generic meditations category
generic meditations category
I’m going to look at some of the tools we can use for the upcoming holiday of Purim. The first one involves Megillat Esther, which literally means the book we read on Purim, the Book of Esther.
But, like everything else on Purim, you’ve got one thing on the surface, and one thing that’s deeper, beneath the surface. Even the meaning of the word Megillah indicates a revelation. Megillah means “revealed,” and Esther means “hidden,” so put together they identify the revelation of what is hidden.
Revelation of what’s hidden is a common theme for the holiday of Purim, which asks us to reveal every hidden aspect of our lives. It sets up that challenge in our lives. Some of these manifestations that come about on Purim are:
- We drink wine or alcohol, and once we drink, it serves as sort of a “truth serum,” and that which is hidden inside us, comes out. The numerical value of the Hebrew word for wine is the same as the Hebrew word for secret. So, we have to drink to bring out that hidden part of ourselves.
- And, further, we are supposed to drink until we don’t even know anymore, meaning we drink until we get to the point of knowing we know that we don’t know. And that’s a big revelation.
Essentially, we get to the point where we know so much, we finally know what we don’t know. That’s discovery of the “not knowing,” which is a very high and revelatory state of being.
- We get to a place where, because we are tapping into such high energy, we are in a state of pure trust with G-d, and anyone who reaches out their hand for a donation, to receive charity, we just give it to them. We don’t make an investigation into their motives, whether they are worthy or not, like we do the rest of the year. On Purim we simply trust, and we tap into this pure trust in Divine Providence, and we reach out for that.
- By extension, we can ask for anything from G-d and he will give it to us as well. We can give unconditionally to others as G-d gives to us. That is another one of the “revealing the hidden” customs of Purim.
- What seemed to be a certain, horrible fate, even a holocaust, that would be happening to the Jewish people at that time, and all kinds of nasty scenarios that would have happened to us actually happened to our enemies. Which shows that Purim is a time when exactly the opposite of what we think will happen is what will happen. This is the source of a lot of the irony and turn-arounds and humor that happens on Purim, meaning what happens is exactly the opposite of what was expected to happen.
All of the Hebrew names of the months of the year are different permutations of the Divine four-letter name, and represents what level of Divine Providence is going to happen on that level. But Purim is almost exactly the opposite; it’s backwards. Meaning, it’s looks to be upside down and backwards, but it’s actually revealing the highest light. And that’s a revealing of the hidden as well.
- Our arch-enemy is Amalek, who represents the understanding of the hiddenness, and blinding us to revealing the hidden. Amalek represents happenstance, and in the various places he’s mentioned it Torah he represents doubt, coldness, the opposite of passion. He represents the exact opposite of what true revelation elicits, meaning nothing is happenstance and there is no doubt, and that there is passion in all our lives. That’s how we fight off the spiritual and physical arch enemy of ours.
- Purim is the day when we reveal a very, very high, Divine level of Sefirotic energy called Atik Yomim, the Ancient of Days. It’s the same kind of energy that came down when we crossed the Red Sea. When we make a choice to act miraculous, like a mirror’s reflection, G-d acts the same way, and does miracles for us. He parts the Red Sea and he does the Purim miracles. And that energy is available for us now, too. That’s what Queen Esther meant when she said, “If I die, I die, if I’m lost, I’m lost.” And then she went in there and made miracles happen. This shows Purim as a miracle-making time as well.
- Purim is a time for wearing masks, which is a revelation in that the mask represents the hiding of your true self. We want to get to the understanding that all of life is sort of a hiding, and on Purim, by tapping into the hiding we are tapping into our real selves as well.
- It’s a holiday that never stops. While other holidays may change in the future, but the eternal holiday of Purim will never stop, because of the depth of this revealing of hiddenness. The whole month of Adar, the month we’re in right now, is a month which increases in joy, until it reaches a crescendo on the day of Purim. In any way we can we have to find ways to be happy and to have joy, and to find laughter as well.
These are some of the things we are meant to tap into, try to understand and to incorporate into our life on Purim, and all year long.
This week’s MMM hearkens back to some of my earlier work. I call it My Legacy, and it’s about leaving a spiritual will of sorts, a collection of my most important life lessons. I’m going to present a few subtopics for you now, starting with my Rebbes, Masters and Teachers. This is about the essential points I got from them and that I want to leave to posterity.
