Tag Archives: kabbalah

The Spirituality of Sleep

how-to-fall-asleepIn our fast paced culture, sleep is often elusive. The proliferation of news on sleep research makes clear that the quality and quantity of our sleep directly impact the quality of our health and lives. What happens during sleep remains mostly a mystery for most. We lie down and surrender to slumber.

Yet, how we feel during our waking hours is often tied to how we slept. Sleep is essential to our mental, physical and emotional well being. But what of our spiritual well being? What role does sleep play in this integral facet of our Being, beyond the dimensions of body and mind?

The fascination with sleep and where we go during this seemingly still period has puzzled philosophers, masters of wisdom, writers and spiritual seekers for millennium. Amidst a wealth of literature and religious texts are insights about sleep, communicated long before modern scientists could quantify the stages of sleep. This powerful information offers a gateway to balance in our lives, both when asleep when and awake.

Literary masters have had much to say about sleep. Shakespeare proclaimed in 1599, “Sleep may be the image or brother of death, for in sleep the body rests while the soul remains awake, so in death the body rests while the soul and spirit live.” From a religious perspective, abundant references to sleep can be found in the Bible, Torah, Kabbalah, Koran, and in Buddhist teachings. The spiritual traditions of Kabbalah and Tibetan Buddhism offer methodologies to prepare for and arise from sleep, including gratitude, breathing and dream techniques.

From the wisdom of Kabbalah, going back millennium, we can glean a foundation from which to explore sleep’s part in the rejuvenation of our spirit. Upon going to sleep, the body and mind settle down from daily activity. Our eyes are closed. Consciousness drifts away from the pace of our waking lives. Our physiology and neurology begin their critical restorative processes (which is another story for another time). And for the soul, now unencumbered by the body and mind, rejuvenation can begin. The soul leaves the body and travels towards the Light, towards God to connect and recharge.

But what if we aren’t properly prepared for sleep? Could our souls be inhibited from taking this night journey? How can we get the quality and quantity of sleep we need? How do we set the stage to experience the deep sleep essential for our souls, our spirits, to take this valuable and necessary night journey? How do we optimize the sleep we do get, both in quality and quantity, so our body, mind, emotions and spirit are given the rejuvenation and restoration they need?

A first step is to learn the basics of sleep, a course which most of us have never taken. The resulting understanding of what happens during 1/3 of our lives leads to a respect for sleep. In turn, a self assessment of our personal sleep habits and behaviors helps us determine what needs modification, be it our bedtime routine, our sleep environment, the schedules we keep, or what and when we eat and drink. These and other practical sleep strategies set the stage for sleep improvement. Furthermore, knowledge about sleep can lead to seeking medical diagnosis and treatment if a sleep disorder is suspected. Sleep provides a portal for your body, mind, and spirit to embark on their rejuvenating night journey so you can awaken to live fully.

Wicca 101: Witches, Magic, and the Art of Intention

What is it with witches and wizards? We love them, hate them, persecute them for hundreds of years, and glorify them in wondrous stories of magical worlds and flying broomsticks. In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra explores the wizarding world of Wicca in the hopes of dispelling some common misconceptions about this rapidly growing religion.

We’ve come a long way since the witch trials of Renaissance Europe and the American colonies,  but prejudice lingers. In some parts of the world witch hunts are a daily reality, with individuals harassed, beaten, shunned and occasionally even murdered for bearing “witch-like” traits. Harry Potter is a fine and beloved fantasy around the world, but how would we treat him if he were real? Witchcraft is acceptable in the realm of fantasy, but could we make room for it in the muggle world, too?

The world has had centuries to work on religious tolerance for pagans and Wiccans, but we continue to fail in making an accommodation to their traditions. Ancient European paganism, Hebrew mysticism and Greek mythology are just some of the forebears cited by Wiccan texts and oral histories. The inclusion of a feminine divine also leads historians and archaeologists to draw a line of ancestry from ancient fertility cults to contemporary Neo-pagan traditions, of which Wicca is probably the most organized and certainly most widely recognized.

Historians in the 19th century began writing about the connection between earlier traditions and groups purportedly practicing underground magic at the time. In 1951 the United Kingdom joined the rest of Europe in repealing remaining anti-witchcraft laws, just in time for the publishing of civil servant and amateur anthropologist Gerald Gardner’s book Witchcraft Today. In his book, Gardner declared himself a practitioner of a heretofore unknown religion “Wicca,” which he dated back to the Stone Age. The religion swiftly gained momentum, with many neo-pagan traditions branching off from it in the decades that followed.

