Posted In: Well Being, Restriction, Freedom, The Opponent, Repentance, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: January 26,2016
Letting go of ego means listening to another completely—even when we don’t agree with what they have to say. It means allowing someone to have a differing opinion—and not turning it into a war of words. It means being in a place where we recognize that we don’t have to take offense—just because someone doesn’t share our viewpoint. Today, set an intention to let go of ego in some area of your life. Then, be aware when a situation arises that presents you the opportunity to do so. Remember, in the moment, letting go of our ego is not easy; but is one of the best ways to bring yourself a sense of lasting fulfillment and to breathe life and energy into those areas where you may feel a little stuck. Read More
Posted In: Well Being, Human Dignity, Judgment Posted On: January 25,2016
To be completely attuned to another person’s "wavelength," we must completely remove our prejudices from the picture. What I see with my eyes isn’t what you see with yours. You and I have two completely different perspectives on everything surrounding us. If we can temporarily give up what we think, who we are, and what we feel, we’ll be able to truly hear what is being said and reach into the depths of another human being. Read More
Posted In: Well Being, Human Dignity Posted On: January 23,2016
A righteous person is not someone who becomes pure and then can lecture and give himself to the people. Rather, a righteous person is someone who would, perhaps, stop in the street to help someone who is hurting—even though, let’s say, this will make him or her late for an important meeting. A righteous person, in other words, is someone who sees what he or she can do for someone else, and does it, even if it is inconvenient or uncomfortable. There’s a story about a man who wants desperately to find God. I mean, he really, really desires to connect with his Creator. So what does he do? He fasts for a few days, then climbs a mountain to meditate. Finally, exhausted, he gets to a place where he can rest and there he continues his fervent prayers. Nada: no response from God. At last, exasperated, the man cries out, “God! God! Where are you?” And God says, “You went the wrong way, buddy! I’m down here, with the people! Indeed, a righteous person is someone who is involved in caring about... Read More
Posted In: Appreciation, Friendship, Relationships, Well Being, Human Dignity, Judgment Posted On: January 22,2016
It is said that we have two eyes for a reason: one eye to see the beauty and warmth in our friends, and the other to look inside ourselves to see what is wrong with us so we can transform it. It is so much easier to look for what is wrong in a person or situation than for what is right. It is so much easier sometimes to find something that is off in whatever is in front of us and then proceed with zeal and zest to try to change it. The greatest gift we have is loyalty and friendship. So the next time something you find yourself focusing on all that is going wrong, find something right---and appreciate it. Read More
Posted In: Pain, Well Being, Human Dignity Posted On: January 21,2016
There is a beautiful story that I told in a recent lecture. I’m sure I have written it down before, but it is so powerful for this time, for this month of Aquarius, that I want to share it with you again. It is a story about a great tzadik, a righteous rabbi. One day, a couple came to him with their dying child and begged him with all their heart to heal the boy. The tzadik did everything he could. He spent hours and hours in prayer and fasting, but to no avail. He finally came out to the parents, and with tears in his eyes said, ‘I’ve tried, and yet there is no opening for me to heal this child. I’m so sorry.” The parents were devastated. Completely torn apart inside, they took the little boy into their cart and drove off. About an hour later, the tzadik suddenly said to himself, “What did I do? What a stupid fool I am!” With that, he jumped into his cart, and driving as fast as he could, caught up with the little family. As soon as he reached them, he said, “Listen, my friends, I... Read More
Posted In: Aquarius, Astrology Posted On: January 19,2016
We are now one week into the month of Aquarius (Shevat), a month that holds tremendous power for all of us, whether we are Aquarians or not. We have the ability, if we so desire in this time, to check our spiritual boundaries, to push them a little further. What do I mean by this? This month, as I mentioned in my new moon post, is known in Hebrew as “dli” meaning “bucket,” because energetically speaking it is a time of culmination and collection. Like a spiritual checkpoint, the month of Aquarius is a time when we can take all the things that we have learned from the beginning of the year at Rosh Hashanah and bring them to fruition. It is a time to ask ourselves questions like: “Have I changed for the better? What have I done? How am I different? What have I received?“ If our answer is “no” and “nothing,” then perhaps it’s time for us to recheck our spiritual channels. I’m not saying that we all need to be completely transformed persons in comparison to who we were a few months ago,... Read More
Posted In: Relationships, Well Being, Human Dignity Posted On: January 15,2016
