Today has a particularly wonderful symbolism in Kabbalah. Each of the 49 days between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot correspond to a permutation of the seven classic Divine qualities.
Today is Hod Sheb'Netzakh- "Humility of Persistence."
These qualities are somewhat opposed-
Humility has a passive ring to it- it carries the willingness to respect that which is beyond you, to not impose your will.
Persistence is more hutzpadic- it means not giving up, and that means continuously imposing your will, no matter what.
And yet, when it comes to living in the present, both are required-
One one hand, you must persistently bring yourself to this moment. If you don't, the default of the mind is to make its home in the world of thought, not Presence.
On the other hand, being present means first of all being with Reality as it is in this moment- and that is supremely passive and non-willful.
How do we reconcile these?
Being present doesn't mean not having a will, but rather it means standing outside of your will. Your will, your thoughts, your intentions, all arise in the space of this moment, and that space is beyond and far bigger than your will. It is the space of your pure awareness.
So on one hand, you use your will to return again and again to Presence; on the other hand, return to Presence means return to the space that is beyond your own will. And that is Hod Sheb'Netzakh.
For more on Presence from the Torah portion, please enjoy this week's d'var by clicking here...