John William Waterhouse: Magic CircleThere is no single sacred text, governing body, or outlined doctrine in Wicca today, and beliefs and practices vary widely from practitioner to practitioner. But certain themes crop up repeatedly in rhetoric and at modern gatherings. Connection to the earth and nature’s rhythms is key, as is reverence for both the divine masculine and feminine, sometimes as the Goddess and God but often as a merging of creative forces in the Universe. Wiccans and pagans also tend to revere the directions (East, South, West, North and Center) and elements (Wind, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit), perform rituals that coincide with seasonal cycles (equinoxes, solstices, and moon phases), and believe in reincarnation.

Even more fundamental is adherence to a fundamental ethic called the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what ye will.” Essentially, the community trusts its members to make their own decisions, hold their own beliefs, and act in such a way as to harm none – self and environment included. Similar to The Golden Rule known to just about every religious tradition throughout history, The Threefold Law is prominent in Wicca, as well, and teaches that energy released into the world will return to the individual three times as powerful, for better or for worse.

Wiccan magic, often referred to as “the Craft,” is largely grounded in intention and ritual. The word “magic” stems from both the Old Persian term for “sorcerer” but also the ancient Greek word for “art.” Consider, then, that the artist, actor, or carpenter utilizes magic as much as the magician does in transforming natural resources into entirely new expressions of creativity. Just so, Wiccans harness energetic influences and elements in order to manifest certain intentions. Easier said than done, right? But at the end of the day isn’t it a lot like praying or repeating positive affirmations? More mainstream, but equally magical in essence.

What are your thoughts on Wicca and magic? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well to receive updates about all our latest episodes, and have a magical day!

photo by: deflam

Do you agree with Life? or not?

Until now, no one asked you whether you want to develop or not. It all occurred subconsciously. You did nothing yourself.

Now, for the first time, you are given the feeling from above that someone is manipulating you. This is called the discvoery of the ego. The Creator opens that little window in our consciousness and asks: "Look what I’ve done with you! do you agree with it, or not?"

And of course you don’t agree! But you have no choice. Perhaps it is better that you agree….either way, now and for the rest of the process of evolution, you will do all that is necessary. The only difference being, will you do it willingly, or resist it.

We are like a small child that will have to succumb to his parents’ strong will at some point. Each time they let him feel that he disagrees with them, so he will understand what it is they want from him, so he will understand they only want what’s best for him. The parents want their child to  to agree with what they tell him, for him to act this way of his own will and choice. Then they completely loosen their hold and he  becomes just like them.

That’s exactly what the Creator wants from us now. He wants us to reach His level. After all those billions of years of evolution we went through,  they have remained a mere feeling. We do not remember those 15 billion years in which the universe evolved, but we went through them, and have now reached this very special stage in which we can consciously evolve and become just like the force that governs our reality itself.

 

Cleaning out Toxic People

When it comes to cleaning toxic people from your life it is similar to clearing out toxic energy fom your home. Magic Candles and special incense along with ringing Balinese bells and clapping out corners are some of the tools used for basic space cleansing in a physical space.

Sometimes this negative energy comes from a home or office being stagnant and empty for too long. Sometimes it’s because a negative person was there. And maybe you were even in a negative place and left your imprint. Something I learned years ago from the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles is the phrase, "You are right, but I am the light."

The meaning of this is that it doesn’t matter who is right. What does matter is that you remain the light – the centered happy person. And when you notice that you are being surrounded by less than excellent people – toxic people – it means it is time to clean house. Clean friends. Cut ties. Make different plans. Go new places.

Most importantly, you need to CHANGE your own perception. Because when YOU CHANGE it changes those around you. The rule I learned long ago is that you cannot change others. But you can change yourself. And when you vibrate at a higher positive level, you will attract others who are vibrating at that same level.

Do whatever you need to do in the physical world to vibrate where you want to be so that you attract those who are also vibrating at that same level. This gets rid of toxic people from your life.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / DOS82

The Creator’s language with you…

 

 

This is a beautiful song:

www.youtube.com/watch

 

If you just listen
If you just open your heart
Then you’ll begin to see that He
Wants to speak to you
That He is speaking to you
 
That everything that passes through your mind and heart
In you and around you
It’s all His speech
And you can’t hear
Or see
Or feel anything
Except Him
 
 
There is nothing
Not people
No one
But Him that you speak to
And it’s His language
The expression of the world
The way you feel reality
The way you feel your self
It’s the Creator’s language with you
It’s the Creator’s language with you

(www.kab.info)

Autumn treat*

Autumn treat*

The brisk fall air settles in all over the town
As the nip and chill of fall has finally came down
The brillant patchwork treed forest of rainbowed colours fine
Each precisely placed in rows that patiently took its time
Wonderfully done by God this is the beauty of art
Supreme Being has the touch from the Soul and the heart
Look with breathtaking love and critique if need be
But remember look undiscriminately open and eyes to see

                  Dominic Colucci 2009

Madonna

I’m going to just say it – I think Madonna gets a bad rap.