I’ve said this before, but it takes only one small candle to bring Light to a darkened room. We have the power to be that small light every time we choose to make a difference in one person’s life. Being that candle doesn’t require a great deal from us—it’s the way we smile, the way we take a moment to help, the way we say “thank you.” Our kindness and care can make a tremendous difference. In a world that is at any moment cold, dark, and painful for many people we need to remember that one candle can bring warmth and Light. As the old adage goes, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” Read More
It’s no secret that there is horrible chaos erupting all over the world at this time. Some regions are shrouded in such darkness and pain that it is even hard for most of us to even wrap our heads around what is happening. For this reason, those of us who are perhaps more in tune with the spiritual Light around and within us should realize that this awareness is not simply a blessing in and of itself. It is an opportunity to bring other people to the same awareness. Today, don’t take your spiritual awareness for granted. Share one concept you have learned with someone else: it just may be what he or she needs to hear. Read More
Posted In: Overcoming Challenges, Removing Blockages, Personal Transformation Posted On: January 13,2016
Each and every one of us has a certain amount of tests to pass over the course of this lifetime. Whenever we reach the point that we accomplish whatever we need to accomplish at a specific level, then we move on to the next level and the next test, gaining access to a higher level of our soul. The hard fact is that the tests that we sometimes need to undergo can be very difficult. Sometimes they may even appear to us to be insurmountable “curses.” What we learn in Kabbalah is though that every hardship is there somehow to bring us to another level of consciousness. For example, let’s say that a person gets ill. As a result of finally slowing down in life, finds himself contemplating his ways; what he has and has not; how he has or has not contributed to the world. Finally after years and years on one track, this person can gain a true determination to become more than he is, to become more aware of what is around him, to share more with his family, friends, and community. So in the... Read More
Posted In: Overcoming Challenges, Personal Transformation Posted On: January 12,2016
One of the most powerful things we can remind ourselves of every day is this: "Whatever place I am at is where I must be to take the nourishment I need so that I can become a better person in the future." The things that the Light gives us to learn from—the curves and bumps and boulders in the road of our life—are there so that we will stop ourselves and say, "OK, there is something I need to learn, or grow from, or cleanse myself from through this experience. Whatever it is, it will move me forward in the direction I need to go." Read More
Posted In: Effort, Personal Transformation Posted On: January 11,2016
There are times in our life that we are asked to step outside of our comfort zone—times when we are asked to do things that are either inconvenient or unpleasant, perhaps for another person, or in our spiritual work, or in a relationship, or in any other area. These instances, in reality, are opportunities for us to deposit energy into our spiritual bank account so that we can withdraw this energy down the line when it is necessary. It is human nature to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “I don’t need to do it.” It is human nature to find excuses why whatever needs to be done doesn’t have to be done by me. But when we miss these opportunities to go that extra (uncomfortable) mile, we will find that when the time comes when we need that extra boost, when we need that spiritual awakening, we won’t have the strength that we could have had, if only we had put ourselves to a little inconvenience and risen a little bit above our limited field of vision. Today, make an effort to go outside of... Read More
Posted In: Mistakes, Personal Transformation Posted On: January 09,2016
In this week’s portion, the Zohar makes an interesting point about the plagues that occurred in Egypt: that Pharaoh seems to forget about each plague after things return to normal. All the water turns to blood (plague number one), but as soon as it has reverted back to water, Pharaoh forgets what happened. Frogs (plague number two) infest the land, but as soon as they’re gone, Pharaoh forgets that they were ever there. And so on and so forth. There are seven plagues recounted in this week’s reading. Now my question is this: If somebody slapped you seven times, would you really not remember? Thankfully, the Zohar clarifies the situation: It wasn’t that Pharaoh forgot; it was simply that he reverted back to the consciousness he had before that particular plague occurred, a phenomenon that happens to all of us from time to time. Consider this: How many times have we made a mistake and been whacked by the universe in one way or another, only to forget about it once the chaos disappears?... Read More
All of us are tested each day. The question is whether we can, in the midst of our difficulties and pain, find it within ourselves to say, “Whatever place I find myself in is here so that I can become someone better in the future.” In the middle of a bankruptcy or during the breakdown of a relationship, most of us probably don’t even think of stopping for a moment and saying, “OK, there is something I need to learn from this experience because whatever is happening in my life today is perfect for my spiritual growth.” Today, when you find yourself mired in your same old negative patterns, emotions, or behaviors, stop yourself. Take a deep breath and breathe in the understanding that where you are is where you are meant to be. Read More
