Meditations

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Weekly MMM – Speaking Into Consciousness

I am going to call this week’s MMM –  Speaking Our Way Into Consciousness.

I’ll tell you where this is coming from, and where we can take it to.  It’s coming from the phrase, “uncircumcised lips,” in the Parasha, referring to Moses.

Moses mumbled and stammered before God, saying, essentially, “Who am I to be your spokesman?” He could barely get the words out, as a reflection of the Jewish people who were a nation of slaves at the time. They couldn’t even speak properly either.

They were grunting and moaning and screaming in their agony, and G-d heard these sounds they were making, and after 200 years of being restricted-consciousness slaves, they were unable to speak their truth, or any truth.

The Jewish people were all inside of Moses, and he was a reflection of them, so he was also limited in the same way. On of the main pathways into redemption was the ability for someone to speak their way to freedom.

The deeper, original idea here is that G-d spoke the world into being. The more we can hook up with and synchronize ourselves with the profound depth of speech, especially speech in Hebrew, the Holy Tongue, the more we are connected to the substance of what created the world – the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The more we connect with it, the more we can speak the world into being, as G-d does.

We can speak our lives into being, which is why the Breslover Hasidim shout out every word of the Hagaddah at the Passover Seder. It’s because they understand this principle of speaking yourself into freedom.

We know that the six weeks of Shovavim, which we’re in right now, involves rectifications. One of them is a rectification of sexuality, which is also a rectification of speaking. Our mystical Sages teach us that just as the sexual organ is a representative of the whole body, so too is our mouth. In a parallel way, our mouth is also a representative of our soul. That’s why they say the lips are uncircumcised, like the sexual organ may or may not be uncircumcised.  It’s a parallel system.

Both the sexual organs and the mouth have the potential and potency to raise us up to higher levels of consciousness.

Speaking is an integral part of human beings, by contrast to animals. The more holy we speak, the more holy we create our world. The more truth that we speak, the more the truth surrounds us, the more integrity surrounds us. When our word is a word that can be trusted and relied on, and we weigh our words carefully, to say the right things, we will draw down consciousness to ourselves.

Even in our dreams may be real, to the extent we are speaking the truth.

These are some of the underlying principles of what it means to speak ourselves into consciousness.

There are so many ways to do it, such a Poetry Speak, Heart Speak, and of course, finding our own, personal voice to speak. We can Soul Speak, we can talk to G-d, and sometimes we can go so deep that within our own speaking we find that G-d will ride on our words and speak right back to us, which is the secret of what prophecy is all about.

We can MMM Speak, which means that we bring all these types of speaking together, as a channel for consciousness-speaking in a group.

We can Thank You Speak, which is gratitude that brings down consciousness. Talking Torah is also talking ourselves into consciousness. Prayer Speak is talking ourselves into consciousness. Turning prayer toward meditation, see it that way and choosing to focus on it that way is also speaking our way into consciousness.

Saying a word, like a mantra, such as Master of the Universe, which Rabbi Kaplan teaches, can also help us speak our way into consciousness and draw it down into our own lives.

These, and other ways we’ve yet to explore will be part and parcel of our MMM this week.

 

 

Weekly MMM – Messianic Consciousness Reflected in Chanukah

This week’s MMM will happen during the last half of Chanukah, a time when I’m very much aware of who I am, who I have become since Rosh Hashanah. So, I’m putting together a lot of the different consciousnesses revealed to me and to others during our weekly MMM sessions.

What I came to, somewhat naturally, as a theme for this week is Messianic Consciousness. The MMMs, their themes, their topics and the flow of their presentation are all combining to open the doors to Messianic Consciousness, G-d willing.

And, G-d willing, we are right now on the heels of the Messiah, which is what our Sages call this period, “… the heels of Moshiach.” It’s a huge topic on such a critical time, and it is actually not well-studied or written about.

Research reveals the changes, “on the ground,” so to speak, meaning physically on the earth. There are many books about that. But consciousness is what really interests me, and there’s not a lot written about that aspect of the coming of Moshiach.

So, here are some, but not all, of the differences I see between our consciousness now, at the present time, and what will be available to us in Messianic times. Later, probably next week, I’ll provide more ideas to fill in the blanks I’m leaving this week.

These are the specific topics, in outline form, meaning ways we will be able to carry out Messianic consciousness in the near future:

