A righteous man and his friend come into a spiritual place, a place of prayer. As they are approaching the front door, however, the righteous man says, “I can’t go in there.” “Why not?” the friend asks, puzzled. The righteous man responds, “Oh, it’s full. It’s full of prayer. It’s full of tears. It’s full of wanting. The atmosphere is too full. I can’t enter there.” The friend is truly confused now. “But isn’t that what’s supposed to be there? I mean, it is a place of prayer. So it should be full of prayers, right?” But the righteous man says gently, “No, it’s not supposed to be so full. All of those prayers were supposed to have gone Upstairs, all of that desire elevated. That it wasn’t tells me that there is a lack of love in that place, for where there is affinity between people, where there is a form of unity, that is the place where prayers can rise from the physical up to the spiritual. Where there is no communion, no unity, our prayers and the energy we generate gets stuck.”... Read More
Posted In: Vayikra, Our Potential, Sharing & Receiving, Personal Transformation Posted On: March 19,2015
One of the gifts of this week’s energy (corresponding to portion Vayikra) is the concept of appropriate sacrifices and of sharing the gifts that the Creator gave us. So now is the time for each of us to check in with a few questions: 1. What is my gift? 2. How am I consciously sharing my gift with others? 3. How can I expand myself to share more of my individual Light in this world? Let us pray that by our actions of kindness and by our ability to share our gifts, we move ourselves and the world towards all that is good and sweet in life. Read More
God doesn’t make deals, although we try to make deals with God all the time. Sometimes we say, “I will pray three times a day and do x, y, and z, if only You will do this one thing for me.” Then we question why God isn’t manifesting what we want in our lives, even though we know we are doing all the “right” things. Sometimes, the reason we aren’t getting what we want is because we are trying to negotiate. In this world, the only “deal” that we can make with God is to be the very best person that we can be. To achieve this level of enlightenment is the only task that God has given us to do. Read More
As we go come closer to the energy, the Force, that we call the Final Redemption—the time when chaos and suffering will be wiped from the earth—we may find that our lives are becoming more and more difficult in one way or another. This is why people are gravitating to spirituality, searching for answers in ways they have never considered or even thought of before. There are always those who will fall victim to the negativity surrounding them and say, “Forget it,” and do drugs or look for other ways to escape. But in truth, all the difficulties we face are opportunities for us to grow, not to run away. The world is our playing field, and everything we experience is designed to help us win this Game of Life. Read More
A person who has truly become spiritual had to work very hard for it by overcoming many hurdles and tests that push us as human beings to become more involved in the spiritual side of things. The Rav used to say that it is very simple to flow with the tide when things are going our way, but the way that we respond and react when things are not going our way is what builds our spirituality. The difficulties and pressure we encounter are what push us to do, to make, to move forward, to grow, and to become more than we are today. True spirituality is the result of the tests that we undergo throughout life to refine ourselves and to become closer to the Lightforce. We learn to have tolerance. We learn not to be arrogant, not to be egotistical. We learn to love and share. But the only way we can learn is by deciding that when we see the door opening, we won’t close it, and instead of looking for ways to “escape” our reality, we look for the lesson within it. Read More
This week’s portion, Vayikra, deals with sacrifices and practices that at first glance seem relevant only to the time of the Temple. So what insight can we draw from it that is relevant to our lives today? It says that if a rich man brings a pigeon to be sacrificed, his sacrifice will be refused, whereas a pigeon from a poor man will be accepted. Why? Because for a poor man, a pigeon is all that he can afford to offer, while a rich man will need to sacrifice at least an ox to atone for his sin because he has more resources and therefore is required to give more. Essentially, the Creator was saying to each person then, just as He says to each one of us today: “Now that I have provided for you, what are you going to do with what I have given you? Are you going to use it for My purposes?” Each of us has our own set of gifts and our own set of limitations. Whatever positive we do with our gifts in this life can remove the negative karma we built up from previous lives, thus helping us... Read More
Posted In: Humility, Friendship, Relationships, Well Being, Sharing & Receiving, Love Posted On: March 14,2015
Sometimes the best gift we can give another person is the gift of ourselves: our attention, our love, our simply being there for them. The gift of sitting with a friend and crying together. The gift of caring for someone or something that is not within our usual scope of care. The gift of sharing without looking for credit or being known as this “good guy.” The best gift is the gift we share when we give because our heart tells us to, because by sharing this way, we come closer to the energy of the Creator. This sharing is the giving that comes from our inner spirit, from our inner Light. We all have this gift to give. The only question is whether we choose to exercise it or not. Read More
A spiritual person understands that someone can have everything in the world, but all material possessions are empty and valueless if they don’t involve some essence of sharing, some energy of love. What use is a huge house if you have no one inside to love it with you? What’s the point of a lot of money if you have no one to enjoy it with? Aren’t vacations so much more fun when you can share the experience with a companion? I bet our volunteers who went to Oklahoma on a working “vacation” with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds affordable housing for those living in poverty, will remember the experience for years to come. The reason they will remember is because their “vacation” contained the essence of doing something for somebody else. Now I’m not telling you, don’t go on vacation or don’t go and do things for yourself. Quite the opposite. The Zohar itself says that we should, in fact, have as much as we can have, but it also tells us to make sure that when... Read More
