Growing or free falling

meh.ro10549

7/29/2015

Growing or free falling

Moses was a man who asked to be blotted out from God’s book if God didn’t forgive his brother’s and sister’s sins. He lived for his people and was prepared to die for his people.

And at the end of the leader’s journey, Moses desired greatly to enter the land. And he prayed for it hundreds of times.

It doesn’t happen.

That doesn’t make sense because Moses is a hero of the Torah, if not The Hero. What kind of message is that from God to us?

Kabbalistically, desire that is manifest loses its powers.

Moses’s hidden deep gift to us is the blessings we haven’t yet received – the desire for the blessings we haven’t yet received.

The gift that Moses received for all of his prayers was the gift of pain from lack, and the gift of desire.

Moses’s gift to us, which we can connect to this Shabbat, is unfulfilled desire.

The greatest desire is unfulfilled desire as it assures that we will never be disconnected from the light of the Source.

How much pain am I experiencing right now about my lack of spiritual connection, wisdom and growth?

My connection is proportionate to the pain I feel from the lack of that connection.

I am growing or free falling.

So Moses’s constant prayers and desires manifested into the greatest possible gift to him and to us.

The gift of experiencing purpose in desire.

Understanding the deeper need for lack.

It is taught that every prayer cast and desire summoned is heard from the Source and accumulates and creates more light around us. The wise will not judge life’s circumstances and physical outcomes until they explore the hidden and more significant blessings contained.

Blessings,

Etan

Growing or free falling

Pre Shabbat Gift from a Brother |The Cure for Removing the Heaviness in life

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7/24/2015

Pre Shabbat Gift from a Brother |The Cure for Removing the Heaviness in life

My holy brother in Jerusalem, Rav Dror,  just shared a most powerful gift inspired by a gift he received from his Rav, Shalom Arush.

He also gave me a monster shout out (video below) which was a gift in of itself – and just lifted me to shamayim listening to it.

When a person forgets about the Source, at that moment he creates a husk around him.

A husk around him is a barrier, a curtain which blocks off his perception of the Source. So the world becomes more dark and fuzzy.

There is a cure for this condition – this condition of darkness and fuzziness.

The cure is called Teshuva.

Teshuva means to repair, to return to reality – to our true nature –  back to being able to see the Source of reality in your life.

Our destructive thoughts, actions and intentions create husks around this perception. It causes the Source to retract further from us. And life can seem darker.

And there’s a lot of space in this physical world with all the planets, stars and galaxies – and that’s just this world. Spiritually, there are worlds upon worlds beyond our world. So the Source has a lot of room to retract from our limited perception.

We want to see the Source at all times.

Doing teshuva is not connected to being religious – a person doesn’t have to be religious to do teshuva.

It’s a spiritual thing.

It just brings back the Source into your life. Increased clarity and purpose – perception of the blessings.

Here is how it works: It’s an apology that you forgot the Source in a situation – that you were arrogant enough to think that you can operate without Him. So you feel regret and confess – you can’t communicate without talking – and then accept upon yourself for the future that you don’t want to forget the Source anymore – and will do what you can to make sure you don’t.

This must be done in an honorable way. And this brings back the light of the Source into the dark areas that you left Him out of – and it removes the husks.

You remove all the burden and suffering and fears and anxieties and sadnesses that are coming for only one reason – that the Source is not there.

By doing teshuva you come back to complete faith.

Why is a person so sad and angry and filled with anxiety? Because of past destructive actions.

You want to fix it? Do teshuva.

How? Talk with the Source and bring Him back into your life.

Life gets heavy from our past destructive thoughts and actions and intentions. Teshuva removes the weight.

Shabbat Shalom.

Blessings,

Etan

Pre Shabbat Gift from a Brother |The Cure for Removing the Heaviness in life

Jacob’s Angel | Fighting for a Dwelling Place for God

jacobs-angel

7/23/2015

Jacob’s Angel | Fighting for a Dwelling Place for God

Because of our void we see ourselves as separate from our brothers and sisters.

Because of our void we seek to compensate for feelings of inadequacy by casting destructive thoughts and energies towards our brothers and sisters.

Divine presence won’t rest there.

The concept of separation – of defining ourselves in contrast to others is so common – fragmentation – creating differentiations – orthodox, conservative, reform, re-constructionist – far right, far left – so far from One nation.

Divine presence won’t rest there.

What do we think these baseless feelings of separation which emerge from our void are causing spiritually?