  • Paradising our lives. This means getting back to the Garden of Eden, and the maximum expression of the “I” and the “Thou.” It represents a complete connection to G-d along with a complete connection to myself.
  • Understanding what is expected of us as a “chosen people.” This represents a return to our Jewish glory, which the whole world will recognize.
  • We will move from a finite consciousness, a finite way of looking at things, to an infinite way of looking at things.
  • Fusion with G-d. This means we fuse our own characteristics, our senses and other aspects of our humanity with the so-called parallel aspects of the Divine, and therefore raising ours to a whole, new level.
  • It’s a taste of the World To Come, and we rise to an elevated world, an elevated state of being, a perception involving many different connections that are beyond the consciousness of the present dimension.
  • Rather than considering ourselves as partial, we need to see ourselves as whole.
  • Knowledge of G-d. Daat, the knowledge, the knowing of G-d, the wisdom of G-d, will be the main occupation of the entire world at that time. We need to move towards that reality.
  • Ability to carry both sides of a paradox. We will have the ability to make peace between things that seem to contradict each other. We will have a unification of disparate things within ourselves. We will be able to look at the world around us with that ability in our consciousness.
  • Accepting and embracing everything that comes our way. The more we have a relationship with G-d’s providence, the more we can embrace, rather than escape the seemingly unpleasant parts of our lives.
  • Seeing G-d’s presence in everything.
  • Seeing the Hidden Light. The Ohr Ganuz provides the ability to see from one end of the world to the other end of the world, from one end of the process to the other end. And that includes seeing into the future and seeing how the past affects the future. That’s another type of consciousness opening up for us in Messianic times.
  • Achieving our calling in life. Everyone will dance around in a big circle, and we won’t be in need of anybody anymore, because we will all have reached our own, personal enlightenment. Of course we can share with others, but they won’t be in need because they have their own.
  • Micro-cosmic consciousness. This means we have the ability to see how everything is associated with everything else. We will be living in full-blown, parallel worlds, and we’ll see our connection to the people and the good in the world.
  • The feminine principle will be the crown of the masculine principle. Although it’s not apparent at the present time in the world, everything that’s the highest level in principle will be the crown of everything else.

All the above needs explanation, and also proper examples, but I’ll leave this in outline form for now.

Weekly MMM – Wholeness

This week’s MMM is Wholeness. The idea comes from a midrash our Sages bring, which features the main events in the next Parsha.

On one hand we have Yehuda, the son of Jacob, in all of his dealings with Tamar, his attempt to build a family and deal with his circumstances.

And we have Yosef being sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt, and his dealing with his circumstances, his trials and tribulations. And all the other moving parts of Bible stories are going on, hand-in-hand with them, while Hashem is busy bringing Moshiach.

The lesson being learned through it all is a lesson of Wholeness, the wholeness G-d is orchestrating, and has always orchestrated. But we are usually so busy looking at the individual musicians, that we cannot hear the whole orchestra. G-d is always hearing the whole orchestra, and he’s trying to teach us how to hear the orchestra, too, the wholeness of it all.

Recently I head another lecture, in a series of brilliant lectures by Rabbi Mendel Kessin, that provides a Messianic outlook on current events. He describes what’s happening in the world, and how it fits into a bigger, spiritual wholeness.

For example, Edom of America, Yishmael of Saudi Arabia and the Erev Rav of Israel are divisions, parts of the whole world that have been antagonistic throughout history. Parts of the Jewish people as a whole are coming back and doing teshuva, and parts of the Jewish people are going the opposite way. There’s a selection process going on, and we have to be able to see that in the light of wholeness big things are happening, such as the international current events.

A view from wholeness gives a much better idea about what’s going on, rather than focusing on only one part.

We learn from what we know of the essence of Joseph, who represents the Sephira of Yesod, which represents allness and the ability to see the larger, whole picture.

Yesod represents the male organ, which coalesces the allness of a man’s body in the reproductive process. Joseph received that legacy from his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who all reached the level of Kol, which is allness, the ability to see all of Divine Providence as being significant. Significant in terms of time, place, soul and meaning… the ability to see that everything has meaning. They came, therefore, to the end of their life with their days, because they had wholeness in their allness, and they took advantage of every situation, understanding it was crucial to the whole.

That’s the legacy we inherit, too, if we choose to step up and receive it. Trying to emulate the Patriarchs and Matriarchs is a way we can learn to live in wholeness as well, instead of thinking and feeling and acting from a partial place. We all need to react in wholeness.

We need to be able to see with the eyes of G-d, the past the present and the future, the whole picture of every situation. We need to be able to learn and to teach Torah that way, too, seeing the wholeness of every idea.

A person who is a master of the rabbinical code of halacha needs to be able to make decisions based on many ideas, not just one idea, and to see how it applies to the wholeness of life.

My MMM teaching is bringing many different aspects of art, such as poetry and music, and right brain and left brain experiences to bring out experiential Torah, regular Torah and hidden Torah. It all converges in an MMM, a Mystical, Musical Meditation of allness, my way of trying to reach consciousness, a way of seeing life not as an isolated part, but fitting into a larger wholeness that encompasses all of life.

I want to live, 24/7, in allness, in wholeness, in a place of meditation. I want to always be open to receive G-d’s Providence, using much more of my intellect and emotional intelligence and artistic intelligence. I want to immerse myself in a place of complete allness.

Our forefather Jacob was in a place of allness. He was able to look and to see whatever came to him, and to raise it all up. As a result, he received the reaction of receiving a Divine Response of an inheritance that is boundless.

