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"Reader beware: though this booh is brief, .it contains the seeds of a revolution. 

—Matthew Fox 







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Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus 

Translated and with Commentary by 

Neil Douglas-Klotz 

Foreword by Matthew Fox 


A Division of HarperCollinsA<^//s/>ers 

prayers OF the cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus. 
Copyright © 1990 by Neil Douglas-Klotz. Foreword © 1990 by Matthew 
Fox. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part 
of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever with¬ 
out written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied 
in critical articles and reviews. For information address HarperCollins 
Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. 

first HarperCollins paperback edition published in 1994 
ISBN 0-06-061995-3 (pbk) 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 
Douglas-Klotz, Neil. 

Prayers of the cosmos: meditations on the Aramaic words of 
Jesus / translated and with commentary by Neil Douglas-Klotz; 
foreword by Matthew Fox. — 1st ed. 
p. cm. 

ISBN 0-06-061994-5 

1. Lord's prayer—Meditations. 2. Beatitudes—Meditations. 
3. Jesus Christ—Words—Meditations. 4. Aramaic language— 
Translating into English. 5. Bible. N.T. Gospels—Language, 
style. I. Bible. N.T. Gospels. English. Selections. 1990. 

II. Title. 

BV230.D684 1990 



95 96 97 98 RRD(H) 10 98765432 

For Kamae, who teaches me to persevere. 
"Blessed are those who plant peace each season." 


Foreword by Matthew Fox ix 
Acknowledgments xi 
Introduction 1 

The Lord's Prayer 9 

1. Our Birth in Unity 12 

2. Clearing Space for the Name to Live 16 

3. The Creative Fire 19 

4. Fleaven Comes to Earth: Universal Compassion 22 

5. The Blessings of Earthiness: The Next Step 26 

6. Letting Go, Heartbeat by Heartbeat 30 

7. Remembrance: The Birth of New Creation and Liberty 

8. A Celebration of Cosmic Renewal 37 

The Beatitudes 43 
Other Sayings 77 

Resources for Further Study 89 


Reader beware: though this book is brief, it contains the seeds of 
a revolution. 

Those who understand what is at stake in a paradigm shift will 
immediately grasp the power in this little book. A paradigm shift 
requires a new pair of glasses by which to look anew at our 
inherited treasures. Just as all translations of our mystics are 
affected by the ideology or worldview of the translator, so the 
same is true of the translations of our Scriptures. Those who have 
lost a cosmology and the mysticism that accompanies it hardly 
recognize that fact when they translate the Bible for us. 

Yet Scripture, as the monks of old who chanted it daily have 
attested, must be experienced with the heart and not just studied 
with the head. So much biblical training in our times tests young 
scholars for the latter but does little to foster the former. 
Mysticism —banished from our academic life for three centuries — 
rarely emerges on the printed page of translators who become 
steeped in the words but not necessarily the music of the author's 
spirit and intention. When scriptural passages become overly 
familiar, matters of rote, memorized prayers instead of living 
words, religion is paralyzed and loses its capacity for transforma¬ 
tion. Scripture then becomes the property of specialists. 

How disturbing and refreshing, therefore, is this effort by Neil 
Douglas-Klotz to recover the original language, the native Middle 
Eastern language, the Aramaic that Jesus spoke! How much 
expanded heart consciousness and prophetic juice might result 
from hearing, for example, that what we have translated as "be 
you perfect" really means "be you all-embracing," or that "to be 
satisfied" means "to be surrounded by fruit"; that "blessed are the 
meek, for they shall inherit the earth" also means "soften what's 
rigid inside and you shall receive physical vigor and strength from 
the universe"; that "blessed are the pure in heart" means blessed 
are those "whose passion is electrified by deep, abiding purpose"; 


that "heaven" in Aramaic means, in fact, "the universe"; and that 
the overly familiar words "lead us not into temptation" can be 
translated in this way: "Don't let surface things delude us, but free 
us from what holds us back." Can we get any more cosmological 
than that? Do the words of Jesus not take on new life and vigor in 
this version of his saying? 

Douglas-Klotz's translations also reveal how feminist Jesus 
was. Consider that the word Jesus uses, which we have tradition¬ 
ally translated as "kingdom," is related to the word for the "Great 
Mother" in the Middle East; the word we translate as "daily bread" 
means nourishment of all kinds and derives from roots for the 
divine feminine and for Holy Wisdom, or Sophia. 

Prayers of the Cosmos is not a book about mysticism in the Bible. 
It is a practical meditation that can draw the mystic out of the 
reader once again, just as the mystic who heard the startling words 
of Jesus two thousand years ago was drawn out. This is a book that 
allows us to experience the Scriptures once again through the 
heart, which means through the body, which means on earth, the 
source and origin of our bodies. Douglas-Klotz's dedication to 
bringing the mystic out of self and others through the Dances of 
Universal Peace is highlighted in the practical and bodily prayer 
forms that he recommends for recovering the living, breathing 
Scriptures. He teaches us truly to pray the Scriptures anew, to 
understand prayer as more than reading or talking. If Hildegard of 
Bingen was correct eight centuries ago in defining prayer as 
"breathing in and breathing out the one breath of the universe," 
then Douglas-Klotz is also correct in insisting that we dance —that 
is, breathe —the Scriptures anew. 

Douglas-Klotz's version of the Lord's Prayer is like a commen¬ 
tary in itself. For centuries theologians have offered us commen¬ 
taries on this prayer of Jesus, but this one is like no other. It 
embraces, grounds, challenges. It opens our hearts to cosmology 
once again —as Jesus was open to cosmology and as all native per¬ 
sons are. It allows the mysticism of our scriptural heritage to move 
us once again, maybe even to transform us. 

I welcome this book and the rich fruit it is sure to bear. 

Matthew Fox, Founding Director 
Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality 


In addition to those mentioned in the introduction, my thanks 
go to many friends, students, teachers, and co-workers who have 
encouraged me over the years in this project. These include 
Matthew Fox and the students and faculty of the Institute of 
Culture and Creation Spirituality in Oakland, California, 
Murshida Vera J. Corda, Br. Joseph Kilikevice, O.P., Murshid 
Moineddin Jablonski, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, the late Frida 
Waterhouse, Jodean Johnson, Violetta Reiser, Zamyat Kirby, 
Tasnim Fernandez, and many others. Special thanks go to the 
Vedanta Society of San Francisco and the monks of its rural retreat 
center for providing and preserving the sacred atmosphere of 
nature in which this work could be completed. 

Pronunciation of the Aramaic Words 

The transcription of the Aramaic words into English characters is 
not meant to be a formal, scholarly transliteration. The latter 
would have required the reader to learn yet another alphabet with 
special characters, and this book is meant to be used by lay per¬ 
sons. The transcription used is very helpful when used in combina¬ 
tion with a pronunciation/chanting cassette tape I have prepared 
and which is available from various offices of the Dances of 
Universal Peace network in North America and Europe, as men¬ 
tioned in the resource list at the end of the book. 




The richness of expression present in the native Aramaic language 
of Jesus is a treasure that has been lost-or limited only to 
scholars —for too long. To discover this treasure, we must chal¬ 
lenge ourselves to participate in the prophetic and mystical tradi¬ 
tion that Jesus has represented. It is a far cry from our ordinary 
way of thinking. 

A tradition of both native Middle Eastern and Hebraic mysticism 
says that each statement of sacred teaching must be examined from 
at least three points of view: the intellectual, the metaphorical, and 
the universal (or mystical). From the first viewpoint, we consider 
the face value of the words in question—what so-called modern peo¬ 
ple normally call the "literal" meaning. According to native Middle 
Eastern mysticism, however, each Aramaic word presents several 
possible "literal" translations. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall 
inherit the earth" could as easily be translated "Blessed are the gen¬ 
tle" or "Blessed are those who have softened the rigidity within." 
The word for "earth" in Aramaic also carries the meanings of "earth¬ 
iness," "the natural abundance of nature," and "everything that 
appears in particular forms." To understand how all these relate to 
one another, we must go further. 

From the second viewpoint, we consider how a statement or 
story presents a metaphor for our lives —or the life of a community. 
Here we must awaken our poetic sensibility: we must participate 
in re-creating meaning from several possible literal translations. With 
reference to the above saying of Jesus, where are the rigid places in 
our lives —or in the life of our society? How do they prevent us from 
receiving sustenance from the natural abundance of nature? 

From the third viewpoint, the universal or mystical, one comes 
to a truth of the experience pointed to by a particular statement. 
Here we must go beyond seeing a prayer as an affirmation or peti¬ 
tion, or a parable as mere metaphor. We must embrace the word¬ 
less experience to which the living words of a mystic point. To 


continue the above example: one faces the question. What do the 
words rigid and soft have to do with my experience of life, of the 
cosmos, of God? What feelings do the sounds of the key words in 
Aramaic evoke? How do I act responsibly from this new under¬ 
standing? There are no set answers to these questions: they chal¬ 
lenge us to an individual response. 

To a native Middle Eastern mystic like Jesus, none of these 
viewpoints excludes the others. One holds all the possible mean¬ 
ings of key sacred phrases and prayer and lets them work inside. 
According to the Hebrew sage and language scholar Fabre 
D'Olivet (1815) in The Hebraic Tongue Restored, the tragedy of bibli¬ 
cal translation has been that expressions meant to resonate many 
levels of meaning-at least the intellectual, metaphorical, and 
universal —have been whittled down to become "wholly gross in 
[their] nature . . . restricted to material and particular expres¬ 
sions." This tendency to divide and overliteralize was reflected in 
the whole Newtonian era: a period that repressed mystical cos- 
mology was also ill at ease with mystical translation. An unnatural 
division between God, Nature and humanity, unknown to people 
who lived close to the earth, crept into our language with the 
advent of modern civilization. 

Some of the difficulty harkens back to the source of our texts- 
and our thinking. Most of the English translations of the words of 
Jesus come from Greek, a language that differs greatly from 
Aramaic. Aramaic was the common spoken language throughout 
the Middle East at the time of Jesus and the tongue in which he 
expressed his teachings. (Hebrew was primarily a temple language 
at this time.) According to some scholars, Aramaic was a derivative 
of ancient Hebrew; others say that Aramaic itself is older, and 
based on still more ancient Middle Eastern roots. Although Greek 
was introduced into the Middle East after the conquest of Alex¬ 
ander the Great, it never became the language of the native peo¬ 
ples. Aramaic served as the lingua franca until it was replaced by 
a derivative tongue, Arabic, during the rise of Islam. Even so, 
Aramaic continued to be spoken widely in the Middle East into 
the nineteenth century and is still used in parts of Syria, as well as 
in the entire church of the East. 

Unlike Greek, Aramaic does not draw sharp lines between 
means and ends, or between an inner quality and an outer action. 
Both are always present. When Jesus refers to the "kingdom of 
heaven," this kingdom is always both within and among us. Like- 


wise, "neighbor" is both inside and outside, as is the "self" that we 
are to love to the same degree as our "neighbor." Unlike Greek, 
Aramaic presents a fluid and holistic view of the cosmos. The 
arbitrary borders found in Greek between "mind," "body," and 
"spirit" fall away. 

Furthermore, like its sister languages Hebrew and Arabic, 
Aramaic can express many layers of meaning. Words are organized 
and defined based on a poetic root-and-pattern system, so that 
each word may have several meanings, at first seemingly 
unrelated, but upon contemplation revealing an inner connection. 
The same word may be translated, for instance, as "name," "light," 
"sound," or "experience." Confronted with such variety, one needs 
to look at each word or phrase from several different points of 
view—the ones mentioned above, and possibly others. Jesus 
showed a mastery of this use of transformative language, which 
survives even through inadequate translations. 

In addition, the Aramaic language is close to the earth, rich in 
images of planting and harvesting, full of views of the natural won¬ 
der of the cosmos. "Heaven" in Aramaic ceases to be a metaphysi¬ 
cal concept and presents the image of ''light and sound shining 
through all creation." Like its native Middle Eastern predecessors 
and like other ancient native languages around the planet, Aramaic 
is rich in sound-meaning; that is, one can feel direction, color, move¬ 
ment, and other sensations as certain sacred words resonate in the 
body. This body resonance was another layer of meaning for the 
hearers of Jesus' words and for the native Middle Eastern mystic. 
In fact, this writer finds similarities between some of the most 
important words used by Jesus and words used in native Middle 
Eastern chants for thousands of years before his time. 

Organization of This Book 

Because of these special qualities of Aramaic and of Jewish mysti¬ 
cism, I was challenged to devise a structure that would begin to 
reveal the many facets shining in each statement, much as one 
would view the various facets of a cut crystal. The majority of this 
volume considers the lines of the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic. This 
cleansing prayer helps us remember what is important in life and 
contains the central themes in Jesus' sayings. These themes portray 
a cycle of renewal revealing a spiral journey through stages like those 


presented by the "four paths" of creation spirituality: the paths of 
original blessing, letting go, breakthrough, and compassion. 

