This week’s MMM has to do with creativity. One of the main reasons I’m doing this now is because, according to Kabbalistic teachings, every day of the final month in the Jewish year, Elul, is a day of creativity. From the first day of Elul until the last day, from higher primordial worlds all the way down into our world, every day is another new creation in process.
When G-d is creating, then we can create. It’s auspicious and we have a natural connection to creativity more so than at other times of the year.
So, I’d like to explore the idea of creativity once again. And I’ll divide my exploration into two parts:
G-d’s way of creating and some tools we can use to do some creating, too.
Let’s start with emulating G-d’s way of creating – first we have to study it and then try to adopt it into our lives.
For example, we have four worlds. Each world has a different way of creating. All the way from the highest world of Atzilut, where the way of creating is emanating and infusing, to the lowest world of Assiyah, where the way of creating is doing.
In the higher worlds there is less of me and more of G-d in the creation. In the lower worlds there is more of me and less of G-d, because there’s no focus on bringing G-d into the situation.
Kabbalistically, we also have ways of Divine Creating, in terms of “fixing the world,” of walking though the world, seeing what needs to be fixed, understanding it and fixing it. We can be resolvers of problems in that way.
We emulate G-d’s way of creating by seeing the end in any situation we’re trying to create, and we create by seeing the end first, as G-d did when he created the world. He saw what would happen in the end and he started at the beginning point.
We emulate G-d’s creation Sephirotically. We go through each of the Sephirot and try to overlay them on different aspects of reality to see how they raise up different states of being.
We try at all times to unify things that have polarity, a natural antagonism, because when we can unify them we can release a huge amount of wellbeing for ourselves and for others.
We try, as G-d does, to bring the infinite into the finite by uniting that which happened prior to Creation with Creation.
The TzimTzum Creation Process is what we call what happened when G-d was completely present in the beginning, and then he restricted his presence, which creates a tension and a drive to return to our former completeness.
This opens up all kinds of creating for us. For example, holding on to a paradox, being very focused on what’s going on, making room for others, turning constriction to expansion and birthing things in the world. These are some of the ways of emulating how G-d creates.
And now, here’s the second part. Here are some of the tools I’ve used to create, to be a creator:
1) One tool is simply to practice. Just create. Write for an hour a day, or talk or read poetry or play music. Just do it, and it will open up doors that would otherwise not be open to you.
2) I compile the highlights of my life and try to learn from them, to discover who I was, who I am and who I will be. That way, I can see what is working, what I resonated with and what G-d’s reaction is to what I’ve been doing in my life. That’s a form of creativity as well.
3) I use combinations of tools. In teaching, I combine Torah and music and poetry and right-brain productivity, the more artistic side of life. It’s the more experiential, feeling side of what’s usually taught in Torah as a left-brain discipline.
4) I try to create my own life, in conjunction with other people’s lives, to combine a life that I love.
5) I try to communicate in creative ways, unorthodox, unusual ways.
6) I try to love other people in creative ways.
Those are just a few of my favorite things, ways to create that are somewhat unusual. And I’m always searching for new ways, too.
What I want to talk about this week is being fully alive. The concept came to me in a poem and a see a connection with what I’m experiencing now, and what this week’s Parsha is describing as well.
The concept intrigues me… What does it mean to be fully alive?
So, what I’d like to present is explorations of ways to become fully alive, some practical ways, with philosophical elements, of living in a more full way. Here’s a list of a few ideas:
- To be fully alive is to bring down that which we don’t yet know, to begin to know and to grow and become more alive. That happens when we bring into our knowledge something we have not previously known.
- To be fully alive it’s necessary to be willing for some things to die in order to live. That means we’re ready to sacrifice ourselves, and to get rid of everything that is not our “essential self.” That’s what needs to die. We need to “kill off” those things that are blocking us from fully living.
- To be fully alive we need to be mindful and to embrace whatever we’re engaged in at the time, with our full attention, as if nothing else in the world exists. That’s how we can feel alive. Once I heard that our emotional, creative and intuitive intelligence are important to feeling fully alive.
- To be fully alive we need to consider what makes a dead person, and then separate out the qualities that represent a live person, and build on them.
- To be fully alive we need to bring our body and soul together, not just part of them but all of them. And we need to join together anything that can make us feel whole, instead pf partial.
