I Remember Now ~ The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer – Part 2 ~ Pastor Tim Tengblad – Post 25

Nethqadash Schmakh

Hallowed be your name.

We clear holy space around your Name within: Let it be the center on which our life turns.

My experience in working this prayer has taught me there is a logical, natural flow in the order of the prayer.  There is a reason why Nethqadash Schmakh follows Abwoon d’bwashmaya. 

We first spend time sitting in the energy space of the Oneness of Abwoon d’bwashmaya “O Birther! Mother and Father who is everywhere. You birth all things in Unity. Your One light, breath, and vibration flows within all you’ve given life.” In doing so, we can quickly see that all is not One within our mind! Any number of thoughts are bouncing around and coming at us. Some days it’s like we’re standing in the middle of a loud bar or party, with loud music causing the chatter to be even stronger.

Enter Nethqadash into the space. The Aramaic word Nethqadash paints a picture of clearing a space or room. A clearing of the clutter in our mind that “keeps us too busy to be silent or receptive to the still, small voice”, as Neil Douglas Klotz puts it in “Prayers of the Cosmos”.

Any number of voices are at the party:

”All things in Unity? Nice thought, but are you crazy? Watched the news lately?”

”Gotta remember and call Patty this morning.”

”Those damn Republicans! Those damn Democrats!”……

All this noise. All this clutter.

So, what to do? I want to remind us that we are so lucky to be alive when we are. There are thousands of wonderful books, podcasts, social media posts, YouTube, apps (10% Happier is a great one) etc. Most of which weren’t around even 5-10 years ago. Wonderful teachers like Eckhart Tolle, the great Buddhist meditation teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Michael Singer. On and on the list goes.

So what I could say about how to deal with all this clutter and chatter would be nothing new, and is much better said by these greats. So I’ll just try and summarize 3 main points these wonderful teachers have graced us all with:

1. Don’t fight the thoughts. The more we fight the thoughts and try and shut them up, the louder and stronger they get.

2. Live from awareness. Spiritual teachers like Tolle, Michael Singer, Brach, Kornfield,  and Goodman talk about the power of awareness. They teach taking a step back in our mind, and just observing out of curiosity what’s going on in there. This helps us to not identify with thoughts that may produce fear, anxiety, or anger. We can become so lost in a thought like “I’m afraid,” that it becomes “I AM fear.”

Negative thoughts thrive on our not paying attention to them. Their lifeblood is our letting them do their thing without our even knowing it.

I love the image Joseph Goldstein gives it. He calls it “hopping on the train of association”, and just letting it take us for a ride. It’s those times we look back on the last few minutes, and realize we have no idea what happened. It happens so often when we’re driving doesn’t it?

However, observing the fearful thought can become “Oh. There’s a fearful thought. I’m not that fear. My true Self is the observer, the one observing the fearful thought. The fearful thought has a life of its own.”

We can notice that the Observer is basically just fine. The Observer is not fearful, in despair, or lost in anger. It just IS. It is experiencing something, without becoming what it is experiencing.

The observer has no need to judge what it is observing. No need for labeling it as “good” or “bad”. No need for “like” or “dislike”. “Want” or don’t want”. It allows what is to just be.

I often think of Superman at this point. Do you remember what weakened Superman? That magical material called Kryptonite! I’ve found that awareness is the Kryptonite of negative thoughts and emotions. Awareness does this by distancing us from whatever is being observed. Enough to realize “That’s not me. It’s just something I’m experiencing within me.”

I have noticed that whatever I’m observing, often begins to dissolve and just walks away, as if to say, “Well…never mind…” In its paranoia, it just seems to need a little attention, and off it goes.

I want to emphasize here that we’re talking about the more “normal, everyday” thoughts and emotions we all encounter. There are more significant traumas that occur in our psyche that require professional help and expertise.

3. Learn what we can from the observation. There is much that can be learned from observing cluttering thoughts and emotions, and asking questions of them. “Where did you come from? What are you trying to tell me? Why are you so afraid? Is that fear rational? Is that the whole story here?”.

But be careful. Visit, but don’t build your house there.Take a bit of time to listen and learn, then move on.

I share all this with you, to help us in the clearing of space in your mind. It’s not about trying to get rid of anything, or ignoring it. That won’t work. It’s about disidentifying with the clutter. It’s not about doing. It’s about undoing.

Again, there is nothing to create here. The Aramaic reveals that the Name (or Presence of God) is already within us. It just needs to be given space to operate. In Aramaic, to make something holy is to set it apart.

Even with all this wisdom, it’s still not easy of course. Studies in the Neuro Science world tell us we have anywhere from 12,000-60,000 thoughts a day. With over 90% of them repetitive. What do we keep recycling over and over again? Involuntary, negative, and self referential thoughts! As Eckhart Tolle says, “we don’t think our thoughts. Our thoughts think us!” They can run the show. So how we relate to our thoughts is a very big deal.

Here’s the encouraging word: the more practice we give ourselves at skillfully relating to our thoughts, the volume and noise of the thoughts slowly diminish. And the Name (the Divine presence within) has space to thrive and increasingly become our default position. The center on which our life turns. The place within from which we live.

It’s often a two steps forward, one step back kind of process. But one that will prove itself to be SO worth it.

In summary, I believe that the first two petitions (the returning to the only True reality, and the clearing of space for the Name within to thrive), are the foundational work of the inner journey. The rest of what the prayer talks about can now flow more naturally.

Trust the journey

Pastor Tim Tengblad

I welcome your story, comments, and questions.     timtengblad@comcast.net