Awestruck

Thursday, December 18, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 11

"The energy bank is open, grab as much as you can". -Rav Berg   You’ve heard the expression ‘like kids in a candy store’. This is a perfect description of Chanukah! There are few times of the year when "The Gates of Heaven" are as wide open as they are now during Chanukah. These 8 days are a time of miracles because endless Light is abundantly available to all of us. Best of all, it’s here for the taking.   Kabbalistically, each holiday requires specific consciousness and tools that allow you to access the energy and gifts that are unique to certain windows of time. How do we 'grab' all the blessings that are available? During Chanukah our challenge is to really appreciate the constant miracles in our lives. For instance, continual miracles include waking up every day, the sun rising, appreciating your wonderful partners, children and friends. Developing a consistent appreciation for miracles is so important, because you cannot draw additional miracles into your life unless you see and appreciate the miracles that are already there. In our day to day lives we feel grateful, yes, but we are not awestruck by seeing our child's face, or filled with joy just because we opened ...

love & relationships lecture

Thursday, December 18, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

with Michael & Monica Berg followed by an open Q&A session. Wednesday, January 14th  at 7PM at The Kabbalah Centre New York 155 East 48th St.New York, New York 10017phone: (212) 644-0025 e-mail: newyork@kabbalah.com   Kabbalistic wisdom teaches that relationships are simply the most effective tools we are given to evolve our soul. Though we might think that meeting our mate is the point of the story, Kabbalah teaches that what happens next is more important. How do we reveal Light in the day to day routine and accompanying challenges: children, financial strain, physical and spiritual fatigue? Drawing from the wisdom of our sources and teachers, Michael and Monica will share deep kabbalistic insights to bring the Creator into our lives through our most intimate and important relationships. This lecture is for everyone who wants to use kabbalistic wisdom to enhance the relationship they have, or prepare for the relationship to come.

The Platinum Rule

You are a good person. You are sharing, even in ways that are uncomfortable - which is difficult to avoid at this time of year! You try to be kind. You remind yourself to be generous. Generally speaking, the golden rule is your guide: Love thy neighbor as thyself. You give yourself a pat on the back. You are on a spiritual path, and with all appropriate humility, you have ‘nailed it.’ Not quite!  I’d like to share a story about two sisters: Jane recently became engaged and registered for her wedding gifts at various shops and made the lists accessible to her invited guests. Her older sister Donna, upon seeing the gifts that Jane registered for perceived Jane’s taste as expensive, frivolous, and thought that the items she had chosen were fairly non-essential. She kept her opinion to herself, but she bought a practical wedding gift, not one that Jane had registered for, but one that to her mind was appropriate. Classic sibling rivalry? Sure. But Donna’s underlying consciousness was, “If I wouldn’t buy it for myself, it’s not something I think you need either.” That’s the little problem with the golden rule. For instance, what if your dear friend called you and asked if ...

Giving to Yourself

Thursday, December 4, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 4

We all need a place to retreat, recharge and relax. In a word, we all need a home. Home is where we feed our soul, and heal ourselves from the onslaught of information, misinformation and toxic emotions. It is so important to me that my house be this safe place, for me, and for my family. This is a basic human need and feeds the soul and I believe it is a necessity that we all make the time and find the space for some sacred alone time. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just a comfortable chair and a good book or your favorite music can recharge your spiritual batteries. If you think back to a time when you felt rested and peaceful, that is the environment to recreate for yourself. This may sound inherently selfish to some. I can hear busy moms rolling their eyes and sighing, muttering who has time for that?! I would retort, “Who DOESN’T have time for that?” Wearing yourself thin taking care of all your responsibilities, plus the needs of everyone else before your own is simply not sustainable. We are all here to fulfill our purpose and walk our own spiritual path. Listening to ...

Elevate Your Gratitude

Thursday, November 27, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 9

Every morning rather than jumping up and starting my day, I first take the time to pray. Kabbalists have a set of prayers that they say every morning, one of which is the 18 blessings which is a tool for connecting to appreciation for the blessings in our lives, from the sun rising to the ground under our feet. There is even a prayer that reminds us to be thankful for waking up. It's a powerful reminder to not take anything for granted, and as we all know, it’s human nature to take things for granted. Starting each day with powerful prayer of gratitude sets my consciousness in the right place because the kabbalists teach that if I hope to attract more blessings into my life I must have deep appreciation for the wonderful things that I already have. In the book What I Know Now, Letters to My Younger Self, actress Cameron Mannheim shares that she thinks of the universe like a pension plan, whatever you invest, the universe matches your investment. If your investment capitol is appreciation, the more appreciation you have for the blessings in your life, the more blessings come your way. Likewise, if we don't practice appreciation, not only will we not attract new blessings, but often the gifts we already have in our lives will ...

