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Relax and Be Home in the Heart of Binah

Binah is the Mother who is calling us home, just like Mom would call you home to dinner.
Return to the Place where we are One.

This is the Place we live in with our hearts, not our minds.
The mind is all about limitation and definition.

We think we know who we are with our mind. Our mind holds onto certain stories about us. Out of these stories we define who we are in the world. I construct myself out of my stories.

The older we get, the more we are restricted by ever more stories about ourselves.
But the stories are not really Who we Are.

When astronauts look back and see the earth, they see seamless continents and oceans. But on our globes and maps we have lines dividing countries from each other. The mind does that. It sets up limitations. It contains. It compares. Meanwhile the earth itself lives without lines, without borders. That is the Reality. The borders are constructed by the mind only.

Binah calls us to return to our hearts.

The heart has its own awareness, deeper than the mind.

When you put your attention fully into your heart, you find it is without limits.

In a room full of friends, as you place yourself into your heart, you automatically connect with everybody. You love everybody, and you know they love you. It is possible to settle into this awareness so deeply that you recognize, at the heart level, you are everybody.

All are you, only you, so you are here alone. Alone but not lonely.

Alone in this sea of love in the heart.

There is nothing to prove or to define. You are already “there.”

You are immersed, and all of it is You.

There are no borders or boundaries to You.

Now when you go to the heart in this way, it doesn’t stop the mind from chattering. The mind still talks, but you can relegate it to the background, as if somebody in the house left a radio on. You don’t have to go there and find out what the radio is saying.

You just let it be, and you stay in the heart.
The mind-radio is just a bit of background noise, nothing to worry about. Pay no attention to it.

How do you know you are moving into this heart-space?
You will find you have increasing energy. Simply more energy to do whatever you need to do. Less energy is spent, so you have more of it.

People ask, doesn’t it come with spiritual powers?
Well, why would you need powers? This is full contentment and nothing to do, nothing pressing. There’s nobody to impress. There’s no reason to have powers.

You’re already there.

You’re in contentment.

These words are from Isaac, in Chapter 30 of Volume 4, Walking The Bridge: With Courage And Trust.

Heart leaf Flickr
(Thanks to Flickr for this heart leaf.)

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The Freedom and Peace of Non-attachment

Question: How can we practice equanimity better?

I’ll give you a story from our Talmudic Sages. Once there was a king who was ready to turn his kingdom over to his son. But he wanted to make sure his son was of strong character, that he would rule the kingdom well. So the king hired a prostitute and told her, “Your job is to be as alluring and enticing as possible toward my son.” He told his son, “Your job is to absolutely resist.”

This is a metaphor for us, as we resist attachment to the pains and pleasures of the world. You can look, but don’t touch. Don’t get embedded or attached.

To maintain the pillar of equanimity and the vertical connection, you become the Witness. The Witness or Observer simply looks. This is not a cold look. The Observer loves everything it sees. But it is not attached to what it looks upon.

Comment: In the metaphor of the prince and the prostitute, it seems like the moment you ask the other person for something, you have attached.

Yes, that’s more like business.
Chesed is giving love. Gevurah is business.

God looks upon us with Chesed, looking and loving and giving to us. It’s different than our human love. In human love, I give you flowers and I want a kiss. It’s an exchange.

With true Chesed, you are simply loving without expecting any kind of return.

The Observer can have such broad vision. Like King Solomon. They said Solomon was so wise, he was above the angels and the demons. He could order angels to do his will. But he could also order demons to do things. This is often misunderstood. It wasn’t that he was consorting with demons. Rather, his vertical connection was so strong that both angels and demons were under his power. Both the light and the dark. His wisdom was so strong he could see beyond duality.

Comment: I like that image of keeping the guard at the gate of our pillars. I think that will help me hold my tongue and not react in my habitual ways.

Not reacting is important.
Gain that distance, so you can see the big picture.

In our tradition, within our long list of 613 mitzvot (good deeds), we have 365 negative commandments. As in, don’t do this – “Thou shalt not.” Every one of these is about keeping your distance. Love the world, observe the world with love, but keep your distance. Don’t engage in these particular activities.

