The Perfect Swimmer

Posted: January 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
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We have just introduced a class on ancient prayer practices in our congregation. How does one begin to talk about quietude, listening, practicing the presence of God, and contemplation? Mostly by trying it, along with mentors who help. But also by listening to descriptions.

When the rabbi of Lentshno’s son was a boy he once saw Rabbi Yitzhak of Vorki praying. Full of amazement he came running to his father and asked how it was possible for such a zaddik to pray quietly and simply, without giving any sign of ecstasy.

“A poor swimmer,” answered his father, “has to thrash around in order to stay up in the water. The perfect swimmer rests on the tide and it carries him.”

from Tales of the Hasidim, Martin Buber

  1. Jan Coffman says:

    I like this.

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