Thursday, August 11, 2005
Off-Track Camping / Davening Shortcuts
I'm feeling burnt out; I need some rest. It's 3am and I can't sleep. I don't quite feel very interested in anything these days, and I can't wait until school starts again where I'll have a schedule to follow. I don't have the motivation to plan because I don't even know what to plan for. A job? I really am not in the mood to work. Volunteer? No energy. Yeshiva? No patience.
Religiously, I've been doing well. My rabbi gave me a method for helping me to daven (pray) because this has been one of my biggest vices in Judaism. I just can't get myself to stand and daven. I get distracted and next thing I know, it is hours later and I haven't finished or often enough, I haven't even started davening. This is a problem because I'm also not doing the mitzvah of Tefillin, which is a biggie. So my rabbi told me that as soon as I wake up, daven berachos without Tefillin and try to get to Baruch She'amar. Take a break -- have a coffee, or something. Then put on Tefillin, and daven from Baruch She'amar until the end. If I MUST skip or else I won't daven, I should say Ashrei, Yishtabach, all of Kerias Shema and through the Amidah, then take the Tefillin off.
Since my last post on Monday, I decided to go camping in the woods. I found a tent in the living room which my brother bought for me last year. I picked up some food, packed the car, and went with my friend.
As soon as we went to set up the tent, we realized there were no poles. So we hung the tent from a tree, got sticks to make a fire, went swimming in a lake [did the mikveh dip without clothes], made the campfire and roasted onions. That was fun. I have found that almost every morning since I had the conversation with the rabbi about davening, I've done this method, and most of the time it works.
Today I davened Shacharis (morning prayer) standing on a rock by a lake. It was quite beautiful. Yesterday I davened Shacharis in the national part by my car and the police officer drove by and slowed down to see what I was doing. I smiled and waved and he drove away. Phew. I thought he would ask me what I was doing, especially with my long beard and tzitzis.
I was very sad to be driving home. I immediately felt the sadness overtake me when I got back into my home state. I drowned my sorrows drinking Powerade and BBQ Chips, watching TV and movies. I don't have much energy now, so there is not much to say except that I don't know what I need to do to get myself back on track.