And that’s what we receive from Jacob when we keep Shabbat properly. By keeping Shabbat properly, in its essence, we are saying everything is perfect, and good just as it is. Hashem receives us in allness, and we want to receive him in allness. Our heart’s desire, anything and everything we need can come, when we are able to look at our life, and everything that comes to us, all our challenges are there for us, personally, in order to complete our soul. That is living in allness.

When we’re able to understand that the chaos of our lives is there to be fixed up at all times, we are living in a state of allness as well. Everything that is there is an opportunity for rectification. When we are able to see that happens to us at all times is exactly the perfect thing for us, that’s living in a state of allness.

Our prayer is to rise to the challenge, and step out of a place of partial living into a place of completeness and allness.

Weekly MMM – What Would G-d Say?

I’m going to call this week’s MMM – What Would G-d Say?

In the last few weeks I’ve been very focused on difference ways of experiencing Letting Go To G-d consciousness. Starting with Perfect As Is, followed by Letting Go and Letting G-d, this week continues the series. These mind states are all about being able to see G-d’s hand, being able to feel and believing in, becoming mindful of and submitting to the fact that G-d is running the show. And, therefore, we can let go.

The next logical step, I think, is to believe G-d is taking me to a good place, no matter what that place may be. And I accept that, which represents a major shift of consciousness in myself and in the world. The idea is connected to this week’s Parsha, too.

But I’d like to get more specific information, meaning, what is it that G-d is telling me? What message is he trying to convey?

That’s why I’m taking this MMM to the next level, which is not only trusting in G-d to lead the way, but also understanding what he is trying to tell me. And this inquiry will probably lead to Being Inside of Torah 24/7 as the topic for next week’s MMM.

In the Parshas we’ve been reading we see the Patriarchs and Matriarchs before Mt. Sinai, before the Torah was received. They were able to understand, from their level of spirituality, what G-d wanted of them in every situation. They understood Torah before Torah was given. They understood G-d’s will 24/7 in all aspects of life.

And that’s what we’re going for this week… we’re asking, “what would G-d have to say about it?” To a large extent, we already know what G-d has to say about everything, if we study deep enough and go deep into Torah knowledge. So that’s where we’re going now.

The idea of “what does G-d have to say” can be approached in a number of ways. We can simply ask a question, a series of questions and answers to find out what G-d has to say about a subject or situation. Some time ago a created a piece called Questions and Answers From G-d, which was an experiment with asking a question and then writing what I think G-d would answer.

It’s a great exercise, not on the level of prophesy of course, but we can cultivate a deeper sensitivity, a divine sensitivity within ourselves. We can gain a deeper, more thorough and powerful way. It’s one way to get answers, to know what G-d would be thinking.

Another way is not asking questions, but studying what’s actually happening in life. It’s discovering the messages G-d is sending us through our own life happenings, circumstances, challenges and accomplishments. It’s all about studying the highlights of our lives, studying the events of our lives.

Seeing the events we can see, even though we are making choices what to do, there are still G-d’s own ways of communicating with us through the events in our lives.

Another way to study what G-d wants is to resonate with life, and understand we’re drawn in a certain way, whether things are going smoothly or not, but we’re still drawn toward it and we resonate with it. That’s also G-d’s way of leading us where he wants us to go. We are drawn towards things because they are a lost part of ourselves, and these are called Holy Sparks, the lost parts of our souls.

G-d is providing them so we can regain, recover and redeem what we’ve lost. There’s a wide range of  sensitivity to the human body and how to read it, especially in other cultures such as India where some sensitive people can read a person’s pulse.

Like that, we can develop sensitivity to the lost parts of our lives, our desires, what we’re driven toward or obsessed about. We need to be able to hear that language inside ourselves. It’s a language of resonation of the heart, of the soul, of the right brain, instead of the left, logical side of it. We need to develop that as a way G-d talks to us as well.

The will of a person can be hooked-up, or hard-wired into G-d’s will. And a person can know what G-d wants based on that connection.

There are other ways of knowing what G-d is wanting from us, besides Torah. And these are some of the ways. We see one classic example in Torah, which is Jacob’s ladder. One explanation involves angels going up and angels going down the ladder, which means we are sending up signals, which are the angels. Angels work for us. They are our messengers in life, in many ways.

We are sending out signals, and angels are going up the ladder, and we are receiving the results of those signals from the angels coming back down. This is one way of understanding what the sparks are all about.

There’s much, much more to talk about, but I wanted to put out these introductory words on the topic now. I’ve seen that making the choice of a transcendent topic, and exploring it in poetry and song and meditation, you can open up vistas in your life. I want that for myself and anyone else who cares to jump onboard with us.

Weekly MMM – Let Go, Let G-d

This topic, in our continuing MMM series, is called Let Go, Let G-d. Or, alternatively, how not to chase things in life.

This topic comes from my own, personal goals, but also relates to the Parsha of the week –  Parsha Toldot. In it, we see a lot of chasing going on. This is kind of like an antidote to all that chasing.