In holding this distance, in non-engagement, non-attachment, we actually bring more blessing upon the world.

Excerpted from chapter 14 of Volume 2, Walking the Bridge – With Balance.

On a side note, here’s a God-wink that came in my fortune cookie a few days ago. It made me laugh loud, since this line is one of my favorites from Reb Nachman – and is the title of our series.
That narrow bridge.
Have no fear: another flavor of non-attachment, hey?

Are you getting some fun God-winks lately? Please share with us!

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Bring Sweetness to Life and Find Freedom – a Passover Message

Isaac tells us,

Passover is all about freedom. As we have learned, God is truly free. Everything else is in different degrees of slavery, if you will. Our increasing freedom brings us closer and closer to God.

Passover is also about the balance of suffering and joy in our lives. When I eat a spoonful of fresh horseradish that I ground myself, I know how suffering feels. But the Sages tell us, for each spoonful of horseradish, we should drink four glasses of wine. Balance the suffering with plenty of joy. Taste the haroset, the sweet paste of apples, honey, and cinnamon which is also part of the seder plate.

We need to bring an abundance of sweetness into our lives.

When life is difficult, it doesn’t help to stay in our darkness and complain. We need to get out, see friends, go to the movies, sing. We need to uplift ourselves. So – four glasses of wine.

The matzah unleavened flatbread is simplicity, of course. It reminds us to simplify our life so everything can flow more easily. We don’t need as much as we might think we need. Possessions can become burdens that slow down the flow of life.

We don’t need to fix our flaws. Awareness itself is curative. Just being aware of your own behavior, just seeing it, is often enough to correct it. When you see your blind spot, your habitual reaction and how it impacts others, you naturally want to make a better choice.

We accept our traits, positive and negative. We accept our humanity.

I contain both light and dark, giving and taking, aggression and retreat, all these opposites.

When opposites split from each other, they yearn always to get back together. They want to be held, both together. They go together, really, in this duality. You can’t have one without the other. Mountain and valley, high and low, the crest and the dip of the wave.

The positive and negative poles of a battery need each other. When you hook them up to each other, the current flows.

The Divine current is always seeking a way to flow.

These are Isaac’s words from Chapter 58 of Volume 1, Walking the Bridge – With a Fearless Heart.

Passover-usa Wikimedia Commons
(Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for this image.)

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Drop Worry, Embrace All Parts of You, and Find True Higher Love

Question: Please elaborate on exactly how we can release better, and also how to drop worry. Sometimes when we think we’re dropping worry, it only goes deeper underground.

The best way to release is to simply learn to drop the thought right in the middle. Realize this thought is carrying you, and just drop it.

Have you noticed, when you’re having an argument, sometimes you will see your defense is thin and weak and even just wrong? But your ego keeps going for it, keeps defending your stance. What if you just dropped it? It’s such a sweet relief to simply let it go.

And yes, we do have worries and chronic issues that go underground. We may think we are a kind generous person, until something hits us. That underground stream hits a hole and bubbles up right in front of us. We go into a rage. Afterward we don’t want to admit we were angry. That’s not us, we say. That’s not who we think we are.

We need to embrace that part of ourselves, too – the angry part. When we’re aware of our own anger, it won’t surprise us that way. We may be able to express it better next time, rather than to suddenly explode without warning.

We need to allow that sometimes we play the fool. The more foolish you can allow yourself to be, the more child-like and present you can be. That’s the humility you want.

We can let go of our past worries and start fresh now. The ex-alcoholic should not keep saying “I’m an alcoholic,” because that is in the past. That’s a memory now. It doesn’t matter what your chronic issue was. You can release it now.

We can step into the present and allow our past memory to be past.
This way each event of our life can arise new. You don’t have to let your past color your future.

Recognize that when something hits you the wrong way and sends you into anger, it is because of something you don’t like in yourself.
The world is your mirror. Everything that bothers you in the outer world is really part of your inner world. That’s why it hits you with discomfort.