The fending off of Divine presence in our lives – Hashem won’t take the smell of it, and the temple is destroyed – which means that Hashem is in hiding. Still here, just we can’t see Him as clearly. And with hiding comes chaos and destruction – and we are forced to see the good in destruction, which causes us to mourn and yearn and change our ways to bring Him back to our perception.

It’s taking personal responsibility for our destructive thoughts and actions. It’s tikkun chatzot. It’s praying for the success of others. It’s not speaking negatively about our brothers and sisters. Its giving charity. It’s sharing illuminating wisdom. It’s seeing each other as one.

Why is the 9th of Av so powerful? There are 365 days of the year corresponding to 365 sinews in our bodies corresponding to 365 negative commandments (the 365 do not do’s) – the sinew of the sciatic nerve corresponds to the 9th of Av which corresponds to the Samech Mem (Angel of Death) which corresponds to the ultimate evil – the seed of all negativity – so on this day we don’t eat or have marital relations or spray perfume or anoint or rock leather shoes or wash up or get joy from learning Torah. We starve the Samech Mem like we starve ourselves from the treif sciatic nerve.

Jacob’s fight with the Samech Mem corresponds to the angel of Esau, which corresponds to the cosmic struggle between two nations and two worlds, which corresponds to the battle between spirituality and materiality, which corresponds to our struggle in exile  – and the angel struck the hollow of his thigh, the sciatic nerve. Jacob could not be overcome but he was struck in his thigh, the area which corresponds to a region of the body that is biblically symbolic of procreation and future generations. That’s us – for us to remember this struggle today.

Hashem tasked the Samech Mem to put up his best fight to guard us against reaching our highest potential. That’s his job. He is our resistance. It’s not that he is a bad guy – he is doing holy work. When we overcome him we can celebrate with him.

But we can only overcome him through restriction and exertion – from seeing the greater vision from our personal and collective place of void. Then we can turn the seed of evil into the point of potential – to overcome and achieve our highest potential. Without the Samech Mem, we can’t reach our highest potential. So the highest light comes from this day which corresponds to Samech Mem which corresponds to the sciatic nerve which corresponds to the 365 sinews, days, Tish’a B’Av.

When the Samech Mem wins, Hashem hides. The temple is destroyed. We are then forced to find the good in the bad as opposed to seeing the good in broad daylight. Today we have separate blessings for “good” events (Who is good and does good) and “bad” events (The true Judge) – but in the future there will be no more duality – there will only be one blessing (Who is good and does good).

On that day, God will be One and His Name One”  (Zehkariah 14:9)

The Samech Mem is our sparring partner. We get better by fighting with him. We get stronger. Just like a seed must deteriorate before it grows into a tree so must we deteriorate our identity – our exterior husk, before we can grow into our potential – our fight with the Samech Mem is our fight with our limited ego – our perception of duality amongst ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

When we overcome and transform our ego so that we see with spiritual pure eyes, then Hashem is in front of us, clear as day – and when He is clear as day to us collectively, the temple is built and we can serve Him – bringing sacrifices of our animistic identifications to our Creator once again with clear vision.

So this Saturday night and Sunday, step out of your leather shoes, don’t wash up, refrain from eating and drinking, marital relations and doing business, from anointing with oils and lotions – it’s the time to sit low and meditate on Lamentations – on the internal quest from baseless hatred and its destructive consequences to endless love and its unifying potential.

Most of all, remember that out of destruction – hidden within destruction as destruction’s purpose, is a love from Hashem that calls us to Him – to the ultimate purpose – to our redemption and salvation. Know this love even in darkness and know that the darkness is only here because of this love.

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Blessings,

Etan

Jacob’s Angel | Fighting for a Dwelling Place for God

Tish’a B’Av | Transforming Void into Vision

tisha baav

7/22/2015

Tish’a B’Av | Transforming Void into Vision

“And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, but the people with me did not see it; yet a great terror befell them, and they fled into hiding. (Daniel 10:7)

What does the destruction of temples and other historical tragedies mean to me – and how am I supposed to mourn over them when I have my own problems to deal with?

It’s hard enough to mourn over current events with all the distractions I face.

I thought the past and future don’t exist – and that focusing on them just brings me out of the present.

How is mourning over ancient history being in the NOW?

Kabbalistically, It is taught that the day of destruction – the 9th of Av – is potentially the day of the most light of the year – and that our job is to transform all negativity in us to light.

What’s the primary reason for the destruction of the temples?

Hatred for no reason.

What is hatred for no reason?

The Zohar teaches that it all stems from a feeling of void and lack.