First, each line of the prayer is rendered according to the root 
meaning of the words, but from several different points of view, as 
indicated above. Second, textual notes are given so that the reader 
may begin to understand the richness of the Aramaic roots and 
make his or her own connections or alternate translations (the 
metaphorical level). Third, I have added open-ended meditations 
or body prayers, which point toward an experience of the words 
of Jesus in one s body and life. These body prayers encourage one 
to participate in the sound and feeling of the words as well as their 
intellectual or metaphorical meaning. To come close to the experi¬ 
ence that Jesus offered his hearers, we must extend our under¬ 
standing beyond what we call the "mind" to the whole self. This 
is the mystical or universal level of interpretation. 

The basis of these body meditations stems from work passed 
on orally in the native Middle Eastern mystical tradition for thou¬ 
sands of years. I have modified and reworked these for use by peo¬ 
ple today. There are no longer any "secrets" that are not already in 
plain view for those who can understand them. I feel that the need 
of the earth is so great that we must do everything helpful to 
reestablish harmony with all creation. 

Following the Lord's Prayer, I have included versions of the 
Beatitudes-a rich source of Jesus' teaching but often confusing to 
the reader in present translation. These and the other sayings 
from the Gospels that follow show that including the mystical level 
of translation clears up a number of difficulties. I have also 
provided for comparison parallel renderings for each section from 
the King James Version. In most cases (where there is not outright 
mistranslation), these versions are not wrong, but so limited in 
expression that they have proved misleading. I do not believe that 
any of the more modern versions are substantially better; in each 
case where the Greek text has been taken as a source, translations 
have spawned theological concepts that are foreign to Aramaic 
thinking as well as, I believe, the thinking of Jesus himself. 

Texts Used 

My source for the Aramaic text is a version of the Syriac Aramaic 
manuscript of the Gospels, also known as the Peshitta Version, 


that was prepared by the Reverend G. H. Gwilliam and issued by 
the Clarendon Press in 1901. This version is available through the 
United Bible Societies. There is yet considerable scholarly con¬ 
troversy concerning the age and authority of the Peshitta and 
other early biblical manuscripts. 

Some biblical scholars believe that at least the Gospel of Mat¬ 
thew was first written in Aramaic and the other Gospels drawn 
either from this text or from another hypothetical Aramaic docu¬ 
ment known as "Q" (from German Quelle, "source"). Other schol¬ 
ars regard Mark as the earliest Gospel, largely because it is the 
shortest and was, perhaps, a "shorthand" version. Still other 
(primarily Eastern) scholars maintain that all of the Gospels were 
originally written in Aramaic, since they were all intended for 
either Jewish or Gentile (but still Aramaic-speaking) listeners. For 
further information, the reader may refer to the resource list at the 
end of this book. 

As Dr. George M. Lamsa, the pioneering Aramaic scholar of 
the 1930s, has pointed out in his Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern 
Manuscripts , the church of the East regards the Peshitta as the 
oldest and most authoritative version of the Bible. Peshitta means 
"simple," "sincere," or "true." With regard to the words of Jesus, 
this version may be as old as the second century a.d., according to 
some Eastern Christian scholars. 

The church of the East holds that if the Peshitta does not con¬ 
tain the oldest version, it is still much closer to the thought forms 
of Jesus than any Greek version. As Lamsa points out in his Nezv 
Testament Origin, there is much internal evidence to prove this. 
Most of the idiomatic confusions in the parables of Jesus are 
instantly cleared up when looked at from the Aramaic point of 
view. These confusions arose when translators worked from Latin 
versions of Greek versions that themselves misunderstood the 

In all the religions of humankind, the sacred teachings have 
always been written down in the language of the founder. There is 
no question that Jesus and his followers spoke Aramaic. In addi¬ 
tion, all the early Christian churches were Semitic in origin. The 
gospel was written first for the Jews and the "lost sheep of the 
house of Israel," who were also Aramaic speakers. 

According to Lamsa in Nezv Testament Origin, "Not a word of 
either the Old or the New Testament was originally written in 
Greek or any other European language. The theory that Jesus' 


teaching was first recorded in Greek was undoubtedly prompted 

by anti-Semitism-Prior to the British occupation of India and 

Egypt, the Western world knew hardly anything about the East. 
Almost everything which was written in Germany, England and 
America relative to Eastern Christianity was conjectural or biased. 
Therefore the whole body of evidence relative to the Bible theol¬ 
ogy and the people of the East must be re-examined in the light of 
the present findings and the Aramaic language" (pp. 1, 17-18). 

Further, the prejudice toward Greek versions of the Gospels as 
most authoritative" recapitulates the general ignorance of and 
prejudice against native peoples and their cultures on the part of 
"civilized man" for hundreds of years. Fortunately, this is begin¬ 
ning to change. Most Western schools, however, still teach that 
real culture began with the Greeks," a fact largely discredited by 
the archaeological and anthropological findings of recent decades. 
What we value in classical Greek art, music, and spirituality, 
according to Riane Eisler in The Chalice and the Blade, seems to have 
been largely taken over from previous cultures that worshiped the 
Great Mother and attained a high degree of culture in a partner¬ 
ship society largely free of war and conflict. 

Native peoples in the Middle East also had a rich language, cul¬ 
ture, and spirituality for thousands of years before Jesus. His 
inspired use of many older sacred phrases, reaching back even 
beyond the Hebrew tradition, shows that a native mystical tradi¬ 
tion did survive, probably in hiding or in the desert, both before 
and throughout the rise of orthodox Judaism, Christianity, and 
Islam. Some schools of Sufism claim to be among the inheritors of 
this native Middle Eastern tradition, which precedes even the 
Egyptian mystery schools. 

Those interested in further researches in the Aramaic language 
are referred to the works of Dr. George M. Lamsa and those of his 
student and scholarly heir. Dr. Rocco A. Errico. In particular, I am 
indebted to Dr. Errico for his warm help and referral to Aramaic 
language resources as well as the published Peshitta edition he has 
used in his studies. Dr. Errico is currently working on a new 
Aramaic grammar that will make learning the basics of the lan¬ 
guage much easier than it is with the texts now available (see the 
resources list at the end of this book). 

My own research in Middle Eastern languages, which began 
fourteen years ago, has proceeded from an interest in the original 


meanings and sound-values of sacred words from the Semitic lan¬ 
guage traditions. My inspiration was Samuel L. Lewis, a scholar 
and mystic schooled in Kaballah (Jewish mysticism) as well as 
Christianity, Sufism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. My innovation 
beyond the work of Drs. Lamsa and Errico has been into the realm 
of the mystical expression of Jesus, the third level, particularly as 
it is found in the Aramaic roots of his words. 

As a native Assyrian, Lamsa was primarily interested in the idi¬ 
omatic level, and his own translation of the Bible corrects hun¬ 
dreds of mistakes of this type that occur in other texts (see 
reference list). To approach the third level of translation, one must 
not only acquire language skills but also study the science of 
sound and letters common to the Middle Eastern mystical tradi¬ 
tions. This science points to states of meditation and awareness 
that must be experienced, not just studied intellectually. In this 
work, therefore, I have approached Jesus' words as a translator, 
poet, student, and teacher of native mysticism, rather than as a 
theologian. These translations are my own, and the reader is free 
to call them versions or commentaries if this helps to assimilate 
them. The effect of the "mystical" is not to mystify, but to return us 
to a better relationship with the cosmos, which is the heritage of all 
native traditions. 

As my main source for deeper interpretation of Aramaic roots, 

I have used Fabre D'Olivet's The Hebraic Tongue Restored. Although 
written in 1815, this is still a primary published reference for the 
complete interpretation of these roots; the material survives else¬ 
where as an oral tradition in Jewish mysticism (Kaballah) and 
Sufism. D'Olivet includes many cross-references to other Middle 
Eastern languages. Because there is as yet no complete Aramaic- 
English dictionary, one must search for additional help in various 
Syriac lexicons and keys to the Peshitta. In addition to the study of 
Aramaic, I have also drawn from my language research into Ara¬ 
bic, a tongue that evolved from Aramaic. 

All the major contemporary traditions of the Middle East — 
Jewish, Christian, and Islamic —stem from the same source, the 
same earth, and probably the same language. All originally called 
God either El or Al , which means "That," "the One," or "that One 
which expresses itself uniquely through all things." From this root 
arises the sacred names Elat (Old Canaanite), Elohim (Hebrew), 
Allaha (Aramaic), and Allah (Arabic). If this simple fact became better 


known, I believe there would be much more tolerance and under¬ 
standing among those who consciously or unconsciously perpetu¬ 
ate prejudice between what are essentially brother-sister traditions. 

The poetic form of most of my English versions is the 'dong 
line" used in the verse of Walt Whitman and William Blake. In this 
regard, I am indebted to the suggestion of American poet Robert 
Bly, who pointed out this form's sonorous, rolling qualities, similar 
to the tones of the King James version of the Bible. In addition, I 
have included an approximate transliteration of the Aramaic 
characters into English so that readers may sound out the original 
and feel its tempo, rhythm, and vibration as part of their own body 
prayer. Allowing for the fact that several dialects of Aramaic exist 
and that this book is intended for nonscholars, I have sacrificed 
some accuracy in the transliteration in order to use regular English 
characters rather than linguistic symbols. Interested scholars may 
refer to the reference list at the end of this book for resources on 
learning to read the Aramaic characters or for recordings of them 
being read and sung. 

Questions may arise about this work simply because I have 
approached the words of Jesus rather than those of another mys¬ 
tic. "Are these versions literal?" "Are they inspired, like the Autho¬ 
rized Version?" These questions presume a certain theological 
orientation, based largely on beliefs with which I do not wish to 
quarrel. As I have indicated, there may be many "literal" versions 
of the same passage in Aramaic. Regarding the second question, I 
believe that inspiration is as available today as it was in the time of 
King James —and available in the living experience of those who 
have followed in the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus was neither a scholar 
nor a theologian; his words ring across the ages, even in limited 
translation, and strike at the heart of our dilemmas and questions. 
From this work, I hope and pray that many "inspired translations" 
may occur—in both the transformed words and the actions of 
those who confront the Cosmic Christ through the words of the 
Aramaic Jesus. 

Neil Douglas-Klotz 



The Lord's Prayer (Aramaic) 

locn . c,X o . ^ . \to fX2X & . cjjclx I+xlxjs ^cxni 

/ >• * • • ; \ '•••*> . . * ^ . , 

wi£uaCj? .TscuA ^ w3c77 ^Lbirj ^92 : l+x\xjn a 

v * • v • • • • • . • . . \ 


•• • # * * A • • *• *• • • •• • '# i I • I ». *, », », 

Ao J O ojl l32d 4 xa» 1 A jacxzcxo &. 

2X <w\v? u*07 cXo? >X\..V) . *JU3 ^ ►-i Al : gcug>A 

. mJjCU ^SqX.V, Tl\\A fX**OOLXXO A.^.O 

Abwoon d'bwashmaya 
Nethqadash shmakh 
Teytey malkuthakh 

Nehwey tzevyanach aykanna d'bwashmaya aph b'arha. 

Hawvlan lachma d'sunqanan yaomana. 

Washboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) 

aykana daph khnan shbwoqan l'khayyabayn. 

Wela tahlan l'nesyuna 

Ela patzan min bisha. 

Metol dilakhie malkutha wahayla wateshbukhta l'ahlam 



The Lord's Prayer (King James English 

Our Father which art in heaven 
Hallowed be thy name. 

Thy kingdom come. 

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for 



(Matthew 6:9-13, King James Version) 


1. Our Birth in Unity 

Abzvoon dlnuashmaya jJaxjas ^ocji 

(KJV version: Our Father which art in heaven) 

O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos, 
you create all that moves 
in light. 

O Thou! The Breathing Life of all. 

Creator of the Shimmering Sound that 
touches us. 

Respiration of all worlds, 

we hear you breathing-in and out- 

in silence. 

Source of Sound: in the roar and the whisper, 
in the breeze and the whirlwind, we 
hear your Name. 

Radiant One: You shine within us, 
outside us —even darkness shines—when 
we remember. 

Name of names, our small identity 
unravels in you, you give it back 
as a lesson. 

Wordless Action, Silent Potency— 
where ears and eyes awaken, there 
heaven comes. 

O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos! 