One of the gifts that I wrote about on Sunday that is available for all of us this week is the gift of knowing that a. We are never given more than we can handle and b. By putting in effort, we make room for the Creator to assist us on our path. Now that it is Thursday and the week is almost over, let’s take a few minutes and do a weekly check in: How did you react when you were challenged this week? Did you take a pause and remember that nothing is beyond our ability to balance and to change? Did you fall into thoughts of “I can’t,” “I won’t” or “why me?” Read More
Oftentimes, we see ourselves as pure. Well, maybe not completely pure, but at least not particularly bad. We think to ourselves: “I’m OK. I mean, I don’t hurt people and I live a good life. Sure, I may not do as much as I should to share, but at least I’m not hurting anyone.” We learn, we pray, and we do good things day in and day out. We give charity, and everything is great. But eventually, there comes a time when we are tested. To show that we must grow spiritually, the Creator gives us a spiritual ladder and the ability to climb up it but also to fall down. Usually, we fall because there is something that happens that brings us to despair. You know: Things happen, difficulties arise. The question is how we respond to those difficulties. Will we pass the test? Or will we fall back on that old complaint: “This doesn’t work for me anymore. It’s not real. God doesn’t care. Why should I even try?” Today, be on the lookout for your spiritual tests. How will you measure up? Read More
Posted In: Light & Vessel, Food, One Percent & 99 Percent, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: March 10,2015
There is a spark of the Creator in everything that exists—everything, not just living beings. In a table, there is a piece of holiness. The same goes for walls, books, pillows: in short, anything you can think of. This is why sometimes you can walk into a place and you immediately feel great. But what does “feeling great” mean here? The room has a chair, a table, a light, some walls, and a door. Big deal. I mean, can these inanimate objects really have an effect on the energy of a person? The answer is yes, because when we enter a room, we feel the energy of everything that is there. Some of us may be more sensitive to this side of our nature than others, but all of us have the capability of tapping into it. The same concept applies to food. When you eat something, you receive the energy that is within that food. With meat, it is possible that you are receiving the energy of the soul that was incarnated into the animal. Fish is the same deal. For some people, this is easy to... Read More
Posted In: Angels, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: March 09,2015
Sometimes in the quiet of night, if we listen carefully enough, we might be able to hear the flutter of an angel’s wing. Yes, it’s true: Each one of us can learn to hear the angels. And the spiritual tools we have—the prayers, the studying, the meditations, and the connections we do—all can help us toward this end. This process of being able to listen to the angelic voice inside us is governed by our consciousness, and as we grow and open our consciousness through our spiritual efforts and evolution, we become more in tune with this voice. Oftentimes, in fact, it’s the voice of an angel guiding us when we hear in our head: “You know you don’t want to do that!” Sometimes we can even connect with more than just the angel’s voice; we can actually feel its presence. Yet all too often, we block out the voice or the presence. Perhaps the voice is saying something we don’t want to hear, or perhaps we are just afraid of what we don’t understand with our logical mind. But the truth of the... Read More
The Midrash for one of this week’s Bible portions explains that on the first day of the month of Nisan (Aries), the Creator commanded Moses to finally erect the Mishkan (Tabernacle). For months, the builders had been working on its construction, and now the Creator wanted it to stand. Now this may seem like an unreal feat—for one man to put an entire building into place. But the Creator said to Moses, “Just try to lift it and I will do the rest.” And so Moses pushed the Tabernacle, and it was up. As the Midrash describes: “Finally, Moses set up the Mishkan, single-handedly. He merely touched the beams, and they miraculously put themselves into position.” (Midrash, Pekudei). This is a lesson for all of us. All that is expected of us is to try, to do what we can, to accomplish our half of the work. The Creator will do the rest. Nothing that comes to us is beyond our ability. Nothing that we can’t do is expected of us. We are not asked to become saints. (If we all became saints, it would... Read More
The Midrash (portion Ki Tisa) tells the story of a family who made the incense for the Holy Temple, and the smell of this incense was so wonderful that it went straight to Heaven. The secret of their recipe was kept in the family from generation to generation, and they wouldn’t share it with anyone. Unfortunately this ended up being a mistake because in the end, the secret was lost to all. It is said that what truly belongs to a person can never be taken from that person. But we are not the ones to determine what is ours and what is not. We don't know what really belongs to us, but we need to share—our money, our talents, our knowledge, our spirituality—regardless. This doesn't mean we should go and give everything away and stay with nothing. Rather, we should know that what is truly ours will stay with us no matter what and understand that actions of true sharing and kindness are always in our best interest. Read More
