Hisbodedus – Get Unlost
I saw something wonderful on my walk yesterday. At first what I saw made me very sad. There was a medium-sized dog, a mixed breed of some sort, walking around with his nose frantically ground sniffing, sniffing, sniffing, looking for something. I know this sight well and it always makes me sad. It is the sight of a dog who has somehow gotten lost and is frantically searching for clues to tell him where he is and which direction he should head to get home.
At one point I became aware of the sound of a young boy’s voice in the distance calling a name, though I couldn’t make out the name. But I heard it and thought, “Oh, I hope this dog belongs to that voice.” The dog didn’t hear the boy immediately. He was too panicked and too intent on smelling every blade of grass and crack in the sidewalk.
I eventually saw a car slowly turn the corner and saw a boy of about 14 years-old with his head out the window calling. I watched with tears in my eyes as the dog saw the boy just as the boy saw the dog and the reunion was incredibly joyful for everyone within view.
Reconnect with Your Best Friend
Most of us are lost, we just don’t realize it. We also don’t realize that the best friend we could ever possibly have, God, your supreme being, is calling and calling and calling to us. But like that dog, most of us are so busy with our nose to the ground, with our to-do lists and our errands and trying to climb the ladder of life that we don’t hear him.
I recently learned about something called Hisbodedus. Hisbodedus is a Jewish spiritual tradition of a talking meditation. It is a practice of getting out of the noise and chaos of the world and being alone with God.
It is a bit different than the kind of meditation I normally speak of. Mindful meditation or Transcendental meditation from the East is a way to step outside of your thoughts; to quiet them and find the peace and bliss where our higher self naturally resides. That space in between each breath. The void in between all that is.
This type of meditation can do wonders in your life and can help you bring some of that calm and bliss into your day-to-day living.
And you can certainly become one with God during this type of meditation. That is the ultimate goal.
The problem is this type of meditation is not easy at first. In fact, it is assured that you will fail miserably at it for quite some time until you begin to fail a little less, and a little less. Since most people don’t like hard, and they like failing even less, they don’t even try to incorporate meditation into their life, despite the fact that studies have shown it not only helps our mind (eases depression and anxiety) but also helps our body (fights high blood pressure, digestive issues and insomnia).
What is so lovely about Hisbodedus is that there is no real pressure to do anything. You simply make time each day to be alone with God and to talk with him.
My dear friend and mentor for over 30 years, Dr. Bernie Siegel suggested I research Hisbodedus. I found many different sources that described the practice of Hisbodedus in different ways. The one that really spoke to me was reading about someone named Rebbe Nachman who encourages people to talk to God as if you were talking to a best friend. I love that so much!
You can’t have a better best friend than God. But how many of us treat God like a best friend? Not many. We’re not taught to think of God in this way. Many of us that were brought up in religious homes were taught to fear God. And those that were taught to love God still feel that he is “too great” “too out there” “too other” to have an actual relationship with.
And so we pray to God. We get on our knees every once in a while and implore God for whatever it is we need. We use God, our spirit guides, angels, and runners like we use a fire extinguisher. It’s always sitting there under the kitchen sink but we typically ignore it. Until the kitchen towel catches on fire, then we grab that fire extinguisher like our life depends on it, put the fire out, and back under the sink it goes.
When God is your best friend, you talk with God every day. About any and everything. You joke with God. You share your inner most secrets, hurts, hopes and joys. You can’t WAIT to hang out with him. You tell your other human friend you can’t meet her for coffee because this is your time to hang out in your garden for half an hour, talking with God.
You Don’t Have to Stay Lost
God is calling. God loves you and wants to just hang out with you. He wants you to talk with him. Yes, you can ask for the things you need, though if you aren’t used to hearing God, how will you even know when he answers your prayers.
If meditation has never really been your thing, try Hisbodedus. Put some time aside each day to simply spend time with God. Get to know him. He is pretty awesome.