Halcyon Interaction?

Dear Friends, the older we get the more it seems that the most
valuable time is the time spent with family… What to make of this
halcyon interaction?

Halcyon.jpg

Whilst it is fun to spend time with family it also requires
bravery to face up to the past, the present and the future
simultaneously.

Family time seems to be a microcosm of the whole world and
more, bringing out all our virtues and vices forward at the speed of
light.

Each halcyon moment of interaction becomes an indelible memory
as it happens — humorous, tense-in-unison or adverserial — as if in
slow motion! Why? Any answers…

The other aspect to family time is the feeling that it moves
slowly or moves too fast but never normally. Is it our love which
creates gravity which causes time to dilate in convex or concave
curvatures?

Is this just my feeling or have you felt something similar?

What is the most valuable time spent by you and when spending it, does time go fast, slow down, or cease to exist?

All artistic and scientific answers are equally welcome!

With love and warm wishes to you and family

DK with family

DK Matai

This Omnivore’s Dilemma

I consider myself a “foodie” in every sense of the word. I LOVE to
eat good food, fresh food, home cooked food, gourmet food, food that
I’ve tried from many different parts of the world, even fast food
(well, some of it…). One of my favorite activities is deciphering the
ingredients in a dish served at a restaurant. Was that lemongrass in my
curry? A little bit of dried coriander? Was it honey that made the dish
sweeter or brown sugar?

When my first daughter was born, I delighted in feeding her — each
time I offered her a new morsel, a new taste or texture, it was as if I
were eating that food for the first time myself. It was fascinating to
see how she interacted — and I mean this in every sense of the word —
with what we put in front of her. Grabbing, squishing, smelling,
smearing, stuffing it in her ears, her nose, even her mouth at times,
and covering her face, arms, legs, torso and clothing, of course, with
it as well. My husband and I, like many new parents, were also
fascinated with the end result of all of this eating — the output in
Aanya’s diapers. What food was digested, what remained intact and the
marvelous colors of her poo….not so much the smells.

Of course, I also made it a point to make as much baby food as
possible for my daughters and reveled in the fact that I was serving
them fresh, healthy, real food. I would buy mostly organic fruits and
vegetables and puree them in the blender, freezing the leftovers in
ice-cube trays for later. When it was time for stage 2 foods, the first
thing I fed the girls was a mixture of rice and dhal called kitcherie,
which my husband would turn his nose at since it is traditionally food
served up to sick children (our version of chicken soup.) To my
disappointment, eventually my daughters turned their noses at it as
well.

I have continued to cook well for my daughters and family — using
fresh and organic ingredients as much as possible, although they do
like to eat a lot of pasta. (I joke that they must have been Italian in
their past lives…) We have a range of pasta on hand at
home…everything from Annie’s organic, whole wheat shells and pasta,
to gourmet Italian made from Durum wheat and even pasta made from brown
rice. Believe me, it’s delicious!

Given that we socialize with other families with young children
quite a bit pizza is, of course, on the menu at least once a week. We
can give you a run-down on all of the joints in the neighborhood, as
well as many other places you’ll NEED to try next time you’re in NYC.
(Hint, if you don’t live in NYC, or even if you do and decide to stay
in, Trader Joe’s makes excellent pizza dough!)

We still eat Indian food several times a week and my children are
learning well to tolerate the spices I add to their food. Anything I
cook can be eaten by all of us — most of the time, my husband and I
eat the children’s food, but at times, if I’m a bit heavy handed with
the masalas, there is always plain yogurt around to cool down
everyone’s palates.

So where am I going with all of this? Well, I just finished reading The Omnivore

Suffering is Never Alone But Shared

I feel and see the flow of life and death inside and outside of me.
Sometimes I resist in despair, saying why should this be, all the
senseless misery? Tears are unleashed. Torrents of liquid stream from
me, dripping onto the sunlit ground.

At first a puddle, then a vast pool of tears—an ocean of sorrow
from all the suffering. Oh, the flesh cries out in bewilderment. My
little ego reels under the awesome sight; a breaking and tearing
asunder.

Life must be more than the struggle of birth, sickness and
suffering, old age, and fear of death. Some drown the pain in
distractions: with some it

A Perfect Circle, like a Ring

What do we understand about desire? Other than being led around most
of our life by desire, we have a hard time attempting to undestand it,
and harness it. A popular teacher has built an entire career around
explaining and analyzing it; students of all sorts gathered around him to perhaps get a handle on
“desire”, the “holy erotic”, etc, until this teacher himself entirely
self destructed (taking some victims along with him down an ugly path).
It is no wonder then, that Hassidic teachings on desire are found where
one might least expect them, perhaps its an area that must always be
approached by sneak attack. We too will begin with a classical teaching
and then move carefully towards a more direct encounter with the
subject, in two essays that grapple with the concept from different
angles. (In fact, a third essay on this thorny subject, is in
preparation, dealing with the line about Moshe being more humble, anav,
than all others).

