Gevurah of Lit. Kindness It is said in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) that the world stands on three things: Torah (learning), Avodah (worship), and Gemilut Hasidim (acts of kindness). – Strength of Lovingkindness
Find a comfortable seated position and settle into it. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breath. Notice where your breath is, as it changes from in to out.
Breathe this way until it feels natural to notice the change. Then, begin to notice the moment when the breath is neither in nor out, but where it is both.Sometimes that moment is a long beat and sometimes it is almost imperceptible. No matter the length, it is always there. Whether we can feel it, the two always meet.
Now breathe into the part of your body that feels like gevurah, the place you hold strength. It could be your core, your brain, your arm, your foot. Wherever it is, focus your in breath there.
After a while, you can begin to focus your out breath. Breathe out from the place you feel hesed, where you connect to kindness. Breathe out from from your heart, your hand, your arm. Wherever you feel kindest, breathe out from there.
Soon you can connect the in and out, the gevurah and the hesed. On the inhale, breathe into your gevurah point, on the exhale from your place of hesed. In and out. In and out. Gevurah and hesed. Notice how the breath travels across your body. Notice where hesed meets gevurah. In and out, in and out. Your gevurah flows into your hesed, your kindness into your strength.
Your ability to be kind flows out from the strength you gather inside you. Your body knows this is true because all the parts of your body must work together to survive. If you ever struggle to feel the connection, perhaps your breath can be a reminder. Whenever you need strength to be kind, or need to be stronger in your kindness, your breath can guide you. Inside, you have everything you already need.
Image by D’vorah Horn from her set of Omer Practice Cards (2016).