Karens Blog Recent Articles

Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: August 05, 2017

Sometimes we think that this life is about getting prizes and avoiding punishment, about following all the rules to be the good boy or girl we are expected to be, about coloring inside the lines, or knowing it all.

But Kabbalah says otherwise.

This week's portion is called Ekev and when you look in the Zohar you will find a discussion of the correction of souls across lifetimes. It explains that each one of us descended into this physical world with a certain "tikkun" (correction) to complete, certain things to do; specific challenges to face and overcome. There is no set "this is what your life should look like" and then you are redeemed sort of thing. Everything is much more fluid than that. What there is is a universal system of spiritual laws through which we are afforded the opportunity to resolve our karmic debt.

Many years ago, when we were just beginning to build what we now know as the Kabbalah Centre International, we were in Paris...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: July 29, 2017

Have you ever tried to change someone else? If your answer is yes (which it is probably for all of us), then you know it's a trap which only leaves you feeling disempowered and frustrated. What can be even more painful is watching someone you love go through a difficult process and knowing that you cannot take it away from them. We can walk this road of life together hand in hand. And yet, simultaneously, it is up to each one to take responsibility for our own growth and healing.

While this can be difficult to accept in times that someone we love is in great pain, it is also empowering to know that we each have the power to overcome our unique challenges. The circumstance in which we find ourselves is not an accident. Simply put -- if it comes to us, then we have what it takes to rise above it. We may need to get creative, ask for help, use all the tools in our box, go way outside of our comfort zone, and exhibit great patience and certainty, but eventually, we will evolve...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: July 22, 2017

There are many components to spirituality. Of course, there is study through which we can gleam insight into the many profundities of the Creator’s magnificence. There is also prayer, a channel whereby words and thoughts can connect us with God’s ever-present Light. Both these pieces are important, and yet there is another component, one I feel is the most powerful towards attaining a spiritual lifestyle and all the blessings and fulfillment that come with it.

This is what I like to call spirituality in action. For there is nothing that generates more positivity in the world than extending our hearts to one another, or lending a helping hand to someone in need. To pray to God is beautiful and to study God is the path to enlightenment, but to become like God is truly Divine.

In the Zohar portion that we read this week, there is a story of a little six-year old boy, called the Yenuka who had a gift of...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: July 15, 2017

Imagine a guy who is about to close a huge contract and make a lot of money. Just before it happens, the deal falls through, and he ends up with nothing. He invested so much time, energy, effort, and then poof it is gone. It is all taken away. Most of us would probably think to ourselves, "Oh man, tough break; too bad for that guy." Right? But what if I told you that’s not the case?

What if I told you that in the bigger picture of this man's spiritual growth, losing this contract was going to give him the humility he needed for an even bigger deal down the line. Had he gotten it, he would have become too egotistical, losing his connection to his inner Light. Undergoing that "setback" was the way the universe allowed him to find himself with a stronger, more powerful consciousness.

The idea here is that true reward is not about what we get in the physical world. It is not the honor, respect, or money we make. The real reward is that which we gain through our evolution...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: July 08, 2017

This week’s portion is a famous one, more so perhaps within The Kabbalah Centre than anywhere else in the world. For it is the portion that correlates directly with spiritual healing. It was also Rav Berg’s favorite. “Pinchas!” he would often exclaim from the podium. “What did I find in Pinchas that I did not find anywhere else?

Healing! Go out, and hear Pinchas! Line up around the block! Do whatever you need to do to listen to the reading of Pinchas.” Indeed, it behooves us all to make use of the healing energy that permeates the universe this week. Why is Pinchas considered the portion of healing, and how can we access this wholeness in our lives today?