Posted In: Appreciation, Well Being Posted On: January 06,2016
Sometimes a person who has helped us in the past does one small thing in the present that we perceive as “being against us,” and we forget all the good that came before. A concept that we often return to in our studies of Kabbalah is that if someone has given you something of value in your life, you should never forget it. Today, acknowledge the good that someone has done for you, whether it was a high school teacher, a college professor, a spiritual teacher, a business colleague, or even an acquaintance. That appreciation is the positive energy that can carry you forward in your drive to become a better person. Appreciate the good that others have done for you. Read More
Posted In: Sharing & Receiving, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: January 05,2016
We always need to ask ourselves why we do what we do and why we want what we want. Let’s say, for example, I want to have the most gorgeous house or the most amazing parties. Why do I want these things? Is it because I want people to know who I am, or admire me, or respect me? Or is it because I want people to feel at home in my house so that we can share with each other? To grow spiritually, we need to strive to have a consciousness of sharing. Do I desire x, y, and z only to boost my own ego and comfort? Or do I want them so that I can share more with the world? Read More
Posted In: Humility, Well Being Posted On: January 04,2016
The way we receive the most satisfaction in our life is through the knowing that without the Divine Light—that part of us connecting us to the infinite Lifeforce of the Creator—we are nothing. In this kind of true humility, we can receive all the blessings the Creator intends for us. Consider this: A person goes to the Creator and says, “I screwed up big time. I did the worse things that I could possibly do. But I’m still ticking; my heart is still pounding in my chest, and that means You’ve given me the opportunity to change. I offer myself and all that I’ve done to You, so that You can change me and allow me the merit to connect even further to You.” Essentially, this person understands that without the soul—without the Divine spark that flickers inside and sustains us—we have nothing. Everything material is temporary and can be gone in one second. Once we recognize this and appeal to the Creator—the source of that Divine spark—to help us, we have everything. Read More
There's a story of a man who is about to pass on to the next world. He gathers his family around him and gives each person a straw, telling each one, "Now take this straw and break it." Each person breaks their straw easily. The man then produces another set of straws; these straws, however, are bound together. He asks each person to break the bunch. But guess what? No one can break it, because the individual pieces are bound together with not one or two or three others, but with many, many other pieces. This story goes to show that when we bind our energy together – when we pray together as a group, not only with those in physical proximity to us, but with thousands and thousands of fellow Light-workers, our spiritual brothers and sisters all around the world – we become a powerful force saying in unison, "Are you listening, God?” We need to force the Heavenly floodgates open with our love so that we can bring forth the spirituality of the Light force to our physical world. It is... Read More
The Rav taught me something years ago when he said, "When people come to you and say things, listen carefully because everybody's giving you a message. If there is one thing that is so important, it is to really listen, and listen well.” Once, I was sitting at a dinner and the waiter came to our table, eager to talk with us. As far I know, this waiter had never studied anything spiritual, and certainly not Kabbalah. But he started telling us a story: "Five years ago, I left my family in the Ukraine. And even though it is painful, I know that we're going to be together again because I remember I read that right before the Messiah comes, Elijah the Prophet will come and take the hearts of the children back to their parents, and the hearts of the parents will go back to their children.” As I sat there with my two boys, I thought, “Isn't that interesting? But why is he telling us this particular story?” Before I could finish my thought, the waiter continued, "You know, God is very simple... Read More
Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: January 01,2016
The soul is eternal, meaning that the Light force, or the creative energy that is inside each of us, is something that has and will always exist and can never be constrained. We may not always understand this, but consider this example: Even though a tree is bare in the wintertime, come spring, it grows its leaves, flowers, and fruits. The tree’s energy did not disappear; it just took a new form. Life, as we know it, is different today than it was twenty years ago or ten years ago or even five years ago. And it is different today than it will be twenty years from now or thirty years from now. But everything in life is a circle: a circle of energy that is ever-present and eternal. That which exists today may be very different tomorrow, but it will be there tomorrow just as it was there in some form yesterday. Today, according to the Gregorian calendar, each and every one of us is given us another year for fulfillment. May we take this gift and bring it forward to do what we need to do... 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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