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Handwashing meditation

Breath Prayer

Breathing in: Guide me…
Breathing out: …Guard me

Reflection While Hand-Washing

Walk to the sink and tune out your surroundings.
Adjust the water to run strongly and at a warm temperature.
Concentrate on the feel of the water flowing over your hands.
Notice the regular movements of soaping and rinsing your hands.
Allow your mind to wander to any immediate sensory experiences.
Notice sounds outside the window, the colors in the room, the feel of the cool porcelain sink and tiles.
If your mind begins to think about the past or the future,
gently bring your attention back to the cool water flowing over your hands.
If unformed thoughts or worries come to mind,
gently come back to the routine activity of hand-washing.
Set an intention that you are washing stress away,
washing anxiety and tension off your body.
Appreciate the simple goodness of washing your hands.
Let yourself rest in an unknown Source of goodness,
that flows over you as gently as water.

From the Bible

I have called you by name,
You are mine…
You are precious in my sight,
And honored, and I love you
—Isaiah 43:1,4

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Rabbi Sheryl Lewart

Sheryl Lewart was a beloved spiritual teacher who lectured and led workshops and seminars in mystical Judaism (Kabbalah, Hasidism and Mussar). She served for 12 years as rabbi of Kehillat Israel—the largest Reconstructionist congregation in the world—in Los Angeles, and gave seminars regularly on values-based decision-making. Before passing away of cancer in late 2012, Sheryl offered spiritual direction and guidance in order to help others understand that by developing our own spirituality, we discover a deeper intimacy with God and a genuine compassion for all of creation. God, it has been suggested, is the wind that blows our ship, but it is up to us to turn the rudder and shift the sails in order to more fully catch the wind that freely blows.
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