Lack means an area in me I don’t feel balance – I feel insecure, unclear on my vision for tomorrow – an area of vulnerability, that when people touch, it triggers emptiness, void, lack and weakness. All areas of insecurity, of me not being enough – that triggers the void and emptiness, and when that gets triggered our natural tendency is to react with hate, judgement, revenge and jealousy. If someone hits this area it triggers it – a point of emptiness within is set off.

Hatred for no reason stems from not knowing how to deal with my void and emptiness – and the natural thing is to try to compensate for all our areas of emptiness and pain. To fix it, remove it – every time our insecurity and wound is triggered, the belief system is I have emptiness. A void. When that’s touched I feel as if  I am going down – free falling. Void.

That’s the consciousness. I am going down. And when I believe I’m going down the natural feeling is to fill myself up with hate – the most powerful energy to compensate the belief system of I’m going down – anger, bad intention, intolerance – hurting others. Hate. My insecurities makes me feel I’m alone and empty and not enough and never will achieve it.

So how do I face that void and resist all my impulses – to find the light and act with human dignity in the midst of feeling disconnected and void?

That’s Tish’a B’Av– at that moment of feeling I’m going down – to shift my consciousness in a radical way – the ability to face that void and find the light there.

When that familiar void from childhood is struck – that same void of feeling unworthy, abandoned, not enough – it triggers the same negative desires about us towards others.

There are nations who out of a deep rooted jealousy react to their feelings with hate and rage. When they see another nation succeeding and sticking together this triggers their own deep rooted collective void and they respond with acts of hatred and destruction – war plans – to bring another people down to feel better about themselves.

We can treat our friends the same way – happy for their failure so we rise in contrast to them – happy for their downfall because that makes us appear higher. Secretly rooting against them so they need us and give us more attention – making our situation seem less bleak – making us the savior. Those who are suffering in their own void love company. When others around us are higher we can appear lower to ourselves. This is baseless hatred because it evolves from our void. An illusion. The other side. And this is what causes the worst destruction.

What’s that void in you? Think of it now. When you are judged, embarrassed, failed again at something – that triggers your void.

This coming Shabbat is called Shabbat Chazon. Chazon means vision. We are about to experience a day of destruction and yet it’s called vision – a vision of final redemption.

What do we lose if we have intolerance and judgement and lack care toward others?

When I’m in emptiness I lost my vision – I don’t see how things will be better – I don’t feel I’m going through a process. In order to transform destruction to light I need to connect to and feel the vision. The ultimate vision is Moshiach, peace on earth – unity – reaching my potential.

The reason I can’t resist my negativity is because I have no vision. I see myself as separate from others. I’m going down so I wanna bring others down with me. It’s ok to experience darkness – that’s normal – but to not believe it’s possible to overcome; that’s what makes us vulnerable – a lack of vision.

Real criticism will trigger my void. Real positive constructive criticism will trigger that void – but hopefully I’ll have the strength to embrace it with love even though my ego is bruised – I trust the vision of good will be opened by this.

It’s very easy to say “I’m not contributing any negativity in the world” – the real test is when your insecurities are triggered. We want to steal the light from the dark side and can only do this when the void of our insecurities are triggered. That sets the stage for the opportunity for us to restrict from hatred and connect to higher vision.

Replace it with consciousness of vision.

Tish’a B’Av is the seed of all negativity. Our biggest fear. We need to get deeper to access the light. We want to begin to trigger light and vision in our void.

This is the transformation of Tish’a B’Av.

We need to experience the void, resist reaction with destructive hate, and find the way to feel the light, the certainty – the vision of good within. Then I can handle it. And not fall into baseless hatred.

Moshiach

Blessings,

Etan

Tish’a B’Av | Transforming Void into Vision

11 Days or 40 years? | Pause at the Fork

Exodus-israel

7/17/2015

11 Days or 40 Years? | Pause at the Fork

It took the nation of Israel 40 years in the dessert to get to Israel. A direct path should have taken them about 11 days.

What does this mean to me, today?

Our souls are destined to reconnect with the Source – to accomplish our tikkun (soul rectification) – to arrive in Israel.

No matter what, this will happen eventually. What I get to decide is how long it takes.

At every fork in the road I am given a choice. The path of judgement or the path of mercy. 40 years or 11 days.

When I make a mistake, when I choose the left path, the path of judgement, I fall into the safety net. The safety net is chaos.

The net of chaos is a painful net but it is guaranteed to shift me back to the goal – to my potential – back to the journey to Israel. Chaos is a gift to the unconscious traveler.

Suffering and pain are designed to lead me back on the path to my potential – a purification.