Textual Notes 

The prayer begins with an expression of the divine creation and 
the blessing that emanates from all parenting. The ancient Middle 
Eastern root ab refers to all fruit, all germination proceeding from 
the source of Unity. This root came to be used in the Aramaic word 
for personal father-abba-but still echoes its original ungendered 
root in sound-meaning. While abzvoon is a derivative of this word 
for personal father, its original roots do not specify a gender and 
could be translated "divine parent." These roots reveal many levels 
of meaning. Bzvn shows the ray or emanation of that father/ 
motherhood proceeding from potential to actual, here and now. In 
Aramaic, the character for b may also be pronounced zv or include 
shades of both. An Aramaic scholar, the Reverend Mar Aprem 
(1981), notes that the same root (ab) may stand for personal father 
or spiritual father, depending on whether the zv (for personal) or 
the b (for spiritual) is emphasized. No doubt, Jesus meant there to 
be an echo of both, as Aramaic is rich in this sublime wordplay. 

Further, according to the mystical science of sounds and letters, 
common to both Aramaic and Hebrew, the word abzvoon points 
beyond our changing concepts of "male" and "female" to a cosmic 
birthing process. At this level of interpretation, abzvoon may be said 
to have four parts to its sound-meaning: 

A: the Absolute, the Only Being, the pure Oneness and Unity, 
source of all power and stability (echoing to the ancient sacred 
sound AL and the Aramaic word for God, Alaha, literally, "the 

bzv: a birthing, a creation, a flow of blessing, as if from the 
"interior" of this Oneness to us. 

oo: the breath or spirit that carries this flow, echoing the sound 
of breathing and including all forces we now call magnetism, 
wind, electricity, and more. This sound is linked to the 
Aramaic phrase rukha d'qoodsha, which was later translated as 
"Holy Spirit." 

n: the vibration of this creative breath from Oneness as it 
touches and interpenetrates form. There must be a substance 
that this force touches, moves, and changes. This sound echoes 


the earth, and the body here vibrates as we intone the whole 

name slowly: Ah-bw-oo-n. 

The rest of the phrase completes the motion of divine creation. 
In d'bivashmaya , the central root is found in the middle: shm. From 
this root comes the word shem, which may mean light, sound, 
vibration, name, or word. The root shm indicates that which "rises 
and shines in space," the entire sphere of a being. In this sense, 
one's name included one's sound, vibration, or atmosphere, and 
names were carefully given and received. Here the "'sign" or 
"name" that renders Abzvoon knowable is the entire universe. The 
ending -aya shows that this shining includes every center of 
activity, every place we see, as well as the potential abilities of all 
things. In effect, shmaya says that the vibration or word by which 
one can recognize the Oneness-God's name —is the universe. 
This was the Aramaic conception of "heaven." This word is central 
to many of the sayings of Jesus and usually misunderstood. In 
Greek and later in English, "heaven" became a metaphysical con¬ 
cept out of touch with the processes of creation. It is difficult for 
the Western mind to comprehend how one word can have such 
seemingly different meanings. Yet this was the worldview of the 
native Middle Eastern mystic. 


Body Prayers 

In the first line of Jesus' prayer, we remember our origins —not in 
guilt or imperfection, but in blessing and unity, in both vibration 
and stillness. For the divine breath (rukha) touches even the 
absence of what we can measure as ' 'light" or "sound." 

1. Intone the sound Ah-bw-oo-n slowly, finding a pitch that 
resonates the most in your body. Take some time to find this 
"note"-it is your own heritage from Abzvoon: the tone at which you 
vibrate most is part of your "name," in the Aramaic meaning of the 
word. Feel the vibration of the sound. Where do you feel it in your 
body? As the sound enters the silence, let yourself follow it there. 
Begin to feel all the movements within the body-heartbeat, 
breathing, peristalsis-that go on without our attention. Feel these 
movements as internal prayers that point to the gift and responsi¬ 
bility of co-creation with God. 

2. When in nature, walking or sitting, breathe in feeling the 
sound Abzvoon inside yourself, and breathe out feeling the sound 
dloivashmaya. Feel breath come into you as it does into the grass, 
trees, rocks, and water. Feel the One Source of this breathing. And 
feel the breathing returning to all creation. Our breath feeds the 
plants and theirs us. The exchange unites us in God. All creation 
says the holy Name silently. 

3. When at work, breathe in feeling the sound Ah; breathe out 
feeling the sound bzvoon. As you inhale, feel all newness and 
nourishment coming into the heart-lungs area. As you exhale, feel 
everything old, everything that wants to be released, leaving with 
the breath. Where in the body can you feel the breath? What parts 
are not aware and could use waking up? As we become aware of 
the body, the darkness, the inside, we begin to be aware of soul 
(Aramaic, naphsha) and on the track of the kingdom/queendom 



2. Clearing Space for the Name to Live 

Nethqadash shmakh . eject jckaxi 

\. *••••# 

(KJV version: Hallowed be thy name) 

Focus your light within us-make it useful: 
as the rays of a beacon 
show the way. 

Help us breathe one holy breath 
feeling only you-this creates a shrine 
inside, in wholeness. 

Help us let go, clear the space inside 
of busy forgetfulness: so the 
Name comes to live. 

Your name, your sound can move us 
if we tune our hearts as instruments 
for its tone. 

Hear the one Sound that created all others, 
in this way the Name is hallowed 
in silence. 

In peace the Name resides: 
a "room of one's own," a holy of holies 
open, giving light, to all. 

We all look elsewhere for this light— 
it draws us out of ourselves —but the Name 
always lives within. 

Focus your light within us-make it useful! 


Textual Notes 

In the second line of the prayer, the root stun -the divine name, 
light, sound, experience —returns in a more specific form. In the 
first line, shem was spread throughout the universe; it was part of 
the underlying Unity in which everything lives. Here we affirm 
that the name will become qadash, "holy" (from which the Hebrew 
word kasher, "kosher," is drawn). In Aramaic, one makes a thing 
holy by setting it apart, separating it for a specific purpose. 
Because this Aramaic construct occurs equally inside as well as 
outside of us, we might say that when we separate something, 
hold it inviolate, we create for it a holy place within. 

The roots of nethqadash also evoke the images of clearing or 
sweeping and of preparing the ground for an important plant. In 
one of the most beautiful pictures presented by the Aramaic, the 
roots show a person bending his or her head over a special place 
where seeds are sown, indicating also that one bends over the 
heart and plants devotion and perseverance at the same time. 

The inner shrine by which God's name is hallowed can be 
developed only through letting go, releasing some of the clutter 
inside that keeps us too busy to be silent and receptive to the "still, 
small voice." The prayer also leads us to consider our "feeling 
heart," the place that mystics of all paths have called the inner tem¬ 
ple. Jesus recommended going to this "heart-shrine" (one of the 
meanings of "enter into thy closet"-Matt. 6:6) whenever we pray. 
In another setting, Virginia Woolf called this "a room of one's 
own." When this inner shrine is established, it becomes possible 
to be, in the words of Jesus, "all-embracing" (usually translated as 
"perfect") even as our Creator-source is all-embracing (Matt. 5:48). 

In Aramaic, the prayer always directs us in a practical fashion. 
To make the experience of Abwoon useful, we need to create a place 
for this Oneness to live inside. Then the light of shem — the clarity 
or intelligence that arises in ultimate peace —becomes usable on an 
everyday basis, like light in a lamp. 


Body Prayers 

To create this holy place inside, some letting go is necessary. If the 
room is filled with old knickknacks, there is no space for a shrine. 
If the flute is clogged, no music can come through. The sounds of 
this phrase indicate a way to begin this letting go: they lead us to 
a sensation of the heart-lungs area. Here blood and air collaborate 
to let go of what's needed with each exhalation, to take in what's 
needed with each inhalation. In our daily routine, we can let go 
and set aside time for silence, meditation, and prayer. Even while 
engaged in work, we can breathe one conscious breath, letting go 
into God's creative light and Name. 

1. Create a separate place in your home, your room, your life 
where you can let go and breathe, feeling that as you breathe, God 
does also. Sit or lie in a relaxed position and notice the rising and 
falling of the breath. Breathe in feeling the sound nethqadash (nith- 
qah-dahsh) and breathe out feeling the sound shmakh (shm-ah- 
kh). Simply relax and breathe, feeling more and more letting go 
inside, creating space for the breath of God. Notice the beating of 
the heart and the rhythm of the breath as it goes in and out. Can 
they begin to create a music together, a pattern? Let this feeling of 
the breathing and heartbeat working together begin to create a 
place of silence and peace inside. Underneath this peace is an 
energized fullness-all action is possible. The silence is the shrine, 
the room. The fullness is the Name, God's light. 

2. Anytime while engaged in work or action, take one long 
deep breath remembering this holy of holies within. The Name 
can become hallowed again, in an instant. Or: feel the sound of 
the phrase nethqadash shmakh inside. Let any small movements 
that this sound creates clear a space and bring you back to peace. 

3. At another time, relax and feel the shrine created by the 
heartbeat and breathing. Notice which parts of the body feel enliv¬ 
ened by the meditation. Then notice those parts that feel separate 
or absent. Do not judge any as good or bad. Simple notice and 
accept them with unconditional love. 


3. The Creative Fire 

Teytey malkuthakh . ;^2x 

• • i i i 

• • 

(KJV version: Thy kingdom come) 

Create your reign of unity now- 
through our fiery hearts 
and willing hands. 

Let your counsel rule our lives, 
clearing our intention 
for co-creation. 

Unite our "I can" to yours, so that 
we walk as kings and queens 
with every creature. 

Desire with and through us 
the rule of universal fruitfulness 
onto the earth. 

Your rule springs into existence 
as our arms reach out to 
embrace all creation. 

Come into the bedroom of our hearts, 
prepare us for the marriage of 
power and beauty. 

From this divine union, let us birth 
new images for a new world 
of peace. 

Create your reign of unity now! 


Textual Notes 

In the third line of the prayer, the holy space inside is used as a 
workshop to envision and prepare for new creation. Teytey means 
;/ come" but includes the images of mutual desire, definition of a 
goal, and, in the old sense, a "nuptial chamber"—a place where 
mutual desire is fulfilled and birthing begins. 

Malkuthakh refers to a quality of rulership and ruling principles 
that guide our lives toward unity. It could justifiably be translated 
as either "kingdom" or "queendom." From the ancient roots, the 
word carries the image of a "fruitful arm" poised to create, or a 
coiled spring that is ready to unwind with all the verdant potential 
of the earth. It is what says "I can" within us and is willing, despite 
all odds, to take a step in a new direction. 

The word Malkatuh , based on the same root, was a name of the 
Great Mother in the Middle East thousands of years before Jesus. 
The ancients saw in the earth and all around them a divine quality 
that everywhere takes responsibility and says "I can." Later those 
who expressed this quality clearly were recognized as natural 
leaders —what we call queens or kings. 

In a collective sense, malkuthakh can also refer to the counsel by 
which anything is ruled, the collective ideals of a nation, or the 
planet. In this line, we ask that the kingdom/queendom come by 
clarifying our personal and collective ideas in alignment with the 
Creator's —toward unity and creativity like the earth's. 


Body Prayers 

Once we have created an interior temple of peace and devotion, 
this heart-place can be used to clarify our goals and to break 
through to a new sense of creativity in our lives. With the help of 
the One, we discover a new sense of "I can." The birth of this crea¬ 
tive power happens in childhood when one begins to feel (and 
say), "I can do it myself!" In meditation on this line of the prayer, 
one begins to discover that the small "I" can unite with the larger 
and only 7, what Jesus called Alaha, the Oneness or God. 

1. While lying or sitting, return to the peaceful place inside 
created by feeling your heartbeat and breathing. As the medieval 
mystic Hildegard of Bingen said, everything may be felt a "feather 
on the breath of God." Listen to music that inspires you and notice 
its effect on your inner shrine. Do any images arise? At another 
time, you might focus on inspirational art, on a creative solution 
to a problem that confronts you, or on clear guidance for your next 
step. Or you might rhythmically breathe a short prayer or any line 
of the Lord s Prayer (for instance, breathing in teytey, breathing out 
malkuthakh). Let the meditation on and in the heart keep you close 
to the heartbeat of God. 

2. While walking, breathe and move together in rhythm. Feel 
yourself as if drawn from the heart toward a goal or person you 
love. Try actually moving from the heart and notice the effect. At 
first, make sure you have enough room to move without being 
interrupted. With some practice, this body prayer can also be used 

in the crowd to help fortify one's feeling and refocus one's 

3. When in need of healing or rest, or in emotional turmoil, 
return to the heart-shrine. Let whatever feelings emerge be 
embraced and acknowledged by the breath of God in your own 
breathing. Gradually allow the breathing to become more rhyth¬ 
mic. Inhale from the One Source of healing; exhale to that part of 
yourself in need or turmoil. 


4. Heaven Comes to Earth: Universal Compassion 

Nehwey tzevyanach aykanna dlnvashmaya aph b'arha 

i *. '.it '.ii '. i. 

. :^ox33 ^oou 

• • • • • \ 

ii * 

(KJV version: Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven) 

Your one desire then acts with ours, 
as in all light, so in 
all forms. 