Yes, she has spent most of her career creating controversy, stirring things up for publicity and angering political and religious groups around the world – to name a few – not to mention her own brother who penned a not so flattering book about her. But I have always admired her drive, her strength and her intelligence. When Madonna does something, she goes big or goes home, and she applies the same tenacity and drive the public sees in her work to her spiritual beliefs and practice. I, for one, can’t help but admire that.
 
Still, she has come under attack from many about her beliefs and her practice of Kabbalah, and I just can’t help but wonder why. Madonna may be rich and famous, but Madonna is a human being like the rest of us. She longs for connection, a meaning to life and an understanding of the Universe. Don’t we all?  She happened to find what she is looking for in Kabbalah – which essentially teaches us all to be responsible for our own actions, to love one another as we want to be loved, and to give onto others as we wish to receive. Isn’t that what any spiritual or religious belief system is essentially teaching?
 
I believe we can all learn a tremendous amount from Madonna and her spiritual journey. She lives a life of fame and fortune most of us will never understand or experience, and still she longed for more – she longed for meaning. She serves as an amazing example of how without some type of belief or connection to a higher power, all the money, fame and material things we desire mean nothing when it comes to happiness and inner peace.
 
"I traveled the world many times over, performed in soccer stadiums, appeared in films, dined with state leaders, collaborated with great artists and achieved what most people would view as a high level of success, but I still fel something was missing in my life," she said in her article on YNet News.
 
Maybe I have a soft spot for Madonna because like her I lost my mother young. Maybe I can understand the longing she feels to make sense of it all because of that. And maybe its because I too was brought up Catholic and found myself still searching for answers. But I think Madonna says it best herself in an article she wrote for a YNet News in Israel titled, "I Found an Answer," about her journey into the world of Kabbalah. I think if you read it, you too will identify with the human being and her search for meaning behind the famous name.
Read it here and let me know what you think.
 
Tammy Mastroberte
Founder, Publisher & Editorial Director
Elevated Existence Magazine
http://www.elevatedexistence.com
 
 
 

Where is the World Really Going? A gift, for you

Where are we really heading?

 The world is such a mystery, how much do we really know…?Who are we, why are we here, and what is going on? So much s@#t is happening out there. Why? How can we make a difference?

Well, I have come to realize that it’s not about going on cruisades against anyone, or giving all my money away to others, and not even about being a politician who fights for justice, not with such narrow understanding of who I really am.

It’s about understanding the bigger picture, about a fundamental change in the way we perceive our world and our selves. It’s about realizing that we are so much more than we ever believed, and that we each have the power to determin the way things will go.

They say thought is the most powerful force there is. How can we change our thoughts and then our behaviours in a way that we will become happier? Well, we can’t, because we are all connected, like in one body. For us to be free of harm, EVERYONE has to think of us lovingly, to think of the world lovingly…and to behave accordingly. Seems far fetched doesn’t it? Well, let’s go back a step, and see if we can shed some light. Our life as we have known it mostly comprised of fulfiling needs and desires, trying to get ahead, become successful, rich, famous, knowledgeable, or simply happy.

But does that really happen? Are we ever satisfied for very long? After one success, we need another.How many of you know someone who started running, first they did the 5k,then 10k then 20, then a marathon, or maybe that was you…or me…and we feel fulfilled for a few moments, but next we need some new peak, perhaps an ironman, but then what? And this goes for other things too..from making movies to building empires and plastic surgery. How far can we go in our corporeal desires until we realize once we get there, we get empty again. It just doesn’t cut it? it doesn’t make us happy for long, it’s a bottomless pit, that more often than not leads to emptiness, sending us searching for the next object that will satisfy us.

It’s like eating. We get hungry, and that pushes us to find food. We eat, and feel enjoyment for a few moments, which quickly dissappears as we become full, and we must wait until we are hungry again to feel this joy.The hungrier we are, the more joy we will feel, but it will only last a very short time.

So many people, especially young people are depressed these days, because somehow they sense this. What used to be a midlife crisis is now happening to many younger people. Because why struggle and put so much effort into making it in life, when success doesn’t really satisfy for long, when fame turns out to be empty, when life ends at some point, and what was it for?

