For the past month I have devoted fifteen minutes each day to the Here I Am meditation. However, before I delve into the details of my experience, I would like to say that I do not advocate any religion over any other, but practice connection with the Light in the way that I know. I am open to all practices and have participated in various forms of meditation from across different religions. This one happens to be Jewish, the faith in which I was born into.
Hineini (pronounced he-nay-nee) means “Here I am” in Hebrew. I encountered this particular Jewish meditation while studying the book Discovering Jewish Meditation: Instruction and Guidance for Learning an Ancient Spiritual Practice. Ironically, I had purchased a copy two years prior and gifted it to my mother hoping that she would be open to including meditation in her life. I confess, I never read the book before turning it over to her.
Hineini comes from a verse in the Torah. Exodus 3:1-4. When God called Moses, Moses replied, “Here I am.” The instructions were quite simple. Imagine a bright light above your crown pouring a luminous white aura down your body while repeating the mantra “here I am.” During my thirty days with the Here I Am meditation I chose to repeat both the Hebrew and English phrases.
We lead busy lives. We juggle work, family, health, friends, personal time, co-workers, bosses, unruly neighbors, broken down cars, bills, etc. The Hineini meditation brings you an awareness of the present. At the beginning my mind wandered, having been used to more guided visualizations. Every time I caught my focus drifting, I corrected myself and brought my attention back to the mantra. What followed was of great revelation.
Buddhism often talks about being “present” or about being in the moment. The Here I Am meditation is along that same concept. It signifies that you are ready for the world and that you are totally an unequivocally devoted to that moment in time. This is a practice that brings you into the now and which opens up your body for a higher sense of consciousness. My thoughts took vivid shape. Ideas that I had never conceived of previously for my writing came to me as if they were there all along and I was just looking in the wrong place. But more than that, over the course of the month I became comfortable with the idea of just being me. Here I am. Here I am at dinner. No expectations. No song and dance. No judgement. No act. No cell phones! Nothing but you and me, focused on each other without reservation or hesitation. It was as if the layers of who I thought I had to be in the presence of others was torn away, the mask ripped off my face and who I am – who I really am – was allowed to be there.
The Here I Am meditation brought a clarity of focus on who I am that no other meditation had previously. Though I must confess again, I am quite the novice when it comes to meditation. But this past month, I found this a very powerful and moving experience. To sit comfortably, allowing a stripped down, raw, Josh to be open to receiving the Light.