The Hineni Practice

I am in the New Mexico desert with Bill Plotkin, Richard Rohr and 300 men. One of the exercises taught to us last night was called the Hineni practice. When you go through the day, and realize that you have been taken and are on auto-pilot, come back to yourself by simply saying Hineni, “Here I am.”

In the Jewish tradition, Yahweh asks “Where are you? Are you ready to be seen.” And the reply is: “Here I am. I am ready to be seen.”

Being awake means showing up in life with more of ourselves, fully inhabiting all that we do, and coming back to ourselves when we see that life has taken us.

It means getting all three intelligences operational and functional: mind, heart and body. Waking up ironically first starts with seeing our sleep. Most of the time we are asleep, but don’t know it.

From Maurice Nicoll, Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, Vol. 1, 1996 Edition: Samuel Weiser Inc., pp. 25-29:

“There is a certain average day that each person passes through, apart from very unusual events. the events of the ordinary day have, as you will admit, a certain recurring similarity for each person. Now suppose that a person never realizes this and never observes herself in connection with the typical events of her average day, how can she even think she is working on herself and how can she even suppose she can change herself? Change of being begins with changing your reactions to actual incidents of the day. This is the beginning of taking your life in a real and practical sense in a new way.”

“To get to know yourself, begin with observing your behavior towards the events of a single day in your life. Notice how you react—that is, notice your mechanical reactions to all the little events that happen and to other people and notice what you say, feel, think and so on.”

“Try to make the work-exercise of behaving consciously for a small part of one day in your life. Because everything we do affects us for ever. A single moment in which one is conscious enough not to behave mechanically, if it is done willingly, can change many future results.”

Leonard Cohen has a song about this:

Posted by Bob Sabath into the Wisdom School Facebook Page on October 19, 2018 for Inner Task Friday.