What is a Recitation Phrase?
In Mussar [Jewish Teachings], it’s a statement (like an inspiration, or a reminder) that a person says first thing in the morning, as the first half of a “journaling” practice, intended to facilitate self-reflection. So a Mussar practitioner would say her Recitation Phrase in the morning, and then in the evening, write a journal entry (any length, one word minimum) about how the day went. Did the Recitation Phrase serve as a useful reminder or was it repeatedly forgotten? Did the practitioner observe that she was handling situations and relationships in a different way because of her Mussar practice? (This is the Big Goal we’re going for.)
Over the summer, at Ramah in the Rockies, we practiced a middah for one week at a time. Now that the academic year is beginning and time seems to be moving at a different pace, I’ll stay with a middah for two weeks. My second week focusing on Humility has already begun.
And the Recitation Phrase will remain the same:
My body is on loan from Hashem; it is my responsibility to care for it.