A Song of Ascents

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2/27/2015

A Song of Ascents

A song of ascents – from the depths I called out. The Lord heard my voice.

King David saw the hand of the Source operating behind the events of his life. At night he laid beneath his sheets – drenching them with tears – playing his 10 stringed harp which hung above his bed – channelling the music of his soul to the Creator.

No matter the test, no matter the foe, his faith and connection remained unshaken. This is why his Psalms have become our prayers today. The depth of his words were so powerful that his personal experiences and breakthroughs became the storyline of prophecy and prayer. His personal encounters, and what he was able to tap into and express, are the spiritual lyrics we recite each morning, afternoon and evening of our lives – in prayer.

And, he was a king – a leader of a nation – living in this way, so humble – yet so confident, secure, committed and clear in his relationship with the Creator and Sustainer.

It is said that every possible version and combination of our struggles is contained somewhere within the Psalms, and that concentrating and connecting with his words can carry us through our challenges to great heights.

There are certain combinations of Psalms which contain mind bending super powers, like the Tikkun Haklali – “The General (or Comprehensive) Rectification” – also known as “The General Remedy” – a set of ten Psalms, whose recital serves as a repair for all past errs — these 10 Psalms, whose identity and precise order, revealed by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, and 150), when said in order, and with deep concentration, have the power to neutralize spiritual demons unleashed through past breaches of the covenant – our most sacred seed cast outside of the realm of the sanctity of holy union – unbridled creative energy dispersed toward the fertile gardens of the dark side. Through the recitation of these ten Psalms, we get to harvest those spiritual crops – pulling them back to their root – freeing ourselves from their piercing haunting screams for sustenance – removing the clouds they formed, and left behind.

There are Psalms that carry the power to heal on an individual and national level. When praying for an individual who is ill, it is customary to recite the following thirty-six chapters of Psalms: 20, 6, 9, 13, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39, 41, 49, 55, 56, 69, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 102, 103, 104, 107, 116, 118, 142, 143, and 148.

Each Psalm is embedded with a unique attribute, empowered to unlock and elevate the restrictivity of our circumstances.

Psalm 3: To conquer fear of poverty – Psalm 5: To ask for a special financial favor – Psalm 7: To ask that blocks to progress be removed – Psalm 13: To overcome anxiety, when backed into a corner – Psalm 21: To increase one’s spiritual vibration to invite prosperity into one’s life – Psalm 24: To calm disturbed thoughts, anxiety and still the subconscious and the spirit, relieve fears of the future – Psalm 55: To conquer anxiety and fear – Psalm 69: For deliverance in times of suffering – and on and on…

There are Psalms so powerful – and continuously relevant – that we repeat them multiple times daily during our fixed prayers.

What makes us any different than King David?

If I asked about Michael Jordan, we can say our physicality is no match – not all of us have been blessed with the physical ability to jump from the foul line and slam dunk a basket ball with our tongue hanging out – and if I asked about Albert Einstein, our analytical brainpower might not yet be as activated – but what did King David do? He saw the Source in everything – and lived his life from that perspective. He spent his nights in hitbodidut (deep contemplative active honest personal best-friend sleep over party style dialogue with the Creator and Architect of our reality), and his days, following the light of his Creator. He maximized the exertion of his will – and this is something accessible to each one of us, regardless of our circumstances.

Same with Moses. Humility was his greatest attribute – casting away his own “wisdoms” to make room for Divine wisdom – and leading the nation from this vantage point – transforming himself into a tool in the hands of the Creator.

Rebbe Nachman tells us that any of us can grow to his level, with enough effort. He was quick to shoot down anyone who inferred, in the slightest fashion, that his greatness was attributed to him being the great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (the grand daddy master funk flex of Hassidism).

Look at Rabbi Akiva – just beginning his spiritual work at the tender age of 40 – and accomplished more than anyone. He is referred to in the Talmud as “Rosh la-Chachamim” (Head of all the Sages).

“What was Rabbi Akiva like? – A worker who goes out with his basket. He finds wheat – he puts it in, barley – he puts it in, spelt – he puts it in, beans – he puts it in, lentils – he puts it in. When he arrives home he sorts out the wheat by itself, barley by itself, spelt by itself, beans by themselves, lentils by themselves. So did Rabbi Akiva; he arranged the Torah rings by rings.”
— Avot deRabbi Natan ch. 18; see also Gittin, 67a

None of us are handicapped spiritually, because it’s not how much we accomplish – it’s how far we ascend in relation to the force of resistance placed against us – each through our own circumstances. There is no limit to our will. That’s why anyone can scale the heights of the the greatest sage – through exertion of their will – at this moment – here and now.

