Thursday, July 29

Saturday Sabbath – "Nature is God's niggun"

Floating Leaf - image by Deborah Globus
Floating Leaf - image by Deborah Globus

Sabbath (or Shabbat as it is called in Judaism) is the sacred pause in the flow of the week.  Shabbat services on Saturday morning offer many suggestions for finding one's way to rest and to The Divine.  One suggestion is a "niggun" - a wordless prayer - often sung.  In this poem though, author Rami Shapiro suggests that Nature itself be a niggun - the experience of a wordless prayer to enter into Sabbath.  As autumn arrives, dressing  Nature in multi-colored glory, I invite you to find time out of doors to "listen in deep silence."

Nature is God’s niggun,

a wordless melody of unfolding Life.

To awaken to God we must hear the niggun.

To awaken to God we must listen in deep silence.

Silence arises when thinking ceases.

If we would know God

we must quiet the mind,

cease the chatter that passes for knowledge

when in fact it only flatters the foolish.

We cannot live without words

but let us not imagine that words are sufficient.

As a symphony needs rest to lift music out of noise,

so we need Silence to lift Truth out of words.


Rami M. Shapiro



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