The first emunah mindfulness zoom gave the participants the opportunity to formulate a framework understanding of how to feel Hashem’s outpouring of love and mercy so that we may reveal it. Regardless of actually being able to do so, understanding the steps and why is helpful.
Here is what we discussed.
There are two universal points that we all share.
Firstly, every one of us has a Divine energy, a creative flow, a compassion, that is our essence. Our soul knows intrinsically that Hashem is outpouring love and mercy to us in every moment, even though we may not feel it. Know there is Hashem.
Secondly every one of us has a physical body, a brain, a neurology, that has as the center of its emotions the limbic system.. We experience everything through our limbic system. When we feel a lack, we feel sad, then frustrated, and then we have an aggressive urge as our survival instinct attempts to address it. Sad, mad, bad. This is our brain’s “knee jerk” reaction. We certainly feel these reactions, everything from anger to fear to insult to depression. From understanding the starting point of our reactions, we may develop ourselves and learn to regulate our emotions and conduct ourselves in acceptable ways. At the core of our physical reality is also Divine energy, a creative flow, a compassion that is hidden and concealed. There is no other Power.
Our challenge is to bring together the concealed compassions and feel Hashem’s love and mercy so that we may reveal His Love and Mercy. In other words, with the limbic system, we want to feel Hashem’s love and mercy so that we may choose to reveal love and mercy over our natural reactions. Hashem is One.
We discussed the process of calling out our unique situation and feelings while simultaneously feeling love for Hashem and awe in how He has designed us to bring everything back to Him. Our emunah is the crossing guard that stops the traffic in our brains so that we can take twenty minutes to breathe, to disconnect the compassion hidden in our natural reactions and naturally attracted to physical and material survival. We disconnect it through mindfulness and feeling love and awe in the design with which Hashem makes the world. Love Hashem. Have Awe in Hashem.
We remember our role is to unify the hidden compassion concealed by our physicality with the essence within us that is in direct connection with Hashem’s compassion at all times. By using our free will to turn to Him, with our struggles in our heart and with love and awe in our heart at the same time, the hidden compassion concealed in our painful situation merges with the compassion that is directly connected. We ask Hashem to please help us feel the compassion so that we may reveal the compassion. In so doing, from within our limbic system, we gain more of an ability to reveal Hashem’s love and mercy instead of the former natural reaction alone. Guard our soul from running after our eyes and hearts after which we are drawn to go astray.
People gave examples. It is up to each of us, though, to actually do the work. It is not enough to read about it, it is not enough to understand it in theory. The healing comes from actually doing it.
Please print the pages in pdf above or jpeg below from Ohr HaChaim and from Apples from the Orchard (Arizal commentaries) to see an example from the Caleb on seeing the good.
The reason these pages seem so relevant is to give us strength in our personal challenges to have the where-with-all to know it is good and to comprehend Hashem as all good. The explanations help us to understand the spiritual dynamics deeply, with appreciation and gratitude for the opportunities and a whole perspective above how we might otherwise feel.
We are truly empowered to transform concealed compassion into revealed compassion. May we feel Hashem’s love and mercy more and more in our hearts and may our victories help all of us have souls that do the same so that His Love and Mercy is revealed.
Who has at some time wanted to change a mood? Are there times when we are not triggered by anything from our outside perceptions, yet are feeling down or blue?.
What if we are in a mood of some kind, sad, worried, searching?
When there, we are not feeling Hashem’s outpouring of love and mercy. We are “waiting” to find a thought to follow to validate our mood.
That mood, which we think is “us”, is a covering over the pure compassion with which Hashem makes our soul.
The pure compassion hidden within it knows with complete clarity that Hashem is outpouring infinite love and mercy upon us. But that message is not felt due to the thick cover that Hashem designs for each one of us so that we have free will to seek Him out.
We have within us a light of Hashem that is total compassion, and our mission is to make more and more transparent the coverings so that we can reveal Hashem’s love and mercy. We are His Agents. Let us not keep the secret hidden!
But how? How do we actually nullify the coverings?
There are many pathways out there. Find one. What matters is the recognition that Hashem, Torah, and the Jewish People are One.
We can bring more and more visibility of Hashem’s compassion through our hearts to our speech and deeds. As we do, that very place of struggle, the strength that stood fast as the covering, becomes the strength of connection to Hashem and the vessel through which His Compassion shines. What this means is that we can actually change our moods.
