Perhaps the author Paul Auster said it the most succinctly: “It occurred to me that the inner and the outer could not be separated except by doing great damage to the truth.”
One of the most radical intuitions that can emerge from contemplative spiritual practice is how profoundly everything is interconnected. There are so many ways we can talk about this experience. Jewish mystical texts discuss how waking up in the lower worlds causes waking up in the upper worlds. The sephirot map Divine qualities out there onto the human body right here. Nachman of Breslov piles metaphor upon metaphor (bechinot) in his teachings to show how seemingly unrelated things are surprisingly aspects of each other. Art Green and others help move vertical symbols into horizontal ones, encouraging us to connect the inside and the outside as one whole, all of which can be an abode for Divine light.
This is particularly important during times like ours. We are seeing clearly what we glimpse in our practice: namely, that the inner life is not actually separate from our outer lives. The conditions and conditioning of our hearts and minds shape our relationships and contribute to shaping our societies. And the opposite is also true. What happens on a national and international scale is not separate from us; we feel their influence in our relationships and in our souls. There is one thing happening on all the levels.
Wherever you are on the political spectrum, we might agree that these are remarkable times. We at the Institute would like to suggest that now more than ever is the time for the wisdom and insights born of spiritual practice.
To support you in your practice, we offer this page of resources–updated monthly. We hope you will find it helpful in cultivating a grounded and resilient inner life that helps you to wisely and lovingly in ways that are most aligned with your core values.
- R. Nachman of Breslov on Disagreement and Creation (Likkutei Mohoran, 64:4)
- Connecting Inner and Outer Worlds: Torah, Mindfulness, and Social Justice
(Webinar with Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg)
- Shmirat HaLashon: Meditation on Mindful Speech (Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg)
- Mindful Activism in Activism (Essay by Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg)
Mindful Tochacha (Webinar with Rabbi Amy Eilberg)