- To be fully alive we need to find our Achilles’ Heel, or something deeper… the reason we’re here. What are we coming here to fix up? We need to tap into that answer to discover wholeness and to feel fully alive. When we live from our core or Ratzon points, meaning the essence of who we are, and we could condense it into one word, we could live from that one word to be fully alive.
- To be fully alive we need to dive deep into a concept, and get to know it from inside. Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my mother’s passing and what’s come up for me, to elevate her eternal soul, is to dive deep into my awareness of her, of her presence. I’ve done this for about the last three years on the anniversary of both my mother’s and father’s passing. That makes them more fully alive for me and it makes the part of me that’s connected to them more fully alive.
- To be fully alive we need to join our imperfect self with our perfect self, to become one, whole self and G-d’s Tikkun Olam, his rectification of the world. We can be G-d’s right-hand person to make things happen, and that’s when we become more fully alive.
- To be fully alive we need to be connected to our post-life experience, and the eternal reverberations and ramifications of everything we say, do, feel and think, then we’re more fully alive, right here and right now. And the same thing goes for our past-life, too. Between the past and the future we can have a life that’s more fully alive here and now.
When we reveal more of the Sephirotic traits in the here and now we are living more fully alive. And when we pick up on the patriarchs For the Patriarchs, every day was fully lived. We, too, could be receiving the messages and all the opportunities being sent to us at all times, as did our Patriarchs.
Now that we’re moving toward the Rosh Hashanah, we’re looking at the highlights of our year 5778, and the collection of our days, weeks and months. And we’re looking closely to see what Hashem is guiding us to do.
I want my Mystical Musical Meditations to be more fully alive with my creative searching and expression of who I am. I think when we join our higher soul and our lower soul we give them awareness, identification, expression and life, and we also become more fully alive with them.
So, these are some ways to explore how to become more fully alive.
The topic of next week’s MMM is Messianic Consciousness, which is something I’m always talking about, one way or another. But I’d like to get a sharper focus on it right now, because the time is right.
So, let me divide this up into the sources, where they come from, and also how to acquire Messianic Consciousness. We’re in a time period right now, the Three Weeks, which is an ironic, paradoxical and vulnerable time period. The more we move into it, the darker it becomes, and the darker it becomes, the more vulnerable and the more rectified it becomes.
The more we mourn the Temple, the more we are happy about the process of rebuilding. And the more we wait for Moshiach to come, the more we bring him, from our waiting. In these time, Moshiach, in a counter-intuitive way, is coming right into our faces.
All those who chase Hashem and Moshiach will be chased by good things, and good things will catch them. This is a time to catch what we’re chasing after, one way or another.
This time period is also a transition time. In many ways, our present coming-out-of-exile time is like coming out of Egypt. But in one, specific way it’s not like coming out of Egypt because we don’t have to leave within 18 minutes, without time for the matzah to rise. This time it’s a slow process, as we’ve been told by our prophets. It’s happening slowly and gradually.
It’s a transition from a time of trying to fix up the world, to a time of knowing G-d, and from a time of duality to a time of oneness, from a time of constricted consciousness to a time of expanded consciousness.
It’s a time transition from G-d’s hiddenness to a time of discovering G-d is at the core of everything, and a time of being brought back into the Garden from which we were once cast out.
It’s a time of transition from a time of hierarchy to a time of complete, equal access to Hashem, world-wide, and a time of seeing how everything is connected to Torah.
It’s a time of transition from a hard heart to a time of a heart of flesh, and from a time of partiality to a time of wholeness, and from a time of not knowing G-d to a time of knowing G-d.
This is the time frame we’re in, meaning the Three Weeks, and it’s also the overall slowly-but-surely progression of the Messianic Era.
What do we do about it, and try to get on board? How do we expedite the situation?
We need to plug ourselves into this kind of consciousness. We do this by seeing how Hashem is working through us, not just for us, and to try to know his ways, including seeing and carrying both sides of paradox in our lives. That means having the ability to see something and also its opposite, knowing both can co-exist simultaneously.
And we need to see everything that’s happening as G-d’s goodness, even though it seems unfair and too difficult on the surface level. We need to move ourselves away from our patterns, as the Jews did when they jumped into the Red Sea, away from our patterns that are self-defeating and toward patterns that are open to miracles.
We need to try to be selfless, and to match our will with G-d’s will, allowing us to see in a much greater, more intimate way.
