline - I got into the river itself to offer prayers, ask for forgiveness, and extend it as well...

On so many occasions I have tossed my cares and my sorrows into the river, sometimes symbolized by casting a pebble into the river.

On other occasions I have simply prayed, meditated, chanted, or offered lovingkindness...

So many times that I was inadvertently practicing a form of Tashlikh...

What a beautiful practice for all of us - not only at this time - but in every season!

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