Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hi! Da Es Atzmecha update.

Hello Chaburah!  

Here is a quick review of what we have discussed so far in  Da Es Atzmecha:

If anyone has any questions regarding this material please contact me asap.  IyH We are continuing with chapter 4.  Plus the last five sections in Bilvavi ( see below)

Remember that each of us is unique and therefore, different sections of these seforim will speak to us in a myriad of ways.  There's beauty in this! We each can experience our relationship to Him through His Torah and He sends us this hint (the Torah that speaks to us)- another way to...GET TO KNOW YOURSELF


The goal:  to reveal an existing entity- a clear, definite, absolute, non-negotiable inner world.

Question:  How can I identify with my neshama every moment?
Answer: A change of perspective (example of how a person feels before and after marriage-change in personal identification)
Changing our perspective to:

1. I am converting- new identity (smashed car example); I am no longer a body, I am a soul in a garment called a body.

2. I am changing through a gradual internal process based on a plan of daily action (one brick at a time).

(Chapter 2 is about hachna'ah- subjugation of body to soul in consciousness.)

1.There are 3 forms of expression; thoughts, feelings, actions. These can come from the soul or the body.

2. Chazal: a person's real essence-soul- is only good. Positive thoughts, feelings, and actions come from here.The neshama is eternal, pure and clean.

3.Yetzer hara: external force that covers a person's essence and motivates him to act improperly. All negative thoughts, feelings and actions come from here.

4. You only have to uncover the good that is already within you-Hashem planted it in each person.  "There is no need to acquire good behaviors, good qualities, and good feelings".  You are all of those things- it is your true essence.

Basic Preparation: Self Awareness:

This avoda begins with the mind. First must know who is the real "I"."I am a pure, clean, and devoid of evil.  I am a soul."  

What is the proper attitude toward sin?

If we do something wrong, the yetzer hara grabs onto the deed and sends us thoughts that throw us into sadness and regret that could last for days.  BUT if we see ourselves as a soul- then we put it in perspective, and get rid of the "garments" that we don't want to wear. (4 steps of teshuva)

Chapter 3:
Nullifying the negative Feelings:
(chapter 3 is about Havdalah: separation: the power of "alone":  associating with the inner "I")

Question: How do we learn to associate positive feelings with the true "I", (as part of essence of soul), and dissociate from negative feelings- see them as coming from the external body= separate from the true "I"?

1. Focus: (even an angel cannot accomplish more than one task at a time) "When a person is busy with something, that should be the only thing he is doing, and nothing else should interest him)pg 62.

2. "Allow your mind to relax and take a break from the rush of life". (pg 64)- you will discover an entirely new sense of self" (pg 65) (technique ideas:use of quiet music, find a tool that helps you)

When we experience inner quiet, then comes the revelation of the presence of Hashem within us (pg 66).

Havdala is the da'as that defines the proper place for each thing. (pg 71)

Chapter 4:

Gaining a Positive Self-image from the Soul

"When a person has a low self-esteem, the solution cannot come from the bodily forces.  The solution is to let the soul's light shine, and then, one will truly enjoy a positive self-concept (pg 76)".  (Elokai neshama shenasata bi...)

In other words, when you identify with your soul, you will attain positive self esteem. 

This is a gift from Hashem and is not something to be arrogant about.  Recognize the truth: "I am good, because that is how Hashem created me (pg 77).

{Nefesh Hachaim: after the sin of Adam, the external aspect of evil became internalized.  We now thought evil was a part of our "I".  The moment we sin, we think the evil is a part of us, when in actuality, we are a pure soul and the evil is a garment.  Therefore, if you have negative self image, the solution is to teach ourselves that our essence is good.}

"If a person has a simple basis of emunah in Hashem, and believes that the Torah is true, he must believe that he (and all of mankind) is very good (pg 82)". 

"A person should train himself to think this way at all times....No fault in the world can uproot the truth of "Hashem, the soul You placed in me is pure."(82) 

Wake up your soul! How?

1. Torah and Mitzvos
2. Believe in the soul's existence
3. Contemplate "I am a neshama".
4. Contemplate the "I" is very good
This method of contemplation will expose  your soul, and since it comes from a higher realm than the body, the soul will win over the body- and you will then come to a more positive outlook. (If you see self as a body, then the body rules over the soul)- If you identify with the soul, you reveal goodness and expand its lights, and win over the power of evil within (87).

Where does sadness come from? Not from a situation, rather from not identifying with who you really are, a soul.  "Sadness applies when there is no soul." (86)  Therefore, the most intense period of sadness is when there is a body without a soul. (87)

avodah: continue reading chapter 4 and practicing the alone time 2+minutes.

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh book 1
Section 2 Belief in the Creator
parts 50-55
(we will do this in two weeks- we did not have time on this past weeks call...)
  1. 50.
     first desire to live every moment with the awareness of Hashem in your heart then in steps (later in sefer) come to your heart constantly aware of Hashem =different world, reality shifts

  1. 51.Inner sincerity and deep sense of purpose when live with thoughts of Hashem constantly and brings an inner strength that permeates his entire spiritual composition- become a different person

  1. 52. a great treasure to think about Hashem constantly-but first must toil to realize this=Hashem's will that it works this way

  1. 53.Vilna Gaon- great pain for soul to see what it didn't accomplish-if live with closeness to Hashem all the time-higher place in Gan Eden bec that's it's inner essence.

  1. 54.Chazon Ish: “the main thing is to remember before Whom you toil” many work hard but miss the main point.

  1. 55.(food parable:outside body versus inside body)_our avodah is to make sure the knowledge that all that I do is for connection to Hashem- becomes seeped into our heart- not intellectual knowledge, but heart knowledge, to give vitality and energy- emunah sustains you.

avodah: remind yourself regularly "there is a Creator Who created me!"

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