Day Thirty-Eight of the Omer

Tiferet in Yesod - balanced harmony and beauty in a solid foundation.

These two concepts are picture perfect, precisely honed, needle in a haystack, ideals. I am often intimidated by an ideal - can I really push for that thing that is so far out there, so beyond my capacity?

I recently read a beautiful Hasidic teaching that helps me with a lot of problems: the world is finely balanced between, on the one hand, creative deeds and thoughts, and on the other, destructive deeds and thoughts. Every positive thought and deed that we muster contributes to the leaning of the world toward greater creativity and repair.

The ideals of balance and wholeness are meant to be difficult to reach - they are ideals after all. In reaching for them we make a difference in ourselves and all of creation, because all of the quanta matter.

Day Twenty-Four of the Omer

Tiferet in Netzach - balanced harmony in eternity.

As the harmonization between rigor and compassion, I fully embrace the challenge of attempting to be a parent for the long term, and how much that beautiful balance must be a part of it.

To set a standard, enforce it, and then when broken, be compassionate to our children so that they can learn and grow from the experience. So that they will still turn to us and not fear us too much. So that they can engage with the world and its rules as adventurers and not be oppressed by the weight of it all.

This is a challenge!

Day Twenty-One of the Omer

Malchut in Tiferet - sovereignty, where ideas meet reality, in the concept of beauty and balance.

Thinking leads to doing, and doing often undoes our thinking. Seldom do the best of our plans survive implementation, and so there is great humility in putting something out there and seeing what happens next.

Let us not fear reality-testing our ideas, let us put them forward boldly, and accept their alteration when they leave our heads and hearts and connect with others.

Something truly beautiful happens when we release the concept to be transformed by conversations that take place beyond the place of genesis.

Day Twenty of the Omer

Yesod in Tiferet - a solid foundation in the balance of compassion and rigor.

High ideals and values - caring and justice, self and community - can often dominate my thinking when at some point I must entertain how the thing actually applies - where is the solid footing of my grand plan?

As a person who spends much time deliberating, turning those deliberations into something that can be concretely implemented often comes as a wake-up call.

So, aim high and think deeply, and then embrace the need to have a foundation, a connection to the ground on which the plan will happen, we hope.

Day Nineteen of the Omer

Hod in Tiferet - grace and smallness in balance and harmony.

Composing thousands of seemingly irrelevant tiny details into a harmonious and beautiful whole - this is the stuff of artists and facilitators of all sorts.

Finding that one small thing, that one shard of our being, or someone else's essential contribution, that may contribute to a balanced outcome, there we discover a vital smallness in something beautiful.

Overcome the noise and the distractions and notice that detail that makes the difference. I try to thank the source of the idea or innovation once I've found it too.

Day Eighteen of the Omer

Netzach in Tiferet - eternity and victory, even ego, in balanced harmony.

I usually default to selflessness when thinking about achieving balance. Call it a corrective to the notion that I have been less caring about others in the past.

Still, self-care, self-protection, and even an appropriate degree of self-interest help balance any evaluation, when we want our part to be successful too.

Include reasonable self-concern when aiming for long term success.

Day Seventeen of the Omer

[From earlier in the day.]

Tiferet in Tiferet - beauty, balance, and harmony, in itself.

Tiferet also implies the harmonizing of love and structure, Chesed and Gevurah.

Every mixture needs to be balanced - to find that harmony we have to have the idea of it in mind, a goal, a hope.

We make progress when we aim high - start with a balanced vision.

Day Sixteen of the Omer

Gevurah in Tiferet - strength and discipline in beauty.

This seems like an easily supported cultural pairing. The world today easily acknowledges the power, discipline, and strength, that support the core of publicly accepted people and objects of beauty.

In forging a life that aims at harmonious balance though, I often imagine myself using gentler qualities than strength. I think of my psyche as something that I am often too hard on, and therefore need to handle more carefully.

Accomplishing a beautiful and balanced result may take strength and discipline judiciously applied over a long time. Let us remember that the finest works are often crafted over decades, and not in mere minutes.

