inspiration, meditation, spiritual book

Ocean of Light Infusing You

Click to get this eBook   FREE March 21 and 22.

Yogananda (yogi, guru, and teacher of Kriya Yoga, d.1952, author of Autobiography of a Yogi) wrote about how he watched the world of form dissolve.

Everything around him – furniture, trees, sunshine – shimmered and melted into luminosity. All form faded away into an ocean of light. He saw nothing but light, the reality prior to cause and effect.

This ocean of light underlies everything, all worlds, said Isaac.

This ocean of light is something you can count on. It’s always there, infusing everything. If you could get your mind empty enough, as Yogananda was able to do, you could experience this ocean of light.

Creation arises with the mind and the breath. The mind and the breath are tied together. We know this because the breath changes according to what we are thinking. In every mood, from anxiety to peace, the rate and quality of the breath respond accordingly. Notice it yourself, how shallow or rapid the breath is under stress, but how easy and deep it is at rest.

We remember from Genesis, God blew into man’s nostrils, and the world arose.

We know our thoughts about the world directly affect what we experience. Inner reality comes before outer reality. Or another way to say it – our inner vibration attracts the same in our outer vibration.

Both mind and breath are vibrations. They are cyclical in nature. You could say that the vibration of mind and breath will determine your experience.

So when we first sit down to meditate, we expect to have busy thoughts. But do you stay on the surface of those thoughts, or do you go deeper?

You’re on a raft, on the surface. If you want to crack the surface of the water, you must have the discipline to go to no-thought.

As Yogananda says, your thoughts lash the water into taking on forms. Those forms grab your attention. You get carried away by your anxious thoughts, your worries, maybe your memories or your plans. Hopefully by now you know your own pattern; you know what to watch for. Maybe it’s the typical running commentary of your inner chatter. Or maybe you have complaints – “my legs hurt.”

Perhaps you empty your thoughts and now you start seeing lights and hearing hums, ethereal sounds. Your thoughts may veer off into these phenomena, these spiritual sensations. Don’t take that lure. The ego wants to jump in there, take charge, and talk all about it.

Stay with the emptiness. Follow the breath.

The emptiness may seem boring, but it becomes bliss.
It is pleasurable.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of Walking the Bridge with Balance

ocean sunset by Diane Stallings

inspiration, miracles, spirituality

Free Book Today! And a Modern Miracle in Egypt

Great News!

Walking the Bridge: with Balance volume 2 eBook is free (yes click that) TODAY!
Free on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,  March 20 through 22.
Grab it and tell all your friends to do the same!
Share on FB and everywhere 😉

(No need to sign up for any subscriptions or anything. Kindle app is free for all devices.)
The paperback version  is also available.

Deep gratitude to those who posted a review for volume one.
It would be wonderful if we had different (new) people posting reviews on volume two, so if you didn’t post before, we would love to hear from you.
The reviews totally help people to find the books.
Many Thanks to You!

Here’s an excerpt from Walking the Bridge with Balance Chapter 4:

Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira was highly aligned with the Divine Will. Many miracles happened at his hands for all people in the Middle East. Both Arabs and Jews loved him. He died in Egypt and is buried there. His grave is still visited by many people of all faiths. (He lived 1806-1880 and was the grandfather of Baba Sali.)

In modern times there’s a true story of two teen-aged boys hiking there in Egypt. One of them came from a religious family and was devout. The other boy didn’t believe in religion.

The religious boy said, “Hey Rabbi Yaakov’s grave is nearby here – we should go visit it.”

The other boy said he could care less about going, because he didn’t believe in that stuff. “But,” he said,  “if Rabbi Yaakov was so great, let’s see if he can fill our empty canteen with water.” They had just run out of water.

So the religious boy led the way to the grave. He set the canteen down and carefully covered it up with a cloth – I’ll tell you why in a moment – and he prayed.
When he uncovered the canteen, it was filled to the brim with water.
The boy who didn’t believe suddenly became a believer.

The religious boy covered the canteen because our scriptures tell us, “Blessing is given only in concealment.”

These miraculous things aren’t bestowed except in concealment. This is the way of the Divine.

This is why I urge you, when you receive a special blessing, don’t jump up and tell everybody about it. You need to protect that experience for awhile and let it take hold inside you. It is for you.
Wait, and don’t tell anyone about it.
Allow it to do its work on you.
Otherwise your ego may hijack it, and it would become just another part of the horizontal dimension, another story your ego likes to tell.

Thanks to max pixel for the canteen pic attached to the logo for this book.
for vol 2 launch

inspiration, Judaism, spiritual book, spirituality

Instant Transport Miracle

In the last two decades of his life, the holy Ribnitzer Rebbe lived in the United States.
For a while Reb Yakov served the Ribnitzer Rebbe, driving his car and assisting him.
One time in the middle of the night the Ribnitzer Rebbe told Yakov that they had to go immediately to a different town, to help clarify some piece of scripture.