Seeing the Miracles

Thursday, November 20, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 7

Ihave a daily ritual. Before getting out of bed I pray. Every day.   Morning prayers are powerful kabbalistic tools to start every day with the proper consciousness. They include the morning blessing, or the modeh ani, (I wrote about this in an earlier blog, you can read it here) as well as a prayer called the 18 blessings, a tool for connecting to appreciation for the blessings in our lives, from the sun rising to the ground under our feet, to the very act of waking from sleep.   I was recently drawn to the 2nd of the 18 blessings: "give sight to the blind". This is not to be taken literally, it is me, all of us, that are blind. Everyday we think we see certain things. We assign reasons to other's behavior, "seeing" their actions as a direct result of some negative thing that we now believe about that person. We are asked to help with a project but all we see is someone who we perceive as taking with unequal giving or perhaps someone we deem "flaky", only for the project to take off beyond all expectation (without us). We look around and we see negativity and too often, what we perceive to be negative is the opposite of the reality! "We have eyes, but see not. We have ...

Are you in control of your emotions or do they control you?  

Thursday, November 13, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 9

  Emotions are immensely powerful and they can be our greatest asset in our spiritual growth and connection to the Creator. After all, they are key in decision making and can tell us (if we listen) whether or not we are on the right course in life. Unhappiness is often an indication of something needing to change, while happiness is an indication that we are on the right track. On any given day, sometimes minute to minute, we experience a broad range of emotions, some negative and some positive.   Let’s focus on three emotions: love, fear and regret. (The Big 3!)   Let’s start with the fun one, love! A great kabbalist, Rabbi Akiva, taught that there is no greater purpose and no greater work than this simple statement: Love your neighbor, your friend, as yourself.   We’ve all heard the cautionary tales of the man rich in money but poor in love, who has no family or true friends. The parable was told by Fitzgerald in the Great Gatsby and real life millionaire Howard Hughes died a wealthy, yet deeply troubled recluse having shut himself off from the world for the last 30 years of his life. These tales carry the same message: our happiness is completely dependent ...

Be all in. Enough of almost.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 11

I recently read about the levels of guilt associated with telling the whole truth vs. telling a lie vs. telling a half-truth. Interesting idea, I know...   Now, if one were to venture a guess, most of us would say that the liars felt the worst, the half-truth tellers felt a little better than the straight up liars and the truth tellers slept like babies with a clean conscience.   You’d be half right. It turns out that telling a half-truth, for example saying you were only 10 minutes late when in fact you were 20, makes you feel worse than if you’d told the whole truth. More interestingly, those who committed fully to the lie, for example asserting that they were not late at all, felt just as good as those who told the truth! It was the half-truth tellers that suffered the emotional fallout of guilt. So if you’re going to lie, go all in. And if you’re going to tell the truth, tell the whole truth! Obviously, I am a strong advocate for the truth. Lies always have a way of coming home to roost. And if you tell enough lies, you eventually lose track of them. Hence, the truth will ...

To Love & To Cherish

Thursday, October 30, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 6

Marriage is described in many ways; a sacred vow, a lifelong commitment, a grand romantic spectacle, the joining together of two souls. On the wedding day the vows are recited breathlessly in crisp tuxedos and gauzy white wedding gowns. Couples promise to: have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish, 'til death do us part It’s all very romantic.  When people fall in love with each other, they fall in love with their respective best qualities. Anyone could love the most wonderful parts of a person, but marriage requires accepting the faults in each other and then figuring out how to work around them while focusing on positive traits. You’re always going to love your partner’s best qualities but it’s the other stuff that can tarnish the love. Marriage is joint tax returns with someone who is less than financially adept, compromise when it’s the last thing you want to do, inevitable miscommunications, the highs and lows of shared parenting and a boat load of responsibility that your single self couldn’t have begun to imagine. Is there anything, anywhere in the poetry of wedding vows that is ...

Lemonade & Toast

Thursday, October 23, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 13

The month of Scorpio is nearly here, so buckle in and listen up. As one of the only months of the year lacking in kabbalistic holidays, this month can feel dark and full of too many challenges, but inherent in this month is the energy of turning things around. Whatever feels negative is really an opportunity for something good to happen, either a transformation in your consciousness or a blessing entering your life, like a new job or a new friend.   The Hebrew month of Scorpio is called Mar Cheshvan, the Mar means bitter. Before you go hide under your bed, though, understand that the reverse of Mar is Ram, and Ram means exalted.   So that is the challenge of the month, to turn Mar to Ram, bitter to sweet, lemons into lemonade.   Difficulties arise all the time, not just this month. Kabbalistically, we’re instructed to turn that boat around, to transform chaos, negativity, judgment, frustration, and rage into more elevated emotions, like mercy, empathy, kindness, helpfulness and love. Practically, here are a few tips to help you mitigate your more extreme reactivity to the challenges of the month.   This too shall pass My family has been in New York for just over a year ...

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