We need to try to see how our actions have an effect on everyone else, and to see the wholeness beyond the partialness.
We need to try to see our calling, both individually and as a generation, and to live inside of spiritual concepts.
We need to try to find a way to live without time restrictions and with a sense of timelessness instead, and without finite thinking, but with a sense of infinity instead.
We need to try to see the past, present and future through the eyes of Hashem. And, one way or another, we need to do this together with everyone else. This is how we usher ourselves into Messianic Consciousness, which we’re all headed into, one way or another.
I call this week’s MMM The Power of Vulnerability, for a number of reasons. We are in the middle of the Three Weeks, the most vulnerable period of the entire Jewish calendar year.
Underneath the weakness, the Achilles’ heel of our vulnerability, which is very real and makes this a very dangerous time, beneath that we find some of the greatest power we can possibly imagine.
I have found wisdom from our Sages about the power of vulnerability in several different sources. One is a verse from Jeremiah that says, “All that chase her will capture her in this time period [of the Three Weeks] in the narrow straights.” That can also be interpreted as anybody who chases G-d can catch G-d.
So, at this very vulnerable point in time we have the greatest opportunity to catch G-d. The whole creation of the world is based on the fact that we come into this life in a place of darkness and vulnerability in order to find the power inside of it and to get ourselves out of there.
I saw a source which talked about how every trial and tribulation we’re put into is purposefully stretching us beyond our limits, beyond our comfort zone and into a place of vulnerability, from which and ONLY from which we can grow and become more of what we are.
So, that’s the power of vulnerability. That’s how we grow.
In general, we make strides when we get rid of the darker side inside our lives. Power comes about when we tap into that area, with psycho-therapeutic practices. The only way we can heal is to tap into the inner shadow side, find the vulnerability, identify it and then release it, to become free from it. And that’s when we begin to live, from that vulnerable point.
The power involved is talked about in different places, making the point that the fall is the cause of the ascent. The very place where the darkness is deepest, our mystical Sages teach us, is the place where the light is brightest.
What I know on a personal level, is that place of helplessness, where we are unable to help even ourselves, we’ve tried everything and given it all up to G-d, that’s actually the most empowering place. It’s the most liberating place.
The whole idea of repentance, of doing teshuva, is to identify and reveal the places where we are deceiving ourselves and living a lie. The idea is to release ourselves from that place. We have to go into a vulnerable place to make that happen. When we do teshuva we become completely new human beings. I think all the greatest of the greatest of our leaders got to the highest levels ever achieved by mankind because they tapped into vulnerability.
Nachon, when we were about to cross the Red Sea, made himself vulnerable by going into the waters of the Red Sea all the way up to his nose, thereby parting the waters, as he was listening to G-d’s instructions. His vulnerability paved the way for the parting of the Red Sea for all the Israelites.
Moses did the same when he said, “Erase me from your book if you don’t forgive the people…” He made himself vulnerable, being willing to sacrifice his name and his posterity.
And Queen Esther did it in her time, in the Purim story.
And Pinchas, in last week’s Parsha, did it when he single-handedly took on those who breached the sexual code in a public way. For doing so, he received a renewed relationship with G-d. That place of vulnerability was where he found his power.
I know this on a personal level as well. I see that the people I talk to who are willing to share their weaknesses, their vulnerabilities with me often turn out to be the best relationships I have. I think that’s true with others, too.
Let your guard down, show your weakness, your needs, your thirst, and so forth… When you do, that is when you bond and bridge your differences.
That is also what prayer is all about in our relationship with G-d. The more we can become vulnerable before G-d by becoming helpless and talking about our imperfections, the more we can go down into the shadow worlds to release and liberate our inner vulnerabilities.
The more we can speak from a vulnerable, heart place inside of ourselves, the more we can turn this whole thing around, especially during the Three Weeks. This is the gateway, the portal to the Messianic times, which may be the topic of my next MMM.
This week’s MMM is sort of a continuation of last week’s theme. It, too, is about healing, but it’s a specific type of healing called Tikkun, or rectification, healing of the broken vessels.
Healing broken vessels is really healing broken people, and we all fall into the same category.
It’s a timely choice of topic, because this past Sunday was a long fast day, and the beginning of a three-week period during which the worst cataclysms in Jewish history occurred in the past. It’s a time designated for breakdown and breakage, more than usual, during the rest of the year.
