Spirituality is not about gaining something new, but about remembering something timeless. You are the image and likeness of God.

Hitbonenut, cultivating solitude, is the practice of removing yourself from the human community to commune with God. The master of Hitbonenut is the 18 th century mystic Reb Nachman of Breslov the great grandson of the Bal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidic Judaism.

Hitbonenut cultivates a spaciousness of heart and mind that allows you to engage life without being trapped in the drama of living. There are three rules for the practice of Hitbonenut; sit down, shut up, don’t move. ( Lamentations 3:28; Psalms 46:10 )

Sit comfortably, erect but not rigid. Place your hands on your thighs or in your lap. Your eyes may be open or closed depending on which adds to your sense of wakefulness. Now wait. “ Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” ( Psalms 37:7 )

Hitbonenut is about waiting without fretting. To keep from fretting silently chant the thirteen attributes of God.

Nachman taught that you should walk one hour each day, walking alone and talking openly with God, asking God for everything you need and thanking God for everything you have.

Asking God for everything reminds you that everything comes from God. It is a humbling experience. The more you practice hitbonenut the more you simply realize you are simply one way God gets things done.

With deepest thanks to Rabbi Rami Shapiro www.rabbirami.com

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