Off they went. It couldn’t wait till morning.
The Rebbe read a holy book while Yakov drove.
He asked Yakov to drive faster. “Faster! This is urgent!”
At the same time the Rebbe was telling him about the book.

Yakov felt nervous, as his teacher kept talking and teaching, while simultaneously demanding more speed, more speed.
Yakov floored the gas pedal, but still it wasn’t fast enough for the Rebbe.
Even worse, they were approaching the most dangerous part of the road, several miles of treacherous curves. Cars always went off the cliffs here.

Suddenly the Rebbe demanded, “Look in the book!”

Yakov tried to glance at it, but couldn’t tear his eyes off the road, as fast as they were going, with the curve looming ahead.

“Look!” the Rebbe ordered him, shoving the pages closer.
In that situation, you are bound to your teacher, bound to obey. It’s a challenge, a test. Could he pass this spiritual test, or whatever it was, even in this perilous moment?

“Look in the book!”

As desperate as Yakov felt, he decided to look at the page. Then came a long moment. His eyes stayed on the page longer than he’d intended.

When he turned back to look at the road, it was straight and calm.
He knew they were suddenly many miles further. The curving treacherous cliffs lay behind them.
They had zipped ahead, by miles, in an instant.

So you see, a tzaddik goes beyond natural law sometimes.
The Baal Shem Tov also engaged in instant travel. They called it “the folding of the way.”

This story is given by Isaac in Walking the Bridge with a Fearless Heart.

inspiration, Judaism, meditation, spiritual book

Walking the Bridge with Balance – Vol 2

Dear Friends –
Good Shabbos!
Just a quick note to let you know, the second volume of Walking the Bridge is coming out next week and can be accessed here (you can preorder).
This volume includes a lot more Meditations and Practices to try. Soon I’ll be sharing excerpts from it. (But this coming Tuesday we have one more super-cool story to share about the Ribnitzer Rebbe, from vol 1. 😉

Also check out my 2-minute plug for meditation, part of a video interview with my friend and colleague, Bernadette Wesley  who leads a Conscious Co-Creation Forum on Facebook.
2vol for WTB blog

inspiration, spirituality

The Ribnitzer Rebbe Saves All from the Grave

Chaim Zanvl Abramowitz (1902 – 1995), known as the Ribnitzer Rebbe, was an extremely holy Hasidic tzaddik (saintly one). Born in Russia, he guided his people through Stalin’s tight reign. He was extremely devout, compassionate, and so fully surrendered to God that miracles surrounded him.
The following story is shared from

Thousands of lives saved in a few minutes of communication

“You are ordered to dig a large pit. Everyone has to get to work at it.” This was the commanding order given to the Jewish Community. Most people in the Community knew that this pit was designed to be their grave. They had heard this had been the fate of countless Jews in Europe and Russia. They were defenseless and could only pray for a miracle.
In the meantime, the Rebbe had collected from his people all the jewelry and gold they had left to offer. He placed them in a velvet bag. When the Nazi commander appeared on the scene with his troops to do his job of “getting rid” of the Jews, the Rebbe stood in front of him with a smile.

“A guten Geburtstag, Herr Shultz,” (Happy Birthday, Mr. Schultz) he announced.

The commander was startled: “How do you know it is my Birthday, and how do you know my name?”

The Rebbe just smiled. He handed the bag of jewelry to the commander as a birthday gift.
A woman was  there, accompanying the commander. She spoke: “Please do not kill this man. He is special.”

The commander and the Tzaddik’s eyes met for a moment. The commander announced:
“I will not kill him.”

Then the Rebbe spoke:
“If you are not going to kill me, I am also requesting that you spare my Jewish community here as well.”

The commander answered:
“Your request is granted. I like your people. They are nice and pleasant.” (!!)

He peered inside the bag and told the Rebbe: “Keep your jewelry. Your people will need bread during this war.”
And then he added: “I would also like you all to refill this pit you were ordered to dig. Turn it instead into a public park to commemorate this day.”

Who was this Commander? What had happened to him? Only moments before he was going to have everyone shot dead!

The Rebbe was connected on High. His community had prayed and connected with the Supreme Master of the Universe alongside with their beloved Rebbe. They were closely bonded with him.

(Thanks to for this wonderful account. In our next post, Isaac tells a story about the Ribnitzer Rebbe.)

Thanks to Wikipedia for this image of the Rebbe –
Ribnitzer wikipedia

Judaism, spirituality

Purim – Everything Arises Now

Tomorrow night the joyful holiday of Purim begins (Wednesday February 28, 2018).
Here is an excerpt from a Purim celebration in Walking the Bridge, Vol 1:

Isaac started off telling the Purim story, as everybody chimed in with “Boo” for Haman and “Yay” for Queen Esther and Mordechai. Most of us have heard this story, about how Haman wanted to slay Mordechai and all the Jewish people. But the tables turned, and the villain lost.