A true yogi is not concerned with the flexibility of the practitioner in the front row. She is focused only on her relationship to her point of resistance, breathing through it to make more room – to expand – to integrate healing spiritual breath into physical constriction.

What is stopping us from calling out to the Creator from our bed – soaked with tears under our sheets? The sages were up late at night learning – woke up early in meditation and prayer – did not eat too much – weren’t particularly distracted by next season’s glossy pages of British Vogue. If we are looking for enlightenment during our lifetime – there’s a system to follow. The lazy animal within prefers to sip Cabernet at night, sleep late and eat scrumptious meals in cashmere socks.

But, it doesn’t have to be one or the other – there are many points of harmony between the physical and spiritual lifestyle – in fact, the path toward our highest potential involves transforming, not subduing, the pleasures of physicality to their greatest potential – in alignment with their spiritual counterpart – but for those sensitive souls who are seeking extraordinary levels of connection to the Source – following the lifestyle of the sages to the greatest extent possible, acknowledging areas of our lives perhaps a bit too identified by what will eventually decay – is a wise path for deeper transformation.

Look at Abraham. All alone, he saw the Source. He followed the Source all alone – and the Source responded. That’s what happens. We start to see a response to our calls. And this gives us confidence to go deeper.

“Says the Creator, I removed the burden from his shoulder, his hands from the kettle passed. In distress you called out to me and I released you. I answered you when you called privately with a thunderous reply. I tested you at the waters of strife.”

(Psalm 81)

As I ascend north, leaving the healing waters of Miami, after having called out to my Maker in distress – I leave, released – with a thunderous reply to my private callings – tested at the yam suf’s edge – walking onward between walls of water – as my doubts and fears drown beneath.

Holding on through the tough times builds character. It gives you something to share with others going through challenge. We can all access this in our own way – and we should all try to share our experiences with those in our lives who can use a little help from a friend.

Shabbat Shalom - Lion & Star

Blessings,

Etan

A Song of Ascents

Clouds of tears

cloud tears

2/26/2015

Clouds of tears

To rise above our limitations we have to be prepared to lose our identity. We see people in all stages and forms in life – but really we are all just the same Divine spark in disguise.

Walking along the ocean this morning, reflecting on a system of wisdom I feel I’ve been blessed to start to begin to perceive at turning 40 , I looked up and saw a mentally disabled man just about my age. He was walking toward the ocean – crossing each other’s paths, and I stopped and looked at him as he passed – and pulled out my iPhone and started writing this.

I haven’t moved from this spot because the experience flows through you – the highest form of wisdom is called chochma (unbridled wisdom located at the top right of the Tree of Life Sefirot) – and then there is Bina (understanding, located at the top left of the Tree of Life Sefirot) which is our limited understanding of that raw wisdom. “Understanding” is the vessel used to contain wisdom – there are numerous paths of understanding – but only one wisdom.

Chochma consciousness – while appearing only in lightning like flashes, is the highest, rarest, most desirable point of connection – that’s the flash of wisdom that comes like a lightning bolt – is felt, but challenging – or exciting – to describe. It’s the Source communicating directly to you in an obvious way through the set-up of a scene in nature – carrying with it a code of communication to the most inner core of your Neshama – a USB port from heaven flash downloading a lesson to your vessel.

The great sage, Rebbe Noam Elimelech, tought that in order for us to do our work most effectively, we need to realize that there are clouds blocking our highest perception – caused by our past errs – and by waking up every single morning before the sun rises, and crying and pleading to the Source to remove the clouds from our past errs, is the only way to get to the level of performing our work with the greatest clarity – navigating with maximum light through the clouds of tears.

Thank the Creator that I can walk now – In one moment the Creator can take away that power. I’ve literally experienced it several times now. We are all vulnerable – one step away. We each have, or don’t have, from a list of physical faculties – which come and go like the seasons. The take away has been that whatever place the Source puts me in, I’m gonna cling to Him – and serve Him from that vantage point. Because that’s the point that He is placing me in to serve Him. So I surrender to it – and on a good day, incorporate joy during the process.