This three-week period has that kind of energy, even in the climate. The days are the longest and hottest, which represents, in human terms, an overabundance. It represents our inability to take in so much input that’s coming into our lives. That inability leads to dire circumstances.
The Kabbalistic story of the breaking of the vessels, in its simple version, is this – the vessels were immature and the light was overwhelming. The light broke the vessels on different levels, depending on the level of maturity.
The rest of history is all about fixing up what’s broken, fixing the broken pieces. That repair can happen in various ways, but the basic idea is this – there has to be a harmony, a synchronization between the cosmic receiver and the cosmic giver. The giving must be matched-up with what is able to be received. If the giving and receiving isn’t matched up, things break down.
In more human terms, for us to be proper vessels and to receive the lights in the proper proportions, we have to participate in teamwork. That teamwork involves other people who can do what we cannot do alone, and it also describes what happens inside each of us when we “team up” all our different talents, characteristics and powers we have inside us.
So, one of the ways to hold a lot of light is teamwork.
Another way to avoid the breakdown is to have selflessness. The more ego or selfishness we have the more fragile we become, the more vulnerable we become and subject to becoming broken.
The rectification, to receive the light, is to become very, very selfless and humble. Also in our lives, we have to be able to see that what we receive is not only just for us, but it’s meant to be channeled into everything related to us. We live in interdependent worlds. Even within ourselves, what we receive has a parallel world which is shared by our body and integrated into it.
So, too, our mind will have a resulting, parallel effect. The body and the mind have the effect, and so, too, will the soul. When our soul has the effect, so, too, will the other souls in our environment, and eventually we affect the whole world.
It’s not only teamwork, but we’re in a world that’s microcosmic and macrocosmic, where everything is connected to everything else. And to that extent, there is Tikkun. To the extent things are disconnected, to that same extent there is breakdown.
The Messianic world will be the ultimate connection. That’s where everything will be connected, and what we consider “parts” will become whole. We are moving in this direction now.
To be connected, a person needs to have compassion for others, to identify their own need for others, and the ability to relate to others in the proper way. The coming of Messiah is dependent upon our interconnectedness with each other.
We are in a world of Tikkun, which means that even though we are free-will beings, and we decide what gets fixed-up, we still have to realize that G-d is doing it for us, through us and to us, in his own way. Everything is getting better and everything is moving towards Tikkun.
But we cannot jump out of the hierarchal world of Tikkun into everybody-is-equal-and-everybody-is-the-same, and everybody is independent, which will be the reality in the future world (which we saw in Parsha Korach lately) but we will ultimately be in that kind of world, when everything is repaired.
In this fixing, we need to see that we are lacking something and we all have something that others do not have. To become whole, we have to give to each other. This is how we build up the vessels of interdependence and connection and love. That’s how we can see the abundance that’s coming our way.
This week’s MMM topic is privacy. That may press some buttons for people, just hearing the topic. It doesn’t seem like much of a title for an exploration of higher consciousness, but it actually is appropriate.
I want to go in two different directions here, one is the explorations I want to explore and the other is the questions I want to ask. In a way, it’s all about questions.
As regards explorations, I have a feeling that our world, both personal and global, is suffering from a crisis, which is a lack of privacy. For the most part, we are not aware of it, or we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg.
I want to understand what that does to the soul, even though on the surface we may the lack of privacy for granted. I have a sense that privacy is a part and parcel of the human condition, as well as the global condition. If we don’t have it, we’re missing something very vital in living.
Case in point, we were created from a private place. From the very beginning, we came from an individual, closed, hidden, invisible, personal level, and we have to grow to go on and learn to express ourselves publicly.
In order to share, you have to start by being private. I think it’s the key to processing thoughts. You first have to think before you speak.
It’s the key to creation of the world. First there was darkness and then there was light. First there was nothingness, and then there was creation. The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
We start out alone, and then we share with people. We should always think about the ramifications of our words and our actions. Thoughts start on a private level, and then we process them before speaking.
Our Sages say that blessings do not rest except upon something that is hidden from the eye. It’s about modesty and keeping the mystery intact. Keep the privacy intact. Don’t show it in everybody’s face until you first get a handle on it.
Think things through. Get to a place of quietness and clarity before going out and sharing with other people. Don’t say things until they are clear first. Don’t be so impetuous and share whatever comes to mind.