The portion of Massei talks a lot about the borders of the land of Israel. Why? And what does this mean to me, today?

What’s so important about the borders? They refer to borders of holiness – our job in life, each one of us, is to expand the borders of our holiness, purity, positivity – every time we expand it inside we can transform darkness into light outside – Joseph controlled the physical reality, the wealth of Egypt, because he expanded the borders of his own holiness.

What do I need to do to expand the borders?

When I do it within, I remove judgement on the outside. Each of us have in our perception a certain amount of tolerance to other people’s behavior – each our own border of how much we see the light in others. If I want to transform judgment into mercy I need to expand the border – search deeper to see good in others amidst annoying behavior. If I stay within the same border as yesterday, the same tolerance or intolerance, I’m the same person tomorrow as today. I need to work toward finding the good in others – my own shift of judgement and tolerance – when I’m judgmental, I’m welcoming judgement into my life – 40 years – learning the lessons the long way.

I also need to expand the borders of holiness in situations when things challenging happen – when we are dealing with challenge – and we all have our own limits of how much we can handle – remembering that all situations have light in them – our job is to transform darkness into light (11 days), not wait for lightness to show itself (40 years) – at times when we are feeling or thinking dark – expand our borders – embrace it and believe it’s light until it becomes light – expanding the borders of my holiness.

At the path of choice – at the forks we face – am I selfish or not. Do I React or not. Do I manipulate or am I honest. Do I take responsibility or do I blame. Do I go with what I believe or dis-empower myself with doubt. When we reach a fork…when you are there at the fork and you believe that no matter what you will reach your potential – without a shadow of a doubt – if you pause and connect at that point and remember that the safety net is chaos – so what’s the point of choosing a shortcut – it’s not really a shortcut – 40 years – drifting away from the path – welcoming more pain – PAUSE AT THE FORK – if I don’t pass this test, no mater what I’ll have to face it later. That realization gives us the strength to make the right choice.

The adversary says I’ve chosen the left path so many times what’s the point of choosing the right path now? I have to feel no regret from past because that makes me weaker in my ability to choose the right path now – with all my mistakes, they are meant to be – I embrace them all because now is my injunction – now is my 11 days or 40 years. No matter how far I went.

The portion of Mattos speaks of commitments, vows we make. Kabbalistically, A neder (vow) is connected to a dira (dwelling/home) a dira is a vessel for the light – a place to dwell. If you don’t fulfill a vow it becomes dark – taken by the other side. A neder is a commitment to what we know is the right thing to do. Once you know, power in life is achieved through commitment for something you already know is right – this brings freedom – 11 days. When you say I’m committed you develop a new strength – not just trying, but making a commitment, a vow – this leads to transformation (which is gonna happen anyway) but just faster.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov.

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Blessings,

Etan

11 Days or 40 years? | Pause at the Fork

The Power of Restriction in Self Transformation

light-bulb

7/9/2015

The Power of Restriction in Self Transformation

Building restriction was like working out – difficult at first, and required a lot of exertion, but once I got into the habit I started to experience the benefits of it – the high – the energy – the strength – the joy. I can’t live without it. I get stronger as I practice.

When something presents itself in front of me that I know will bring me darkness by actualizing – this is when to exercise restriction.

When I restrict from external dark forces, I illuminate what is internal and when I restrict from internal dark forces, I illuminate my external countenance.

By restricting from coveting another’s possessions, I show respect and appreciation for mine. By restricting from succumbing to anger, I strengthen my ability to rise above emotional reactivity. By not being as concerned about how others judge me, I can love myself more freely.

Restriction is a key component to my self transformation.

There’s a deep kabbalistic lesson in restriction hidden inside the light bulb – which works by housing negatively charged electricity and positively charged electricity, combining to make light. But this can only happen with a filament in the middle. Without it there is darkness.

The universe, and our interaction with it work in the same way.

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Negative energy is represented on the tree of life as left column energy. Left column represents receiving energy.

Positive energy flows through the right side representing the desire to share – but without filament in the middle – the middle column of the tree of life – the light bulb doesn’t work.

The filament represents restriction or balance or transformation. When I restrict my selfish receiving desire and transform into a desire to share – that’s called restriction – and that’s what produces light – internally and collectively.

The three column system manifests itself throughout the universe in every detail of creation. I cannot escape it. The reminders are everywhere and in every thing – literally.

Negative (-) energy on the left, positive (+) energy on the right – and the energy of restriction in the middle for balance. The building blocks of every megapixel of physicality – the atom – when broken down, contains these three energies – the neutron, proton (+) and electron (-).

