Sunday, October 13, 2013

Outline for October 14, Cheshvan10

Don't forget! Tonight is the yartzheit of Rochel Imeinu.

Today we saw clearly that each of us has our own way to connect with Hashem.  Our job is to figure out what method works for us.  Hence, we are exploring hisbodedus and Jewish meditation, simply noticing, without judgement, what makes us feel cognizant that Hashem is right here, right now, giving us life.


Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh Book 2, Chapter 25

Acquiring Emunah by Contemplating Suffering:

Last week we discussed how we cannot understand the negative or positive events of our lives.

Our job is to realize, through contemplation, that

1. just as when good things happen, we thank Hashem and love Him, so too, when bad things happen we know they  are ultimately for our good, and 

2. the finite human mind cannot grasp the Infinite to understand what is actually a kindness; closer to unconditional love "Hashem, the Torah, and Yisrael are one.."

True deveikus with Hashem can only occur when "a person strives to transcend the conditions of creation and unite with the Creator....Emunah is the only method through which we  can have, in a certain sense, a relationship to the Infinite...then) can access unconditional love."

Set aside an hour (uh -oh...) each day to contemplate the level you are trying to attain.

-first notice how things that seemed awful turned out for the best

-check if your heart agrees with your mind
-speak out loud; "please Hashem help me feel the goodness in every situation"(feel in the heart, not just know it in the mind)
- start noticing all that is going on around you (baby in stroller crying= suffering= kindness of Hashem/ correcting a fault from previous generation)"what counts is the inner purpose behind it all. Without the suffering, a person is far from the Creator..thus, each pain that comes to a person is truly form kindness."

Types of suffering to contemplate first is the light suffering we see either in our own lives or in other peoples. (i.e, pulling out the wrong coin...)  In this way, we begin to see Hashem communicating to us every moment, and will be a more calm, peaceful, and happy person. (please read chapter 25 for next week and start to notice the small difficult moments and Hashem within them.)

In Forest Fields:185-189
Connecting to the source:

 To truly do teshuva, must learn to pray.
"Concentrate for one week on one particular issue and for half an hour or one full hour daily do hisbodedus on only that sole issue." (187)

If not, eventually will feel despair that change is not happening in your life.

"Main element of prayer: request over and over whatever you desire. Even speaking the same words "have mercy" or "help me overcome..." will have dramatic effects within a week or two. 

Also, when you get an answer you will be encouraged to continue. 

This method will help you grow even closer to Hashem. 
(please read pages 189-194 for next week)

Jewish Meditation
Chapter 7; 
"sitting and concentrating on an object, word, or idea, letting it fill the entire mind." (visual experience rather than verbal as in mantra)

Contemplation engraves the image in the mind's eye.

1. begin by using the object as a focus for unstructured meditation.
2. fill the mind with the visual image and banish all other thoughts.

Best to use the same object so the effects will be cumulative.

Know if you are more verbal or visual.  Can use mantra with contemplation.

ie. Ribbono shel olam while contemplating an object, can make the object as a link between him and Hashem, and begin to see the Divine hidden in the object. (the object is an aid, not the end in itself.)

 Two ideas for contemplation are:
1. candle flame; (in a dark room with no chadows cast on the wall) begin to see the five colors, white, yellow, red, black, and sky blue; Zohar says the blue one (spiritual essence of the light that is radiating from the candle) sees around the flame is the shechina (Divine presence)  As you get deeper into this meditation will begin to see sky blue field around the darkness.  Zohar says this is a revelation of the spiritual.
          a. this gives us experience with "black fire or radiating darkness"
           b. learn how to see auras-tzelem-Ari was able to see a person's spiritual health on the basis of the aura.

2. Tetragrammaton- yud- heih- vav- heih;
yud=10=Ten sayings of creation=Breishis "And Hashem said" occurs ten times=contemplate yud; a dot; initial point of creation; the 10 sayings that brought creation into existence out of nothingness.
heih=five= Hashem's 'hand' (vessel to hold the abstract power of creation)to give to us
vav=Hashem's power reaching out to us, wanting to give
heih= our hand reaching to receive from Hashem.

The link between the vav and last heih is very important as it is the connection between the Giver and the receiver.  Without this connection, we can't receive anything, uniting the vav with the heih makes us more aware of Divine intervention.

(read last 3 paragraphs of the chapter on the call if we have time.)

(please read chapter 8 for next week)


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