This perspective can be most effectively accomplished once you “give up who you are” – when you give up your identity. This trait is also what makes a spiritual guide most effective –  when he is totally tuned into the subject’s needs – channeling light directly through a cable, clear of any personal egoic residue or agenda.

Sometimes “Mercy” is the pain and anxiety we get to go through now. To mend us back to wholesome souls – back on course to our potential.

And, as for the potential of our physical identity…Well, let’s put it this way.

The Sefer Ta’amei Haminhagim states in the name of Eliyahu Rabba and Zohar that there is a bone in the brain which never vanishes. You can’t burn it, break it or grind it.

According to tradition there is a kind of bone no bigger than a corn of barley called the luz or neskvi – its shape is kind of cubic – and apparently it lies at the top of the spine, inside the skull – underneath the brain.

It’s described as having curious properties, as It receives nourishment only from food eaten on Saturday night at the melave malka meal (the sacred meal where we say farewell to the holy Sabbath Queen and enter into the week). And, it is indestructible – doesn’t decay in the grave. The Midrash says that the Roman Hadrian once took a luz and tried to grind it, burn it, and dissolve it in water – to no avail. When he hammered it against an anvil, the hammer and anvil broke.

It is taught that the future resurrection of the dead will be from this bone – that is, a person will be resurrected from his luz bone.

The idea behind it is that the luz symbolizes the point where physical and spiritual meet. Thus, it is nourished only from melave malka – the meal eaten between the spiritual Sabbath and the physical weekday.

So really, at the end, we are all just luz bones with temporary costumes carrying a soul within. Dust to dust. We come in different shapes, sizes, challenges, capabilities, tendencies and purposes but we all have the same task – to use these years wisely to reach our potential – to accomplish our soul correction during our lifetime. To spiritually nourish ourselves from the meals which link the spiritual and physical. The unity of the physical actions we take to create spiritual effects.

As we fast approach the holiday of Purim – when we mask our identity to reveal our true essence – let us remember how blessed we are to be a part of this holy nation of souls guided from above nature, and let us access the strength and kindness to help transform others around us toward their potential joy.

 Marbim B’simcha (increase our joy)

Off to the city that never sleeps.

Blessings,

Etan

Clouds of tears

The Prism of Mercy

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2/25/2015

The Prism of Mercy

There’s a certain Neshama (soul) who I’m close with, a good friend, who is suffering with severe anxiety about the current state, and future of – their health, and the health of their child – high stakes – anxiety from multiple vantage points of assault.

When I suffered through the same I reached out to a Lion of Emunah and he told me:

“So what are you worried about, the future?”

I then paused to indicate a “yes” through my silence, and he continued.

“So you want me to tell you about what’s going to happen to us in the future?”, he then uttered – followed by a brief cackle of a laugh, with the deepest significance.

I expressed myself through silence and breath again – as if to non-verbally acknowledge the message –  that we are all destined to the box. That’s really what I needed from that call.

Now, I realize that’s not what everyone needs to make it through a challenging circumstance – but the universal point is that there’s an end to our suffering – it could be the next moment, next month or sometime beyond – but it’s here to teach us something profound – and it’s critical to move closer to the Source – rather than backing away from the crippling shock of anxiety – during these times. Sometimes, once we comprehend and internalize the message – the Messenger lets up a bit. The circumstances may not physically change right away, but our attitude and energy can – and our attitude and energy can alter our physical reality.

This is an important point to ponder while bathing in the whole fear thing, it’s unstable here in the physical world – anything can be taken away from us at any moment – and contrary perhaps to our lower understanding, it’s for our best – from a higher, and to many, seemingly hidden realm of mercy.

It doesn’t matter where we are – the heights of comfort, impatiently awaiting cocktail service from the soft white towel – or sprawled out in the depths of the shadows of fear – with the lip service and concerned eyes of doctors, and their statistics, backing it up each moment.

Remember, we are ruled from above the stars – go outside and look up at the Adar moon and its supporting cast of stars. There’s joy to draw in – even now. Adar is all about beating the odds. Purim, baby, is around the bend. We can get beat down but we can heal and emerge victorious – along with the invaluable lessons learned along the way.

All we need to be concerned with right this moment, is serving the Source – doing our work from wherever the Source places us. Get down on the ground and cry to our Father in heaven – through realization here, and only here, can we grasp the meaning of our challenges and fears – and we can even, with effort, reach through the clouds and evolve to a mindset of traversing through the cycles of our obstacles, and performing our work – in joy.