There is an often cited teaching of the Magid of Mezeritch, in
teaching 32 of the Magid Devarim L’Yaakov. Verse 10:2 presents a
command to Moshe, in which he should forge two horns, hatzoterot, made
of silver, for various communicative purposes, such as calling the
leadership together, or moving the camps, during the Israelite’s
sojourn in the desert. The Magid presents an entire teaching based on
three words in this verse that appear to be totally removed from any
connection to the actual narrative. He suggests that the term
hatzotzerot is derived from the phrase “hatzi tzurot”, which means
“half forms”- man alone, material man, is only half formed, only half
actualized, is only “dam”, blood, physicality. However, with the
introduction of Gd consciousness into one’s life, symbolized by the
Hebrew letter “aleph”, which is commonly read to stand for the term
“alufo shel olam”, meaning leader or teacher of the world, the word
adam is formed (as opposed to simply dam), thus formulating a fully
formed form. Thus, it is in the coming together of these two halves
(dam and aleph) in themselves lacking, that a much greater unity is
created. This, the Maggid explains, is achieved through “kesef”,
silver, (the hatzotzrot are made of silver), the word kessef being
derived from the term kissuf, desire; a properly directed desire
towards Gd leads to a union, a state of oneness and wholeness, a mutual
resolution of the yearning by both sides of the relationship.

This theme, of the unity being formed as the balanced encounter of
two disparate elements which need one another, is developed in another
section of the perasha by the Kedushat Levi in his discussion of the
manna (I adopt the anglicised form rather than the Hebrew term man, due
to its confusing homonymity). The manna is described in the text as
having the taste of the “Gad” seed, “Gad” to the Kedushat Levi being an
acrostic for Gomel Dalim (redeeming the poor): The manna is described
by Talmud in Yoma 75. as bearing any flavor the eater desired for,
thus, to the Kedushat Levi the manna was an meeting of a physical
object, the raw substrate of the manna, in encounter with the desire of
the Israelite eating it; one side provides the physical, one side the
spiritual, just like in the interaction of the rich man and the poor
man- the rich man gives a physical item, and receives spiritual quanta
in return. So the manna is like the redemption of the poor, which is
actually mutually constructive to all parties involved.

The problem is, that the awakening of desire can lead to unforseen
results- in English the phrase “awakening of desire” can be rephrased
using the term “arousal”, which suggests a whole other class of wants.
“Desire” is a central concept to Lacanian analysis, in which “desire”
is defined as a want that can never be fully satiated, as opposed to
a”need”. “Desire” is a complex phenomena which arises out of the
eternal insufficiency of post castration development, with the remnants
of the presymbolic Desire for the Mother manifesting themselves as
eternally unfulfilled desire, after the process Lacan labels “the Name
of the Father” has symbolized amorphous baby existence into the
construct and constraints associated with Language. The “symptom”, the
unfulfilled desire manifested, is to some degree a manifestation, an
overflow, of elements of this presymbolic desire, which can, by
definition, never be fulfilled. In other words, the early baby period,
in which the baby sees the world and the mother and food and itself all
as one big unseperated unit, is left behind once the infant learns to
see itself as an individuated autonomous entity, a process that
involves language and a recognition that being part of the world means
seeing one’s self as one might be seen in a mirror, from “without”
rather than “within”. Yearnings for the earlier predifferentiated state
are manifested as “desire”.

An interesting application of this concept of “desire” and its
relation to the realm of general culture is found in Zizek’s “The
Sublime Object of Ideology” . In his discussion of Lacan’s neologism
for the symptom, sinthome, (which is defined by Zizek as “a certain
signifying formation penetrated with enjoyment: it is a signifier as a
bearer of jouis-sense, enjoyment-in-sense”), Zizek discusses
antisemitism as being a result of the failure of society to live up to
the people’s desires. In other words, all sorts of people have all
sorts of demands on society, in terms of how it should function and
what it should accomplish. When “society” fails to provide that which
everyone wants from it, for the real can never adequately fulfill all
the contradictory demands that desire demands of it, then a “reason”
for this failure must be created, that reason historically frequently
being “the Jew”, guilty of whatever inadequacy causes the given society
to “not work”. Currently, we can see this in the ways that certain
failures in Israeli society are frequently blamed on the “Haredim”,
etc. ]

At any rate, the idea is that once desire was awakened within the
manna itself given that the manna could support any taste format
“desired”, this “desire” aroused all sorts of other more problematic
and eventually even lurid desires, as the BT Shabbat 130. and Yoma 75.
inform us- suddenly the people had (probably false) memories of fish as
described later in 11:5, which led, as derived by the Talmud from verse
11:10 describing the crying over families , to the people yearning for
incest! It was prescient of the Noam Elimelech to point to this latent
message in the otherwise straightforward sounding demand (in other
words, why would the Talmud insinuate a yearning for incest when the
text specifically tells us what it was the people seemed to be
clamoring for) as a trace evoked in Moshe’s prayer reflecting off their
demands, an early example of transference.

