By: Chava Tal, Shoresh Youth and Family Program Coordinater, 2018
I try to practice a sit spot everyday. Sit spots offer opportunity to slow down thoughts in a busy day, to mindfully use all of your senses, and to address internal conflicts.
A sit spot is a chance to take a break, and to refocus. At Shoresh, it can often be prompted with a concept to meditate on, or a sage quote.
Practicing a sit spot on my own is a cathartic experience, especially when I try to focus on one concept and sit with it. As soon as I am with a group, whether I am participating or facilitating- it completely shifts my attention.
As a facilitator, you want to make sure that every person is comfortable, and that they are provided a supportive space to indulge in their mind. You focus so much on that, that it is difficult to participate yourself; though you still want to have thought about it enough, that when you debrief at the conclusion of the exercise you have something to contribute!
One of my go to sources to draw upon when introducing a sit-spot, is by Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav;
“Master of the universe, Grant me the ability to be alone;
May it be my custom to go outdoors each day
Among the trees and the grass, among all growing things;
And, there may I be alone to enter into prayer.
There I may express all that is in my heart,
Talking to you, the one to whom I belong.”
The ability to be alone is a strength that not everyone has. For myself, this quote provides multiple comments on our culture in the 21st century; of how narrowly focus our society is on gain and destruction as well as a deep-serving reminder that we are from the earth. To surround myself “among the trees and the grass, [and] among all growing things”, is how I connect and find myself in environmental education. It is how I exercise my identity as a Jewish Environmentalist, and it is something I aim to passionately inspire in the communities we work with.