Sunday, October 6, 2013

Outline for Monday, 3rd of Cheshvan, October 7

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh, Book 2:

Chapter 23: 

Removing Obstacles to Conditional Love:

Step 1: believe that everything comes from Hashem
Step 2: believe that all Hashem does to you is good and for your good,(even if it doesn't feel that way)
Step 3: Begin to feel His love through happy moments or suffering ones (otherwise the suffering moments will be an "obstacle to love".

HOW can we feel Hashem's love when we suffer?

1. know that it is for our benefit, that He created us to "bestow His goodness upon us", so that is all He does, every moment, give to us from love.
2. know that there is a bigger picture that has led to the suffering (previous gilgulim,etc)and we may never know the why.
3. know that Hashem is incomprehensible to us, as are His ways, and oftentimes more information won't help, because He and His ways are beyond our comprehension.

"Taste and see that Hashem is good"- awareness of the soul:

The taste/ feeling of closeness to Hashem really cannot be described in words, a sod, that cannot really be explained.  So we see that we don't even fully grasp kindness.

The nature of the goodness that Hashem gives, is a sod.  "The sod of Hashem is for those who revere Him" (Tehillim 25:14).

Hashem's kindness stems from Him Who is Infinite, therefore, it's full depth is only grasped by those who are infinite (nobody in other words ;).

summary of the 2 reasons why we can't evaluate if something is a kindness:
1. we don't have all the details
2. we don't have the tools to evaluate what is and is not a kindness.

Rambam (Hilchos teshuva 3:2) "This is evaluated according to Hashem's understanding and only He knows".  Even in Gan Eden we won't grasp it fully.

When we see that the events in our life, wether they seem like suffering or kindness,  are all true kindness, then nothing will distance us from Hashem or diminish our joy in serving Him.

please read chapter 24 for next week

In Forest Fields: (177-183)

So far we discussed how to have self composure  in order to do proper hisbodedut.

Another important part of self composure is nullifying your will to the will of Hashem.  How would this look?

If we believe that Hashem is running the show and knows what's best for us, then whatever we are doing in that moment is the best thing for us.

Baal Shem Tov: Dovid Hamelech said "I have set Hashem before me always". 
How do we know when we have truly set Him before ourselves?

shiviti : I have set= shivyon= equality= "all is equal before me".  When the yes or no, to what we want to have or do, is equal in our thoughts, then Hashem will show us what to do in every situation. (178)

"The essence of proper hisbodedus is seeking what Hashem wants from us." (see bottom of 179 for how to ask for this)

"Improper hisbodedus really means that the person wants Hashem to nullify His will to his...True self composure means searching for and clarifying the truth, asking what Hashem wants, what he himself wants, and differentiating between the two to avoid fooling oneself.  Then..strive to nullify his will before the will of Hashem."

please read pages 185-189 for next week and follow the new hisbodedus card for the 1-10 minutes a day.

Jewish Meditation

Chapter 6: Mantra Meditation:

mantra= word or phrase repeated over and over as meditative exercise (needs a month of daily 20-30 minutes for results to become manifest)

Immediate effect= relaxes the body and can be used to clear the mind of mundane thought.

Rebbe Nachman recommended saying Ribono Shel Olam over and over again (slowly and in a soft voice), if you do not know what to say to Hashem in hisbodedus. 

Find a secluded comfortable spot and sit (without moving) in comfortable position.  When thoughts arise, gently bring your mind back to what you are saying.  When visualizations arise, see them as an aesthetic experience.

Anyone who has any history of mental illness should not do this.

This type of meditation can prepare you for a deep spiritual experiential connection to Hashem.

After the meditation, you can sit for five minutes and/ or speak to Hashem for a few minutes.

"Some sources say that after meditating, one should smell fragrant spices or perfumes, so as to reinvolve oneself in the physical world.  It is also prescribed that some light food be eaten shortly afterward, since through the blessing, the food can elevate the entire body."(62) 

Wow!...a good thing to do before we eat! 

(please read chapter 7 for next week)

Thank you Shira for taking over all administrative duties.  For information re phone numbers and recordings, please email Shira at:

Thank you! Love, aviva rus

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