- First is the Kotsk Rebbe, and what I learned from him is truth; speaking truth, intending truth, feeling truth and acting with truth, and the power of doing those things.
- Next is the Slonimer Rebbe, and his Sefer Netivot Shalom. What I learned and still learn from him is connection to G-d, devekut, and the foundations of Chasidut, including finding your calling in life.
- Next is the Baal Shem Tov, and what I learned from him is connecting to G-d in all aspects of life, 24/7.
- Next is Rab Yitzchak Bracha, and what I learned from him is how to be inside of Torah, 24/7. It’s the cure-all for everything, meaning never to leave Torah and to live inside that world to reap the benefits of living above nature.
- Next is Rav Schmuel Darzi, and what I learned from him is how to be a spiritual warrior, in every sense of the word.
- Next is a person who is still alive and well, and that’s Rav Yehuda Scheinfeld, and what I learned from him is how to be an individual in a world of followers. I learned to do my own thing in a holy kind of way.
- The next is also a person who is still alive and well, and that’s Rabbi Aryeh Nivin, and what I learned from him is how to amass from all that I learn and gather and create a huge database of knowledge to draw from my entire life. Another central lesson I learned from him is to live a life of Paradise by “paradising” my life all the time. And yet another lesson I learned from him is how to connect with my Ratzon, connect with my will, and to live life according to it. In conjunction with this lesson is the idea of Pnim d’Pnim, to live according to my essence.
- Next is the Saba of Nevordik, and what I learned from him is how to make changes by being radical, or what I call, “radical change living.”
- And the final one is also a person, a friend of mine who is alive and well, and what I learned from him involves looking into a Kabbalistic or Chassidic book and finding the practical, life application from what’s presented in an abstract way.
Those are my mentors, and that’s one category of my legacy. Here’s another list now, and this one is in the category of G-d connection. My legacies in this category will be:
- Paradising my life.
- Wanting what is, as opposed to what isn’t.
- Saying Thank You.
- Let go, let G-d.
- Seeing life with the eyes of G-d, including past, present and future, all at the same time.
- Being guided by G-d, through an analysis of the highlights of my life.
- Seeing other humans as puppets or messengers of G-d in my life.
- When I can’t do it, I need to give it over to G-d.
- The experience of praying and studying at midnight, and the G-d connection there.
- Trusting that G-d will always come through.
- Choosing to have radical acceptance.
I should mention that MMM, my Mystical Musical Meditations, fit into all these subcategories, but especially in another area, what I call the Transcendent or Transcendings area of life.
- I endeavor to live each week entirely inside of one theme, and to draw as much energy as possible from that theme.
- I also endeavor to live consciousness, meaning seeing and experiencing life with a certain outlook, 24/7, any particular week.
- I also endeavor to live outside the system of professionals, such as doctors, bankers, etc. The point is to first see what I can do on my own, with G-d of course, before going to other people and trusting them, which isn’t always such a good idea.
- I also endeavor to live in an “above-nature” way. That’s one of my Transcending tools, too.
- I also endeavor to say YES to life at all times, and also the flipside of that, which is saying NO to the NOs. To those who say NO, I say NO to their NOs.
MMM also fits into the following subcategories in the area of Healing. MMM is always about healing.
- I am a person who endeavors to affect other people in the world, microcosmically and macrocosmically, even though I don’t have a direct connection with them. And even without a direct connection with them, I have an intention for the healing of people in other places, at other times.
- I endeavor to be G-d’s messenger to heal the world, by bringing healing into life applications, meditations, teachings and tools.
- I endeavor to be a healer who can convey the idea that we, the people who trust G-d, are invincible. And, as a result, we can create resolutions that are invincible.
- I endeavor to be a healer by purging, a form of Transcendental Meditation, which helps us to get all the stuff out, one way or another, and then going to work.
- I endeavor to follow in the footsteps of my namesake, Yitzchak, which means, “he will laugh,” and help people break the chains holding them back, no matter what their situation may be.
MMM also fits into the following subcategories of Torah and Education. MMM is a unique type of Torah teaching.