Woe to the one whose perspective is influenced through the limiting eyes of others – to the one who’s self worth rests on the shaky grounds of past wounds, future anxieties and mega-pixel projections.

The Source transmits our experience from a single point of Oneness. Imagine a crystal prism with a ray of light hitting it from above – producing a full spectrum of colors. Each color takes on its own identity but comes from the same light. There are darker colors – experiences which can seem scary. Our job is to see the One light in all colors, all experiences – even the most darkest of shades.

With the sacred law of cause and effect we are often gifted with the opportunity to heal a prior wound during our lifetime. The wise one maintains faith even during these frightening moments – on the look out for higher wisdom – holding onto faith through the cycles – but this is made possible only through giving oneself the time to properly connect to the Source of their experience – to seek the root cause with humility and yearning. Revelations do follow.

There’s a story of a sage who was in synagogue in prayer during the morning Amidah (silent standing meditative prayer) when a shell of a rocket shattered the window to his side – legend has it that he didn’t even flinch – so connected to the Source – to the essence of who we are, that physical distractions are drowned out in the background.

My good friend, I offer you love and support. My prayers – all day. Reminders to hold on – even now during the peaks of uncertainty and anxiety. We are human and these emotions happen to us all. It’s easy to give advice to someone – not so easy to fully take it in while you’re going through the challenge – but it is possible. Let the waves and cycles of fear and concern lead you even closer to the Source of your experiences. Ruled above numbers, stats, charts and stars. Believe in miracles. Make room for the miracles to come. Gratitude and focus – even during explosions. We are all headed to the same destination. Each in our time. Feel the unity in the experience – breath by breath – and even in this state, try to reach out to help others going through similar challenges. The Creator loves you, His child, and rules the world with mercy even when we don’t understand. Now is the precise time to garner the most valuable lessons – open your arms wide and let it unfold, in faith and prayer – focus on the light beaming into your prism – the light of higher mercy.

Refuah shelayma (complete speedy recovery). I’m with you.

Blessings,

Etan

The Prism of Mercy

A cigar on the beach

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2/24/2015

A cigar on the beach

At last you’ve arrived at the ocean’s edge – towel and sunscreen in hand – ice cold Perrier to wash down Pfizer’s latest and greatest – kick off the haviannas, lay your old bones down on the lounge chair and gaze out at the ocean’s horizon for a moment before diving into that fiction thriller. The vacation destination – the purpose of our hard work – where we can detach for a moment, take in what life is really about – and just relax and breathe. Many good folks spend their last silver and golden years on that chair with the screaming pigeons circling above – watching wave after wave.

beeping

And here comes the Beach Comber – that man in timberlands, winter hat, cargo pants and a 1977 insulated jacket – in 85 degrees – with his metal detector fully extended – waving it back and forth, back and forth – day after day sifting through the sand, seeking the gems left behind – “beeping out.”

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I know a man who, for “vacation”, travels to the outer most spiritual boundary of connectivity to the energy of the land of Israel – to Uman, Ukraine – the home of the grave of the great one – the holy one – the prophet to our days, Rebbe Nachman ben Faiga – to “escape”.

This man beeps out sifting through the souls of the nation promised to be more numerous than the grains of sand on the sea shore – seeking the hidden precious sparks left behind. Pulling gems from the lowest places –  nursing them to spiritual health with the wisdom of experience and truth.

To the seeker of Source: Vacations are not about escaping work – they’re about escaping the distractions of our real Work.

When we enter the world as babies we can’t walk, and when we get really old, we can’t walk once again. During our few years of physical functionality, it’s become easier and easier to hit the auto pilot button. Technology has our lives by the short hairs. That’s why moments of breaking through the canvas of our experience – stabbing holes for rays of eternal light to penetrate, are more vital than ever. This is hitbodidut (active personal all out legit dialogue – poetry rap style with the Creator and Sustainer of our experience) – and I just can’t seem to stop writing about it.

If you’re inspired by the words of Rebbe Nachman, and don’t take time for hitbodidut – you’re connected to his teachings from an academic perspective – we need to dive into and experience his words – and only then will we comprehend their meaning. Hitbodidut was numero uno on his to-do list.

Prophecy comes when you make the time for it. Illumination arrives when you prepare a vessel to contain it.