So, I think privacy is part and parcel of what healthy, organic living is all about. That’s the result of my investigation. My questions on the topic are the following:
In today’s world and in our private worlds, we need to understand when we need to share and when we need to keep things private. As regards our love, how much of it is something we share with others? When do we share? How do we share our love? And when do we wait to share it?
How much of our bodies do we show? How much to we keep private in terms of what we’re putting out there?
What about secrets? When do we keep a secret, and how, and from whom? And, when not to keep a secret?
The world monetary system… Everybody seems to be in public view now. There are advantages, I understand, but what happens when there’s no privacy left? All the money is accounted for by Big Brother, or Big Banks which know exactly how much you have. They can sift from the top and they tend to do so. Where is the privacy there?
Internet privacy. It’s one of the biggest issues in the world right now. Everybody is out there on social media, and the more everybody’s out there, the less everybody’s out there. The more quantity there is, and the lack of privacy is growing, the less quality there is in sharing and connection.
How do you share your privacy regarding how much money you have? And why and how, and how do you deal with that?
Your inner voice. When do you share your inner life with people? When is being alone a good thing, and when is it not a good thing? How much alone time do you need to keep the mystery in?
These questions, and others, will naturally perpetuate. And they are the things I want to explore in the week to come.
I’m going to talk about Love for my next week’s MMM. I’ve talked about it before, but as I’m discovering over time, you can get into the consciousness of a topic, not just a fact-finding mission or a definitive thing, but how it hovers around us and takes us to a different place, a whole different continent of mind-state. That’s when there’s no end to the topic.
So, even if I’ve explored the topic before, I will discover all kinds of new stuff as well. What I’m going to transcribe here are two different things – some general intros about what Love is, and then I’ll share some applications I’ve discovered.
Love is the Bliss/Bliss relationship that people of the same [or even different] root souls share
Love is sharing our hearts with those we love [and even with those we don’t even know]
Love is Avraham waking up early with alacrity to do the Will of his Maker
Love is becoming a true giver and sharing all your love with others
Love is saying yes to everyone and everything
Love is thinking and feeling and speaking in poetry all the time
Love is jumping out of bed in the morning because you don’t want to miss one minute of living
Love is being attracted and being attractive
Love is bridging people to that which is unbridgeable
Love is what happens when all the barriers and obstacles and separateness and belief systems are removed
Love is all you need
Love is so much more
Love is something that, truth be told, I don’t think I know too much about, but I’d like to learn…
What all these things are based on is the idea that love is a mystery. And love is a very powerful thing. It commandeers so many institutions of our lives. For example, Hollywood love stories lasting “forever,” and the same in novels. At the highest level it’s based on the love that G-d has for us, and the love that we have for G-d.
We are commanded to love in a lot of ways – with all our hearts, to love the convert, to love the Torah – and it’s part of the mystery and mystique of the male/female relationship. It’s that part that is the saving grace. If there was no love, they would tear each other to pieces, which they may be doing anyway, but it would be worse without the love.
It’s the inner motivation, perhaps, of what sex is. Or, sex is the outer manifestation of what love is.
It comes from the Sephira of Chesed, which is giving, but giving in the way that Abraham gave. He gave as a freebie, meaning he gave without expecting to get anything in return. That’s what a true love-sharing thing is.
Love is the recognition of the other person inside of me, and me inside of the other person, and sharing that reality in a very deep way.
Love is putting myself in another person’s place. It’s how you relate, and how you see things from their point of view.
Love is speaking from the heart and bypassing the brain.
Love is the feeling we have for certain people in our lives, our soul family, our soul mates, which naturally evokes a kind of love.
Love is what we have for life, when we reach down deep enough into our resonating selves and try to understand how we feel about situations, and then react accordingly.
Love is the thing I am most fascinated with, in the process of living a life I love, by contrast to a life that I “should” live. Ideally, I can combine the two together.
This week I’m going into the topic of Ratzon as my next MMM topic. I am revisiting Ratzon, having visited it many times before, and now I want to visit it in a new way. Even the reviewing and revisiting is valuable, because I’m a new person now, and this new person is the one connecting to the old me. That’s usually a good exercise.
What I want to do with will and wanting and Ratzon is to approach the topic on three different levels. One is the definitive level, the essence of it, and then the other two are getting it and living it. Essence, getting and living Ratzon, that’s it.
