I'm home after a restful and renewing week at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.
It was a great opportunity to do some meditation, some writing, walking, teaching and learning. Above all, I focused on strengthening my prayer practice. It's always tempting--and too easy--to run through the liturgy without paying much attention on the kavvannah, the real spirit or intention of the prayers. Using Rabbi Jeff Roth's book, Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life, I created a kind of path through the morning shacharit service that was fruitful for me over the course of the retreat. My challenge now, of course, is to stick with this now that I am home.
Meanwhile, a happy Chanukah to all. May this season bring light in a time of darkness, and renewal and hope and peace.