A Shabbat Eve Meditation: Breathing Exercises around Shabbat Candle Lighting

A Shabbat Eve Meditation: Breathing Exercises around Shabbat Candle Lighting

This is a short poem written to guide a group meditation at the time of welcoming Shabbat, either before or after candle lighting. It encourages group members to focus on their breathing, using their breath as a means for letting go of the stresses and concerns of the week as they exhale and bringing in the light, calm, and peace of Shabbat as they inhale. The meditation is authored by Dr. Evette Nan Katlin, a clinical social worker from Princeton, NJ. It is presented by Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that recognizes the power of ritual and provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices and observances.

A Shabbat Eve Meditation

We are here,
As one.

One people,
One community.

We’ve joined
To share in this treasured moment together.
As we transition from the hectic demands of life and daily routines,

We are invited to leave the week behind.
Let go of what has been,
Let go of what will be,
And enter a place of stillness, a sacred space and time.

As the sun begins to set,
Breathe in the glow of the sunset, and pause,
Breathe out the stresses of the week,
Breathe in the calm of nightfall, and pause,
Breathe out and feel a sense of release.
Breathe in the radiance of the moon and stars, and pause,
Breathe out all thoughts of doing,
And become one with this present moment.
Feel the warmth of relaxation wash over you.

Breathe in the radiant light, and pause,
Feel your mind become open and unfettered.
Breathe out and feel your soul become freed to soar to new heights,

Breathe in the calm, and pause,
Feel yourself surrender,
Breathe out everything and focus only on Now.
And feel your body, mind, and soul become whole and at peace.

Now we are finally ready,
To graciously accept this present from our loving Creator,
To embrace God’s gift of rest and rejuvenation,
To turn our complete attention toward Shabbat
To savor all that Shabbat provides,
And become enveloped by holiness,
As we breathe in
And out once more,
We pause,
And welcome in the Shabbat Bride.