Let all wills move together 
in your vortex, as stars and planets 
swirl through the sky. 

Help us love beyond our ideals 
and sprout acts of compassion 
for all creatures. 

As we find your love in ours, 
let heaven and nature form 
a new creation. 

Unite the crowd within 

in a vision of passionate purpose: 

light mates with form. 

Create in me a divine cooperation — 
from many selves, one voice, 
one action. 

Let your heart's fervent desire 
unite heaven and earth 
through our harmony. 

Your one desire then acts with ours, 
as in all light, so in 
all forms. 


Textual Notes 

In this fourth and most central line of the prayer, heaven meets 
earth in acts of compassion. VVe have remembered our source in 
Abwoon, the source of all parenting. We have let go to clear a holy 
place inside for this realization to live. From this new beginning we 
have clarified our goals, realized the power of our co-creation, and 
envisioned our next step. Now we are ready to act. In one sense, 
Jesus presented a prayer for all humanity, one that all creation 
joins in each moment. In another sense, he presented a very prac¬ 
tical method by which to approach any undertaking or to renew 
one's purpose in life. 

Tzevyanach can be translated as "will," but it is not what we 
usually think of as willpower (trying hard) or willfulness (unre¬ 
strained force). In Aramaic, the word carries the meaning of 
"desire," a harmonious cooperation of movement that includes 
natural discipline. This kind of "heart's desire" means that one's 
goal or purpose has moved beyond the mental or ideal stage. It has 
become so much a part of oneself that one need no longer think 
about it. One's whole being moves toward the goal with certainty. 
The ancient roots of the word summon forth images of a vortex of 
harmony and generation, of a host of stars swirling through the 

Aykanna ("just as") carries the sense of a determined desire 
toward consistency and stability. We pray that God's heart-desire 
be done consistently through our lives in form as it is in sound 
(word) and light (image or vision). 

Arha means "earth"; in fact, it may be the original source of that 
word. In sound-meaning it evokes the sigh of the human species 
whenever it feels the support of the earth underneath and remem¬ 
bers to treat it as another living being, rather than an object to be 
exploited. Behind that, the old Hebrew roots carry the meaning of 
all nature, all natural gatherings of mass and form produced by the 
universal force AR — power with movement. From this root, we 
also get our word ardor. 


Body Prayers 

At this stage, the prayer exhorts us to proceed beyond getting 
ready for creation, beyond our ideas and creative imagination, to 
take responsibility for our actions and the way they affect our sur¬ 
roundings. This rules out creativity that does not take the commu¬ 
nity and the well-being of the earth into consideration. We must 
act and take the consequences. We may reach the goal we have 
envisioned, or we may "fail." The prayer, however, points us to a 
universe where every winter is followed by a spring, and God acts 
in and with the cycle of creation. When we have focused our action 
by beginning with remembrance of Abivoon, we will have carried 
out our part; we can plant and then leave the fruits to the Creator. 

1. Upon finding yourself caught in a habitual response-to 
relationships, work, or any other life situation-that does not fur¬ 
ther your purpose, use the body prayer of the inner shrine to clear 
space and envision a new response. Sometimes the action envi¬ 
sioned in a prayerful state will not make sense. Breathe Abivoon 
and ask God for confirmation. The action will never go against 
your conscience. Envision it so clearly that you feel it in your body. 
Then when the situation arises, act from the heart, before the 
mind can drag you back to a habitual response. 

2. Make a list of what you feel is lacking in life, both personally 
and globally. Then make another list of what inspires you, again 
including your personal qualities and strengths as well as those 
you feel around you on the earth. Compare the feeling that you 
had making each list and hold the two feelings together in your 
heart. While holding both, see what relation you find between 
what's wanting and what's fulfilled in your life (as well as the life 
of the planet). What are the most important areas for change? 
Then with lists in hand, compare these areas to the way you spend 
most of your time. Use a peaceful, prayerful breath and do not be 
sidetracked by either guilt or self-satisfaction. Use this process as 
a plan for your practical short-term as well as long-term goals. Find 
one immediate action that will make a difference, no matter how 

3. Lying down for a few minutes in comfortable surroundings, 
return to the shrine of the inner heart. Meditate on the feeling of 
your bones as they are supported from underneath by the earth. 


Feel supported for your own weight-no more, no less. Visualize 
and feel the bone marrow, the deepest part of yourself from which 
a vital part of the immune system comes. Cells from the bone mar¬ 
row are responsible for creating antibodies to merge with what¬ 
ever enters the body and is seen as "not yourself." Other immune 
cells from the thymus gland, near the heart, percolate through the 
body and communicate what is needed for each moment. Visual¬ 
ize the denseness of bone, the expansiveness of heart, and feel the 
body's natural capacity to change not-self into self -to merge with 
the "enemy" and make it part of unity, part of the whole. For a few 
minutes join with these deep pulsations of the body as a prayer for 
unity in the world. 

Consider the prevalence of immune-system diseases in our 
society today. What are we being asked to learn about "differ¬ 
ences" and "enemies"? 


5. The Blessings of Earthiness: The Next Step 

Hazvvlan lachma d'sunqanan yaomana 

'• *• • *• .*• »• 

. ♦.JJaOO* >l£uqg)3 ^ 

(KJV version: Give us this day our daily bread ) 

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight: 
subsistence for the call of 
growing life. 

Give us the food we need to grow 

through each new day, 

through each illumination of life's needs. 

Let the measure of our need be earthiness: 
give all things simple, verdant, 

Produce in us, for us, the possible: 
each only-human step toward home 
lit up. 

Help us fulfill what lies within 

the circle of our lives: each day we ask 

no more, no less. 

Animate the earth within us: we then 
feel the Wisdom underneath 
supporting all. 

Generate through us the bread of life: 
we hold only what is asked to feed 
the next mouth. 

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight. 


Textual Notes 

A word very rich in meaning, lachma is both "bread" and 
"understanding"-food for all forms of growth and for elementary 
life in general. It is derived from a more basic root relating to the 
divine feminine HA4A which pictures growing vigor, verdancy, 
warmth, passion, possibility, and all instruments of this genera¬ 
tive power. This root became the word hochrna , translated as "Holy 
Wisdom" in Proverbs. As we saw earlier, the h and oo sounds point 
toward the breath, this time the breath that returns to and ema¬ 
nates from the earth with the eternal cry of the mother, — ma. Later 
this root would be rendered by the Greek word Sophia , referring to 
an embodiment of all feminine wisdom. 

Sunqanan refers to needs, but may also mean "an illumined 
measure," "a circle of possession," or "a nest." Haivvlan can mean 
"give," "humanly generate," "produce with life and soul," or "ani¬ 
mate with fruit. This part of the prayer reminds us in many ways 
that sometimes what we need is not only the grand picture of 
unity and God's creation, but also the "next step"—just food or 
understanding for this moment. 

In the first half of the prayer we remember the One and feel our 
blessing from the cosmos. In the second half we begin a new cycle 
of blessing, but in an even more embodied and practical way: we 
face each other and remember the divine Many. This section 
begins from the earth up. The prayer pushes us beyond an 
introverted spirituality to consider everything in our dealings with 
others. In reminding us of "understanding," the prayer points to 
what always stands under and supports us —the Mother Earth. We 
can make that support more real by feeding each other. We can 
also treasure the source of that bread by not hoarding or demand¬ 
ing from the earth more than we need, by respecting the source of 
our most basic support. 


• Body Prayers 

As human beings, one of the most precious things we can give one 
another is our complete understanding and support, each day and 
each moment as we are able, with all our perceived limitations 
included. As we make this simple here-and-now contact with one 
another, we share the real embodiment. Perhaps this is part of 
what Jesus meant when, in breaking bread the night before he 
died, he said, "This is my body." He may also have been directing 
his disciples back to simple, human concerns: the need to feed 
someone who is hungry, to visit someone who is sick or in prison. 

1. While lying down, come to a feeling of support through all 
the bones: let your attention roam naturally from point to point 
where you feel the earth supporting you underneath. Does one 
shoulder feel more in contact than the other? Or one hip more 
than the other? By making these small comparisons, begin to 
experience how you relate to the earth on a bodily level. Then 
slowly stand up and walk meditatively, step by step, feeling the 
earth's support through all your bones. Body researchers have 
found that very little (or no) muscle action may be necessary to 
walk. One could simply let gravity and the felt support of liga¬ 
ments and bones do the work by leaning slightly forward and 
"being walked." 

As you walk, experience how much you hold yourself away 
from the earth or press down upon it. Feel the support of the earth 
for whatever you naturally offer it, for whoever you are, for your 
right to be here without the necessity of constant busyness. This 
is an excellent meditation for working with a body sense of bless¬ 
ing and self-esteem. You may also broaden your meditation to con¬ 
sider the way we walk upon the earth as a species: the earth holds 
a memory of our treatment of it. When we neither oppress it or ask 
it to carry more than our own weight nor hold ourselves away in 
a detached and introverted pietism, we will begin to right the bal¬ 
ance as a planet. As Jesus said, "Feed my lambs . . . feed my 
sheep" (John 21:15-16). 

2. This body prayer is best done with a partner. Let one person 
lie down and experience his or her own sense of support through 
Mother Earth. Sitting near this person's feet, let the partner also 
feel support through the bones and then share this sense of sup- 


port by gradually and gently lifting one of the partner's legs. Let 
the contact be simple, without expectations or demands-simply 
sharing support felt through the earth for a minute or two. The 
reclining partner may notice any sensations or feelings as more let¬ 
ting go occurs. 

After the partner's touch has ended, the one lying down may 
feel any differences in sensation between the two sides of the 
body. Continue the meditation by shifting to contact through the 
other side as well. Then let the reclining partner slowly stand at 
his or her own pace, as if standing for the first time, and experi¬ 
ence any change in support. The active and receptive partners 
may then switch and afterward share what they experienced 
through this mutual meditation on lachma, the bread of under¬ 
standing and life. 

3. Intone the sound lachma (lah-ch-mah) slowly, feeling how 
the phrase becomes denser inside. There is more to work through 
and we are reminded to take things "step by step," not forcing 
beyond the needs of the time. What do we need for this moment of 
our lives? 


6. Letting Go, Heartbeat by Heartbeat 

Washboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) aykanna daph khnan shbwocjan 

' 4 ' ' *« I I • • 1 , 

JL ^2? A 

• • • • • • ' • ' * 


• • * *• A 1 I I 

: ^ wooauto 

(KJV version: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors ) 

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, 
as we release the strands we hold 
of others' guilt. 

Forgive our hidden past, the secret shames, 
as we consistently forgive 
what others hide. 

Lighten our load of secret debts as 
we relieve others of their 
need to repay 

Erase the inner marks our failures make, 
just as we scrub our hearts 
of others' faults. 

Absorb our frustrated hopes and dreams, 
as we embrace those of others 
with emptiness. 

Untangle the knots within 
so that we can mend our hearts' 
simple ties to others. 

Compost our inner, stolen fruit 
as we forgive others the spoils of 
their trespassing. 

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, 
as we release the strands we hold 
of others' guilt. - 


Textual Notes 

Just as the previous line invokes a more embodied, earthy sense of 
blessing, so this line asks for a deeper letting go: forgiveness. This 
is another gift that we can give one another, an opportunity to let 
go of the mistakes that tie ourselves and one another in knots. The 
"trespassing" that we release is not only against one another, but 
also against the earth and all creatures. 

Besides "forgive," the roots of the first word ( wa)shboqlan may 
also be translated "return to its original state," "reciprocally 
absorb," "reestablish slender ties to," and "embrace with empti¬ 
ness." The prayer reaffirms that our original state is clear and 
unburdened, one where our slender ties to creation are based on 
mutual releasing, with every breath we breathe. 

In Matthew's version of the prayer, the word khaubayn was 
translated as "debts" or "offenses" from the Greek. Its alternative 
meanings are "hidden past," "secret debt," "hidden, stolen prop¬ 
erty" and any "inner fruit" that affects the intelligence and the 
soul negatively. In the version of the prayer in Luke, the word 
khtahayn is used and usually translated as "sins." From the 
Aramaic, it could also be rendered as "failures," "mistakes," 
"accidental offenses," "frustrated hopes," or "tangled threads"- 
the latter implying that some mending or restoration is needed. I 
have chosen to include both words in these versions, since they 
are very similar in sound. It is as likely that Jesus said both as that 
he said one but not the other. The word aykanna ("just as") again 
reminds us (as in line four) that releasing must be done consis¬ 
tently and regularly if our knotted relationships are to become 
whole and stable again. 

31 - 

Body Prayers 

The sounds of this line return us to the feeling of heart and 
blood-washing, flowing, asking that we release anything un¬ 
wanted in the same way that our blood carries refuse from every 
part of the body to the lungs to be released with each breath. 