Day Fifteen of the Omer

Chesed in Tiferet - Compassion in harmoniously balanced beauty.

Our Omer Counting asks us to begin each of our value reflections with compassion and caring. Start with that, and then we have a chance of things working out.

Tiferet, like any representation of beauty, may be susceptible to being over-simplified. When we look at beauty starting with compassion, perhaps a vital aspect will be to kindly inject complexity.

"It's complicated" can be a way of implying something is beautiful in a way that can't be explained. We can offer complexity as a sign that we care, that we understand that the difficulties on the surface may be getting in the way of seeing the harmony within.

Kindness and complexity contribute to a deep sense of beauty.

Day Ten of the Omer

Beautiful balance in strength and discipline.

Let us use this day to expand our internal images of strength and beauty. I believe we are assaulted by impossible to achieve ideas of these concepts. Let's work on updating our internal pictures of these ideals.

Beautiful balance - we seek it in relationships that mesh just right, sometimes only once in a while; we aim for it in the recognition of the faces of all ages and stages around us engaged in profound joy at existence.

Strength and discipline - found in the attention to our efforts that require regular attention; seen in the people around us who devote time and energy to difficult tasks and get them done even when others find them too difficult.

The Omer gives us the opportunity to reflect on the meanings of words that may have been overwhelmed by forces outside our control. Let us take back these definitions and use them well.

Day 38 of the Omer - higher and lower balance

Tiferet in Yesod - lofty balance of principles in the grounded balance of applications.

Keeping high minded ideas of balance and beauty as guides while in the thick of crafting the basics almost requires some cognitive dissonance.

Still, the two notions - a balance between intellectual concepts of beauty and a sturdy balance grounded in connecting to actually creating - fortify each other.

We aim to dig trenches that eventually lead to beautiful structures. All of this in the hope of fulfilling ideals balanced between other important values.

Including everything takes patience and attention - include some counting too!

Day 24 of the Omer - self in communal balance

Tiferet in Netzach - balanced harmony in the enduring single self.

Thinking of our single self at the close of a week when we confront again and again our communal needs to come together - not so easy.

To find the balance between our own needs and those of our community requires a sense of the ideal harmony we aim and strive for.

As this week closes we take a breath and try to find our own place in the balance between all things, all while working to raise our eyes to the image of a better future.

Breathing, counting, coping - all the best everyone.

Wounded witness becomes key in finding bombers.

Wounded witness becomes key in finding bombers.

Day 19 of the Omer - Awe leads to balance

Hod in Tiferet - the grace of smallness in balanced beauty.

Humility and grace remind us of the importance of every detail in anything balanced. A beautiful image may be as much about composition, the broad strokes, as it is about every pixel being smoothed to perfection - small details make a big difference.

In a world filled with seekers of credit, we can find great satisfaction in making a contribution that gets taught by others. We can stand in awe and gratitude for merely being present to witness a beautiful moment.

Our own awe leads us to find more balance.

May every day of the Omer allow us to count small moments of harmony.

Day 18 of the Omer - Making Beauty Last

Netzach in Tiferet - the eternal self in balanced beauty.

Contributing something of our selves that lasts to a beautiful idea may only require us to make a small and careful effort.

Beautiful moments that endure, articulations that resonate, art that influences far beyond the artist - these require us to very carefully, and humbly, participate.

Have faith in the endurance of something well-thought out, and let our good efforts make their impact on their own. When we see ourselves as contributing to something larger, we can allow ourselves the satisfaction in taking part.

May each of our counted Omer contribute to our better wholes.

Day 15 of the Omer - See Beauty

Chesed in Tiferet - loving kindness and mercy in the perfection of beauty and balance.

Perfection and balance are seldom seen as the outcomes of kindness - discipline and rigor definitely, mercy comes less to mind.

So let us find the forgiveness and ease in ourselves that allows us to see beauty. Perfection results from perception as well as devotion.

In our aim to achieve beauty, let us also open ourselves to finding it.

Find beauty in the Counting!