So what we have here is an example of a poor balance or match
between the two hatzi tzurot, the twin aspects of reality and desire,
ruchani and gashmi, that need to be coordinated. Where can we see a
proper alignment to serve as a positive example? Right at the beginning
of the perasha.

The Meor Eynaim begins his exposition on the first verse of the
perasha, dealing with commandment to Aharon to light up the menorah, by
explaining the meaning of the teaching in Avot 4:2: The reward for
doing a mitzvah is a mitzvah. What this means, he explains, in
anticipation of Franz Rozenzweig, is that by perfoming any “mitzvah”
one achieves a state of “tzavta” (same root to the two words in
Hebrew), which means “communion” with Gd who commanded. In fact, the
word “mitzvah” itself, contains the last two letters of the name of Gd
overtly (vav, heh), and the first two letters (yud, heh) as well
covertly- if you flip the mem and tzadi of the word mitzvah, via the
gematria function called “atbash” (aleph= tav, bet= shin, etc), you get
yod and heh, which together with the vav and he originally at the end
of the word “mitzvah” spells out the Tetragrammaton. The need for this
message to be stated in a reading requiring an overt and a covert
deciphering is to teach us that true fulfillment of every action
requires this same linkage of overt action and covert intention. This
is linked to the opening statement of our perasha- Behaalotcha et
hanerot: When you light up the nerot, (mitzvot are called nerot in
Mishle 6:23), you must strive toward the pnei hamenorah, that is, to
the penimiyut, the inner essence of the mitzvah, which is ultimately
establishment of tzavta, of communion, between Gd and man. When praxis
and ideology are in proper alignment, then world transformation can be
effected. When desire is still subject to fantasy, the symptom is
unleashed. The Zera Kodesh (R. Naftali of Ropschitz) points out that
those who clamored for meat are labeled asafsuf, rabble. He explains
that these people griping must have been rabble and not good citizens,
because people of faith do not have false desires, as their faith they
would lead them to recognize the superfluity of unnecessary desires
(the man of faith would think “if I’m lacking something, it must be
part of a greater plan and I probably don’t have this now for a
reason”).

Once “desire” is aroused in an uncontrollable manner, then even the
leadership is at risk- the Tiferet Shelomo reads the final episode of
this perasha, wherein Miriam and Aharon accuse Moshe of improper family
life and are then punished, as also being a result of the awakening of
desires by the manna failure. According to his reading, the fact that
there was an awakening among the people of a desire for forbidden
sexual activity implies that there was an equivalent failure in Moshe’s
home life, for had Moshe, as the leader and tzaddik, had a perfected
home life then that desire would have been quarantined and deleted,
thus neutralizing the desire so that it would not be possible for the
people to yearn for it! Of interest, being a unique reading of the word
“anav”, humble, The Tiferet Shelomo reads into the Torah’s defense of
Moshe, which states that Moshe was “anav meod mekol ha’adam”, humble
beyond any person, was meant to suggest that Moshe’s home life was
correct with respect to “onah”, familial obligations, which contains
the same letters as anav’).

Perhaps, recognition of the theme of properly directed desire
running through several segments of this perasha, is involved in the
Zohar’s beginning its teachings on this perasha with the quote from
Psalm 19:6, describing the sun as being “like a bridegroom coming out
of his chamber”. The Zohar describes the sefira of Tiferet, core sefira
of the supernal worlds, as the “groom”, signified by the sun, as
emerging with enlightenment from transmitted from the higher sefira of
Binah. Having been elevated to this high spiritual state, Tiferet
brings about a correct alignment of all the divine emanations and thus
achieves unity with the lower worlds, the Shekhina, the “bride”. This
alignment of upper and lower, inner and outer, is the goal of the Cohen
when he lights the menorah in the proper conjunction of outer practice
and inner feeling. Properly channeled desire must be coupled with
transformative human practice, like the bride and groom. Perhaps this
is reflected in the verse’s astronomical image, of the perfect sphere
arced by the sun. The perfect sphere is the fulfillment of the coming
together of the two half spheres, creating a mathematically perfect
whole, a circle. Is this not, as well, the symbolism behind’ the
wedding ring?