There’s so much to talk about, but here are some points on those three levels:
On a definitive level, Ratzon represents the Keter, the highest Sephira, which represents the deepest aspect of the human condition. To the extext you connect with it, everything else gets out of the way, and everything else follows suit. It’s connected to the essence of who you are.
To the extent that you get it, your life and all your other processes are aligned. It’s the best place to be. You’re most alive when you do that. It’s why you’re here in the world, to be connected with that part of yourself. It knits your past, your present and your future together. It puts you in sync with everybody else in the world. Those are just a few of the definitive aspects of Ratzon living.
Part of who I am is a Ratzon counselor, so this topic is really what’ I’m all about. On a very simple level, I have people look into their future in order to co-create and declare, “this will be my future!” I help them to declare it and etch it into their future with a graduation speech. And then help them come back into the present moment to see how G-d brings them into it. They start seeing things and strategizing things with their future in mind. That’s one way to get it.
Once you identify what it is that you really want, it can very easily elude you, because it’s so deep. So, another way to get it is to examine your life and look closely at what turns you on, what has turned you on in the past. What do you want? What have you wanted? What are you wanting right now?
If you can answer with journaling your life, with the highlights of your life, the greatest events of your life, the things you’ve done and the things you want to do, then find the common denominator, you can find the essence of who you are. Then you’ll start to acquire your Ratzon.
Once you acquire the knowledge of what it is, that’s when you have no choice but to live it. And to live it, you have to be passionate about it. You have to always ask the Ratzon questions. You can say, “These are the possibilities for me, what I can do right now, how I can react right now, how I can act. But, what is the essence of my Ratzon telling me to do? What is my legacy, based on my point of Ratzon?”
Asking those questions is the way to actually begin to live it. Asking and living like that makes your life very different. Then you’re living on a higher plane. To the extent that you connect up with your Ratzon and you start living it in your life you’ll become the most inspirational guy or gal on the block… You’re going to be the one everybody wants to get on board with. You’re going to be the one everybody wants to help, even if they don’t get anything out of it. Why? Because it’s irresistible. Because Ratzon is that primal void that we’re all seeking to fill and we don’t even know what it is.
But when you discover what it is and go for it, nothing can stand in your way. Once you have your clarity and you know it, that’s when you have to be fearless. And the sky is the limit.
You can’t think small. This is yours, this is the most you, the most personal expression you’ll ever get to. That’s why you’re here on this earth. So now you have the make the best use of it. And to the extent you do that, you’ll inspire everybody else to do it, too.
And to the extent you do it, you’re going to match your Ratzon with G-d’s Ratzon as well. There’s nothing more empowering and inspiring.
Having graduated and received Torah again this year, Thank G-d, the next logical place to go… logical to me, that is… is consideration of how we speak.
We went from a nation of non-speakers, with a slave mentality, coming out of Egypt, to a nation of the highest speakers. We are speakers of Divinity, of Paradise and expanded consciousness. We went from a nation of animal sacrifices to a national of humanity at the highest level.
And the essence of humanity is how we speak.
So, I want to call my MMM this week, The Alternative Ways of Speaking. And, I’m just going to go through a list here, a list of alternative ways of speaking, which I think is an experiment in living.
Here is the list:
Sephirotic speaking, which is talking in terms of the Sephirot.
Knowledge of Torah speaking, which is based on Torah logic.
Body language speaking.
Mirroring other people speaking.
What you really want speaking.
Minimal speaking, which is getting to the essential point and nothing more.
Torah 24/7 speaking, which is like being a radio station and broadcasting Torah, all day and all night.
Personable speaking, which means everything you’re saying has the ultimate sensitivity to others.
Silent speaking, which means without saying words you can say a lot to another person.
Thought speaking, which is articulating your thoughts.
Perfect-As-Is perception speaking.
Highlights of your life speaking.
Inside-a-word speaking, which means you go deep and discover mystical portals within it.
Ratzon (Will) speaking.
Mindful 24/7 speaking.
Complete focus, meditative speaking.
Love speaking, which is sharing your love.
Resonation speaking, which is not talking about what you understand, but what you resonate with.
What the other person needs speaking.
Keep your mouth shut and just be with the person without saying anything speaking.