Hitbodidut is spiritual surgery to repair a day’s worth of hard knocks to our vessel.

Out of body perception is on display at a theater near you – here and now, during moments of hitbodidut.

It’s not a good look as a grown adult to still be carrying around your baby blanky. Sometimes it takes sincere conversation with our Maker to identify – to let go of our old rags – those auto-tune traits that pepper our personality and dampen our shine. And once we get it – it’s just uncivilized to not share it.

What differentiated Moses from Noah? Moses did not stop at directing us to build an arc to traverse through physicality toward the eternal homeland. Moses refused to go without us. The enlightened sage involves himself in – and takes on, the suffering of others – anchoring himself into our experience – as a bridge we walk on – we rely on, to go onward.

I’m beginning to realize what the sages meant when they would say that “all that I’ve written until today is just an introduction to the wisdom I experience” – a crumb of a crumb of the wisdom housed within – with no words worthy to effectively carry their transmission externally – not enough ink.

That’s why some of the deepest wisdom was embedded within stories – child-like simple stories which contain the depths of unlimited knowledge.

More time must be spent working on our inner essence than the egoic shell – at least a measly five minutes a day – and in a physical world, subject to the laws of time and space – we need to follow the Creator’s lead – and carve out our point of focus, through carving through our physical attributes, to make room for spiritual connection – as He carved away His Ein Sof (unlimited eternal essence) to make room to reveal His attributes in the physical world.

Hitbodidut is when we get to think about this all for a moment.

Best of luck to those who set sail without a map, who plow forward without re-strategizing – who enter Super Bowl Sunday without reviewing the clips of past games. If you still haven’t tried it yet, I admire your will and bravado – but it may be wise to consider experimenting with a system designed and tested to achieve a higher level of joy and meaning.

Hey, I can always start a second blog called “Seekers of what you’re comfortable hearing”. Or, send a daily automated post with emoji’s and pick me ups – but I’m in basic training here –a fellow soldier in the army of the General King Source Himself.

The sound of all of our unique instruments together – the sound of serving the Source in joy – the music of heaven broadcasted from right here – the music of King David’s 10 Sefirot harp – the orchestrated harmony of fulfilling our collective purpose – will bring redemption through mercy.

A wise man once told me that he finally figured out how to enjoy a cigar on the beach — with the wind at your back.

The direction of our perspective determines the satisfaction of our experience.

Blessings,

Etan

A cigar on the beach

The Devil’s Arcade

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2/23/2015

The Devil’s Arcade

To my brothers and sisters out there fighting the good fight – courageously bumping up against your inner demons – summoning all you got to pull yourself up to who You are.

The red streaks in the eyes – the windows to the soul – come from anger and rage – addiction and lust – sadness and depression – boredom and zoning out. This several decade ride is a sort of game – one with extremely high stakes – welcome to the Devil’s Arcade.

On the arrival back to consciousness – post op – we wake up under the bright blockbuster lights of the recovery room connected to a number of tubes and wires. One of which has the sacred role of delivering a steady drip of what Alodus Huxley referred to as “soma”, Jerry Garcia called it “candy”, the street junky calls it “junk” – and the caring nurse from the islands refers to it as “pain medication”.

button

Sometimes you get a device hooked up intravenously with a joystick button that, when pressed, swiftly delivers a flow of one or two milligrams of morphine into your veins. While the device is connected to a timer, which only allows for its delivery a maximum of once per every so often, one seeking comfort from the trauma of being split open can repeatedly tap that button as if he was playing Atari Centipede in a 1986 beach town boardwalk arcade.

The rush of sweet mystical breeze flows through the body, extends past the fingertips and rests in the mind – instantly shifting perspective to happiness and positivity towards our surroundings – the nerve center of the brain, quenched from a ravenous thirst for satisfaction and comfort within.

That’s the core pull of the physical – the root of the desire to receive for the self. The material vessel calling for bounty – its fix.

That’s the most natural and powerful urge within us – and according to the wisdom of the kabbalah – our job is to transform that desire to receive for the self alone, into the desire to receive for the purpose of sharing with others.

From a vessel to a cable

From a recipient to a partner

From a taker to a giver

From addiction to authentic power

From authentic power to our potential – and our potential, aligned with the Source – to all of creation.