Restriction is a key component to creating harmony between masculine and feminine energy, within and collectively – to create the light of my home, the light of Shabbos, the light of intimacy and connection.

I’ve found that I am happier, more at ease, and feel more aligned with Source when I am exercising restriction.

Restriction is unlimited. I can always work at it – grow in it. And to the extent I do, I am able to ground more positivity and light into my experience.

Blessings,

Etan

The Power of Restriction in Self Transformation

Riding High | A Journey Out of the Woods

deep_in_the_woods_by_jmarie1210-d3dvwtx

7/7/2015

Riding High | A Journey Out of the Woods

I met a man in the woods walking with a crutch smoking a pipe. He was drawing an elaborate map of the way out. He was comfortable and knew every star, plant and animal. He had a lot of wisdom to share with me and I loved talking with him. He was able to see over the trees, through the clouds and into the heavenly realms.

He told me that the Ba’al Shem Tov used to smoke from a water pipe to experience an “aliyat neshama”, or ascension of the soul – and that his biographer, Rabbi Yosef of Polonoye, said that he would give his entire portion in this world, and in the world to come, just for a taste of what the Ba’al Shem Tov got from his pipe.

He told me that Rabbi Israel Friedman of Ruzhyn used to smoke a pipe and fill up the entire room before Shabbat. He would open a window and say, “These are the clouds of the week leaving, and the clouds of Shabbos are coming in.”

He said surely you can’t deny that a nip breaks through the clouds – accessing the higher realms – drowning out the chaos to stir internal intimacy – takes you out and above your identity’s perspective – back in touch with sweetness and love.

I liked what he was saying and he became a guru.

After some time, I asked him what goes through his mind during the hour he spends in deep teshuvah – eyes shut tight shuckling back and forth, back and forth, sitting on his stump before Shabbat as the sun sets over the trees – after his walk back home from immersing in the stream down the path.

He rolled his eyes a bit and seemed to avoid the question. I could sense some dis-ease within. Something he was covering over – not at peace with fully.

He talked about ingredients in the biblical incense offering and collective out of body experiences in the dessert. He seemed to link that pipe to prophetic experience – to holiness – to piercing through the fabric of life – weaving all duality into harmony.

He spoke of accessing sub conscious intimacy blocked by the ego’s grip on conscious experience – removing the lid, even leaving slavery.

He spoke with alacrity about achieving higher states of consciousness as he approached prayer but looked down when we spoke of Nadav and Avihu’s attempt to bring strange fires to the holiest of holies. He said it was because he was tired from a night riding high in the upper realms, but I thought that would be energizing.

He talked about natural medicine and anti-inflammation. He quoted from Genesis 1:12 and 29.

And then he showed me his Noahide vineyards and gardens .

As we spent more time together I saw him tampering with his energetic cycles and biorhythms – I saw the other side of the jolts in his dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. Sometimes he seemed depleted, in a sleep like trance. I saw him give his mornings over to the other side in exchange for bursts of higher perception. He said it’s all worth it because he gets the visions and he shares the visions within himself and with the world – better a few hours of connection than a day of walking in darkness. As he exposed more of himself, I started to relate to him and feel for him – like I could help him.

When he let me in behind the scene, it seemed he had ingredients for everything. To awaken with more energy and make the day more productive – to take some of the edge off that excitement and fade back into neutral – to open the heart and access joy, all in honor of this and in honor of that – even to life itself – to take him back down, detaching from the anxiety of the gloss over his rigid certainty and soothe him into the evening – and then another elixir to send him to sleep like a dead man.

He said it helps him enjoy the melodies of the forest and his interactions with other creatures.

He kept giving me more reasons even though I stopped asking.

That night I saw him up all night with his eyes tightly shut. It was as if he was facing his highest self – in total honesty – in some sort of dialogue, looking up, swaying back and forth, raising up one palm and then the next, alternating.

In the morning I asked him why he was still in the woods. He pointed to his crutch. He couldn’t walk too far from his base – what he knew as home – all his stuff – his way of life.

He asked, and why are you still here? As I pointed to the map, I bumped into him – shattering his pipe – and breaking his crutch. And he walked out of the forest, didn’t even look back.

I stayed for a while. Looking through his stuff. Walking in his ways. But when erev Shabbos comes, and I’m sitting on that stump in deep dialogue with the Source of all – I recon the ones riding highest are on the other side – out of the woods.

Blessings,

Etan

Riding High | A Journey Out of the Woods