June 28, 2018

I woke up early this morning to get downstairs and do Jewish meditation. I have my own morning ritual that I usually do, but this seemed like a nice opportunity for a change. Four of us gathered around what is usually a diner table, but we made into our meditation circle.

We were shown the letters, “yod,” “hei,” “vav,” “hei” horizontally, the way we always see it and told to meditate on each letter. Breathe in, “yod,” breathe out, “hei,” breathe in, “vav,” breathe out, “hei.” It was a lovely meditation and we did it for about three minutes.

After that first round of meditation, we were shown the same letters “yod,” “hei,”
“vav” and “hei.” But this time, we were shown the letters vertically. And on top of one another, the letters took the form of a person. A person made in the image of the word God.

This week at DWELL is made magical by simple things being reshaped. Morning meetings are not announcements but are songs. Lunch isn’t a quick break, but is a gathering. Shabbat is on a Wednesday. Inherent in the this week is the idea that sacred is an act, not a thing and we are being shown that and are being given tools to take it back into our lives.

Speaking to a Workshop Shabbat participant at our Wednesday night, fairy-light infused Shabbat dinner tonight, this week she said, that she feels as though she is being given the tools to go back to her campus and be radical. She feels as though this week is setting her up to create a better community on her campus, and a community that will be based on trying to recreate what it is she has experienced this week.

And the magic of DWELL is that it is accomplishing this radical act of creating a sacred space through minor shifts. It’s not that all of the efforts and thought and work is easy. It is that it is being made doable. And by being doable, it feels possible. And because it feels possible, the participants are left feeling hopeful. People are winding down the week feeling touched by the magic of these minor shifts and empowered to go make them at home.

Vanessa Zoltan is the founder and CEO of Not Sorry Productions and co-host of the podcast, Harry Potter & the Sacred Text. You can usually find her living in Cambridge, MA. but this week she’s DWELLING at Hope Lake Lodge.