Transformation from constriction to the heights of purpose, in the land of expansion – the quest toward Garden of Eden consciousness- puppeteering our footsteps from heaven while firmly walking on earth.

As the emperor of the dark side, the adversary’s anaconda grip is impossible to break without unleashing our inner Moses – to bravely lead us to the inner chambers of our hardened heart – confronting it – banging on it’s ancient door and demanding the release of our nation of conscious potential from the grip of mental constriction holding us captive in the dungeon of Malchut (physical kingdom).

moses

Our inner Moses was pulled from the river flow and raised in the king’s castle of physicality – and through his perception – through receiving the calling of the Source – and the courage to follow his higher calling – through recognizing and unleashing his potential — that’s the part of us that’s speaking to us – that’s the part of our self who’s perspective we need to steer from.

Moses, too, was a Pisces – the greatest leader of all time had to overcome his own destructive inclinations and challenges – to rise to his potential.

Pisces are known for their good luck and abundance – prosperity of all kinds. This is also the reason why Pisces (fish) are a symbol for protection from evil eye.

Astrologically, Pisces have the tendency toward fatalism – and the great sensitivity of the Pisces is the reason for their potential lack of ambition. Therefore one of their primary goals for transformation is choosing rolls of leadership and responsibility, like Moses. Pisces can use their great sensitivity and modesty to protect themselves against falling into the trap of egoism and arrogance that most people fall into as they achieve positions of leadership.

With this unique power, The Pisces has a massive opportunity – and with all massive opportunity comes equal and opposite massive obligation – to utilize our gifts for the highest purpose – but it requires great wisdom and sharing, or else the Pisces will fall deep downward and develop addictions such as gambling, alcohol, sex or drugs.

The spiritual work of the Pisces is overcoming passiveness and the illusionary feeling of wholeness – complacency.

The Pisces should express their inner need to help others and use it to leverage themselves from passiveness. However, part of their tikun (soul rectification) is to know how to say no to others requests – since helping others does not mean fulfilling others desires, but nourishing and empowering them with spiritual light.

So too, must we learn to say no to ourselves – since helping our self does not mean fulfilling our desires, but nourishing and empowering our self with spiritual light.

When we fully realize that our actions in the current state are impregnating the future with our own harvest – we understand, and know – that we only seek to do good. But, our physical nature slowly pulls us back to its natural base animalistic tendencies – we live with a beast within that sleeps in the castle but belongs in the stables. The adversary – the wizard at the end of the endless game – a high score on his pinball machine – where we get to engrave our initials is what we’re gunning for.The pinball wizard, emerging victorious from the devil’s arcade.

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Chazak, Chazak V’nitchazek! (Be strong, Be strong and may we be strengthened!)

Blessings,

Etan

The Devil’s Arcade

Moon Pie

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2/22/2015

Moon Pie

The greatest purpose we were given was to mold duality into unity. The most sacred application of this task occurs between masculine and feminine energy – the holy covenant of soul mates.

Moments we allow ourselves the luxury of deep reflection and accounting are peppered with treasure chests of sparks of wisdom and understanding – accessing this wisdom leads us to a state of freedom time.

There’s an actual bond – a connection we have – a Briss (covenant) with the Creator.

The idea of Briss (covenant – in general, but usually associated with the circumcision of a child), is a fascinating concept – a covenant with the Source. A permanent physical mark, with the deepest spiritual significance.

Briss is not limited to a child’s Briss when he’s 8 days old – one day above nature – where “nature” is intended to signify the world having been created by the Source in 7 days of creation.

Briss represents our continued obligation to rise up to a level of standard fit for a nation of priests channeling the light of the Source.

Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Formation), in its most basic translation, mentions another Briss – a covenant of the mouth – through which prayer and blessing originate – and both the traditional lower mark of the Briss, and the split which allows for the production of words – are connected to the center column of the Tree of Life.

Kabalistically, this center column represents the Tree of Good and Evil, because the realms of good and evil co-exist, intermingling with each-other in the center column – along the lumbar spine – just saying. We were told to eat from the Tree of Life – not from the center column, the “Tree of Knowledge of good and evil”.

The holy covenant involves elevating the foundation of creative expression to its highest purpose. This covenant also exists in our physical relationship with the world, and in the sanctity of our relationship with our soul mate.