Yakov Avinu, our father, Jacob, is a tam, a tamim, because he has a holy naivete, and he’s a non-chaser. But, he’s sort of forced into being a chaser. Because of his nemesis, Esav, whenever Jacob becomes weak, Esav becomes strong. So, Jacob is forced to be smarter and stronger, and to chase success in order to outsmart and overcome Esav.

Jacob’s chase is more spiritual in nature, and Esav’s is more physical. Jacob represents the mouth and Esav represents the hands, which is why Jacob had to disguise his hands to trick his father, Abraham, into thinking he was Esav.

The stronger we are in upholding the posterity of Jacob with our voice, with our learning, our Torah, our prayers, the weaker they are with their hands, doing things in the world that can jeopardize our wellbeing and our success, everything we’re shooting for.

It’s a “cancelling out” dynamic, so it is a sort of a chase. It’s a “righteousness vs evil” paradigm in the world, but it’s also an inner drive in us, probably preparing us for Messianic times to come. That will be a time when we no longer have to chase.

We have an image of all of humanity standing around in a circle in the Messianic times, where nobody is chasing anybody or needing anybody else. Everyone is standing on their own, facing the center, glorifying G-d. Each individual is complete, and others may watch, but there’s no more chasing going on. It’s a Let Go, Let G-d scenario.

So, what I’m trying to do is bring on that kind of consciousness with the concept of Let Go, Let G-d, and not have to chase. On a basic level of tools to use, one way to do this is to release the anxiety of the chase by giving it back to G-d.  We can say, “I can’t do this, so I’ll let G-d do it. I’ll let G-d take care of my need for chasing, control and approval. I give all that back to G-d.”

There’s also a dynamic in life, based on physics, demonstrating that the more I chase, the more people run away from me.  I am the once chasing in this picture. If I am not the one chasing, then others begin to do so.

Part of this whole dynamic of Let Go, Let G-d is to really be able to bring G-d into your life. We do this by understanding that the more we get out of the way, the more G-d can get involved and do things for us.

The opposite is also true. The more we say, “I got this, G-d. I can take care of it…” the more G-d will not be involved. We have to move in the general direction of not chasing, and of letting G-d organize things instead.

One aspect of this is equanimity. It’s to be able to say, “Whatever G-d sends me, good or bad, that’s the best thing for me.” We discussed this in our last MMM, last week, with the idea of Perfect-As-Is. What we’re talking about now is the other side of the coin. Even in the imperfection it’s all perfect, and whether it’s perfect or not I’m just going to let G-d take care of it. I’m going to trust in that.

I’m going to radically accept life and G-d, and see how life will play itself out in that way. It’s the key to getting back to the Garden of Eden, to the I and Thou relationship. We need to get back to that garden, by maximizing my “I,” meaning, in my life I’ve fully developed the essence of who I am, and also the “Thou,” meaning G-d is completely in charge of my life.

This is the same dynamic that balances Shabbat and the weekdays. Shabbat is a day for “Thou,” when G-d is doing everything to me and through me, whereas on the weekdays our perspective is “I.” The blinders are placed back on me for the rest of the week and I feel everything is all dependent on me. Next Shabbat, I remember it’s actually G-d doing everything through me.

So, there’s this constant tension, this constant dynamic to balance our perspective. The Arizal talks about a type meditation to bring this about, to channel G-d into my life and to do things with me.  It’s called the Merkava Meditation.

This idea is extremely important, because whatever I do, whatever senses I realize, G-d’s character traits are doing it through me. This consciousness, this outlook I’m calling Let Go, Let G-d, can seriously bring G-d into your life. It can bring miracles, goodness, and healing into your life, the more you bring G-d into your life. It brings all kind of positivity into your life.

The more you Let Go and Let G-d, the more you make room for G-d in your life and the less you have to chase. The more you’re going with G-d, others may be inclined to chase you. We’re promised, when we do the will of G-d in the world, our work is sort of done for us.

The work of building our land, and our lives, the dirty work, all the other stuff will be done, to the extent we get ourselves out of the way. G-d says, “you guys are royalty because you have made me the king of your life.”

When we choose to make G-d the king of our lives, we know that kings have respect and he doesn’t do the dirty work. A king doesn’t do the menial labor. A king is someone who has other people do things for him. So, that’s part of the Let Go, Let G-d dynamics as well.

Even with something as simple and yet as difficult as making a living, to the extent we can Let Go and Let God, we can expend less effort in making our living in the world, the money, the food, all our needs. It’s because we have an outlook causing our reality to let G-d take care of things.

G-d may be saying “You really believe that? You really hold by that? If so I’ll do it for you. But, if you’re just saying you’ll do it, and you’re not really holding by that, it will catch up with you.”

We can grow, and get better and higher in our ability to Let Go, Let G-d, too. This is a recipe for higher consciousness, and a recipe for bringing the whole world into Messianic consciousness, where we are all moving now.

May it happen soon in our days!

Weekly MMM – Perfect-As-Is

The MMM theme this week is Perfect-As-Is, which is a perspective based on the fundamental Jewish belief that nothing bad comes from G-d.

