In yesterday’s post, we pointed out that for mitzvos to have their intended effect of getting closer to Hashem, we need to perform them with mindfulness, which can include attention, focus and kavannah. Fellow spiritual growth traveler, Neil Harris, emailed us and pointed out that mindfulness is currently a very popular concept in the secular world.
In a recent post on Brevedy, titled Pay Attention to this Post, David Linn highlights a recent secular book named Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher. Gallagher states what we have known in the Torah world for a while, specifically, that we have the ability to control what we pay attention to and focusing on the good will expand our world and make us healthier and happier. I want to note that Brevedy, which is focused on growth in the physical, emotional and intellectual dimensions has gone to a daily posting schedule.
Getting back to spiritual growth and more mitzvah mileage, we suggested a simple starting point of saying one brocha a day with more focus and mindfulness and we gave a simple translation of the Shehakol blessing which we say over many foods including water and coffee.
R’ Micha Berger, mentioned in the comments to that post, that he has been focusing on his Shehakol over his first cup of coffee for a while and provided us with the translation he uses when he says the brocha. Micha has a great explanation of the meaning of a beracha in his post on his site called “What is a Berakhah”.