Since our past is the seed which impregnates our future, let’s all agree to the following:

  1. Only plant good seeds
  2. Perceive our circumstance as an opportunity to heal past events.

The secret weapon of mass formation – A.K.A. – hitbodidut – works like plugging a device into a power outlet – Divine messages engrave our heart –  clarity pierces through cloudy visions – that’s what time spent during one on one private dialogue with the Source produces. All kinds of things can come up, and the codes of wisdom are contained in the messages sent – they become apparent and obvious. Your body reacts physically when Divine communication is absorbed – like the chills, and neck hair standing, and goose bumps – prophecy in the old days was achieved while convulsing with Divine messages, which the body just couldn’t absorb fully in its natural state – having to rock and shake to detach from the perceived steadiness of physicality – to grab the next rung up – to receive the higher energy and guidance – to articulate Divinity –  to perceive the future.

Deciding on the take away message of a session of hitbodidut is accomplished through processing and understanding the wisdom shined from above – containing the message and integrating it. Specifics on its integration and application will reveal themselves.

The luxury – the midlife gift of giving yourself (really, one hour a day – but really to start, even just 5 minutes of sincere time a day in active private dialogue with the Creator, should be our most cherished pleasure) elevating this need to connect, recognizing the value of relying on a daily authentic connection to the Source. The relationship and dialogue generates more than faith – it produces confidence and certainty.

So much will come from that 5 mins when you learn to access a window to your subconscious through understanding the secrets of the unfolding of our formation.

When the new moon is shining, the unity of the sacred bond aligned and love reigns – when the depths of unconditional love radiates so strong – the face of the Moon Pie unfolds into its natural state of Emunah, healthy, joy – Divine connection.

I am forever and eternally grateful to my soul mate, Stephanie.

sssunnamed

Blessings,

Etan

Moon Pie

The Joyous Sculpter

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2/20/2015

The Joyous Sculpter

“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8)

Who do we want to be in our life? What are we looking to accomplish during these few years?

These questions deserve sincere reflection and come down to an honest dialogue with ourselves – the establishment of a goal, and a system designed to measure our progress toward achieving it.

We know it’s not going to be smooth sailing, it’s gonna be filled with tests and challenges, let downs and new beginnings, joy and satisfaction, contemplation and meaning.

I have found that I keep running into the same obstacles over and over again until I take the necessary action to overcome the obstacle. And then I am faced with a brand new one.

Frustration and pain come from bumping up against the same old obstacle and walking away in defeat. It brings up and exposes our weakness and perceived limitations. How we respond to the exposure of our weakness defines who we are. When the pain of repeated defeat reaches a certain threshold, we either give up and settle – or we summon up the strength to push through and overcome. With this comes a feeling of satisfaction. The satisfaction of exerting the required effort to overcome our test – the joy of exercising our will to reach new heights.

It all comes down to will. In Hebrew, the word will is called Ratzon. With regard to the power of will, it is said, nothing stands before the force of one’s will, and, there is nothing as forceful as will.

Keter (Crown), the pinnacle on the Tree of Life is referred to as Ratzon – which means God’s Will or Desire. The nature of Keter is Ain (No-thingness) – and Ain Sof (the Infinite) – God’s Will is, therefore, the potential of creation -from beginning to end – Infinite Potential. Yet, at the same time – God’s Will is all that was, is or ever shall be – and through potential, God’s Will is everything actualized.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27)

We were created with the power – and are the only ones who can implement change in our lives. We can continue to just wing it, waking up to the same reality each morning, bumping into the same obstacles, or we can design a system to reshape ourselves into who we really are at our highest potential.  This is our Work – and it applies to our career, our physical health, our emotional state, and our spiritual evolution.

No one else can do this Work for you. You can be inspired by the teaching of others, by friends, guides and sages but no one else can do the work for you. They can only remind you of the work that must be done and model for you how to get it done.

We are dealt with circumstances which we are capable of handling – and we were given the tools to reach our potential – but the desire has to come from within, and it must be strong enough. We need to reach that place where we close our eyes and just jump into our potential no matter what is in front of us. We need to identify with our will – not with who we see in the mirror at this moment. Our reflection constantly changes – our level of desire is a choice – and it is our desire that the Source is looking for from us.

You can take away someone’s health, you can take away their freedom, you can take away their loved ones – but you can never take away their desire.

We need to get to that place where we feel that we have nothing left to lose. This can come through tragedy or it can come through reasoning – our own realization that the same old is not working – it’s not enough.