And by extension, whatever comes from G-d is also personalized for us, even though it doesn’t seem to be, and it’s the best possible thing for us. That concept requires a huge leap of faith for every human being in this universe. But it’s what faith is all about, really. It’s the ultimate challenge of Emunah, of faith.

We may not understand all the challenges that come our way, but we can learn to embrace them, to accept them without understanding, just believing. When we begin to actually believe and move in the direction of accepting that whatever comes to me, every day of my life, is the best possible thing for me, then my mantra is Perfect-As-Is.

This doesn’t mean that things couldn’t be better or easier in our lives… if only this or if only that. No, there are no woulds or coulds or shoulds in this way of looking at G-d and at life. There is simply what IS, and that what IS is perfect as-is, meaning it’s a long way from imperfect.

Grasping to understand the idea of perfect is something that, by nature, will bring up all the imperfections. That’s just the way it works. So, what we are doing, therefore, is connecting to our imperfections, and we’re saying, “if it’s coming from G-d, it’s perfect.”

When we’re able to do that, we can begin to engage in a very intimate relationship with G-d. Essentially, we’re saying to G-d, “whatever you send my way I think is coming from you, and I say it’s perfect.”

And G-d relates to us in a reflective way as well. And whatever we send back to G-d we understand he will accept, just as we accept what G-d sends our way. Our relationship with G-d becomes an above-nature, as a result, and goes beyond what we deserve.

This relationship, one with feedback from G-d, so to speak, is also very healing. Personally, I find it easier to bring up the hard stuff, all the way to the surface where I can examine it. It’s like being my own therapist. When I can see my own stuff, I can accept it and embrace it, even if I don’t understand it. Once it’s brought up to the surface I’ll eventually take care of it.

That’s where the paradox of Perfect-As-Is comes in. We say it in order to escape the paralysis of not being able to process our lives. Our repressed feelings and fears can paralyze us, until we bring them to the surface and get a clear vision of how to fix them. It works, if we take the time to do it.

So, it’s a wanting of what IS in life. It’s a joining of the higher self and the lower self. It’s a place where we are able to step out of fear of whatever comes our way. It’s the opposite of that fear. It’s the road that can lead to true ecstasy and paradise by embracing everything that comes our way.

When we can do that, I believe we connect to what our Patriarchs and Matriarchs connected to, as we read in the weekly Torah portions… they never missed a day in facing everything that came their way and elevating it. It’s because they saw it all as coming from G-d, so that’s what they wanted. They wanted what IS, not could be or should be or might happen. They were fully present.

This is the key to mindfulness – incredible presence. This is the key to transcendent living, in a nutshell. You might say it’s the secret Jewish code.

It’s what the great sage, Nachum Ish Gamcu, said, “This, too, is for the best.” He said it about everything, and because of it he became schooled in bringing down miracles in this world. He completely it, and we can, too, by subscribing to the idea of Perfect-As-Is.

So, that’s our goal, and that’s our MMM for the week and the direction we’re going in. It’s certainly a long-term goal of consciousness for me, a key to extraordinary, providential living, a key to complete self-expression and a key to seeing G-d revealed where he’s normally not found.

Weekly MMM – Rosh Hashana

Shofar Blowing on Rosh Hashana

Here are some of things I want to explore on Rosh Hashana:

Rosh Hashana is a judgment day unlike any other judgment day, because we dress in white instead of black, we eat apples and honey for sweetness, and we are experiencing a mixture of fear and love at the same time. We trust that it will all work out and that the King, the Judge, forgives us in the end. We are closer to the Judge during this time, more than any other time of the year.

So, it’s not simply a message of judgment, but also a much deeper message. You could say that G-d is making an inventory of everybody and everything in his world, and where they are, how they are fitting in to the plan. G-d wants to recreate the world, so he needs to assess who has a part in the plan now.

If who you are and who you have been makes you a good fit for the “new company,” which is the world as it’s being created. If not, there will be problems.

So, first, we need to come into Rosh Hashana and realize who we are and how we fit into G-d’s new world. We want to be partners with G-d in his new world.

Second, we need to understand that Rosh Hashana is a day of conception of the whole year. It could be described as “spiritual genetic engineering,” because we are literally being conceived anew, like a child being conceived by a man and a woman.

The lasting influence on a child, from the night it was conceived, endures throughout its lifetime. The time of conception has more influence than anything else in a child’s life, including the education, care and all other influences.

That’s what is happening for us on Rosh Hashana. We are conceiving our year on that day. So, our mood, our intentions, our plan, our vision, our clarity, our mission and our connection to G-d on that day is critical. It is the most important time because everything else will follow the beginning. The way we begin things is usually the way it plays out. When we begin a day in a good mood, thanking G-d and going with it, our whole day is affected.

And our whole year goes like that, too, when we begin our year in that fashion. It’s very important to begin the year in a very positive and very meaningful way.

