While in LA, I was recently invited by my friends Amanda and Jesse to take part in Tashlich. A ritual that many Jews observe during Rosh HaShanah or Jewish New Year. “Tashlich” means “casting off” in Hebrew and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water. Now, keep in mind that the word “Sin” originates from words in the latter languages denoting the act or state of missing the mark.
As I dipped my hand in the bucket of birdseed and began to walk down the Pacific Pallisades beach towards the beautiful ocean I wondered what might feel best to let go. And the word “hardship” popped to mind. Throwing these sin seeds in the air I felt an internal release, a movement back to the razor’s edge of presence. Initiating a resolve to see experiences I dress-up in the word “problems” as challenges that hide infinite opportunities for growth.
As I gazed at the setting sun I noticed a rising inside. Perhaps I’d been flirting with this sin of hardship a little too much this past year? Now, allowing awareness to shine its cleansing light into the perceived darkness of hardship. I share this story for anyone that may feel the need to lighten the load today. Maybe you might like to practice this wonderful ritual in your own way. Ask yourself “How am I missing the mark?” What “sin” are you holding tight? It might be just the time to grab a little piece of bread or birdseed and throw you sins away.