1. Lie comfortably and feel the heartbeat and pulsing of the 
blood, this time focusing on its releasing power. If you have diffi¬ 
culty feeling your blood pulse, try placing one hand lightly 
cupped near the heart. Rather than reach for the pulse, imagine 
your hand listening to it, receptively. Feel and visualize the blood 
brmging to the lungs everything that wants to be released this 
moment. This is breathed out. With each new breath, new life is 
brought in and pulses back out to every cell of the body. As the 
pulsing quality of this body forgiveness" is felt, the muscles also 
relax to allow the veins, arteries, and capillaries more space and 
easier flow. Past tensions being held in the muscles may begin to 
release, old habits and armor r that we sometimes confuse with 
our natural selves begin to let go. Perhaps this is part of what Jesus 
meant when, in offering a cup of wine the night before the 
crucifixion, he said. This is my blood, given for the untying of 
mistakes and failures." 

2. The above prayer may also be done in pairs, with one per¬ 
son lying down and the other holding the feet (as in the previous 
line). In this case, the intention is that both are releasing into the 
cosmos and that the person sitting helps the partner by adding to 
his or her awareness of heartbeat. Both connect their body aware¬ 
ness on the level of the heartbeat and blood; the person lying 
down is receptive and allows his or her pulsation to be supported 
by the person sitting. In a group, the same thing may be done with 
all joining hands in a circle, standing or sitting, meditating in unity 
with the group pulse. As we contact the deeper layers of ourselves, 
the slower rhythms of awareness, we find an embodied source of 
meditation. Forgiveness is here, now —not outside somewhere. 

3. Try intoning the words of this line of the prayer: they take 
patience* The many kh sounds continue to bring us back to places 

* (Wa^hboq-Lhm khow-bayn vva-kh-ta'h-hayn eye-kahna daph kh-nan sh-b6-qan 
1 kh-eye-ya-bayn.) n 


in the body where we need to release. The sounds themselves 
seem to say that we must recognize and acknowledge our knots, 
including offenses against ourselves, before they can be untied. 
(There are actually four levels of h sound in Aramaic-soft, 
medium, hard, and very hard. Mystically, each level indicates the 
primordial life force coming more and more into manifestation. 
The h sound used in the above words are the second level —the 
misdirected life has not become completely hardened; there is yet 
a chance for renewal.) 

- 33 

7. Remembrance: The Birth of New Creation and 

Wela tahlan Ynesyuna 
Ela patzan min bisha 

it ' • i 

■ v'* 

. ^ r £>l 

• • • II 


(KJV version: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil ) 


Don't let surface things delude us. 
But free us from what holds us back 
(from our true purpose). 

Don't let us enter forgetfulness, 
the temptation of false 

(To the fraud of inner vacillation — 
like a flag tossed in the wind- 
alert us.) 

But break the hold of unripeness, 
the inner stagnation that 
prevents good fruit. 

(From the evil of injustice- 
the green fruit and the rotten- 
grant us liberty.) 

Deceived neither by the outer 
nor the inner-free us to 
walk your path with joy. 

Keep us from hoarding false wealth, 
and from the inner shame of 
help not given in time. 

Don't let surface things delude us, 

But free us from what holds us back. 


Textual Notes 

These are probably the least understood and, because of the 
Greek version, the most mistranslated lines in the prayer. In the 
Aramaic version, no one outside "leads us into temptation"-least 
of all God. Wela tahlan could be translated "don't let us enter," 
"don't let us be seduced by the appearance of," or "don't let us 
heap up what's false or illusory in." Nesyuna could be translated as 
"temptation," in the Aramaic sense of something that leads to 
inner vacillation or agitation, diverting us from the purpose of our 
lives. The old roots call up the picture of a flag waving in the 
wind-blown here and there —like a mind rendered uncertain by 
the seductions of materialism (including spiritual materialism). It 
is the picture of forgetfulness: a losing of oneself in appearances, 
a failure to look deeper when the situation calls for it. 

Having involved ourselves in the work of justice (bread) and 
compassion (forgiveness) in the preceding lines, we come again to 
see our limitations as well as all the pain and suffering that we 
cause ourselves and the rest of creation. The prayer here reminds 
us not to forget our origins in creation and the divine Breath, nor 
to "burn out" over all that needs to be done. This line goes 
together with the next to push us toward a new breakthrough into 

Ela patzan min bisha was translated "but deliver us from evil." 
Bisha does mean "evil" or "error" but in the Hebraic and Aramaic 
sense of "unripeness" or inappropriate action. The roots point 
toward a sense of what delays or diverts us from advancing, as 
well as a sense of inner shame for not producing good fruit —the 
right action at the right time. Patzan could also be translated 
"loosen the hold of," "give liberty from," or "break the seal that 
binds us to." 

This line finishes the statement of the previous one: don't let us 
be deluded by the surface of life, but neither let us become so 
inward and self-absorbed that we cannot act simply and humanly 
at the right time. The prayer reminds us that sometimes our 
ideals-including those of holiness, peace, and unity-carry us 
into the future or the past and make it difficult to be in the present 
where help is needed now. 


Body Prayers 

The sounds of these last two lines allow one's breathing to become 
more refined again after the denseness of the line on forgiveness. 
The prayer does not say there will never be forgetfulness (tempta¬ 
tion) or unripeness (evil). It does not deny limitation, nor the 
unripe acts against humanity and nature that are our responsibil¬ 
ity to correct. But it reminds us to take them in the light of God's 
whole picture. We can release all our limiting concepts, including 
those about the prayer we have been meditating upon. We can 
release our concepts of both unity and separateness. In the end, 
these too are just doors, fingers pointing toward the unspeakable 
and mysterious Reality. 

1. Find a place that allows you to walk unhindered and unen¬ 
cumbered—either in nature or freely indoors in a circle. As you 
walk, with each step become more present just to your own foot¬ 
falls, now. Walk simply being present. Wherever you find a part of 
yourself that resists, be present with and accept that part also. 
Continue to include and embrace whatever thoughts and feelings 
come up. As you walk, feel yourself fully and completely accepted 
in the presence of God. 

2. Buddhists present the tradition of Maitreya Buddha, the 
bodhisattva or messenger who has agreed to forego personal salva¬ 
tion and enlightenment until all other beings have attained them. 
Something like the picture of Maitreya Buddha is presented by 
these two lines of the prayer. That part of ourselves that feels as 
though it will be the last to wake up to the presence of the divine 
also serves a purpose in God's universe. Forgetfulness and unripe¬ 
ness may be the keys to our own perfection and draw us together 
as a planet, as we realize how fragile life can be. A walking medita¬ 
tion from the Buddhist tradition asks us to take time to walk as 
though we were stepping on the heads of all beings —not gingerly 
or holding ourselves away from the earth but with compassion 
and openheartedness. 


8. A Celebration of Cosmic Renewal 

Metol dilakhie malkutha wahayla wateshbukhta I'ahlam almin. 

. tvXvA ^X*»oolxXo o u*oj cXod A\ vi 

'i ' i • » • •• • • \ i • * 'll 

(KJV version: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.) 

From you is born all ruling will, 

the power and life to do, the song that beautifies all — 
from age to age it renews. 

To you belongs each fertile function: 
ideals, energy, glorious harmony— 
during every cosmic cycle. 

Out of you, the queen- and kingship- 
ruling principles, the "1 can" 
of the cosmos . . . 

Out of you, the vital force 
producing and sustaining all life, 
every virtue . . . 

Out of you the astonishing fire, 

the birthing glory, returning light and sound 

to the cosmos . . . 

Again and again, from each universal gathering — 
of creatures, nations, planets, time, and space — 
to the next. 

Truly—power to these statements — 
may they be the ground from which all 
my actions grow: 

Sealed in trust and faith. 



Textual Notes 

Scholars do not agree on whether this line was originally con¬ 
tained in the prayer of Jesus. Much of the discussion revolves 
around how old and authoritative one judges the Aramaic Peshitta 
version of Matthew to be (see Introduction). Matthew's version 
contains the line; Luke's does not. The author tends to side with 
a compromise approach —that of Joachim Jeremias (1964). Jeremias 
contends that if this closing did not occur, one very similar to it 
would have been used, in keeping with the closing of other Jewish 
prayers. In addition, in the Aramaic this closing perfectly summa¬ 
rizes the main themes of the prayer and recapitulates the spiral 
journey that it presents. 

At the end, we return to the creative visioning of God, the 
power to accomplish these visions, and the beauty that adds grace 
and artistry to them. The old roots of dilakhie present more than 
the idea of simple possession ("For thine is the kingdom . . ."); 
they show another planting image: a field fertile and abundant, 
one sufficient to produce everything. Malkutha reprises the theme 
of the cosmic "I can," the royalty that permeates the universe. 
Hayla refers to the life force or energy that produces and sustains. 
In this sense, it is not "power over" but power in unison with all 
natural creation. Teshbukhta may be translated as "glory" but calls 
forth more exactly the image of a "song"—a glorious harmony 
returning divine light and sound to matter in equilibrium. The 
roots of the word also present the picture of a "generative fire that 
leads to astonishment." 

L'ahlam almin is an Aramaic idiom meaning "from age to age ; 
"for ever and ever" is much too abstract. The Aramaic roots liter¬ 
ally mean "from gathering to gathering." The ancient Middle East¬ 
ern view of life pictured the entire cosmos —force, physical reality, 
planets, nature, human beings —slowly gathering and assembling 
to a central point, then slowly dispersing again. This cycle of 
gathering defined the ancient sense of time or "ages." This per¬ 
spective parallels certain discoveries of the New Physics and pro¬ 
vides an antidote for our modern, rushed sense of "time out of 

The word ameyn sealed agreements in the Middle East: it was 
a solemn oath (and probably better than our written contracts). 
Behind this word, which could also be translated "truly," was the 


sense of giving "power to" whatever form or words preceded it. It 
has continued to carry this sense in the tradition of gospel music. 
From its older roots, ameyn presents the image of the ground from 
which a particular future growth will occur. One can trace the 
same sound-meaning back to the ancient Egyptian sacred word 
Ament, which pointed to the mysterious ground of being or under¬ 
world holding the secrets of life, death, and rebirth. The sound of 
the word as it is intoned reminds one of the ringing of the bell at 
the end of a Zen meditation. Somehow, all of oneself comes 
together once more, instantly, in the moment. The healing-or 
making whole-is always here and now. 


Body Prayers 

1. With a gentle breath in and out, feel inside the various steps 
along the journey that the prayer has presented. Without focusing 
on its concepts, embrace whatever emotional feelings or body sen¬ 
sations the prayer has evoked and gather them into the inner tem¬ 
ple of the heart. Some of these feelings may be pleasant, some 
unpleasant. Gather them all in and feel them as whole and com¬ 
plete in God's universe as they disperse again to their source. 

2. Close your eyes and hear inside the sound of the word 
ameyn. Feel the ground of the earth sprouting the ground of your 
being as your whole self comes together to go forward with life. 
Breathe in feeling ameyn and breathe out feeling ameyn , consider¬ 
ing your next step-for the day or your life. Say "Ameyn!" and open 
your eyes. 


The Lord's Prayer (One Possible New 
Translation from the Aramaic) 

O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos, 

Focus your light within us-make it useful: 

Create your reign of unity now- 

Your one desire then acts with ours, 
as in all light, so in all forms. 

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight. 

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, 
as we release the strands we hold 
of others' guilt. 

Don't let surface things delude us, 

But free us from what holds us back. 

From you is born all ruling will, 
the power and the life to do, 
the song that beautifies all, 
from age to age it renews. 

Truly—power to these statements — 
may they be the ground from which all 
my actions grow: Amen. 




The Beatitudes (Aramaic) 

% , , # # « , ^ * . m •• • A • • 

. ka aAao *xj] ^octA*?? : —oiu < v oopo\, 

. . > • • • • »• * * 

. ^oloiSi «k 01 C 7 J 3 Ao A «sO<n* 3 ®\. 

. iLbi ^okbli *Aiaj 3 : K ocwo\. 

I > < ^ • tt • • • ' • 

• * 

• ^ 4 • * 1 *4 ' * 

. va^-icki *.01073 : ZsOi** 0 vo A*u * v po>uob v 

> .. ^ ... • • ; v / -* • x • ' / • 

. li, iou*b *^00on *.00 7 A ^ 3 :4 3 3 a S *^007*3 o\, 

• 1 99 • • / • • * 

. JcAA vOM *^1073 : r??? ^ooj* 3 o\, 

. vpbdXi fc nbia ^crau 3 ; u» 33 l ^ *^oo 7 * 3 »o\. 

£oiA» «xrj *^ocA*:>? : A\*> oSpbM? «kOct* 3 o\, 

# # • • 

. ?-*>*? 