Do you have experiential understanding of this?
Through recognition of Hashem as One,
Through loving and having awe in the design of the world,
through choosing to associate our soul with Hashem’s love and mercy
through desiring to reveal His love and mercy.
We have souls created by Hashem with the potential to change our mood and add a pleasurable quality to our lives that affect others in our lives at the same time as well as having a positive influence on the world.
Women on a journey of emunah are invited to share!
When something triggers us, what actually is happening and how can we get our bearings?
Imagine a scene. Someone says something and it is insulting, accusing, disrespectful or whatever we perceive. Perhaps they raised their voice. Perhaps they overlooked something kind we did. There are as many scenarios as there are people times seconds in a day.
Our hearts leap. We feel unsteady. We don’t know what exactly we feel but we are ready and set to say SOMETHING.
Let’s slow motion this reaction. Our hearts leap. Something in our heart recognized something in what was said in a way that is painful.
As soon as the power of that reaction is present, we immediately begin to search for a judgment or an explanation that makes sense. Yet what is going to make sense to us is what we find from our past experiences much more often than what is actually the truth of what has happened.
For example, someone can say “no,” without really explaining and we supply an interpretation to that “no” that may not be true. It is likely that our interpretation might be a fulfilling of a false belief about ourselves. We experience it as real. And even if we check it out and we are given a different explanation, we have still reinforced in our hearts’ experiences an association between those false beliefs and the “no.”
It is like looking up a word in the dictionary to see if it is a word to find that it is not a word, but not remembering the next time that it is not a word. We remember we looked it up. We don’t remember whether it was a word or not. The truth escapes our memory in favor of our hopes or fears.
Our reaction has now placed us in a feeling experience and it is happening in our bodies. Whether or not it actually happened as we imagine does not change that we are experiencing it. It is truly happening in our physical makeup.
Let’s say we intellectually know that it is not happening. Even then, our physicality can experience it as true. What is going on?
There is a battle going on in our subconscious mind. Is the reaction based on our pattern of beliefs of being an autonomous, independent physical being ruling our hearts? Or is our heart ruled by Hashem, the King?
If we can stop and take a breath and ask ourselves this important question – who is king over my heart, my self-consciousness or Hashem – then that is the beginning of mindfulness.
We then have the option of choosing to submit to Hashem. That is, if we have not already reacted and said the hurtful retort that our self-conscious thinking naturally feels and suggests.
The power of our experience is a part of our soul, a Divine energy, the creative flow, compassion, that is hidden within a falsehood. The task is to bring that compassion from where it is buried to be revealed.
Do we take the time to examine and understand our patterns to find our false beliefs and patterns so that we are able to see them as such and not as our essence?
Do we truly yearn to experience the greatest pleasure a person can experience, which is the pleasure of relationship with Hashem through emulating His love?
Invitation for women on a journey to deepen our emunah and mindfulness.
When we feel adversity and challenge, when we are feeling a red alert, the reality of Hashem’s love and mercy is very far away. It surely is not present in our natural reactions. Consider that our neurology is like a cell phone “dead zone” for receiving the feeling of Hashem’s love and mercy when we experience lack and our defenses are triggered.
Yet it is there. For us, it seems as though the lights went out. Yet, are they?
Buried within our soul is the emunah to know that He is real and that we are one with Him.
How do we access it when the feelings and circumstances in a world of action are spinning us around?
Being able to exercise that emunah is what gives us a new perspective on the meaning of our lives. To the degree we can “live” in a mindfulness that has an objective understanding of Hashem, His Torah and His Nation, the way we feel and act when struck with a traffic jam of feelings is affected.
How may we affect ourselves by keeping focused on Hashem, Torah and being His People?
Hashem, Torah and His Nation are One.
He is all compassion.
He places our soul in an amazing body that has built in interference.
All we hear naturally is the noise.
This is how He gives us real free will.
We use real free will to make choices that invest us in being connected to His Oneness.
Choices to connect in relationship while we are alive in a world where Hashem is concealed have eternal benefit.
Hashem loves us at every moment, even when we feel lost, rejected, stricken and more.
With emunah, when we hear the noise, we can activate our bina, our intellect, and remember the wisdom of Torah, that Hashem is One and His Love has never broken.
The goal is to hold our “ship” steady as we go through the turbulence. By holding the wisdom of Torah with our understanding and intellect, knowing Hashem is good, we can get through.
