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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: October 07, 2017

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning." - T.S. Eliot

According to the Kabbalistic calendar, this is the week where we start again at the beginning of the Torah. With it, we are warmly greeted by a wave of fresh energy for renewal, rejuvenation and change.

And yet in the midst of the newness, let us remember that the nature of Life is complete connection – like the infinity sign, or a circle. In our finite bodies we experience definite edges, endings and new starts, ups and downs; but the reality is that it is all a continuum of energy. As the third law of thermodynamics tells us, energy cannot be destroyed, it simply changes form. The world and everything in it may be totally different today that than it was twenty years ago or ten years ago or how it will be twenty years or thirty years from now, but nevertheless that singular Life Force...

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Posted In: Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: September 30, 2017

I've always loved Victor Hugo's Les Miserables because in it, the story's hero is redeemed and restored by one powerful, transformative act of kindness.

The main character in the book is Jean Valjean, a convict who was unjustly imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to give to his starving sister. 

In the opening scene, Valjean, recently paroled and dubbed as an outcast by society, is taken in by Bishop Myriel, a generous and hospitable host about whom the narrator writes --

 "The sadness which reigned everywhere was but an excuse for unfailing kindness." 

Valjean, who is fearful, bitter, and pretty much hopeless about life, steals silver from the kind Bishop before taking off into the night. Soon enough he is caught by the police who bring him back to the Bishop to return the stolen goods. But when the police tell the Bishop they have found the silver in Valjean's bag, the Bishop tells the police that he had...

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Posted In: Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: September 23, 2017

"No one can become fully aware of the essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized, but ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities." - Victor Frankl

Can you imagine how you would treat someone close to you were you to know that tomorrow they would not be here in human form? Most likely you would connect to them on a level that is beyond the physical – beyond beauty, beyond wealth, beyond approval, or any of the other things that tend to distract us from the truth of our being. You might grant them pardon for their perceived shortcomings, find the healing power of forgiveness and love, and see them in the highest light. Most likely you would be able to accept them fully as they are...

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Posted In: Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: September 16, 2017

This week we gather together for Rosh Hashanah, the 6th day of Creation, the day that Adam was "born." The kabbalists explain that on one's birthday there is a renewal of the soul that occurs, the individual is strengthened in their purpose in the world. Rav Berg used to say that Rosh Hashanah is all of our birthdays, since in truth we are all One. The only reason we may have a different birthday from our neighbor is because we have been coming back to this earthly plane so often; but at the seed level, there is no fragmentation and Adam comprised all human consciousness just as a seed can hold all the future emanations of a full grown tree with all of its leaves, branches and fruits.

With that in mind, as gather on Rosh Hashanah, and we have people from all walks of life, it is an indication that we are going back to that Source, to the root. Because it is only in that root, in that unity of spirit, that we can find the peace, the non-aggression, non-separation. We all...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: September 09, 2017

It is human nature to get caught up in fearing the future or regretting the past, but never forget that your true power lies in the present.

This is especially helpful to remember whenever we are approaching a big cosmic opening, such as Rosh Hashanah, the day on which our lives will be laid bare before our Creator. In our spiritual preparation for such an event, we might find ourselves setting our sights a bit "beyond the seas," so to speak.

I've often used the example of the guy who works 50 years in a profession he doesn't even like, just so that "one day" he can retire and finally enjoy his life. But who say there is going to be a “one day”? I believe life is much more fulfilling when we recognize the miracles that are before us in each unfolding moment.

Sure, we all have aspects of our existence that we'd rather not deal with, and we might have obligations to fulfill that perhaps we'd like to skip, but...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: September 02, 2017

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. -Thich Nhat Hanh

Have you ever been walking down the street, maybe feeling a little discouraged even, when suddenly you cross paths with someone who has the biggest smile across their face? In an instant, you feel better. The positive vibration bounces off of you and you too find yourself in an ear to ear grin. That is the power of joy. And thanks to the energy that permeates the cosmos this week, we can all get a good dose of it.

What is joy, really? Generally, we talk more of happiness, in the day to day. We say, "I'm happy with it," which means something more like – I am content. Joy (simcha, in Hebrew), however, is an altogether different force. Joy is more unconditional.

Consider two people who wake up in the morning with identical circumstances. One jumps out of bed with incredible motivation and energy, "...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: August 26, 2017

Have you had moments when you feel like you are playing a losing game? Where it seems you always end up with the same sort of relationships, or with the same scenarios in finances? Or maybe you are always trying to ditch the same 15 pounds? If so, you are not alone. These times can be frustrating, and can make you feel like you don't want to make any effort at all.

We as human beings often get caught up trying to control the external elements of our lives. We see people, places, or situations as the source of our problems. The Kabbalists, however, have a totally different perspective: The areas that give us the most trouble and frustration are the areas where there is the greatest potential for spiritual transformation. With this knowledge, we can begin to see our greatest challenges are truly our greatest blessings.

The Baal Shem Tov wrote, “Creation can be likened to a picture puzzle that has been disassembled....

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: August 19, 2017

I'm sure you've all seen and used the little monkey emoji that have their eyes, ears, and mouths covered. But have you ever considered where they come from and what it means? The origins for these three fellas are a bit obscure. They are Japanese in origin, depicted on the walls of a Shinto shrine, but have probable Buddhist and even Hindu roots as well. Although in our Western culture, they usually have a negative connotation in that they describe someone who would turn a blind eye to wrongdoing, their original meaning is that it is wise to "see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil." (Sometimes there is a fourth one, by the way, with his hands crossed portraying the "do no evil.")

This week's portion is called Shoftim meaning "Judges," and in the Torah we read about the details of how the judicial system was to be carried out. Rav Berg would often teach regarding this portion that there are gates a soul goes through upon leaving this world. At each one, there...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: August 12, 2017

Have you ever been in a situation where you and another person witness the same event, and yet you see it totally differently? Or maybe you've watched two people interacting in a foreign language and you think they look upset, but really they are just very excited?

Whenever I experience those scenarios, it reminds me of the fact that as human beings, we don't always see things so clearly. Each one of us has preconceived notions and ideas, held in our conscious or subconscious mind, that form the lens through which we "view" this world. As the saying goes, “We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.”

It is a fitting discussion because this week's portion is Re'eh which means "to see." Through it, we receive the energy to build and maintain our spiritual vision. This is also the week in which Rav Berg was born so it holds extra power and significance for all of us in this Global Spiritual...

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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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4 days 2 hours ago We can use the energy of Miketz to see how the challenges we may be facing are indeed miracles. When we shift our p… https://t.co/OZZflyTUCX

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