generic meditations category
generic meditations category
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.
The MMM I hope to give over this week is Masculine and Feminine Paradigm. The reason why I’m choosing this topic is because besides being a very vital part of human life, especially in our time, to understand how to get it right, it’s also at play in the last two weeks of Sephirot Ha Omer.
This week is the week of Yesod, which is the basic male paradigm. And the final week is the week of Malchut, which is the female paradigm.
Since it’s naturally coming up, the way I’d like to share it here is to bring a little bit about Yesod, the male paradigm, and then go into a little bit about Malchut, the female paradigm, and then a little bit about how they actually connect together.
In a word, Yesod, the male paradigm is all about Allness, which is complete self-expression The Sephira is represented in the human body by the male organ. That part of the male body is not only a reproducer and pleasure giver, but it’s a coalescer. It brings together the Allness of the human body.
Similarly, the Yesod, the male paradigm, brings together the Allness, the representation of the idea of completeness, self-actualization. Allness means representing every part of the person.
In different words I call it Allness Living, which has to do with how you interact with others, how you interact with yourself and how you interact with Hashem. It’s with completeness, with totality. That naturally brings into the picture the male paradigm.
The last week is the receiving element, the female paradigm. In G-d’s great wisdom he deemed it necessary to come out that the Allness is parallel to the female sexual organ, which is receiving, as opposed to giving.
As opposed to Allness giving, it’s Allness receiving. It’s a completely self-less kind of receiving, which has the fundamentals, the Zohar teaches, but has nothing of her own, only what she receives from the male self.
The more the male shares his Allness, the more the female is filled-up with that Allness. She becomes impregnated with that Allness. That expresses itself, not only biologically but also Sephirotically, in all areas of life.
The way we believe in G-d, in all dual dynamics… the sun and the moon, the heavens and the earth, and G-d in us, all have this dynamic of Allness giving and Allness receiving.
They express themselves in coming together through different levels of harmony. There are higher levels of harmony and lower levels of harmony. And there are a lot of variations.
Kabbalah offers a few different examples. Here are a few of the Kabbalistic coming-togethers:
1) One is Chochmah and Binah, right and left brain.
2) The flash that’s received as a vision and the processing of that flash. That’s an offshoot of this masculine/feminine dimension. Basically, everything in life is sort of an offshoot of the masculine/feminine principle, we just have to be able to see and identify it.
3) Harmonizing the wisdom that’s coming to us, and the packaging of that wisdom.
4) Harmonizing connection with disconnection. Another way is saying yes and saying no. That’s the brining together the opposite parts of this universal duality.
5) Harmonizing the sun and the moon – the archetypes of steadiness and of change, which is what the moon is all about in its different phases.
6) Harmonizing the hidden and the revealed. Usually the masculine is more of a hidden element and the feminine is more of a revealed element, or a desire to bring things into revelation. The masculine desire is to keep things sort of in a hidden place, going back to their roots.
7) Harmonizing the right orientation with the left orientation.
8) Harmonizing outreach with in-reach.
9) Harmonizing fixing with being fixed.
10) Harmonizing lights with vessels.
11) Harmonizing expressing energy with containing energy.
12) Harmonizing giving with receiving.
13) Harmonizing compassion with strict justice.
All of these things in life are what is required for primal duality to become unity in the male and female dimensions.
This is just opening up the gates, and there will be a lot more to speak about.
For this week’s MMM I’m going to explore the soul, from the perspective of how it feels on the inside. Meaning, how we experience the soul, not intellectual definitions of the soul, not theory, but a description of the feeling level.
I’ll be drawing on the work of Rabbi Avraham Issac Kook, called The Lights of Holiness. He explains there are two kinds of people who experience the soul, the normal ones and the enlightened ones. I collected these ideas from Rabbi Kook, because he was the one who knows, and also knows how to explain it to us.
The first list applies to normal people (universal) and it is my own. I am qualified to provide it.
And the second list applies to the rare enlightened ones, which comes from Rav Kook, who is qualified to provide it. Rav Kook was a unique person, one of very few who could describe what it feels like to be enlightened as a human being.
Universal Soul Experiences
- a) when you do an extraordinary good deed and feel very good about it, or have overcome doing something wrong, and have a wonderful feeling of satisfaction
- b) when you feel guilt over doing something very wrong
- c) when you feel a very deep longing, and you sometimes don’t even know why
- d) when you suddenly feel that your life is not going in the right direction, and that you must change
- e) when you first wake up in the morning and you have a very strong feeling about yourself (good or bad) based on what you have or have not accomplished or become recently
- f) when you feel embarrassed about being exposed at doing things below your level
- g) when you feel a strong fear or intuition about losing or harming something precious to you
- h) when you feel a powerful drive or craving to attain a spiritual state of being such as wisdom, happiness, will-power, holiness, etc.