How do we go through?
The spark “Hashem is One” takes root through our holding steady with love for Hashem and our trust that Divine energy, the creative force, is compassion.
Hashem only does good.
That includes us. Even though we have terrifically challenging feelings and circumstances, and even though we are prone to error by being egoistic and self-focused, we are essentially good because Hashem is creating us every moment. We may have room to improve, but our essential goodness is real.
The challenge is to bond our goodness back to its source, which means dissolving our bond with self-consciousness.
We choose to do two more of the constant mitzvahs. Love Hashem. Fear (have awe in the design with which Hashem gives us a lifetime) Hashem.
These two mitzvahs open the channel of connection through which we can take what seems upside down in our heart and bring the compassion animating it from the interference through to the other side of the “prism” of our neurology.
When we stay focused on bringing into our hearts Hashem’s constant love and mercy, we remain consciously connected, even if it seems like that connection is like our cell phones with only “a bar” of connection. Through that connection, that pinhole, so much more can flow.
Having emunah in Hashem and His Oneness is important.
Understanding our role in declaring His Oneness is important.
Having the Torah learning of our forefathers so that we recognize our natural condition and what to avoid is important.
Accepting our neurological condition of “sad, mad, bad” in all its iterations helps us see the interference Hashem creates in order to give us real free will. Through hisbodidus, we can familiarize ourselves with our most common interpretations that lead us to err.
Instead of thinking we are stuck in being the enactment of sad, mad, bad, we can grow to have the wisdom to see a spiritually powerful role that we may play in bringing together what appears as two different types of compassion into one.
What are the seemingly two types of compassion? The natural compassion and empathy that helps us navigate the traffic jam thinking within the plane of the material and physical world is one. The underlying universal compassion that is the soul of every atom of creation is the second .
It is easy to see how these are not separate at all. Rather the first one is a subset of the second.
When we continue to have an ache in our heart, the mistake is to think that we have accomplished our full mission with the compassion that helps us travel through the traffic of the interference, the compassion that essentially utilizes kindness and empathy and understanding of human nature to maneuver gently around the obstacles or people causing interference. Torah gives us instruction in this regard, and that is full of compassion. While this may be considerate and important, and even powerful, it does not in every case perform the function of declaring Hashem’s Oneness if we carry pain. When we follow the Torah but carry pain within there is more we are capable to do in the declaring of Hashem Echad and returning compassion concealed by our nature to its Source.
What more can we do?
We may utilize our emunah in order to come to see the entire traffic jam as having a hidden compassion that is giving us the opportunity of using our lifetime (our natural frame of reference) to declare Hashem Echad. That is a perspective on our meager and unique circumstances, no matter how painful, that distills from the interference the hidden compassion and returns it to its Source through our mindfulness and prayers. This is the teshuva that then brings to our hearts the feeling of Hashem’s love and mercy. This is the teshuva that brings us the pleasure for which we are designed. This is the teshuva that creates positive influence. This is the teshuva that we are capable of.
If this type of work interests you, women are invited to join us in sharing our journey to deepen our emunah and mindfulness.
The ideas that spoken about on this blog are often benefited by sharing with others. This would be a sharing group, an opportunity to connect with likeminded people working to grow in emunah and bringing it to heart. If anyone is interested in sharing their emunah journey, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If we get enough interest, let’s make a weekly sharing time.
Tues 8 pm eastern
Sunday 3 pm eastern
Shuli Kleinman is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Here is the transcript as provided automatically on YouTube…there are errors…better to listen…but the time stamps are on there so if there is something that peaks your interest you can scroll on the video to that minute.
”Every lack a person experiences, whether children, livelihood, or health, comes from oneself.”  [Rebbe Nachman of Breslov]
There is an old saying: “The One Who gives life will also provide for it.” In other words, since G-d created the world, He most certainly provides whatever we need to exist, whether livelihood, children, health, etc. As discussed in the writings of the Arizal and many other holy books, He created the universe to bestow good on it, not so it should be lacking.
If this is true, when why do we need to exert ourselves so much in order to subsist? An animal usually has everything it needs in its local environment. Why would it be different for a human being, who is considered the choice of creation?