The kahunas of Hawaii repair the world by saying, “I’m sorry, and I love you.” They are speaking to the world and to themselves. Everything is us.

But think about it, who are you saying “I’m sorry” to? You’re saying it to yourself, to the disowned part of you. “I’m sorry I insulted you. You are God’s gift.”
To whom are you saying “I love you”? Yourself.

It’s been said before, and yet it’s primary: learn to love yourself.

Give loving attention to all the parts of you. When you can give yourself this kind of loving attention, to every part, you begin to meld together your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. The two minds come closer and closer together until they are one, and you are then unified. You have full acceptance of all your parts.

God is okay with the heights of Light and Happiness and with the depths of Darkness and Pain. All of it is okay with God. Try to make all of it okay with you.

These are Isaac’s words from Chapter 55 of Volume 1, Walking the Bridge – With a Fearless Heart.

half face in darkness pxhere
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Love With Balance, a Special Practice

Comment: Some weeks ago you gave us a new prayer for meditation: “Merciful Father, Have Mercy on Me.” (“Av harachaman rahem alai” – Loving One, have mercy/compassion for me.) I have been doing that each day. Since I began using it, situations in my day come up where somebody needs my help, and I give it to them easily. It’s surprising how this has unfolded. It may be something really small, or something big, but it keeps happening, and it feels good to me.

Isaac smiled and said, because you are tuning in daily, you are aligning yourself with the quality of mercy and compassion. To be precise, you are in tune with the quality of “Rahamim,” which is the balance between Chesed (loving-kindness) and Gevurah (discipline). That is, you will know when it’s right to say yes to someone’s request, and when it’s proper to say no. You are attuned so that, in the moment, you recognize what your course of action should be.

This is the basis for how the tzaddik lives. (A tzaddik is a righteous and saintly person.)
The tzaddik is always tuned in, ready to serve.

When you align yourself through this prayer in the morning, you don’t have to go looking for anybody or anything. You simply live as you are, and situations arise that seem hand-picked for you. Someone asks for your help, and you find you are both available and capable to help them.

This happens because you have tuned in, and you can hear the broadcast for mercy. There may be others around who might be available, but you hear the broadcast clearly. You are aligned with mercy.

This isn’t a prayer you say just once a day. You say it repeatedly until you come into alignment with it, however long it takes. You are learning the vibration of it. You are tuning yourself. You are becoming one with the All-Merciful, the One who bestows all.
Thus you are also becoming one who bestows upon others during your day.

Question: I thought the prayer was “have mercy on us,” rather than “on me.”

Yes, it can be spoken either way. You may want to say, “me” to help you focus first on your own divine connection, which is vital. Begin with “me” to gain clarity, nurturance, and love inside. Most of us truly need to learn to love ourselves better.

Remember we are asked to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Can we love ourselves appropriately?
Loving oneself doesn’t mean to indulge or overindulge. There’s an appropriate way to care for ourselves well.

The person who doesn’t love himself can be dangerous to his neighbors. If you are growling at yourself, it’s that much easier to growl at everybody else.

Overindulgence is not self-love, but neither is too much strictness. Our sages remind us we need some sweetness in our lives.

So I love ice cream. Perhaps I tell myself, to love myself well, I can eat a quart of it at one sitting. But I’ll suffer for it later. On the other hand, if I totally deny myself any ice cream, if I refuse even a spoonful, this isn’t loving myself either. When I get to the place where I can enjoy a small bowl of ice cream, this is a good balance.

Chesed is utter loving-kindness, as represented by Abraham in the way he lived his life. Gevurah is discipline, as represented by Isaac.
Between the two sits Isaac’s son Jacob, who represents the balance of Tiferet.
Tiferet encompasses both love and discipline. It is translated as beauty, balance, and truth.

Many of us are learning the balance of Tiferet in our lives. We learn when to use Chesed (loving-kindness), and when to use Gevurah (discipline). This is our practice. And for this, the Rahamim prayer can be quite helpful.

Excerpted from chapter 1 of Volume 2, Walking the Bridge – With Balance.

balance rocks Pixabay smaller

(Thanks to Pixabay for this image.)