• • 

r oiio :*^cA r 3 ?* 30 ^ci^ 3 o\. 

oL #.;ko\iAo ->A \30 A* » ^AA bw 

*. v *, . , •*. • It • »* 


^>a oa?b a-\ 4^07 • *^*7 'A E> •' 

• • * 

. ^oc^Janota 


Tubwayhun l'meskenaee b'rukh d'dilhounhie malkutha 

Tubwayhun lawile d'hinnon netbayun. 

Tubwayhun l'makikhe d'hinnon nertun arha. 

Tubwayhun layleyn d'kaphneen watzheyn l'khenuta 
d'hinnon nisbhun. 

Tubwayhun lamrahmane dalayhun nehwun rahme. 
Tubwayhun layleyn dadkeyn b'lebhon d'hinnon nehzun 

Tubwayhun lahwvday shlama dawnaw(hie) d'alaha nitqarun. 
Tubwayhun layleyn detrdep metol khenuta dilhon(hie) 
malkutha dashmaya. 

Tubwayhun immath damhasdeen l'khon waradpin l'khon 
wamrin elaykon kul milla bisha metolath b'dagalutha. 

Haydeyn khadaw wa rwazw dagarkhun sgee bashmaya 
hakana geyr r'dapw l'nabiya d'men q'damaykun. 


The Beatitudes (King James English 

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of 

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after 
righteousness: for they shall be filled. 

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the 
children of God. 

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' 
sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute 
you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for 
my sake. 

Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in 
heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were 
before you. 

(Matthew 5:3-12, King James Version) 


Jesus said: 

Tubwayhutt 1’meskenaee b’rukh d'dilhounhie malkutha d'ashmaya. 

• I % ■ < | ^ • 

• ^‘ XXX ? Z> <yv\«0 u»C77 ^OCyi\*pp : *^0 CTJLk30\, 

(KJV version: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.) 

Happy and aligned with the One are those who find their 
home in the breathing; to them belong the inner kingdom 
and queendom of heaven. 

Blessed are those who are refined in breath; they shall find 
their ruling principles and ideals guided by God's light. 

Tuned to the Source are those who live by breathing Unity; 
their "I can!" is included in God's. 

Healthy are those who devotedly hold fast to the spirit of 
life; holding them is the cosmic Ruler of all that shines and 

Resisting corruption, possessing integrity are those whose 
breath forms a luminous sphere; they hear the universal 
Word and feel the earth's power to accomplish it through 
their own hands. 

Healed are those who devote themselves to the link of spirit; 
the design of the universe is rendered through their form. 


Textual Notes 

The first of the Beatitudes was translated as "Blessed are the poor 
in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The Aramaic word 
meskenaee encompasses the images of a solid home base or resting 
point, of a fluid, round, luminous enclosure, and of devotedly 
holding fast to something —as if one were "poor" for lack of it. The 
word rukh may be translated as "spirit," "breath," "soul" or as 
whatever moves, stirs, animates, and links us to life. 

The Greek translators appear to have been at a total loss with 
these seemingly different meanings united around the image of 
the entire universe filled with one cosmic breath of life, the rukha 
d'qoodsha or Holy Breath. "Poor in spirit" is a traditional Aramaic 
idiom meaning "humble," according to Dr. George Lamsa (1936). 
Behind this, the roots tell us that when one is attuned through the 
breath to God, one does not put oneself forward inappropriately. 
One's readiness for action rests in the eternal silence of God's 

As we saw in the Lord's Prayer, malkutha is a word that Jesus 
used often. It is the "I can"-the queendom and kingdom of the 
universe, from the personal through the cosmic. In this case, the 
"I can" extends through all realms of light, vibration, and name; 
dashmaya is another grammatical form of d'bashmaya , found in the 
first line of the Lord's Prayer. 


Body Prayer 

When feeling out of rhythm with yourself or your surroundings, 
experiment with breathing in and out, feeling the sound of the 
word rukha or Alaha. Let the rhythm of the word and the rhythm 
of the breath merge in a way that feels natural. Allow the sensation 
of the breathing to touch the entire body. Gradually let go of the 
word and allow the feeling of your breathing to cradle and rock 
whatever part of yourself has been ignored or starved from its con¬ 
nection with the source of life. 


Jesus said: 

Tubivayhun lazvile d'hinnon netbayun. 

k oo>30\ 

^ i > • •• ^ • ii .* * * • • ' 

(KJV version: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.) 

Blessed are those in emotional turmoil; they shall be united 
inside by love. 

Healthy are those weak and overextended for their purpose; 
they shall feel their inner flow of strength return. 

Healed are those who weep for their frustrated desire; they 
shall see the face of fulfillment in a new form. 

Aligned with the One are the mourners; they shall be 

Tuned to the Source are those feeling deeply confused by 
life; they shall be returned from their wandering. 


Textual Notes 

This second Beatitude was translated, "Blessed are they that 
mourn: for they shall be comforted." Lawile can mean "mourners" 
(as translated from the Greek), but in Aramaic it also carries the 
sense of those who long deeply for something to occur, those trou¬ 
bled or in emotional turmoil, or those who are weak and in want 
from such longing. Netbayun can mean "comforted," but also con¬ 
notes being returned from wandering, united inside by love, feel¬ 
ing an inner continuity, or seeing the arrival of (literally, the face 
of) what one longs for. 


Body Prayer 

When in emotional turmoil-or unable to feel clearly any 
emotion —experiment in this fashion: breathe in while feeling the 
word laivile (lah-wee-ley); breathe out while feeling the word net- 
bayun (net-bah-yoon). Embrace all of what you feel and allow all 
emotions to wash through as though you were standing under a 
gentle waterfall. Follow this flow back to its source and find there 
the spring from which all emotion arises. At this source, consider 
what emotion has meaning for the moment, what action or nonac¬ 
tion is important now. 


Jesus said: 

Tubway hurt l tnakikhe d'hinnon nertun arha. 

• f^bi vOXbh : 4zT*'\ s gS o\, 

• f • • »« ... x , ,» 

(KJV version: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.) 

Blessed are the gentle; they shall inherit the earth. 

Healthy are those who have softened what is rigid within; 
they shall receive physical vigor and strength from the 

Aligned with the One are the humble, those submitted to 
God s will; they shall be gifted with the productivity of the 

Healed are those who have wept inwardly with the pain of 
repressed desire; they shall be renewed in sympathy with 

Integrated, resisting corruption are those who have dissolved 
heavy morality within; they shall be open to receive the 
splendor of earth's fruits. 


Textual Notes 

This third Beatitude was translated, "Blessed are the meek: for 
they shall inherit the earth." Lmakikhe could be translated as the 
meek" (as was done from the Greek), but the Aramaic would say 
"gentle" or "humble." Behind these words, the old roots carry the 
meaning of one who has softened that which is unnaturally hard 
within, who has submitted or surrendered to God, or who has liq¬ 
uefied rigidities, heaviness (especially moral heaviness), and the 

interior pain of repressed desires. 

Nertun can mean "inherit," but in the broad sense of receiving 
from the universal source of strength ( AR ) and reciprocity (T). In 
this case, softening the rigid places within leaves us more open to 
the real source of power —God acting through all of nature, all 


Body Prayer 

When feeling weak from the busyness of life, take a moment to 
breath in feeling makikhe (mah-kee-key) and breathe out feeling 
cu'hci (ar-ha). Feel what has become tight beginning to loosen. Try 
visualizing a favorite place in nature that allows you to open up 
and receive from the bounty of creation. Better yet, go there. 


Jesus said: 

Tubwayhun laylcyn d'kaphneen watzhcyn IThenuta d hinnoti nisbhun. 

*0 • • A • i ® ® 

. *^01073 : 2>ai2:^ K oov3a\r 

> .. ^ •.. * • • : v ; -* • v - • ; • 

(KJV version: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they 
shall be filled.) 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for physical 
justice-righteousness; they shall be surrounded by what is 
needed to sustain their bodies. 

Healthy are those who turn their mouths to receive a new 
birth of universal stability; they shall be encircled by the 
birth of a new society. 

Aligned with the One are those who wait up at night, 
weakened and dried out inside by the unnatural state of the 
world; they shall receive satisfaction. 

Healed are those who persistently feel inside: "If only I 
could find new strength and a clear purpose on which to 
base my life"; they shall be embraced by birthing power. 

Integrated, resisting delusion are those who long clearly for 
a foundation of peace between the warring parts of 
themselves; they shall find all around them the materials to 

build it. 


Textual Notes 

This Beatitude was translated, "Blessed are they which do hunger 
and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled/' Khenuta was 
translated as "righteousness," a vague metaphysical term in 
English. In Aramaic, this word refers to both an inner and an outer 
sense of justice, a base upon which things can rest, the perfection 
of natural stability. This includes a sense of physical, inner right¬ 
ness among the different voices we sometimes feel within, as well 
as the reflection of these voices in society. 

The oldest roots of the Aramaic word layleyn ("to those") go 
back to an image of one watching by night, waiting by lamplight 
for something to happen. According to the word's ancient roots, 
this kind of desire creates a vortex of possibility that draws in the 
object of the heart. Here the ancient sound-meaning of a word 
generated what we call grammar-in this case, a construction that 
shows possession and direction toward a person. 

The word translated as "hunger" ( dlaphneen; literally, "the 
hungering") may also mean "to turn the mouth toward some¬ 
thing," or to long for strengthening the physical being. "Thirst" 
(tzheyri) also conveys an image of being parched inwardly, dried 
out (we might say "burnt out"). When we long for and finally 
receive a sense of inner justice and a reestablishment of harmony, 
we see the purpose of the hunger and thirst. It has created an 
inner sense of radiance and clarity: the letting go will have been 
for a purpose. Another planting image from the Aramaic occurs in 
nisbhun, "satisfied," which also means to be "surrounded by fruit," 
"encircled by birthing," and "embraced by generation." 


Body Prayer 

For finding a direction: experiment with breathing in and out 
khenuta (khe-noo-tah) or intone the word slowly on one note. Feel 
the resonance of the final sound -tah opening from the heart. If 
you are making a decision in your life, bring the feeling of the vari¬ 
ous choices inside to merge with the sensation of the breathing 
and heartbeat. Which alternative feels that it opens from the heart 
like the end of the sound? Continue to breathe the sound and try 
walking with each alternative. Compare the sensation in the body 
for each alternative. Or, if you are investigating a general direction 
(not a choice), what images arise from the breathing, sound, and 
walking in the moment that you come to stillness? 


Jesus said: 

Tubwayhun lamrahmane dalayhun nehwun rahme. 

•• • • A* • '* M • i • • • 

. kOOou > k ocu3o2l, 

• • 99 t "• • 11^ | « V 

(KJV version: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.) 

Blessed are those who, from their inner wombs, birth mercy; 
they shall feel its warm arms embrace them. 

Aligned with the One are the compassionate; upon them 
shall be compassion. 

Healthy are those who extend grace; they shall find their 
own prayers answered. 

Healed are those who extend a long heartfelt breath 
wherever needed; they shall feel the heat of cosmic ardor. 

Tuned to the Source are those who shine from the deepest 
place in their bodies. Upon them shall be the rays of 
universal Love. 


Textual Notes 

This Beatitude was translated, "Blessed are the merciful: for they 
shall obtain mercy." The key words lamrahmane and rahme both 
come from a root later translated as "mercy" from the Greek. The 
ancient root meant "womb" or an inner motion extending from the 
center or depths of the body and radiating heat and ardor. The 
root may also mean "pity," "love," "compassion," a "long drawn 
breath extending grace," or an "answer to prayer." The association 
of womb and compassion leads to the image of "birthing mercy." 
As Meister Eckhart later wrote, "We are all meant to be Mothers of 


Body Prayer 

Slowly intone the root rahm (rah-hm), opening to allow the sound 
to penetrate to the bones and muscles at the base of the pelvis. 
How could I feel more of my love and compassion this deeply? 
How could I feel my own birthing struggle connecting with the 
birthing cries of the earth and all its beings? 


Jesus said: 

Tubwayhun layleyn dadkeyn b'lebhon d'hinnon nehzun Yalaha. 

• • • • a • 4*4 • • 

. ^oourjo\, 

• i> N • ii ii ' • • ' i i •• 

(KJV version: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.) 

Blessed are the consistent in heart; they shall contemplate 
the One. 

Healthy are those whose passion is electrified by deep, 
abiding purpose; they shall regard the power that moves and 
shows itself in all things. 

Aligned with the One are those whose lives radiate from a 
core of love; they shall see God everywhere. 

Healed are those who have the courage and audacity to feel 
abundant inside; they shall envision the furthest extent of 
life's wealth. 