This is Rebbe Nachman’s point. The lack is not inherent in creation – it comes from oneself. The human being was created perfect and complete , but something happened that created lack and deficiency. For example, when a baby is born, the parents hover over the infant to ensure that it is warm, well-fed, and has everything it needs. As the child grows and begins to develop its own ideas and direction in life, the parents still desire to bestow good on the child. Sometimes, the child goes out on their own and acts foolishly without realizing the damage caused to themselves and others. The parents still worry, and do their best to warn the child of the various dangers, even when he or she stubbornly persists in pursuing their own ideas.
Likewise with Hashem. As mature as we consider ourselves, we still possess only a child-like understanding of the greatness of G-d. We don’t fully grasp the extent to which He wants to benefit us, and instead, we act like immature children who make trouble. Divine light, called shefa, constantly flows to us. Descending through all of the upper worlds into this world, it arrives to fill any need we may have. Shefa is very subtle in the heavens, and once it comes into the world, it manifests as a beneficial influence. Just as parents desire good for their child, G-d’s love likewise directs the appropriate shefa to reach us in a ready-made fashion, like children, money, a home, etc. The only thing that can stop it is the shadow created by our own actions. The shefa is then experienced as a deficiency.
How do our actions create a shadow? The first thing to understand is that the nature of a shadow is relative, since a shadow is created from something more physical in relation to something more spiritual. For example, a tree will create a shadow when put up against the light of the sun or moon. The earth will also cause a shadow in the form of an eclipse, as will the moon itself. Even the sun will create a shadow in relation to something higher than it. In this case, the sun would be considered physical in relation to what is above it. Anything more physical obstructs light in relation to something more spiritual. Similarly, a person’s physicality and undesirable deeds form a shadow that obstructs the flow of shefa, since something physical will block something more spiritual.
There is a way, according to Rebbe Nachman, to circumvent this problem. If you nullify yourself by minimizing your connection to the world, no shadow is created and shefa is received unhindered. It is normal to want to fill a place in the world, or to feel you possess something. You enjoy the respect accorded to you by others, you consume, eat, drink and buy, all of which amounts to experiencing some sort of ”somethingness” that defines your material existence. The more physical you are, the more it prevents you from receiving the constantly flowing Divine light called shefa.
A basic understanding of human character traits can help a person move towards minimizing their connection to the world. Let’s examine the trait of humility. Everyone is born with a specific predisposition and nature, with varying levels of coarseness or arrogance at one end of the spectrum, and qualities such as humility at the other end. Each quality, though, needs to be expressed in the proper way and proportion. For example, it is a natural and positive reaction to feel a sense of nullification or insignificance next to a greater person, not the opposite.
Likewise, we should feel our smallness in relation to Heaven. Our only desire should be to fulfill whatever role G-d gave us with self-nullification, which will naturally bring a tiny perception of G-d’s greatness. Even if we are not currently on this level, it is something that needs to be deeply contemplated, since it is the true reality.
As creations of G-d, we belong to Him. To the extent we comprehend this message and internalize it, our entire existence and relationship to the world will change. As we go about our daily business, we will begin to understand that we are nothing more than messengers on a mission given to us by Hashem. We will also be much less exacting of our own honor and care less about what others say or think about us. These concerns are exactly what make us more material. Freed of these concerns, we are less physical. More shefa reaches us and we experience less deficiency and lack.
The world was created with such compassion, in a way that is truly good for us in this world and the next. Consider the generation of Noah and the Flood. How did this generation come to such depravity that it had to be completely wiped out? The Midrash explains that this was actually caused by the abundant and awesome shefa they enjoyed on a constant basis. They had everything they wanted, immediately, with incredible opulence, which is what brought them to such coarseness and vulgarity. They believed the shefa came from their efforts and the strength of their own hands. They knew very well G-d was sending this goodness, but they didn’t believe He was the ultimate power behind sending it, or had the ability to halt it. When Noah repeatedly warned them about the impending flood, they taunted ”Where will the flood come from, Heaven?” since they felt they could stop the Heavenly wellsprings themselves. Although the good was indeed meant for them to enjoy, their way of thinking was a serious error because it overturned everything to the opposite.
Where are you holding?
You can actually sense where you stand before Hashem through evaluating your current situation, whatever it may be. The very deficiency you experience is a gauge to how physical you are, since the perceived lack is a result of Divine light that has been blocked. It is now expressed as a specific shortcoming, which indicates a lesser level of self-nullification to what Hashem desires
We are a manifestation of Hashem's Divine Creative Energy