Kindness Matters

My friend has taken this concept and
started an organization called HelpOthers.org. The entire premise of Help
Others is to take a smile card, which they offer for free, and pass it on with
an anonymous random act of kindness. Once you’re “tagged,” you then are
instructed on the card to pay it forward.

The true essence of a random act of
kindness creates ripple affect and these smile cards serve as a tangible
reminder to encourage others to keep the ripple going. This simple act is a way
that you can experience being in service and since it is anonymous you take out
the “I” from the equation.

Experiment with it and see what you come up with. At
first you might find it hard to not be recognized for your good deeds but over
time you will actually feel the thrill from just knowing that you are being of
service to another and filling a need.

I have experienced the exuberance
generated by selfless giving to others; however, I must admit I started to
become a little smile card obsessed. After I realized this, I began to
recognize the most powerful acts of kindness do not have to involve any
material item. The act of giving words, gestures and service can be life
altering. I started to think about this concept further; I wanted to know
what else I could give to others without only giving “stuff.”

As these thoughts
were moving through my head, I entered the produce area of my local grocery
store. Keep in mind, I had been at the beach all day and I am not sure if I had
showered for at least two days.

Then, I suddenly heard a man say from behind, “It is 5:20 PM and I do not know if anyone has told you today but you are
absolutely beautiful.”

I turned to him with a huge smile, grabbed his arm and
stared into his eyes, letting out with a big gasp.

“Thank you! Thank you!”

As I
received these words, I knew that he had answered my question- I must share my
words with others.

As a result, now I leave books on
door steps or on a park bench with a love note or some words of encouragement
in them. I have the intent that whatever I am writing is meant for whoever will
find it. Your random acts of kindness can be anything that resonates with you.
How can you show someone today that kindness does matter?

Be Your Own Love Guru

Justine Kenzer – Hollywood ‘s own psychic
extraordinaire – your personal expert in everything holistic!

See The Love Guru this weekend – and then – Get your “enlightenment freak” on and bring
“somemores” love into your own life! Let go of having to make a list
of specifics – or visualizing your perfect partner – or affirming affection
will come! Just simply try out these super easy love luring natural products
suggested by PsychicGirl -and let the love flow!

Wish For Love – L.O.V.E. stands for Laws Of Vibrational
Healing. Simply place the Love Charger poster (made from the highly
blank knowledge and science of sacred geometry) between your mattress and box
spring and forget about it. Get ready to be surprised when you quickly start to
release stress and free up your energy to attract a lot more of what you want
in all areas of your life including love! www.wishforlove.com

LifeBeat Romance Spray – Bio-energetic activation technology that
produces an instantaneous energetic shift resulting in immediately available
performance enhancement characteristics (in English = it puts you in balance).
They call it digital coherence performance activation. All I know is it works! www.lifebeatproducts.com

H2OM Love Water - Dr. Masaru Emoto (that water scientist dude from What
The Bleep’s
) official water. Vibrationally charged spring water that’s
bottled and labeled with the intention of love. Drink, be, and attract
likeness. www.h2omwater.com

Bach Holly Flower Essences - you might have heard of the Rescue Remedy
that’s used for any emotional experience you need instant relief from. Dr. Bach
says that the flower essence of Holly counteracts the absence of love. Put a
few drops directly under your tongue or put it in water and sip. www.bachcentre.com

Rose Quartz - In the psychic and spiritual realms it’s dubbed the love
stone and said to open one’s heart. It is often used to attract love and for
love spells. Find a piece of jewelry of you like and wear it near your heart,
or place a hunk on your desk, dresser or shrine. www.ebay.com

Herbal Magic Reiki Charged Love Candle – these candles are old school,
they have been around forever, designed with the specific intention of
attracting someone to you. They are made with Olive, Patchouli, Rose, Clove and
Lavender oils. Each candle comes with an affirmation and an inspirational
message. Light and burn with your own intention in mind. www.essexcandle.com

Check out Justine’s blog updated daily!

Wishing you answers and healing,

Remove Toxicity: Rest and Sleep

People frequently ask me how I manage to cope with the travails of travelling, especially getting enough rest and sleep. I thought I would post a few suggestions on what creates good sleep.

Of course, when you are travelling its not possible to pay attention to all the minor details, but if you keep the following points in mind, I think it will be very helpful. My best advice for jet lag is eat very little on the plane, drink lots of water and when you get to where you are getting, just follow the rhythm of the place.

Removing Toxicity

The following conditions, situations, and factors may make a person more
likely to suffer from insomnia, students concerned about exams: people
working the night shift; frequent raveling; depression; stress stemming
from any cause; chronic pain of any kind; taking medications