Creative, artistic, communicative speaking.
Soul family speaking.
Bashert soul-mating speaking.
Inner voice speaking.
Complete self-actualization speaking.
What I’d like to share now are my present and past unique approaches to Torah learning. I’m going to start with the present and bring some of the past into it, from the last few months. These are my approaches to Torah learning:
1) MMM – This is my personal approach to Torah. It’s an approach which involves music, and self-actualization, and expression, art, emotion, meditation, poetry, and everything that has to do with the human spirit, experience and consciousness. It is directed towards a certain Torah theme. This is one thing I’d definitely like to be remembered by when all is said and done regarding my Torah learning and teaching using MMM.
2) Go inside of Torah as completely as possible – This is how I describe the practice of reframing everything as Torah, and only caring about that. I once heard a teaching that said the people who are truly free are the ones who are Torah learners. I delved deep into the essence of what that means, and I realized it’s this – whenever all we care about in life is Torah, other stuff that happens doesn’t affect us so much, like money, etc. That’s a free person, someone who’s so deep into Torah.
3) Another direction to Torah is to jump right into the water, to immerse yourself into the topic you’re focusing on in Torah. And to see with the lenses of that Torah topic in sharp focus. This is what I try to do every week with my MMM, whatever topic I choose, such as Shabbos, or the Land or a Mystic’s Eyes… nothing else exists except that topic at that time. I immerse myself deeply into it.
4) Another unique approach, not only mine, but it’s one I’m trying out, is to look at life through the Parsha of the week. I like to see what’s going on inside the Parsha, and ask questions, and see if the Parsha will supply answers to whatever’s going on. I’ve always noticed that whenever there are issues to deal with in life, somehow, some way, in some obscure commentary, there can be answers to my questions. The Torah can provide answers to our daily, contemporary issues, when we need guidance.
5) When you’re learning Torah you’re in a sacred space, and answers will come to you, even if they are not directly related to what you’re learning. But if you ask questions when you’re in that elevated space you will received answers. The answers WILL come and you’ll get clarity on other things going on in your life.
6) Another thing is to go deeply into Torah. There is a methodology of learning that’s brought through the Talmud. It says, ok, let’s say it over, and focus on the simple meaning of it. And after that, let’s go as deep inside as we possibly can. We can see the connections to life, to other things that are going on and we’ll see how other things are answered up. You’ll get a lot of associative ideas, but also, if you specifically ask, “What does this mean for me in my life?” or perhaps, “Why did this Sage say what he said?” and other primal questions, you’ll discover there’s something very deep going on here. That’s how you can get credible answers.
7) Another Torah-engaging tool is poetry. I’ve noticed that, rather than teach Torah in a linear, left-brain kind of way I try to reach out and teach it in a poetic kind of way, preferably with music. It’s not necessary, and sometimes it can be with a photograph or a picture instead. That helps the Torah get into a different part of our human “being,” and not just our left brain. I see it comes into an experiential kind of place. This is another approach to learning Torah that’s very unique, and it helps people get into Torah and understand Torah because they are naturally attracted to the art, it’s a way to speak to them as well.
8) Learn the part of Torah to which you’re naturally attracted. If you listen to your inner resonance, and go with what you’re normally attracted to, you’ll find the Torah you should be learning, and you’ll make a lot more headway in Torah as well.
9) Torah is a battleground. We are presented with questions, and we have to be warriors for getting answers and clarity. If we’re ok with that and can embrace that, meaning this is a discipline which is not dictatorial, but instead it’s a questioning discipline, and we question and question until there’s no doubt left. We fight like a warrior to get to the answers. This is a whole different type of Torah learning.
10) We are supposed to be learning Torah 24/7. There is no time we are not supposed to be learning Torah. I’ve seen people do thing, and I’ve tried to live this way on and off during my own life. I’ve seen people who simply won’t leave their Torah learning, and they’ll be walking down the street, talking to themselves in Torah. They are wrestling through the issues, the ideas. I’ve seen people like this give a class on two lines of what’s written in Torah, and it could go on for 4 – 5 hours. They are completely immersed in Torah, so they have the depth and breadth of connection to that piece of Torah.
When you go deep into G-d’s word, you’re going deeply into a type of wisdom which goes on forever. It expands out forever. There’s so much more to talk about here, and so many more approaches, but I just wanted to get things started with a few of them.