Monday, June 24, 2013

Outline for June 24/ 16 of Tamuz

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh; Book 2; 

Chapter 19

Fear Requires Sensitivity:

Working to attain fear based on perfection= a fear of lack of deveikus to Hashem

The desire for closeness to Hashem fills you so much that you are apprehensive if it won't be realized.

How do we attain this level?

1. think about it/ talk about it: about which acts will distance you from Him and which will bring you close. (your soul feels if it will distance you from Hashem, but it's hidden feeling)

2. awaken the hidden feeling in your soul by doing number 1 again and again first in peaceful moments
(ask yourself will this act bring me closer to Hashem?)

What does Hashem want from me in this moment? is the question that should lead our every move

Nowadays it is difficult to sense yirah.  In order to have this sense, use the tool:

Sensitivity of the soul: 

nurture meekness and self refinement (versus coarse and crude) eat, drink, and act calmly.

"Gentle behavior produces an inner calmness and sensitivity."

Chazal: Before Moshiach, "wisdom of the scholars will be denigrated, and those who fear sin will be loathed; truth will disappear, and the young will humiliate the elderly."

This is due to the lack of sensitivity in the soul.

To serve Hashem, we must attain this- yirah is the ability to appreciate someone greater- "it is most difficult to attain yirah of Hashem..

"Feelings are rooted in the body, but become manifest in the soul...the soul has spiritual feelings, and they are subtle.  since the soul's nature is submissiveness, it cannot be coarse...the body's feelings are material and coarse..if tastes are refined, the inner refined nature of the soul has not been lost...if prefers coarse things, then desires for spiritual things changed to a desire for material AND lost touch with the soul."

So,in order to refine yourself:

1.  refine and purify the senses to begin to expose the soul

2. make the shift from physical to spiritual (can use ahava - love of Hashem- to do this/next week's reading)

To expose the soul must live life with gentleness.  Each person needs to look at own life and see where am i not gentle?

(eating big bites and coarsely? speaking on cel phone in public about personal matters? = inner crudeness!)

Body's nature: kol raash gadol- a loud tumultuous noise versus soul: kol demamah dakah- a subtle quiet voice- the more we are involved in tumult and commotion, the more distant from our soul.

To nurture a connection with your inner self, must act pure, calm, thoughtful

see Baal Shem Tov eg on final page of chapter.

For next week please read chapter 20 and this week start noticing where you are involved in outward activities in loud unrefined way.

In Forest Fields (159-162)

Emunah and acceptance of tefilos go hand in hand, need prayer to receive a gift that is not detrimental for us.

Thank Hashem for the problem, knowing that the solution is prepared before the trouble, rather than worrying about where the solution will come from.

From true joy, can ask for all that you wish for,especially clarity, teshuva, and emunah. (continue to follow our recipe for speaking out loud to Hashem, gratitude, teshuva, ask for clarity- and please begin chapter 6)

Jewish Mediation: (19-24)

If we are following the 6 minute recipe for the speaking out loud to Hashem, it is 1.verbal 2. inner directed 3. structured.

We are meditating with an agenda to perfect our midos and sense-experience Hashem in the deepest possible way.

Other forms of meditation:

1. gerushin (used in Tzfat in 1500s)visual or verbal use of a verse

a. read a bilblical verse, maybe even memorize, and use it as initial focus of meditation and then see where it goes in unstructured way

b. write the verse on a paper and reread and redirect your mind to it again and again; so the verse becomes an integral part of the meditation.

2. visual contemplation:

a. gaze at object and let your thoughts flow freely (unstructured)

b. banish all other thoughts while gazing at it (structured)- strive to see the Divine in the object and use as "springboard" to reach Him.

3. verbal: repeat verse over and over- (structured) (Reebe Nachman: Ribbono shel olam)

So there is visual/ verbal, structured/ unstructured; internal/ external

Internal: examine life and find meaning
External: used to focus the mind and thought processes or to have transcendental experience.

4.Can also use the senses; smell (boreh minei besamim), touch (tasting and eating food thru the bracha over the food), movement (chasidim swaying);

In Judaism action meditation is "most important when connected with the performance of commandments and rituals...when the mitzvos are seen in this light (bring a person to high level of G-d consciousness) they assume greater spiritual significance." (23)
 (What does Hashem want of me right now?connection, gentleness required)

5. can use the emotions: ie; ponder the love you feel for Hashem of another person seen tin the mitzvah to love Hashem with all your heart, and others as you love yourself.

In this way come to control your emotions and use them as you will, to enhance the mitzvos and feelings of closeness to Hashem and His creations.

6. direct control of thoughts with no device/ intermediary
stop thinking for a period of time- takes years and can be dangerous. 
(please read chapter four for next week)

avodah for next week:
1. readings
2. six minutes
a. gratitude b. teshuva c. clarity d. continue playing around with control of mind
3. What does Hashem want of me right now? ask yourself this question throughout the day and try to surrender to the answer

Reitza Sarah- can you make a card with this question? :)

Love, aviva rus

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