I am not trying to depress you, there is a way out.

This is a process that for many people is pushing them to seek fulfilment elsewhere: in spirit, outside the corporeal. People are sensing that there is something more, and are searching for it. In India, in religion, in ancient wisdoms. Anyone sense a pattern evolving? What if we could save ourselves a lot of dissappointment by realizing that we cannot be fulfilled by our old attempts at happiness, by gaining more personal power, fame or possession? (just look at all the depressed celebrities out there. It seems having all you want is not all we thought it would be).

What WILL fulfill us? Something more. Something that is not dependent on me alone, something that connects me to my essence..this is Spirit, which is explained by Kabbalah to be the will to give, a deep desire to discover the hidden, and a connection of love and unity amongst ourselves. In such a state, we realize that our old desires seem shabby and empty in comparison to our new goals of infinite pleasure, eternal existence, higher purpose, true love and an understanding of our world.

There is a method, a wisdom so elaborate and exciting, prepared just for us. It is the best method I have ever experienced for the tasks that ahead of us. Everything I have learnt so far is helping me too, every path is unique, and there is nothing without purpose.

With this ancient method, especially prepared for this purpose, we can save ourselves a lot of heart ache and suffering. As we learn and evolve, we each bring our uniqe gifts to the healing of the whole. Everyone matters, everyone is important, no one is alone.

By the way, it’s not just our personal suffering that pushes us in this direction, it is also happening on a global scale. Look at all the crises happening in the world. Nature is pushing us to see that we are all connected, and dependent on eachother; that the old ways of selfish consumption are bringing us to such an imbalance that it is bringing us closer and closer to annihalation. People in Africa are starving, Americans are overweight, economical differences are astounding, our ecology is damaged..etc’ etc’- all examples of our disharmony with nature.

 How do we harmonize with it? by connecting, by sharing, by moving out of our self absorbtion into a global consciouness. By finding how beautiful and powerful we really are, and using our abilities in unity with everyone else, for the sake of all. It’s not hard, it’s even very, very gratifying. Plus, we have no choice. Either that, or…let’s not go there.

Globalization and internet and mass media are no coincidence. That an economic crisis happening in America effects everyone else, is no coincidence. It’s no coincidence we are so connected these days! It is so we realize we are connected for better or worse! Let’s make it for the better. For one and for all.

Here is a cute clip : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnR_2y2ZtaE

If you would like to hear more about the method of Kabbalah, go to www.kab.info

For a very nice clip on our perception of reality, www.perceivingreality.com It’s all free.

Don’t believe me. If any of what i wrote up there rang a bell, try it out for yourself.

Love, Tal

Focusing on the spark of eternity

 

I was thinking about impermanence today, about aging, and how things don’t last.
I was actually watching my dog, running. He is 9 years old now, not as perky as he used to be.
Though still as cute as a puppy. But it saddened me for a moment. a familiar sadness.
I also watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" some weeks ago.
It’s an interesting film and to me it symbolized how there is but a spark in life of that which is eternal, the rest is constant change and often sorrow. But when we see that spark, when we focus on it, follow it and develop it, we begin to understand why life is as it is. And it does not seem so sad anymore. With awareness, we can understand the sorrow and the change so that all becomes a purposeful process in our own evolutions into happiness and Love.
I wrote a poem about this, I thought I would share it.
Wishing you all enlightenment and lives full of meaning and Spirit…

Tal

Rose

A Rose may bloom,
It then will fade
So seasons pass
And Gods are made

We learn through change,
Through life
In deepening ways
As Love awakens,
Spirit plays

Each day we see
With much more clarity
That when we love
We find eternity

Fear not my love
For you are free,
With every step
You come to be

Enlightened being
A blissful sight
Love’s messenger
A source of light

Give me your doubts
Your thoughts of fear
Listen, as I whisper
In your ear:

Love is here
Bringing us together
It is now near
The message clear
We are all One, forever
 

Free Online Course in Authentic Kabbalah

Hi guys,

I have been studying Kabbalah for about a year now. I have been on a Spiritual path for a while, and tried many different methods and wisdoms, which I am very glad I came to know. Kabbalah has been filling in some very important missing pieces of the puzzle for me and giving me something I didn’t find anywhere else. My inner life has been enriched, my relationships with others has been deepened, and I feel like I have so much more to hope and intend for than ever before.
I hope you try it and see what you think.
If you have a hunch this might be interesting, don’t hesitate, listen to your heart.

Here is a link to a free online course starting soon:

http://www.kabbalah.info/course/lc/

With Love,

Tal

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...