Well, for starters it is written in the Zohar that Pinchas had the gift of shalom, or peace. Peace is the state of being internally satisfied, and of combining the head with the heart.Today, we know what the Zohar told us to be true thousands of years...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: July 01, 2017

You know, for all the complications that come with human life, the mind itself remains pretty simple after all these years. We compartmentalize what happens to us into one of two categories: good or bad. If we get the job or the client, that is a good thing! If we ask someone out and they say yes, hooray! That’s good too. However, if we lose the job, or if we get rejected, that’s a bad thing. Or is it?

Can you think of a situation in your life that at first seemed terrible, but ended up being the best thing that could have possibly happened? For instance, I once had a friend who became inconsolable when her boyfriend broke up with her. I mean, it’s natural to be upset, but this woman was beyond devastated! In her mind, this was the man who she was supposed to marry. For years, she remained hung up on him. It wasn’t until he finally married someone else that she was at last able to let go of the idea that they were meant to be together.

A funny thing happened...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: June 24, 2017

I have been told by many friends and students in the past few years that it is becoming increasingly difficult to invest in spirituality. The energetic atmosphere seems “heavier” than it did a decade or so ago. There is a curtain that veils the vast importance of something as simple as a morning meditation, or an evening prayer. We are living in an age of paradox, where this thing we call spirituality is both more necessary than ever before in history, and yet also more difficult. Why is it more necessary now than ever? And why is it so difficult?

Well, just look around. It doesn’t take more than glancing at a newspaper to see the chaos that surrounds us. Every day we hear about new disasters, are plagued by terror, and are grief-stricken over the loss of souls.

It seems logical that with all the negativity in the world today, we would feel an intense need for spirituality. However, at the same time, our efforts in both study and action have become more...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: June 17, 2017

It’s funny how we think that getting what we want in life will make us happy. Maybe we want to find our soul mate, or make a million dollars, but I’ll tell you a secret: I know people who have found their soul mate, and I know people with a million dollars – and they are some of the most unhappy people I know! If anything, it seems they have more problems now than ever. Now, why do you think that is? 

It’s not about what we get in life. It’s about what we do with our blessings. It’s how we give back to the world that shapes our life, defines us as humans, and builds joy from within.  

Now I know what you’re thinking. That’s nice, Karen. But I could sure use a million dollars right about now, and I could sure use a partner! If I had those blessings, I would give so much! I would do so much good with them! 

Well to that end, I have to ask: Would you, really?  

There’s a parable...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: June 10, 2017

Have you ever noticed how an interview sometimes says more about the person asking the questions than the one who is answering? I’ve been interviewed for a few magazines and news programs myself recently. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to speak about the things that are close to my heart: Kabbalah, Global Spirituality, and creating communities around the world through which individuals can both be enlightened and lift each other up in friendship and unity. But the ‘slant’ is often found more in the questions than in the answers. For instance, one could ask, “Who are you? What do you believe in?” and another might ask, “Who do you think you are? What do you know?” The questions seek the same answers, and yet one is posed with genuine curiosity and an openness to learn, while the other is served cold with a combative nature.

So… is one right and the other wrong? Not necessarily. In fact, a healthy dose of skepticism can be good to have in certain situations. What is...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: June 03, 2017

Sometimes we use spirituality as an excuse for laziness. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it. It’s one of the great traps of becoming a ‘spiritual person.’ For example: Meditation is a very powerful spiritual tool, but if you sit in bed all day eating ice cream and meditating on being thin, guess what? It ain’t gonna happen. …Trust me, I know.

As we journey forward on our spiritual path, I think many of us at one point or another make the mistake of believing a spiritual lifestyle is one that ignores the world of physicality. But if this is the case, then why are we here? A person can sit on a mountaintop chanting and praying all day, every day, their whole life long. Does this make one a spiritual person? Well I don’t know, but one thing I personally believe is that when we arrive upstairs, we will first be asked: How did you change the world for the better during your time on Earth? How did you share with your fellow humans? How did you make the lives of...

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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.

 

- Susan Perry Simpson

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.

- Sam Parnaso

Now I look back and question what exactly I did and how I managed without these teachings in my life.

- Christopher Smith