- I endeavor to dive into a Torah concept and immerse myself in it, instead of merely touching it and having a left-brain, intellectual analysis of it.
- I endeavor to share innovative, new ways of approaching learning.
- I endeavor to be a Torah person, inside of it, immersed in it, to the point that Torah will dissolve any obstacle that may be in my way.
- I endeavor to see Torah in life, 24/7, and knowing that Torah is in exile, redeeming it and bringing it back to its pristine home.
- I endeavor to bring Torah into tools and into life applications.
- I endeavor to know what I know, by constantly reviewing it and by teaching from that place of power.
- I endeavor to first use my head, and then look at what the Torah commentaries say.
- I endeavor to go deep into any Torah concept, first learning it and then plummeting to the depths of it.
MMM also fits into the following subcategories of Self-Actualizing.
- I endeavor to be a cafeteria-type person who can learn from everybody in my life, everyone I connect with and everything I connect with. Life is full of millions of teachers to teach me.
- I endeavor to be my own target audience, instead of looking for certain demographics. I play to myself and teach to myself before I’m prepared to affect others in the right way.
- I endeavor to live in a place of Allness, not losing a drop and making a collection of everything I do, then using and analyzing that.
- I endeavor to put myself on effortless, automatic functioning by having a To-Do list and then letting it go.
- I endeavor to have a spider chart, which means using my associative mind for an idea, and then bringing in all possible associated ideas.
- I endeavor to find, in a social setting, that the people outside of me are also inside of me.
Those are some of my legacies.
This week’s MMM topic is Knowing. I’ve tackled this topic before, but now, G-d willing, I’m sharing some new insights to explore over the next couple weeks.
I won’t be limited to the Kabbalistic definition of Knowing, which is Daat. But, it serves as one of the most fundamental aspects for humans. With Daat, we have everything. Without Daat, we have nothing.
With Daat, we have everything… the proper kind of righteousness, the proper kind of speech, the proper kind of essence of a human being, the intrinsic, soulful, time-transcendent truth and calling and mission available to us with that kind of knowing. And without it, we are missing all of those things, and we’re inviting into our lives all kinds of negativity, pain and suffering.
So, we have to explore what that aspect of Knowing is all about, and how to acquire it. Sometimes it just requires being quiet enough and silent enough inside in order to hear what you already know.
I think my own definition of Knowing is referring to a feeling we have inside. It’s almost impossible to explain, but it’s just something I know. We have to resonate with that, and make it come alive in our lives, and apply it and use it. We have to identify it first, of course. In a way, we are all moving toward this kind of Knowing, and it takes all aspects of living to a much higher level.
It takes us to a level of understanding people. What we know about another person comes from what we know about ourselves. We look inside ourselves and then we’re able to know what someone else is all about.
This is what Moses was doing, even though he had a higher level of Knowing because he was an Oversoul; his was a soul that contained all the other souls, too. But we can do it to some extent, too. When we plug into people in our lives and what we know about them, then we can relate to them in a much better way.
Adam knew Eve, meaning that he knew her in a way that she knew him, a way that cut through all the externalities. It was sort of a “full disclosure” kind of thing, and that’s what Knowing is all about as well.
Knowing is something that will tell you what you’re here for, and what G-d is asking from you. It will tell you about what your mission is, and what your calling is, what business you’re here in this world to achieve, what strengths you are here to apply and to help others in this world.
A good Knowing will tell you about the times we’re living in, whether it’s a weekday, Shabbat or other holiday, a season, a year or time of year. You’ll know the energies of each time with a deeper knowing, and how to utilize them.
Knowing is a blend of knowing yourself and knowing G-d’s will. It’s an I and Thou kind of Knowing, which will invite Paradise into your life. It will bring a sort of Garden of Eden into your life. Really, what Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden for doing was failing to have the I and Thou perspective completely. There was disharmony because they began to have too much I and not enough Thou.
Knowing is what you need in order to have mindfulness, and to live a mindful, meditative life, to focus on and embrace whatever is in front of you right now, as opposed to lacking focus and being distracted by the past or the future.
Knowing is a ticket to truth, to knowing the truth of any situation. We want to be able to plug into that. Knowing is a transcendental state. It’s diving into a consciousness which can open up doors of perception in your life, like nothing else.
