Counting the Omer: A Mindfulness Practice

Each of the seven weeks and each of the 49 days has its own spiritual quality. Included here are intentions and suggestion for practices to help focus your attention each week. 

  • Notice what each day brings. Notice your responses and insights to the qualities and how they feel in your body. Certain days or weeks might bring up difficult emotions. The practice is to be with them as best you can.
  • You might want to make a note of days that are particularly difficult or joyful to see if you can discern a pattern that could be helpful to your self-understanding.
  • Be gentle with yourself as you take this journey. It is a powerful practice that works on many layers of consciousness and awareness. The mystics teach that our counting brings forth blessing and healing for all the world.

Ken yihi ratzon. May it be so.

Week One: Chesed

Into the Expanse and Received in Love

THIS FIRST WEEK OF THE OMER, we notice what inspires our generosity and what causes us to close down and turn away.
We wonder at our capacity to give and receive love
We turn toward the practice of responding to ourselves and others with compassion and kindness.

Week two: Gevurah

Strength — Judgment — Discernment
Standing in Awe, Serving with Strength, Guided by Humility

Week three: Tiferet

Radiance — Balance — Harmony — Truth
THE LIGHT OF TIFERET IS STRONG, demanding, radiant. Notice colors this week, the subtle and vibrant palates in nature. Notice your own being and the waves of emotions that move through you.
Tiferet shows us the beauty and brokenness of the world and says, Open to all of it, this is where you live.

Week four: Netzach

Eternity — Vision — Endurance
Eternity in Each Moment Connection to All that Was, All that Is, All that Will Be

THIS WEEK CALLS US to feel ourselves capable of transformation, to believe that everything we do matters and that our actions today affect generations to come. Envision the person you long to be, envision the world you long to live in and walk toward these visions with all your strength.

Week five: Hod

Presence — Gratitude
Being in the Presence, Being in the Present and Giving Thanks
Opening to the glory of each moment, whatever the moment brings

Week six: Yesod

Foundation — Connection
The wellspring rising from deep within the Mystery
The rock that supports, sustains and brings forth our lives

YESOD CALLS us to feel ourselves grounded in the Mystery and to feel the Mystery rising within us. Yesod calls us to encounter the fire, the sacred sparks at the core of creation. We honor all that guides and sustains us.

And we ask ourselves: How can I bring my truest self into the world for good?

Week seven: Malchut/Shechina

Majesty — Divine Presence The Channel, The Flow Of The Most High The Indwelling Of Divine Presence

THIS FINAL WEEK is a time of integration. We are called to open our hands and our hearts and wonder about the gifts we can bring into the world. We ask ourselves: How can I best be of service?

These kavannot are excerpted from Journey through the Wilderness, A Mindfulness approach to the ancient Jewish Practice of Counting the Omer © 2012 Rabbi Yael Levy

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