Resisting corruption are those whose natural reaction is 
sympathy and friendship; they shall be illuminated by a 
flash of lightning: the Source of the soul's movement in all 


Textual Notes 

This Beatitude was translated, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for 
they shall see God." Dadkeyn refers to those "consistent" in love or 
sympathy, those who have both a natural sense of influence and 
abundance and a fixed, electrifying purpose. The old roots call up 
the image of a flower blossoming because that is its nature. 

The word translated as heart ( lebhon) also carries the sense of 
any center from which life radiates-a sense of expansion plus 
generative power: vitality, desire, affection, courage, and audacity 
all rolled into one. Nehzun could be translated "see," but also 
points to inner vision or contemplation. The old roots evoke the 
image of a flash of lightning that appears suddenly in the sky: 
insight comes like that. Besides God and "the One," the roots of 
the word alaha point to the force and passionate movement of the 
cosmos through the soul of every living thing. Another image 
from the roots of alaha is the furthest extent of a cosmic force that 

also possesses identity and can be identified everywhere as: here! 

63 - 

Body Prayer 

For developing a sense of confidence and “heart : intone lebhon 
(le-bh-oh-n) slowly on one note; visualize and feel the sound com¬ 
ing into the center of the chest and resonating from there (espe¬ 
cially on the n sound) throughout the body. Continue this, adding 
the image/feeling of a relationship or project that you would like to 
be consistent with or see through to the end. See and feel it com¬ 
ing to fruition while intoning nehzun Valaha (neh-zoon l'al-ah-ha). 


Jesus said: 

Tubwayhun lahwvday shlama dawnaiv(hie) d'alaha nitqarun. 

. 4.0; < yi\x * ocn^cxV. 

x * 11 • • 1 \ • ^ , 1 v 

(KJV version: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.) 

Blessed are those who plant peace each season; they shall be 
named the children of God. 

Healthy are those who strike the note that unites; they shall 
be remembered as rays of the One Unity. 

Aligned with the One are those who prepare the ground for 
all tranquil gatherings; they shall become fountains of 

Integrated are those who joyfully knit themselves together 
within; they shall be stamped with the seal of Cosmic 

Healed are those who bear the fruit of sympathy and safety 
for all; they shall hasten the coming of God's new creation. 


Textual Notes 

This line was translated, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they 
shall be called the children of God." Lahwvday refers to those who 
not only make or perform an action but also are committed to it. 
The old roots call up more images of planting: tilling the ground, 
laboring regularly, bringing forth fruit, and celebrating. The 
emphasis is on that which is done periodically and regularly — 

despite the odds, as one might say. 

The word for "peace" ( shlutnci ) is essentially the same as that 
used throughout the Middle East for thousands of years as a greet¬ 
ing. It also means health, safety, a mutual agreement that saves a 
difficult situation, any happy assembly, or a stroke that unites all 

parties in sympathy. 

The word for "children" (dawnawhie) refers to any embodiment, 
emanation, or active production from that which was only poten¬ 
tial before. The roots of the word translated as "shall be called" 
( nitqarun) also present the beautiful image of digging a channel or 
well that allows water to flow. In this sense, as we "plant peace" we 
become channels or fountains for hastening the fulfillment of the 

divine will. 


Body Prayer 

For peace: breathe in the sound of the word shlama (shlah-mah); 
breathe out the sound shlama. What one regular action would 
make your own life more peaceful? How could this feeling be 
extended to an action that would include the peacefulness of your 


Jesus said: 

Tuhvayhun layleyn detrdep metol khenuta dilhon(hie) malkutha 


*» % • 

(KJV version: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is 
the kingdom of heaven.) 

Blessings to those who are dislocated for the cause of justice; 
their new home is the province of the universe. 

Health to those who are dominated and driven apart 
because they long for a firm foundation; their domain is 
created by the Word above, the earth beneath. 

Aligned with the One are those who draw shame for their 
pursuit of natural stability; theirs is the ruling principle of 

the cosmos. 

Healing to those who have been shattered within from 
seeking perfect rest; holding them to life is heaven's "I can! 

Tuned to the Source are those persecuted for trying to right 
society's balance; to them belongs the coming king- and 


Textual Notes 

This Beatitude was translated "Blessed are they which are per¬ 
secuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdorn of 
heaven." Besides "persecuted/' the word detrdep can also mean 
driven, dominated, dislocated, disunited, or moved by scandal or 
shame. Khenuta -that base of inner justice and stability-is the 
same word referred to in the fourth Beatitude. The recurrence of 
the phrase malkutha dashmaya reminds us of the royalty and power 
of the universe, as well as its potential: the shem or light is in evi¬ 
dence everywhere-don't be afraid to look beyond the boundaries 
of what you call "home.'' 

In this and the next Beatitude, Jesus presents a realistic picture 
of what his hearers probably already knew: society does not easily 
tolerate the prophetic spirit and one is likely to run into opposi¬ 
tion. Jesus does not, however, either commiserate with us or incite 
us to seek suffering. He places the reactiveness of society within a 
cosmic context: if you are dislocated for justice, consider your new 
home to be the planet-or the universe. The boundaries that pro¬ 
vide our margin of safety sometimes also insulate us from our next 
step. "Consider adversity as an incitement to take another step" 
seems to be both the message and the body prayer of these final 

69 - 

Jesus said: 

Tubway hurt iirunath danihasdcen Ikhoti zvaradpin Ikhon wanrrin 
eleykon kul milla bisha metolath b'dagalutha. 

9 t • ® 

2 * 7 ?\ 

\ , N • • ' * 

. < krAA w>n\\V) |i*3 ^ v q ^ > \ 1 

. ,V, • v l» • »* 

(KJV version: Blessed are ye, when men shall reihle you, and persecute you, and shall 
say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.) 

Blessings when you are conspired against, scandaled and 
accused falsely of corruption for my sake . . . 

Health when your strength is sucked out, when you are 
disunited and falsely classified as a waste of time, for my 
sake . . . 

Renewal when you are reproached and driven away by the 
clamor of evil on all sides, for my sake . . . 

When vou are covered with insults like a sticky web, pulled 
apart at the seams and wrongly labeled immature, for my 

sake . . . 

When you feel contaminated, dislocated, and feel an inner 
shame for no good reason, it is for my sake . . . 


Textual Notes 

This Beatitude was translated as “Blessed are ye, when men shall 
revile you, and persecute you, and shall speak all manner of evil 
against you falsely, for my sake." This saying continues the 
thought of the preceding one and makes a transition to the sur¬ 
prising conclusion of the Beatitudes that follows. 

Damhasdeen may mean reviled, reproached, derided, pitied, 
insulted, conspired against, or have one's strength sucked out. In 
its meaning of “contamination'' the word carries the image of being 
covered with a sticky glaze of blame. Radpin is another form of the 
word used in the preceding Beatitude for “persecution" or “dislo¬ 
cation. Mrin refers to clamor, exaggerated noise, and any expres¬ 
sion that would classify one falsely as bisha (see the Aramaic 
Lord's Prayer): unripe, evil, corrupt, immature, a diversion. 

These unpleasant yet realistic occurrences are again expanded 
to a cosmic context by Jesus' conclusion. 


Jesus said: 

Haydeyn khadaw wa nuazw dagarkhun sgee bashmaya hakana geyr 
r'dapiv Vnabiya d'men q'damaykun. 

*. i • 

. AC) 

• • • •• 

# •• • • A % % '• 

. o3?b b-\ 

ip : o#obo os— 

^ •• * / 

(KJV version: Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for 
so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.) 

Then, feel at the peak of everything and be extremely 
moved, for your natural abundance, already in the cosmos, 
has multiplied all around you (from the blows on your 

Do everything extreme, including letting your ego disappear, 
for this is the secret of claiming your expanded home in the 

Drink a drop-or drench yourself. No matter where you turn 
you will find the Name inscribed in light: it's all the One 

For so they shamed those before you: 

All who are enraptured, saying inspired things-who 
produce on the outside what the spirit has given them 

It is the sign of the prophecy to be persecuted by 

It is the sign of the prophets and prophetesses to feel the 
disunity around them intensely. 


Textual Notes 

These last lines were translated: "Rejoice, and be exceedingly 
glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the 
prophets which were before you." The Aramaic version discloses 
that the first part of this translation is superficial. Jesus is not sim¬ 
ply promoting "positive thinking" in the face of the injustices of 

The root of the word khadazv refers to "everything extreme, the 
point or summit of something, gaiety or liveliness." It also presents 
the image of a drop of wine. The roots of the following word, 
rwazw, convey images of an inner movement of becoming ex¬ 
tremely thin, of drinking or drenching, of a ray of anything, or of 
the breath. According to D'Olivet the root rz connotes an inner 
process of allowing the ego to become "thin," a secret of the desert 
mystics. The images of the breath and of drenching indicate other 
parts of this process. The combination says: when outer disloca¬ 
tion and persecution occur, use them to expand the territory 
within, allowing the naphsha (or subconscious self) to receive the 
attention it deserves and to become gradually clearer in relation to 
the divine purpose. 

Awareness of the breath (in the fashion of the body prayers 
mentioned) can help one make this inner connection. Then one 
approaches life wholeheartedly: one can do things "to the 
extreme" and not apologize for being part of the prophetic and 
mystical heritage that Jesus renewed. The image of wine, associ¬ 
ated with ecstatic states of consciousness, plays an imortant role in 
the mystical schools. As we saw in the Lord's Prayer, Jesus may 
also have been pointing toward the releasing power of the blood in 
a reference to wine: as I release who I thought I was, my outlook 
changes, and I can see more clearly the abundance of the universe. 

The roots of dagarkhun, translated as "your reward," refer to this 
expanding sense of natural abundance, an organic movement 
reaching out at full length from the Source, yet fixed and 
grounded in material existence. It is another picture pointing 
toward the presence of God in all things. The verb sgee may be 
translated as "increased" or "augmented," but it too carries the 
image of an expansion from the center of abundance. This may 
indicate not only the cosmic center, but the expansion of the inter¬ 
nal sense and center of abundance. As American poet Edna St. 


Vincent Millay said in "Renascence": "The world stands out on 
either side no wider than the heart is wide." The blows on the 
heart can be felt as not only personally painful (which Jesus 
acknowledges) but also as an aid to opening a wider perspective of 
feeling and empathy with all creation. 

In the final clause, the word nabiya, translated as prophets, 
derives from a root that indicates divine inspiration or speaking by 
inspiration, also an ecstasy or rapture that germinates or bears 
fruit in the world. This word for prophecy, used throughout the 
Scriptures, means acting with the spirit that fills one. Jesus 
acknowledges that this is bound to be challenging and disturbing 
to society, because we cannot ignore the poor and outcast in our 
midst. Nor does he minimize the difficulties involved for those on 
the path of prophecy, as the translation "rejoice, and be exceed¬ 
ingly glad" might make it appear. In the Aramaic, the end of the 
Beatitudes strikes a bittersweet, but deeper note than that ren¬ 
dered from the Greek. It acknowledges that a certain amount of 
discouragement is natural and can be a reminder to turn within 
and renew before proceeding in the co-creation of heaven on and 
in earth. 


The Beatitudes (One Possible New 
Translation from the Aramaic) 

Tuned to the Source are those who live by breathing Unity 
their "I can!" is included in God's. 

Blessed are those in emotional turmoil; they shall be united 
inside by love. 

Healthy are those who have softened what is rigid within; 

they shall receive physical vigor and strength from the 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for physical justice; 

they shall be surrounded by what is needed to sustain their 

Blessed are those who, from their inner wombs, birth mercy; 
they shall feel its warm arms embrace them. 

Aligned with the One are those whose lives radiate from a 
core of love; they shall see God everywhere. 

Blessed are those who plant peace each season; they shall be 
named the children of God. 

Blessings to those who are dislocated for the cause of justice; 
their new home is the province of the universe. 

Renewal when you are reproached and driven away by the 
clamor of evil on all sides, for my sake . . . 

Then, do everything extreme, including letting your ego 
disappear, for this is the secret of claiming your expanded 
home in the universe. 


For so they shamed those before you: 

All who are enraptured, saying inspired things-who 
produce on the outside what the spirit has given them 



Saying One 

"Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, 
tempting him, and saying. Master, which is the greatest com¬ 
mandment in the Law? Jesus said unto him. Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all 
thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the sec¬ 
ond is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 

(Matthew 22:35-39, King James Version) 


Jesus said: 

Detrahm l'man)a Alahak 

men kuleh lebak 

zva men kuleh naphshak 

iva men kuleh haylak 

zva men kuleh rewhyanak. . . . 

Detrahm laqriybak ayk naphshak. 

• •# 

: ^oo ^oo s>ciSl 

K ( 

. ^.2 5ub.\3 



Jesus said: 

From the deepest part of yourself, let love be born for the 
rays of the One that shine around you . . . 

Let this come from your whole heart - 

the center of your life: your passion, courage, and audacity— 

and touch your whole subconscious self— 

that instinctive soul within which scatters and gathers. 

