One aspect of my fear is that it lives in either the past or the future. So I return to living in this moment – finding the Divine in this specific moment in time. This is a relief. Somehow I am now ready to move from observation and study to develop a practice.
My search on how to embody this process opens to several practices. First, I find that I hold the fear deep in my belly, a tightening and tension. So I decide that a breathing practice might be beneficial to loosen up the fear and to move with the fear.
Leonard Felder, in Here I Am: Using Jewish Spiritual Wisdom to Become More Present, Centered and Available for Life, suggests the practice of listening to that still, small voice inside of me that asks the question “Where are you?” It is a way of becoming present when I feel the fear arising. I answer “Hineini. Here I am.” This helps me not run away from the fear into problem solving, swaying my ego to look like a “good parent”, be overly attached to our adult children or cling to belief that I should come up with a good answer that might fix, change or save my children.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, in The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice, visualizes the name of G-d by moving the Hebrew letters vertically to represent a human body:
yod is head & face
hey is shoulders and arms
vav is torso
hey is pelvis and legs
I incorporate this practice he suggests – see yourself as the Name of G-d, the Image of G-d. It is not enough to know you are God, to see the Name of God written with your body. You must also see the Name in everyone and everything else.
I use this image to honor my own wholeness – fear or no fear. This breathing practice helps calm and focus me, to “tie the strands of the mind together” (Desikachar).
My breathing practice helps me dissolve any feeling of separation from The Divine, especially when I feel fear. First I image that when I breath in – G-d Is breathing out and when I breath out – G-d breathes in. This sacred partnership of breathing with G-d brings me a deep sense of peace and connection. I am present to this moment, not moving to past or the future – just here.
This practice begins to calm me and allow me to stay with the fear – to hear, touch, smell, taste many aspects of the fear. Other emotions begin to emerge.