“Yesh” is all-that-is, in this physical world. Yesh is “something.” Yesh is all that you can know.

“Ayin” is Nothing. Ayin is the unknowable.

Something always arises from Nothing: Yesh arises from Ayin.

Thus everything is always created now, in the moment.

This is the attitude we cultivate on Purim. Everything arises now. I hold no expectations, even though I’ve seen natural law play out every day. I expect gravity to work. I expect the usual patterns of existence. But on Purim, things turn upside-down. The unexpected pops up. Everything is created new, in the moment.

Purim is a time to get joyfully confused, if you like. We wear masks. We become someone else. Purim is the night to break your own rules, whatever they may be. This is the time to lose the distinction between good and evil. Nothing is as it seems. Don’t allow your past patterns to inform the future. Because everything arises fresh, right now.

There was a sage rabbi whose wife was very careful about the family provisions, because of course they were always hosting extra guests and students, and the wife wanted to make sure they didn’t run out of food for their children and themselves. She was so careful, she put locks on the cupboards, and she kept the keys.

However. No matter how poor you are, the rule is you should eat well on Shabbos (the Sabbath). Even if you have almost nothing to eat the rest of the week. You should do your best to eat like a king on Shabbos. There’s a dish of noodles called kugel, and it gets its rich taste from schmaltz – which is fat. Actually it’s chicken fat.

Well, from time to time, on Shabbos, this rabbi would ask his wife to put more schmaltz in the kugel. He said it was too dry. But she was so careful with her food stores, she just wouldn’t put enough schmaltz in it for his taste.

One day when she was deep in prayer, completely transfixed, he crept in and took the cupboard key from her pocket. He found the jar of schmaltz and dumped a huge extra spoonful into the kugel. Then he carefully returned the key to his wife’s pocket, as she was still in prayer.

When the Shabbos meal was served, the wife said, “See how we have been blessed by God Himself with such a delicious kugel!”
The rabbi said, “Yes, my Dear, between the strength of your prayers and my good deeds, we have certainly been blessed!”

Huge blessings should descend on you tonight, on Purim. If you can be so humble and simple not to judge anything. Allow everything in yourself. Accept yourself as you are, fully. Allow all possibilities. Just let you be you. Accept every part of you.

Purim Diane for blog


inspiration, spirituality

The Innkeeper’s Deep Trust

Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer was an 18th century mystic whose perspectives revitalized the oppressed and gave birth to Hasidism. Deeply loving and beloved, he became known as the Baal Shem Tov, meaning “Master of the Good Name.”

One day the Baal Shem heard a divine voice telling him to go to a certain town to learn a lesson about trust in God. He and his students went there, found an inn, and took their meal. As they were eating, a sheriff came in aggressively and slammed his club on the table three times. He said nothing. Then he walked out.

The innkeeper wasn’t perturbed. He told them today he would get three such warnings that the rent was due.
The visitors said, “Don’t feel obligated to wait on us, if you need to go.”

“Oh, yes, I’ll be going, but not just yet. I don’t have the rent money yet.” He was having a good time with his guests. But they felt uneasy about his situation.

After a little time, the sheriff appeared again, slammed his club on the table three times, and left.
The Baal Shem and his students marveled that the innkeeper was so relaxed.

“Aren’t you concerned?” they asked. In those times, if the rent wasn’t paid, he and his whole family would be thrown into the Squire’s dungeon.

“God will provide,” he told the Baal Shem.
They started to wonder if he was a little crazy.

The sheriff came and slammed his club for the final time.
Then the innkeeper dressed in his finest clothing. He started walking toward the Squire’s castle with not a penny in his pocket. The Baal Shem and students went out on a balcony to watch him.

In the distance a carriage came along, stopped, and the traveler in the carriage spoke with the innkeeper, who soon walked on. Then the carriage turned around to go back to him.
From the balcony, the group could see an exchange happening, handshakes and such. Then both parties went on their way.

When the carriage reached the inn, the group asked the traveler what had happened. The traveler had just decided to buy the innkeeper’s next batch of winter vodka, and to pay him ahead of time. But the price was steep. At first it seemed too much, so he declined. But then he got to thinking, this was great vodka every year. And he knew the innkeeper was always an honest man. So he turned the carriage around and paid exactly what the innkeeper had asked.

Later the innkeeper told them he had to refuse the first price because it simply wasn’t enough for the whole rent, and he knew God would provide all of it.

The innkeeper lived in the world of the Present, without a history, where anything is possible at any time. He knew, without a doubt, the world arises from the will of God in each moment. God does provide.

This story is given by Isaac in Walking the Bridge with a Fearless Heart.
Thanks to Wikimedia for this picture of the Baal Shem Tov.

Baal Shem wikimedia