Your Vulnerability Under the Light of Love
When my teacher Christopher Titmuss invited me in 2002 to join him on a retreat in Germany, and then to England, I left my job as a restaurant manager and my spacious flat by the beach in Tel-Aviv and travelled with him with a sense of clarity despite having no idea how things would unfold on the practical plane.
The majority of my belongings were given away and some were stored at my best friend’s house. When I returned to Israel, I was homeless, jobless, a Dharma-enthusiast who needed to face the challenges we all face — paying for my food, answering questions about belonging and the future, and so much more.
A couple of days after my arrival, I was sitting with a friend in the Segafredo coffee-shop on Dizingof Street at a round, red table in the sun, plotting ways of making some money. I decided to make sandwiches and sell them early in the morning to the stallholders in the Carmel market. These are people who start work at the crack of dawn, laying out for us colourful displays of fruit, vegetables, pickles, cheese and other delectable foods.
It sounds romantic and adventurous, and to some extent it was. But I was vulnerable. Like you probably feel when you don’t have enough money to pay for your needs, when you’re not sure if you’re loved and where you’re wanted, when you feel lonely, angry or troubled by relationships.
So the following day, I got up at 5.00am, travelled to the market to buy ciabattas. I stuffed them with delicious salads I had made the evening before — feta cheese with roasted peppers and chives, egg salad with mustard and rucola leaves, herb omelette, roasted vegetable with my special pesto recipe.
“Will someone notice me or will I be just a ghost passing by? Would they think I’m ridiculous? Are they going to love what I’ve made? Am I asking for the right price? Can I get rid of the shame of doing this and what will people think of me?” — all these might have been questions for my mind to chew hard on. But they were not. I was in a different place by then.
When you look at your vulnerability under the light of love, the ring of judgment sheds itself from the body of joy and you realise something utterly freeing —-
That we use judgment to create distance from what hurts us, in the hope it will hurt a bit less;
That intimacy with what happens in the moment is much more relaxing and reassuring than we expect.
Since then, despite these experiences, such questions have come to visit me and sometimes haunt me. I guess there is an expiry date to that special Dharma-halo (unless you build your life around sitting in meditation). Yet those pathways to softness, the firmament of glowing light by which I can watch the beauty spots of vulnerability, have grown stronger over the years and remained available whether I have the time for a three-week retreat from daily life or not.
Having a halo is attractive. But having a clear pathway to walk on, no matter how unclear the next question awaiting you, is reassuring, soothing and comforting. If I need to choose between the two, I know what my choice is. Do you know what yours is?
So, yes, I sold all my sandwiches and received a lot of big smiles and demands for more. I returned the following day, and then the next day, and within three months I was selling 150 sandwiches a day and was about to sign on a deal to provide sandwiches to the biggest AM-PM chain in Tel-Aviv.
It wasn’t the sandwiches that took me that far or led me back to Uni to finish my Master's degree, or to start a consultancy business for effective social change that became one of the most highly regarded in Israel, or to start a new life in Italy then in Switzerland. It was the wisdom of the Dharma that held my feet.
This is why I keep on teaching meditation and the path (Dharma) that gives you access to what you’re searching for every single moment of your day-to-day life: true security and love.
If you’d like to enjoy that kind of freedom from self-judgment and discover the ways in which your love-light shines on your particular vulnerabilities I have an on-going closed meditation group that is open for new members.
This’s what Deepening is in a nutshell:
A closed meditation group that meets twice a month for an hour-and-a-half to learn from the Buddhist teachings, to practice meditation and to converse with like-hearted people.
Participation is based on pay from the heart
You’re asked to commit for at least six months so there is more stability for the group and cultivate the sense of community.
If you’re not sure about it, no pressure, you can join once and then decide.
Zürich group — Three spots left. Every other Monday 18.00-19.30
Online group — new group. Six spots left. Every other Tuesday 18.00-19.30 CET
Here’s what Zuzana from the group says:
“Shelly‘s deepening sessions are islands in my busy life. Islands that I look forward landing onto and retire, relax and let go of all the scattered energies of every day's hustle, islands that provide the space and creativity for explorations of how to live in the here and now.
The exchange with the group brings in a variety of perspectives on ultimately the same daily issues and longings and helps to unearth them and explore possible ways of dealing with them. In a loving and caring way Shelly has the incredible ability to unravel intricate knots, pinpoint root causes and offer crystal clear guidance on possibilities how to embrace change and nourish the neglected and fragile. The sessions spark creativity and confidence and have helped me connecting my head to my body, allowing me to feel more 'at home' with myself.”
Join by applying to make sure we are what you looking for and vice versa. Write me an email, tell me about your meditation practice and whether you’re interested in the Zurich or online group.
Shelly's helping women who live a connected & engaged life to heal old wounds, deepen their self-trust so they can be an authentic expression of themselves.
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