Without actively shaping our lives – pushing through obstacles through the implementation of our will, we continue the cycle of pain – from the perspective of the distance between where we are versus who we are. And who we really are, is not limited by the obstacles we face. Who we really are is our desire, our will.

The Source is the molder and we are his clay – and our role is to align with His attributes and mold our experience. Like He carved a space for creation to exists and manifest through His will, so to must we carve that space within ourselves – pushing aside our limitations – making room for our potential to be unleashed. We can only accomplish this through the exertion of our will.

Joy comes from the strength of applying our will – to becoming a more evolved person – to overcome adversity and challenge.

Pain comes from letting the cycles of defeat repeat themselves over and over again – but it’s important that we understand why this process is perfect and necessary – without that pain – that reminder – we would not have the impetus to summon the strength to make that change -so discomfort is really our friend on the path of growth.

We see it during physical therapy- we need to get in touch with that point of pain and gently work through it to expand from our current state of constriction to gain increased flexibility and strength.

The method to initiate, implement and monitor the process of exerting our will successfully is through spending time in Hitbodidut (active personal reflective meditative dialogue with the Source – where we lay it all out on the table as if we are talking with our best friend) – reviewing where we are, taking stock of our current state, being honest, reminding ourselves who we really are and where we need to get to. Identifying the blockages in the way – and charting day after day our path and progress.

Hitbodidut is the biggest blow to the adversary for this purpose – because it threatens his grip over us remaining stuck in the same cycle of limitation and defeat.

Hitbodidut is a valuable tool for lasting change. It’s wise to force ourselves to start.

The time for honesty is now. The time for growth is now. The time to implement change is now.

We can spend hours every day in a state of anxiety. It is critical to implement a few minutes a day dedicated to becoming who we are and want to be.  This is our time – these few years to become who we are, accomplish our soul correction, reach our potential.

Rebbe Nachman said that Hitbodidut is the most important thing.

Hitbodidut is when we shine a clear light on the paralyzing characteristics which hold us back. Spending time saying “I have the power to design my life – who I want to be – to design the person I want to be”.  I may not know exactly how the steps are to be taken but I do have an idea of the person I wanna be. I don’t wanna be a victim. I have the power to operate as the designer, to make the change – to take inventory of what’s not working and design plans of what will work.

We are taught that at the end, we are measured by our desire. The Source wants our Will. In order to build up our will, we need to be placed into circumstances that test it – so that we can have the opportunity to exert it at higher levels.

Hitbodidut is the tool that gives us the time to reflect on our progress –  how we are incorporating the strategy of directing our will toward restricting from the same reactive behavioral patterns – and exerting our will toward reaching our highest potential.

There is no better time to set sail toward new beginnings geared toward the pursuit of authentic joy than (literally) today – Rosh Chodesh Adar (the new moon of Pisces)

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“When Adar arrives, we increase our joy”. (Talmud – Taanit 29a)

Be on the lookout for massive levels of JOY starting today. We are now officially entering the Hebrew month of Adar – the month of good fortune.

The sages say that Adar is the best month to try to remove your personal barriers to holiness. And by removing those barriers, you create the potential for the greatest joy.

True happiness comes through using the pleasures of this world to elevate our consciousness in order to bind our thoughts to spirituality.

But joy is not merely an end in itself – It is a tool for higher states of consciousness.

A person who experiences true joy is lifted above the mundane – able to see the world in a more elevated way. It’s the adversary – that side of us that relates more to the body than the soul, which actually desires stagnation and depression -and leads us there. Joy is increased when we focus on our blessings – depression is increased when we focus on our lack. We have the power to choose between the two.

Adar is characterized by joy because it is the month of transforming dread into joy.

Adar contains the power to succeed against an opposing force – both on a national level and on an individual level. If you look within yourself and recognize your worst enemy – whether it’s anger, confusion, pride, lust or jealousy – this is the month in which you may conquer it. When you see the Source’s hand in your life – and realize how He gives you the potential to defeat your enemies – then you’ve discovered the source of life’s greatest joy.

This Adar, (today) may we be inspired to drum up the required will to conquer our enemies – whether they come from afar, or from deep within ourselves. This is the great opportunity of this month.

Mishenichnas Adar Marbim B’Simcha, (When the month of Adar arrives we should increase our joy)

Shabbat Shalom.

Blessings,

Etan

The Joyous Sculpter