It’s important to remember that we are not the ones doing the judging. G-d is doing the judging on Rosh Hashana. Don’t think that you have to get the prayers right or you have to feel a certain way at a certain time, despite interruptions in the services, when the shofar is blowing or any other time… Who knows what’s really happening for you? G-d’s eyes are not our eyes.

It might be that you had to get up in the middle of the night to change diapers or soothe a crying child, and those are the things that set the course for a great year for you this year. We don’t know any of that. We just need to go with the belief that G-d is judging us, and we are not judging ourselves or others.

Of course, there are ways we can sweeten-up the judgment. We can start by not judging others harshly, so that, measure-for-measure G-d will not judge us harshly.

And we can work on judging ourselves. If we take care of it, G-d won’t have to take care of it for us. We can judge ourselves by seeing who we are, what we are doing and where we want to go.

As our Sages tell us, we will be written in one of three books on Rosh Hashana. We can write ourselves into the book of the righteous, the book of the living or the book of the good. Or, we can write ourselves into the “middle way.” We are the ones doing the writing, because G-d has said, “You choose where you want to go.”

We need to come into Rosh Hashana with clarity on our choice as well. The ten days of Teshuva between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are the days we are closest to G-d, more than any other time of year. That’s a significant difference between Rosh Hashana and every other time of year, because normally we are not supposed to be close to a judge. A judge is supposed to be objective and not as close to us as possible.

But, G-d is different, so we, too, are different when we choose to take advantage of the time to be close, to talk to G-d and to listen. It’s also a good time to make radical changes in our lives, with the least amount of effort.  Think of it, once again, as conception – you can create a whole new you more easily in these days, pre, post and during Rosh Hashana. It’s easier during this time than any other time of year, and you can take it to a whole, new level. It’s a great time to accomplish this.

Also, this is the time to partner-up with G-d. It’s the time to figure out what you’re doing in your life, and then to say, “G-d, here I am. You and I are partners. What can I do with my talents to help further your rectification and healing of the world?”

Do that, and you’ll be infinitely inspired and empowered to do whatever you are called to do. Essentially, G-d says, “You do for me, I’ll do for you.” That’s what partnership is all about.

Rosh Hashana is also the day that Adam was created, the first day of Adam, so to speak. That makes it the perfect day to consider how we can get back to the Garden of Eden. Just as Adam was put to sleep and Eve was created from part of him, and Adam found her as a separate being, the same thing happens with us and G-d. We (humans) represent the female and G-d represents the male, and we come together like Adam and Eve.

We can see ourselves independently, and able to enter into a relationship, a partnership with G-d. The whole month of Tishrei is a courting process between us and the King.

It’s the time of Life, the book of Life is open and we have to appreciate what Life is all about, how precious it is, and how we need to dig down to find and see how every aspect of our lives is valuable.

Weekly MMM – Essence-ing

I call next week’s MMM “Essence-ing,” in English, and in a sort of casual way in Hebrew, “Pnim D’Pnim.” The idea is “the inner of the inner,” which is a concept I learned with my long-time mastermind partner many years ago.

Back when I was contemplating making the leap of faith required to leave my comfortable, secure home in Israel and travel to the United States to teach my stuff, I certainly needed courage and I also needed faith. But the most important thing I needed was actually Pnim D’Panim.

When I said, “I’ve never done this, I’ve never given classes in various cities. I’ve never prepared classes, advertised them and networked with people internationally, to get people to show up for my classes.” I’d never done any of it and I had no idea what I would be getting into.

How would I be able to stand up in front of a crowd and keep my mouth moving when I could barely catch my breath at the thought of speaking publicly? I had so many worries, and I honestly couldn’t sleep for a month before my first trip. So, my mastermind partner told me, “Yitzchak, what you have to do is go inside yourself and “essence,” for lack of a better word. You have to find the essence of who you are, and let it percolate or bubble up to the surface until it’s overflowing from you.

“To the extent you do that, you ‘essencize’ your life, and you find out who you are and what you have that’s unique, and come to an understanding of what you can give to other people that they cannot get from anybody else. And the deeper you go, the more passionately you go into this mind-state of consciousness, the less you’ll have to make any kind of efforts at all during your American tour. D

“Doors will be opened for you by G-d, the way the Red Sea was opened up for the Jewish people when they needed it. Everyone is going to be on your side, to get involved, to introduce you, to work for you, and to help you create connections with lots of people. You’ll have everything it takes to make it happen.

“G-d will give you the courage, the confidence and the words, but it all depends on how much you go into the essence of who you are.”

So, that’s how I was introduced to this concept of Pnim D’Panim. Now, let’s jump back into the present, when we’re very close to beginning a new year.  Every year at this time I try to review all the highlights of my life, which for me, personally, prepares me and and “essences” me. It lights up my inner light, more than anything. I can clearly see that I’m much more of a human being than I thought, as I recall various parts of my past year while they are percolating through my mind.

The more I’ve seen lost parts of myself coming to the surface and into my awareness, the more I sense the world is meant to connect with me. The people in different parts of time, space and soul are reaching out, seemingly out of nowhere, to ask, “Hey, are you the Kabbalist Rabbi who helps people understand a million weird things, meaning whatever comes up in their minds?”