- i) when you feel all tingly inside when you exchange an expression of love with a beloved one, or anyone for that matter
- j) when you are in a situation of ‘do or die,’ and you feel an overpowering need to survive
- k) when you feel a need to perpetuate your unique teachings, insights and other spiritual contributions, to people now in your lifetime, and to others who will receive them after you pass on
- l) when you feel a strong desire to extend eternally and infinitely the most powerful of your spiritual experiences and accomplishments
Experiences of the Enlightened Ones (notes from Rav Kook’s writings)
- a) the inner Soul drive to know yourself and to react properly to your inner summons
- b) the inner Soul drive to become so clear and enlightened, that you know that a similar awakening of the masses is sure to follow
- c) the inner drive to purify and intensify all your intentions, until you see that most of your intentions manifest in reality
- d) the inner awakening and knowledge that the true experience of enlightenment is not something that you anticipate experiencing in the future, but rather, something you are constantly immersed in now
- e) the inner awareness that your unique essential self or Soul spark must be completely free to express itself with maximum originality and authenticity
- f) the inner drive to liberate your unique ability to create without any interference
- g) the inner wisdom to distinguish when to detach yourself from others, to strive for deeper enlightenment, and when to get involved with others, those who need you, though they be on a much lower spiritual level than you are
- h) the inner drive to be in a constant state of amazement and celebration of the Divine wonder that emanates all the time
- i) the inner consciousness of knowing that all there is, is in a state of continual becoming
- j) the inner concern for the well-being of the whole Universe and everyone in it and everyone that you personally encounter
It’s a powerful idea to consider what it feels like to experience the soul. Everybody is talking about the Soul, but we don’t really stop to consider the feelings associated with it. This is my attempt to make these feelings real.
What I’d like focus on this week for our MMM is what I call Newness.
This week we enter into a new time zone. It’s the Spring celebration of the creation of the world, which parallels the Fall celebration we call Rosh Hashana. The Spring celebration occurs on Adar 25, which is a creation day. That’s definitely Newness.
And next Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh Nisan, the beginning of the month of Nisan. And, as Torah describes, it, this is THE New Beginning, as there are ten crowns, or ten things that began on this day in the past. The service of the Temple and selection of the Kohen, for two examples.
It’s also the beginning of the New Year of Months, the first of 12 months of the new year. The word “chodesh” corresponds to the word “kiddush” in Hebrew. It’s a chief renewal time of year, a Newness time of the year.
It’s a time of Chesed. There are 72 days between the the 25th of Adar until Shavuot, so it’s a period of time which corresponds to pure abundance and goodness, of free, effortless Chesed. It’s a type of Newness which comes without our own efforts; it’s just there for the receiving, if you choose to receive it.
It’s a Newness which is always characterized by Spring, because when Spring comes in it allows us to try out new things. It’s a time of birthing, of renewal and Newness.
Newness is a synonym for the word “beginning.” And beginning informs us about a lot of spiritual powers that are available in this particular time of year. I think the unique aspect of beginning is this – when G-d creates something, in the world, in Torah, in anything, G-d already has the end established in the beginning.
So, when G-d created the world, he saw what the end would be, from the very beginning. The Newness power of the beginning reveals the end, and unravels a whole path for us to go there.
Also, everything goes after the beginning. If you have a strong beginning of a day, of a year, of a relationship, or whatever it may be, that strong beginning will determine the continuation of the process you’re going through.
One of the explanations for the Hebrew people coming out of Eqypt was the beginning. It was the beginning of a nation, of the Jewish people, and it happened so quickly they didn’t even have time to let their dough rise. That’s why we eat unleavened matzot that doesn’t rise.
In order to facilitate a beginning, we needed something detached from time, something extra-ordinary or supernatural so that our whole identity as a nation would be above-nature. Also we have a beginning that’s a core point, one that motivates everything else we do.
Since G-d looked into the Torah and created the world, Torah is the inner code of life, all the wisdom of life and all that happens in life. The more you go back to the beginning, the more all-inclusive that beginning is. Inside of Bereshit, the “in the beginning” first parsha, first verse and first word, everything else that follows is inter-included within it. That shows the power of beginning as well.
The beginning is also something that determines the way you will act throughout the rest of the process. When you jump out of bed saying, “thank you, Hashem,” you’re going to have a happy, “thank you, Hashem,” kind of day. Or, you can have the opposite, if that’s what you choose.
A beginning may tend to make things difficult, too, which is probably designed to get us to leave our comfort zones and lead us into a higher place. And a beginning is an entranceway, a portal to “beyondness,” a place of transcendence, a place we’re never been. That’s the power of beginnings as well.
These are some of the ideas for my Newness MMM, hopefully we’ll start this week.