Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Subtle Difference

I recently changed my focus when I heal people with my hands. I used to ask myself what I felt when I touched a person. I now ask what the person feels like. I’ve noticed that my sensation now extends further into the other person, and is less likely to get stuck inside me.

I used to look for the connection between myself and my client, but now I’ve realized that made it too much about me. I now just look to see how the other person feels, and know that the I am present, so the connection will be made. It’s a subtle change that makes a big difference.

photo courtesy of Jam343

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Choosing not

A leftover passover thought:

On passover we demonstrate our freedom by giving up bread. Freedom, in this sense, is the ability to choose not to do something. I generally think of freedom as either freedom to or freedom from: freedom to do something I want to do or freedom from oppression or tyranny. This is a twist, I freely choose not to do something I want to do.

Things that we desire have a certain power and hold over us. When we keep ourselves from them, we demonstrate our power over them and free ourselves from them.

Bread has been a mainstay of our diet for thousands of years. Keeping it at arms length for a week keeps it in perspective. Perhaps next pesach, I'll have to look for other foods in my diet that I crave and see if I can take a break from them for a week.

Food is nourishment. It has a direct correlation to yetzer harah and yetzer hatov, the inclination to self-nourishment and the inclination to self-destruction. Taking a break from the foods we crave can help us learn which foods nourish us and which destroy us. By choosing not to eat something, we take back it's power over us and find our freedom.

Photo courtesy of Petitplat

Monday, January 16, 2012

Knowing the world versus knowing the person

In struggling with some personal issues, a friend of mine recently sought out two teachers who are known for their spiritual teachings. When asked about the difference, she told me that one listened to her issues and responded based on his knowledge of Jewish spirituality and his personal experience. The second listened to her, and responded to her particularly. He seemed to know her instantly and was able to talk about her issues as they related to her specifically. She said that both teachers gave her good advice, but one was based on prior knowledge and experience and the other was based on his knowledge and understanding of her personal situation. The second teacher was able to connect instantly with her and seemed to just "know" her.

I really liked the distinction - knowing the world versus knowing the person. Both are important but very different.

Friday, September 23, 2011

These are the things I know to be true

There are things that I believe to be true. There are things that I want to believe are true. But there are actually very few things that I have experienced and know to be true. I think only God knows the Truth with a capital "T", as we are limited by ourselves and our small perception. These are the things I know to be true:

There is a physical world and there is a spiritual world. There is that which can be seen and touched and measured, and that which we perceive but can’t see.

Far into the spiritual world is God.

All beings in this plane have a physical body and a spiritual one. The spiritual one, which is called soul, existed before the physical and continues after. There is a world of souls that exist in the spiritual realm.

There is no past or future, there is only now.

All memories connect us to patterns that happened before, some of which are carried into the now. We carry with us patterns from our physical lineage, from the family that raised us, and from our own spiritual lineage, from our soul. Life is the repetition or breaking of those patterns.

Healing is changing those patterns.

God is the ultimate way of changing the patterns. The closer to God we get, the slower the motion of the patterns become until, in the presence of God, they stop altogether and the soul becomes pure love. When the motion resumes, the patterns are changed, the healing has begun.

When a person is healed by another, they have to be willing to surrender to God.

Much of health and illness can be understood as the struggle of the soul to be aligned with physical body. There are times when the soul lifts out of the body and illness comes, and times when the soul is in alignment with the body and health abounds.

The soul and the body are always in an uneasy dynamic relationship. Sometimes they vibrate together in harmony, and sometimes they vibrate discordantly. The pre-natal patterns of the soul are sometimes in conflict with the post-natal patterns of the body and a person’s family lineage. There are times when the two work together in perfect alignment and there is health, and there are times when the soul is distant from the body and there is illness.

Each person has a power in this world. In Jewish tradition, this is the spark of God within each person. It’s the point where the soul and the body perfectly align, and God is able to flow through the person. Though one might think the body and soul would want this to happen, it seems to be the opposite. For most people, this is a difficult place to be. The soul doesn’t seem to want to be full present in the world, and the body doesn’t want to be pulled into the spiritual world. The power is generally uncomfortable for people and it takes great practice to allow it to happen.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Four Angels with Four questions

After I recited the Shema in bed the other night, I called the four angels. They each asked me a question:

Michael asks: Angels are messengers, we bring different aspects of God into the world. What aspect of God do you bring into the world?

Gabriel asks: Where is your strength? Where and what is your power? How does it manifest? When is God most present for you?

Uriel asks: How do you see the world? What do you see when you look at it?

Rafael asks: How do you heal the world and bring God presence into the world?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Avodah Zarah

Avodah Zarah means "strange work" or "strange worship", and is usually used to mean idol worship which is expressly forbidden by Jewish law. Avodah zarah is worship of the messenger instead of the God who sends the message.

God exists. In the space between us and God, there are lots of intermediaries: angels and demons, souls and spirits.  Angels help to connect us to God. Demons try to disrupt that connection. Their are souls of tzaddikim and of our ancestors who can guide us. Who we meet in the spirit realm is largely up to us. If we do the work on ourselves, then our good deeds create angels. If we don't, we will face our own failings and fears.

There are objects in the world that have spiritual power. Tefillin are a good example. They radiate their own power and amplify our own spiritual power. They are good lenses for the transmission of God into the world.

Avodah Zarah is forgetting that God exists behind and through all of the intermediaries and worshiping the intermediaries as gods. Avodah Zarah is worshiping the messenger.

Photo courtesy of Voyageur Solitaire-mladjenovic_n

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blood is Life

R. Yochanan teaches:

Blood is the impure part of a dead animal. The soul lives within the blood and when a being dies, their soul leaves the blood creating a spiritual void. It's a vessel with nothing inside. The shape of a being without the essence, which is called tameh, impure. Menstrual blood is also considered impure for the same reason. It is the form of life without life.