We hear it all the time in spirituality: Make the effort. Do the work. Don’t worry about the outcome. But there’s another part to this counsel that we don’t hear as often and that is this: when we do fall into a place of despair, there is one sure way to get out of ourselves, and that is to turn around and find someone who needs help. Consider when we are doing our daily work (whatever that might be) and things don’t happen the way we want them to happen, and we find ourselves saying, “Oh, poor me, I can’t make it any more. I don’t have any more strength.” If in that moment, we can stop ourselves and reach out our hand to someone else, then we have a chance of pulling ourselves into a better space. By helping others, we are truly helping ourselves. Read More
Posted In: Purim, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: March 05,2015
How often do we really allow the people in our lives the chance to glimpse inside us and see who we truly are? If you think about it, the majority of us wear masks most of the time. For example, how often do we "mask" ourselves in order to integrate with others? The paradox is that when we hide behind a "mask," we also "mask" ourselves from ourselves, from the Light we have within, our true and eternal Essence. Why, then, you may ask, did we wear masks and costumes last night at our Purim connections? Ironically, the masquerading we took part in last night was tool that we used to actually reveal our true selves and come to a place of unified consciousness. By wearing a physical costume we were able to see that no matter what there is an energy that exists within and between us that cannot be destroyed, and in that energy is our strength, our unity, and our connection to the infinite spiritual current that flows through the world. Read More
Posted In: Purim, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: March 04,2015
Tonight is the 14th of Adar (Pisces) and from sundown today until sundown tomorrow, we have a unique opportunity to connect to one of the most joyous days in our calendar, Purim, a day that contains energy so pure and high that the sages say it will be the only day to remain even after the Final Redemption occurs. But what’s interesting is that this day, this revelation Light, came out of a place of devastation and disaster—a time when almost all hope was lost. The simple story goes like this: Queen Esther, seeing that the Israelites were in danger of being killed by the evil Haman, called for all of the people to merge their consciousness and energy with one another and to fast together for three days. Esther knew that without this communion of the people—without their desire to rid themselves of the bounds of the material, their desire to try to bring about a miracle—they could never alter their grim fate. Tonight we celebrate that victory and that same energy is available for all... Read More
Posted In: Appreciation, Relationships, Well Being, Inspiration, Self-Esteem, Human Dignity Posted On: March 03,2015
All too often, we lose sight of the significance of the journey we go on every day. We forget or ignore the importance of our relationships. We don’t see the beauty of being connected to something beyond ourselves. Our daily comings and goings become so expected, so mundane, even so boring that we begin to not really think about what we are receiving throughout the day. Consequently, we start to take for granted that the gifts that life has bestowed upon us. Each day presents us with another opportunity to redirect our consciousness towards appreciating the people and things that really matter to us in our life. And this is one of our spiritual jobs in this world. When we manage to make others feel that they are significant, then we, too, are significant, because in so doing, we become a conduit for kindness and for the love of the Creator. Today, take the time to call two people who matter most to you and tell them how much they mean to you. Thank them for being in your life and then... Read More
Posted In: Sharing & Receiving, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: March 02,2015
If I have $100 and I give away $1, I don’t have $100 anymore, right? I have $99. It’s obvious that if I give something away, then I will have less than I had before. But this is true only in the material world. There’s one thing that doesn’t diminish, and that’s energy—spiritual Light, if you will. In the spiritual world, the more we give (with the right consciousness, of course), the more we can receive back. A candle provides a nice metaphor: If I take a candle and from that candle light 100 candles, the light of the first candle isn’t reduced. In fact, the light in the room gets brighter and brighter. How will you share your light today? Read More
Posted In: Spiritual Work, Spiritual Teachers, Study, Personal Transformation Posted On: March 02,2015
People tend to look for great concepts and intellectual ideas that are sometimes so intellectualized that they don’t understand them. Truth is very simple. If you have a teacher and he can take a concept, consolidate it, and give it to you to understand, then you know he knows what he is talking about. If the concept is too complicated and codified, chances are that the teacher doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Read More

Karen BergYOUR 7 DAY SPIRITUAL COMPASS by Karen Berg

Karen Berg, Spiritual Leader of The Kabbalah Centre, has committed her life to introducing the teachings of Kabbalah to the world and to expanding the role of women in spirituality and in the global community.  Read Karen's Bio

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In the midst of such chaos in my life, I have been able to find peace through studying Kabbalah. Without any doubts whatsoever, I would highly recommend anyone to call. I am so thankful for The Kabbalah Centre, because it has made all the difference in my spiritual growth and development.

 

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Kabbalah is the best gift I have had this year. But it did not come easy. It is a result of a lot of hard, focused, and disciplined work my teacher guided me through. Often I had to go out of my comfort zone to apply the tools. But the satisfaction and confidence I now feel is indescribable.

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