Questions like that one come up because the deeper a person goes inside, the more they will experience people and opportunities embrace them and chase them down, sort of like teenagers chasing after the Beatles in the early 1960s. It has that power because we are microcosmic beings, and the deeper we go inside ourselves, the more we wake up the world around us, especially the things that correlate to the deepest parts of ourselves.

And that is Pnim D’Panim. What can you do to get it? First, you have to see who you are and what your calling is in life, and hopefully be able to synthesize your core essence into a concept or a word. For example, “a transcender, a giver, a fixer, “ or whatever your word may be. When you have it, you can walk with your word, and make decisions from it, and speak from that place, that “identity word” of who you are. That is “essencizing.”

And you have what you need to blow past all the pettiness of life and get down to the core of it. People are going to feel that from you, and it will allow you to break through walls. When we speak from our hearts and souls it opens other people’s hearts and souls, too.  When we speak from our essence, then me can “essencize” other people as well.

You have to find out who you are by studying your life, seeing the highlights of your life and what you are yearning for, what you really desire. What do you excel in and what are you struggling for? What MUST you have in your life? These are the questions that lead you to your essence point, and the answers will be provided as long as you’re receptive enough to hear them. Your answers are available 24/7 if you’re asking the right questions.

Go straight to the source and ask G-d your questions. Once you do that, you’ll give birth to your “essence personality,” and it will light up your way in your soul family, your people, in ways you never thought possible. And all this will happen without your personal, concerted effort. It’s unfamiliar to people who are living in the natural world instead of their own essence.

I’m referring to a concept that’s extra-ordinary and super-natural, which is – the deeper you go inside, the more the outside stuff is taken care of for you. So, that’s the challenge, and my MMM for this week. I’m curious where it will take me, where I’m going to take it, and who else is going to jump on board.

 

 

 

Weekly MMM – Parsha Re’eh

This will be the MMM for Parsha Re’eh this week, and the topic is Integrating the Lower Self, or the Lower Soul. This is a topic that really interests me, because most people are completely ignorant of it and suffer as a result of their ignorance of it. They simply don’t know how to integrate their Lower Soul into their lives.

The Lower Self, Lower Soul or Animal Soul… which is not the same as the Evil Inclination, not at all… but it is part of us which often takes over to sabotage us at the wrong moment. It can impair us in a negative way, or it can empower us in a positive way.

The source of the Lower Soul in Kabbalistic works is called The Left Side of the Heart or The Animal Soul. It’s associated with the original mix-up with the Tree of Good and Evil. It’s associated with Esav, the twin brother of Yaakov, and the Esau/Esav energy of unharnessed chaos, in a way.

When properly processed however, this part of ourselves becomes a great point of life force and empowerment. We have to integrate it, and it’s dangerous stuff because we can easily take it too far.

In a conversation with a friend of mine who is a Hollywood script writer, we discovered that he does not refrain from talking about the dark parts of himself because it gives him the creative edge needed in his business. The more he does it, the more his works become brilliant.

To bring this idea back to the Jewish sources, it’s like this – King David, at the end of his life, could not physically maintain warmth. So, after searching the Land of Israel, the most beautiful girl was found, and she was hired to lie beside him to keep him warm.

The meaning of “not being warm” in King David’s expression was, “libieb chalal bekirei” which translates as, “my heart is void inside of me,” and means that he had no desire for lower-soul stuff any more. It means he was complete and had no need for it, so that caused the situation he experienced at the end of his life, his inability to literally and figuratively warm himself up.

The body heat and the spiritual heat that warms people up is that Lower Self, that Animal Self, that stuff that’s coming from the Left Side of the Heart. King David didn’t have it, toward the end of his life, and he needed help to get warm, literally.

Moses, at the age of 120, right before he died, was completely lucid. And he said, “I can no longer go in and come out anymore,” which means he didn’t experience ups and downs any more. That Lower Soul is responsible for knocking us down so we have to climb up and reach a higher place. Moses didn’t have that responsibility any longer. He was not no longer a warrior and he didn’t belong in this life anymore because he had completed the job.

So, that lower part of ourselves, that Animal Self, is actually the part that keeps the life force alive. So, what we need to do to get to that part, to connect with it, and there are several different ways to do that.  One of the ways to connect with that part is to clean it, clear it, and purge it.

We need to give it a voice. People who do Transcendental Meditation say a non-sensical mantra so that the mind will “sweat out” all of these lower soul thoughts, so that they are not just repressed there. They get processed, and that’s what keeps them calm during the day.

Debbie Ford, one of the original new age writers, wrote about the dark side of ourselves in a book called The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. The wrote about what she called a “shadow world.” We have many parts inside of ourselves, character traits which are not flattering and we’d never want written on our tombstone. We’d never want to become famous for them or have them written on our CD.