From this self liberate your whole animal energy and 
life force to flood your entire grasping mind with love. 

This is the most important command [raba] — the first creative 
movement that empowers all others. The second is like it: 

Draw a breath of compassion for the one mysteriously drawn 
to live near you: love that friend as you love the self that 
dwells within-the subconscious that sometimes feels 
separate and intruding. 


Textual Notes 

The word Marya, most often used with Alaha and translated 
"lord" stems from the root mar- the elementary rising principle 
that shines, lightens, and heats all things. If we open our eyes, we 
see all around us the light of the One shining through material cre¬ 
ation. We are not asked to love God apart from the world but to see 
the One in all. 

The word for "heart," lebak, comes from a root that means all 
passion, courage, audacity, and vitality, literally the heart or center 
of one's life. In the old roots the picture is given of an interior 
action of creative generation that expands from the center. (See 
also the discussion under the sixth Beatitude.) 

From the heart, said Jesus, expand to include the whole naph- 
shak. The Aramaic word naphsha is a key concept and may be 
found in the Hebrew nephesh as well as the Arabic nafs. It is some¬ 
times rendered "soul" and sometimes "self" in the various transla¬ 
tions of Jesus' words from the Greek. This has led to much 
unnecessary confusion, which is clarified in the Aramaic. 

Naphsha could be called the "subconscious" or "instinctive" 
self. In the psychology inherent in native Middle Eastern mysti¬ 
cism, this self was seen as that small "I" or ego, which had its 
potential fulfillment in cooperation with God —the "I am that I 
am." The naphsha may be differentiated in various ways. Some 
parts of it may feel like "neighbors"-those who have been drawn 
to move near but are not part of one's family. Other parts may be 
cooperative with the divine light ( shem ) and guidance ( malkutha ). 
The whole project of existence was to unite the various parts of the 
naphsha in willing cooperation with the Source— Abwoon. 

By loving the self, rather than rejecting it, one liberates all of 
one's instinctual life energy, the hayla. (See also the discussion 
under the last line of the Lord's Prayer.) This energy then rises, 
flooding the entire mind. In this case, Jesus uses the word 
rewhyanak, the roots of which refer to the lower mind: that which 
grasps, accumulates, and suffers the pains and anxieties of mate¬ 
rial existence. 

In his statement about the "greatest commandment" (from the 
root rab-the movement that creates everything that follows), Jesus 
chose an expression embracing all elements of the Middle Eastern 
mystical law of manifestation. As one unconditionally loved the 


Oneness, within and without, one would generate love from the 
heart and bring into God's light more and more of the naphsha. As 
this happened, the energy liberated would clarify one s feeling 
and direction in life. From this clearer intention would follow 
clearer thoughts and consequently clearer actions. In this way, lov¬ 
ing God enough does everything. 

In case his audience missed the point about the naphsha or self 
also being reflected outside, Jesus added the second part. The 
word usually translated as "neighbor" literally refers to those who 
have, somewhat mysteriously, been drawn to live near one. The 
roots of the word laqriybak reveal a principle that in Middle Eastern 
mysticism can only be called the tendency of parts to come 
together, of plants, animals, humans, and all beings to form a com¬ 
mon bond or at least to clump together. Sometimes people con¬ 
sciously choose to live near one another, from a movement of 
sympathy. At other times the movement together is more mysteri¬ 
ous and one cannot discern why one has the neighbors one does. 

This is just like the cooperation of the naphsha , says Jesus. As one 
unites the "dwellers" within, one also becomes more responsible 
about and for those who dwell around one on the outside. Put 
another way, there is no proof of the inner spiritual work without 
corresponding action in community. As Jesus says elsewhere (Matt. 
12:33), by its fruit you will know the tree-either edible or unripe. 

More light is shed on this by the inner work of the Sufis, a mys¬ 
tical school arising out of the various desert ascetic groups both 
preceding and following Jesus. According to the traditional teach¬ 
ers of some Sufi orders, Sufism predates all the established reli¬ 
gions in the Middle East and has survived through secrecy and a 
certain amount of "shape-shifting." In Sufism, an elaborate science 
of the nafs outlines various stages of evolution in the subconscious 
self-from animal to barely human to fully human to divine. 

These stages seem to correspond to the degree of flexibility in 
the body, emotions, and personality to the will of God. As God's 
light enters the so-called darkness, the self loves it more and finds 
spiritual joy in everyday life. Ultimately, the division between self 
and God disappears: the self is found to be nothing other than the 
soul, a ray of the divine light that is never born and never dies. It 
is at this point that the mystic might say, with Meister Eckhart: I 
see now that the eyes through which I see God are the eyes 
through which God sees me." 


Saying Two 

Jesus said, 

"Love your enemies." 

(Luke 6:27, 35, King James Version) 

Jesus said, 

Ahebzv labwheldbabaykhun. 

• «•••'# A A » I 


Jesus said: 

From a hidden place, 

unite with your enemies from the inside, 

fill the inner void that makes them swell outwardly and fall 

out of rhythm: instead of progressing, step by step, 

they stop and start harshly, 

out of time with you. 

Bring yourself back into rhythm within. 

Find the movement that mates with theirs — 
like two lovers creating life from dust. 

Do this work in secret, so they don't know. 

This kind of love creates, it doesn't emote. 


Textual Notes 

The word ahebw (root hab), used here for "love," differs greatly 
from rahm, used in the previous passage. Here one does not find 
the breath of compassion and mercy, but an even more mysteri¬ 
ous, impersonal force, one that acts in secret to bring separate 
beings together to create new life. The root can also refer to plant¬ 
ing seed, to a sexual relationship, and to the germ of a grain. This 
root has been used throughout native Middle Eastern mysticism 
and survives in a famous Sufi saying, Mahabud lillah, "God is the 
receiver and giver of love, as well as the love itself." 

The word for "enemy," bivheldbabaykhun, conveys the image of 
a being out of time, moving with jerky, harsh movements. This is 
the Aramaic picture of "injustice." (Compare the discussion of 
"evil," bisha, under the seventh line of the Lord's Prayer.) The roots 
also present the image of one whose own inner void, inanity, and 
vacuity have caused that person to swell on the outside, like a boil. 
These conditions of the "enemy" are relative to the subject. That is, 
our personal enemy is out of step, impeding, vacuous, and puffed 
up in relationship to us. An enemy of a nation or the planet has 
those qualities in relation to a much wider sphere. 

In this simple statement, Jesus presents the mystical law of 
relationships. To get along with other people, find the rhythm that 
harmonizes with their own and then bring them into harmony. 
Find within yourself that which fills their inner void and address 
that in them. The statement does not say anything about being 
"nice" to an enemy or letting that one walk over you. 


Saying Three 

Jesus said, 

"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give 
it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask and 
ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." 

(John 16:23-24, King James Version) 

Isho said, 

D'kul merem detheshaloon Vaby b'shemy 
net el llcun. . . . 

Shalam watesbwoon 

detehivey had wath'khon m'shamlaya. 

* ^ ^ II Ml* 

^ . II II ' * * ' / " 

& ‘Avit «p ZocrXp cx^ Lx. 

T X • # . . , • || I 


Jesus said: 

All things that you ask straightly, directly, that you desire - 

like an arrow to its mark, 

like birds to their watering place — 

from the Breathing Life of All, Father-Mother of the Cosmos, 

with my shem — 
my experience, 
my Light and Sound, 
my Atmosphere, my Word: 
from inside my Name — 

you will be given. 

So far you haven't done this. 

So ask without hidden motive and 
be surrounded by your answer— 
be enveloped by what you desire- 
that your gladness be full — 
that the joy of goals met here 

may continue its story to perfection in Unity— 
that the animal life in you 
find its lover in the Cosmos. 


Textual Notes 

The word for "ask," detheshaloon, summons forth a picture of 
traveling in a straight line, asking or desiring directly. The old roots 
present the image of a flock of birds coming to a watering place — 

they come directly, without hidden motives. 

The word b'shemy is based on the same shem that occurs in the 
first line of the Lord's Prayer. That this phrase has been exclusively 
translated "in my name" without its other meanings is another 
tragedy of limited translation. It has led to the shell of Jesus teach¬ 
ing being honored instead of the kernel. The word translated as 
"receive," tesbwoon , is based on the same root as that used in the 
fourth Beatitude: to be satisfied, enveloped, surrounded, or 

embraced by what one longed for. 

Just as in the closing of the Beatitudes, the word translated as 

"joy" (had) may also mean a peak feeling, the experience of having 
a goal met, a desire fulfilled. Let this peak of feeling continue its 
movement to the end, says Jesus, using the word m'shamlaya. The 
root presents the image of a story continuing to its natural conclu¬ 
sion. Just as in moments of pain (considered at the end of the 
Beatitudes), says Jesus, let your peak experiences-the feeling of 
being fully enlivened-find their complement in the larger Life of 

the universe. 


Resources for Further Study 

Aprem, Rev. Dr. Mar. Teach Yourself Aramaic. Kerala, India: Mar 
Narsai Press, 1981. 

Black, Matthew. An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts. 

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967. 

D'Olivet, Fabre. (English version by Nayan Louise Redfield.) The 
Hebraic Tongue Restored. New York & London: Putnam, 1921. 
Original publication in French, 1815. 

Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade. San Francisco: Harper & 
Row, 1987. 

Errico, Rocco A. The Ancient Aramaic Prayer of Jesus. Los Angeles: 
Science of Mind, 1978. 

-. Let There Be Light: The Seven Keys. Marina del Rey, CA: 

Devorss & Co., 1985. 

Errico, Rocco A., and Bazzi, Michael J. Classical Aramaic , Assyrian- 
Chaldean Dialect , Elementary Book I. Irvine, CA: Noohra Foun¬ 
dation, 1989. 

Gwilliam, G. H. Peshitta Version of the Gospels. Oxford: Clarendon, 

Jeremias, Joachim. The Lord's Prayer. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1964. 
Lamsa, George M. My Neighbor Jesus. St. Petersburg, FL: Ameri¬ 
can Bible Society, 1932. 

-. The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts. Philadel¬ 
phia: Holman, 1935. 

-. Gospel Light. Philadelphia: Holman, 1936. 

-. New Testament Origin. San Antonio: Aramaic Bible Center, 


Robinson, Theodore H. Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar. 
Oxford: Clarendon, 1962. 

Whish, Rev. Henry F. Clavis Syriaca: A Key to the Ancient Syriac Ver¬ 
sion Called "Peshitta;'of the Four Holy Gospels. London: George 
Bell & Sons, 1883. 

Resources for learning the grammar of the Aramaic language and 
other works by Dr. Rocco Errico may be obtained from the 
Noohra Foundation, 18022 Cowan Street, Suite 100-B, Irvine, 

CA 92714. 


A cassette tape of the pronunciation of Aramaic Lord's Prayer and 
Beatitudes with musical settings suitable for chanting and 
meditation prepared by Neil Douglas-Klotz may be obtained 
from the International Center for the Dances of Universal 
Peace, 44 NE Ravenna Blvd., Ste. 306, Seattle, WA 98115 (206) 
522-4353; Dances of Universal Peace, British Region, Crescent 
Moon Cottage, Middle Piccadilly, Holwell, Dorset DT9 5LW, 
England; Tanze des Universellen Friedens, Netzwerk der 
deutschspachingen Lander, c/o Gita Onnen, Diirerstrasse 46, 
12203 Berlin, Germany. 



"For the many of us who want to peel away centuries of dualistic, 
patriarchal forms and recover the life-affirming beauty of our Christian 
roots, nothing could be more welcome than this exquisite little volume," 

—JOANNA MACY, author of World as Lover, World as Self 

"Reading this book and doing the body prayers are a spiritual retreat. This 
small volume can change our whole manner of praying and if we allow it, 
our lives as well." — Creation 

"When you read this book, you will have no further doubt that God loves 
you infinitely and unconditionally." — Science of Mind 

"Prayers of the Cosmos is a brief study, but one that opens a door of 
immense size, if only a crack—just enough to invite further entrance into 
the real teachings of Jesus." — Sufism 

"There is no reason to stop at one single phrasing of what Jesus intended 
his words to mean; they are so rich and resonant that they deserve to be 
spoken, tasted, rolled around in the mouth, body, and spirit, savored and 
appreciated for their subtle flavors and rich spiritual nourishment." 
—New Dimensions 

NEIL DOUGLAS-KLOTZ is on the faculty of the Institute for Culture and 
Creation Spirituality in Oakland, CA, and is founding director of the 
International Center for the Dances of Universal Peace. He has over a 
dozen years of experience teaching movement, music, voice, and body 
awareness all over the world. 


Cover design: Sharon Smith; Icon: Robert Lentz, Holy Prophet Elias Icon Studio 

ISBN 0 - 06 - 061995-3 




9 780060 619954 


0 > 

phx 0895