Knowing is trusting life and G-d, it’s trusting there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s trust that, but also opening up closed doors.
Knowing is seeing beyond your physical senses; it’s using your spiritual senses, which can definitely open up new doors and transcendental perspectives.
It’s a fascinating consciousness, and so that’s what we’ll be exploring this week, G-d willing.
Our next MMM covers a well-worn but very important topic in Jewish Mysticism… and that’s the Holy Sparks.
I’d like to go through a few sources, and some of the practices that come out of these sources. Probably the earliest source of the idea of Holy Sparks is when the world went through the primordial breaking and breakdown, and the fixing of the breaking is accomplished through gathering lost lights that were scattered in the process of breaking.
We resonate in our lives with pieces of G-dliness that are presented to us in all the challenges and encounters we have. When we resonate and clarity our challenges, we bring the sparks back to our pristine home, inside of ourselves and inside of the world.
This is true on a micro level and on a macro level, as the world leans toward the rectification of the world by replacing the lost sparks into their place, where they came from originally. Practically speaking, on a macro level, the Jewish people were thrust across the globe for most of our history, and we gathered the lost sparks, which were converts that we inspired to return home, so to speak.
But it’s not just converts, it’s also ideas and energy and lost pieces of Torah that are exiled, and we help to redeem them as well. The Holy Sparks also have a place in reincarnation, meaning that every one of us comes back again and again, to continue to gather up more and more lost sparks. Sometimes we can feel what our unfinished business is by the smoothness or non-smoothness factor. We see what our personalities are struggling with and driven to take care of. That’s another aspect of the Holy Sparks.
And another aspect is to understand our calling, meaning what Hashem is calling you to do. We can understand that, similarly, by what you’re driven to do, and you may have a hard time doing it, but you have to keep on getting up and doing it again. Or, another way so see it is to recognize what we’re really, really good at and understand that other people need us to be good at it, too. We need to shine the light for others in our area of expertise.
The Baal Shem Tov talked about sparks, and that according to the quantity and quality of our belief in Divine Providence so, too, will Divine Providence believe in us and react to us, showing its magical world to us. If we really believe that G-d’s guiding us, then G-d will guide us. If you open up your eyes and check out the events of your life you’ll see how G-d is guiding you to do what needs to be done.
Sparks present themselves in the realm of eating, the whole eating ceremony where another type of spark needs to be raised up. Human beings in a netherworld, post-life, on the mineral, plant, animal and human levels, may get stuck. So, sometimes by just eating, or making the blessings at the right place and time, we can raise them to the next higher level, getting them out of the stuck place.
Sparks are found in the giving of the Torah, which happens in this week’s Parsha. At Mount Sinai, we got to a place where we transcended the whole need to raise sparks, which was Adam before the sin, and we got to the place where we could say, “we will do and we will hear,” which represents the willingness to embrace G-d, sight unseen. That’s probably the fastest and most powerful way of raising sparks.
Sparks are found in the 6-week period of Shovavim, from Parsha Shemot to Parsha Mishpatim. This is the time when we are trying to raise up the seed that was spilled by Adam in the 130 years during which he separated himself from Eve. We do that by doing things above and beyond the normal call, which has to do with more prayer, more learning, more fasts and more specific tikkunim. We raise a lot of sparks by doing these things as well.
This week, Tuesday and Wednesday, is Tu B’ishvat, the time our Sages tell us when the sap is rising in the trees. It’s sort of a Jewish Goundhog Day when Spring is being announced in an unseen way. But we know Spring is coming, and we know this means sparks. We can grasp it experientially by feeling the bubbling-up of unborn life in many forms, and we can plug into it.
And finally, in this collection of material on the topic of sparks, we can find sparks in the Sefirot. Another idea of the Baal Shem Tov is this – the Sefira of any kind of personality trait or any kind of situation we encounter in our lives can be used to raise sparks from a fallen state to an elevated state. As an example, fallen Gevurah, which is fear, unfounded fear, can be raised up into the courage to do G-d’s will. All of the Sefirot have fallen and elevated states. This is yet another way of raising up Holy Sparks.
So, that’s my collection of Holy Sparks ideas for now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.