We may be lazy or jealous or just looking for a good time. Those are just some examples, and what we have to do is find our own character traits and bring them to the surface, so that we can make a deal with them, we can say, “ok, I’ll let you be a part of my conscious world if you don’t mess me around too much, and if you don’t steer me wrong.”

When we do that, we are able to integrate. Then we generate and ignite those parts of ourselves that, if we didn’t allow them to come to the surface in a healthy, sane way, they would derail us. They would sabotage us, at all the wrong times and in all the wrong ways. So, that’s another way to get to them.

Yet another way to get to them is to know how to mix them, to mix the strong parts with the weak parts, the holy parts with the not-so-holy parts.  We can learn to unify them in a way which is healthy.

One way to do that is to look into our mind, which is what the Baal Shem Tov used to do. When we’re involved in a holy space, such as prayer or learning or something like them, we need to look at the thoughts coming to us. There are a lot of lower-self thoughts coming to us, saying, “raise me up!”

Some people are encouraged to go around, because it’s too dangerous to deal with the thoughts. But another approach is to say, “take those things and elevate them, to put them in the service of G-d.”

Instead of wanting to strong-arm people, be a warrior for G-d. It’s that kind of a work that we do.

Even in time management, we can process these things. We can take the Higher Self, which is what we should do, and the Lower Self is what we would do if we could, and we blend those together. We take the woulds and the coulds and, and scoring them on a scale of 1 – 10, and then looking at the combination of them and making it our priority.

Whatever scores a 10 on the woulds and coulds in my life is the first thing I’m going to do. It’s the most important thing, and the ones scoring 9 and less, are less important to me.

We can look at these lower parts of ourselves and rather than completely focusing on them, we can look at the positive side and try to bring that out to be the dominant side. We can mesh them together to achieve harmony in our lives.

We can look at the Esav side of ourselves, this animal energy we have, and if we can possibly put it into proper vessels, then we have harnessed the animal energy for holy purposes.

There’s a lot more to talk about on this topic, but that’s it for now.

Weekly MMM – Parsha Eikev

The MMM theme for the week of Parsha Eikev is connection. Here’s a list of the things I want to share in my connection-themed MMM:

  • The whole concept of connection or connecting, in Kabbalistic literature, is the juxtaposition of two Sephirotic aspects, one of which is always the source of all activation, movement and vitality. Everything is either a connection or a disconnection. Connections in Kabbalah are called “chasadim,” and disconnections are referred to as “gevurot.”

These are the universal activators of life, opposite of each other. Chasadim connect, and they are associated with water, and gevurot disconnect, and they are associated with fire. Many more parallel aspects exist, but I won’t deal with them right now.

  • Another source of connection is the unification of the broken vessels of the world. Right now, we are in a 45-day period of time, from Tisha B’Av until the 25th of Elul, the day commemorating the creation of the world. Forty-five is the Kabbalistic code name for Tikkun, or rectification.

 

Connecting, then, is rectifying. And disconnecting is breaking, which is the opposite of rectifying.

 

  • A Messianic consciousness source for connecting can be seen by understanding that a human being is a microcosm, created in the image of G-d. A microcosm is a brilliant mechanism of connection, and interconnection. Man as a microcosm, or a small world, is connected with the past, the present and the future. We are connected with all people in the world, all consciousnesses of the world, and with all aspects of life, if we know how to press the right buttons to connect.

 

  • A Garden of Eden source for connecting comes from the Fall from the Garden. While the Fall created disconnection and duality, such as light and dark, life and death, anything and it’s opposite. The connecting aspect, the way we get back into the Garden, is by getting into the oneness. This is what will happen when we get into the Messianic period.

 

  • A Cycle of Life source for connecting comes from time, which does not exist in a vacuum, but in brilliant interconnections. For example, the weekdays are connected with the Sabbath, which is connected with the next weekdays. Rosh Hashana, the New Year, is connected to the whole year, in fact there’s an intimate connection. Our lives are connected to the post life; it’s all going to be reflected in that way. Our present life is connected to our past life and our future life as well.

 

These are Cycle of Life connections. The more we connect them, the more we can tap into the healing potential of making connections, which is what it’s all about.

 

  • A Bashert source for connecting is available in our relationships. Bashert means “meant for each other,” and it comes from historical connections we’ve had with each other, root soul connections. When we discover those connections and actualize them, then we can live in a win-win relationship, or a bliss-bliss relationship where we are completely receptive to each other.

You could say we complete each other, we are each other’s soulmate or soul sibling, and we turn the “me” into a “we.” That’s the greater possibility for connecting in relationships.

  • A Me/Myself source for connecting is often called, “finding your calling.” We find our calling in life with what we most resonate with when we’re “in the zone.” Or, we find the most difficult thing in our lives and endeavor to take care of it. We can project how we will take care of it by finding our inner voice and by going down a path towards actualizing ourselves. That’s what we call, “connecting to myself.”

 

  • A Faith in G-d source for connecting is when we have faith and trust in G-d, and when we see G-d’s hand at work 24/7, in everything we do in life. It’s available by connecting our will to G-d’s will, with our entire heart and soul and might.
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