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On Revealed Light and Concealment – when Trouble Conceals the Fruit

Isaac said,

On the mystical side of our tradition, our teachers tell us this world comes into being with a balance of light and dark.

The Light of Being is infused into every part of this world, but at the same time it is hidden from us, concealed.

The light is called “Kedushah,” holiness.
The concealment is called “Kelipah,” which means a husk, a shell, a covering, like the thick skin of an orange. The peel.

Both always come together, the light and the husk which hides it.
In this way light and dark stay balanced.

Duality stays dualistic, two sides, pro and con, up and down, positive and negative.
Each pair is positioned on either end of a continuum.

We stand in middle and feel like we have a choice between the two.
This is the basis of free will in duality. We choose the right or the left.

We are meant to work with the concealment.
Like with an orange, you work to peel off its shell before you reach the fruit, the sweetness inside. You must go beyond the mundane, the concealment, to reach wisdom.

Many aspects of life are like this. You must get past some difficulty, some negativity, to reach the light.

Sometimes a great soul comes to earth, but their great light is hidden by difficulties, concealed in a thick shell of trouble or negativity.

Many generations ago in the Hasidic lineage, Rabbi Simcha Bunim was a great master filled with holiness, vast knowledge and wisdom. He was greatly respected.
His student, Rabbi Yitzhak, was also grounded in wisdom and already had some of his own students. But he continued to learn from Rabbi Simcha, bringing the students along.

Sometimes Yitzhak and his students went to another city to learn from a master rabbi who was intensely argumentative. He was a master, yet his belligerence was his kelipah, the dark shell around him.

Not only that, he often said terrible things about Reb Simcha. Big insults. Yitzhak knew these were untrue and unfair. But Yitzhak didn’t fight back.

Yitzhak’s students asked him, “How can you sit and take it while he insults your master teacher again and again? Why don’t you stand up for Reb Simcha?”

Yitzhak then told them a story of an unfortunate event in his life.
He was walking through a town where he knew no one, and no one knew him.
But a man stopped him and said accusingly, “You’re the one!”
Other people gathered around, examining his face, pointing at Yitzhak.
They said, “Yes, that’s him! That’s him! He’s the guy! Grab him!”
Yitzhak had no idea what they were talking about.

It turned out that they thought he was the man who had abandoned his young wife in that town, the man who had run off many years before. They “recognized” him as that terrible guy.
Yitzhak sat before the Rebbe of that town and explained himself. Thankfully the Rebbe understood and accepted his side of the story. They let him go.

It was a case of mistaken identity, Yitzhak told his students.

He said, “I was not angry that day, but confused. In the same way I don’t feel angry with this teacher for insulting Reb Simcha, because obviously he doesn’t even know him. To be talking like that about him, I’m sure he knows nothing about him.”

Reb Yitzhak was also following the sage advice from the Talmud, which says that when you keep silence, you become an agent for wisdom, “Chochmah.”

Joseph is another expression of Chochmah through silence. Wisdom through silence.

Joseph was born as a great light in the world, but his brothers cast him into slavery. They threw him into concealment, into the pit.

He became a servant in the house of Potiphar, and when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, he patiently kept silence. He was an agent for wisdom. He was a light.

But again he was cast into a pit, into the dungeon, concealed in darkness.

The thing about Joseph was that no matter what happened to him, he carried a lot of light.

People could simply see that God was with him. Even non-believers had to admit, everything kept working out for him. Even they would say, God is always with that guy.

You know the story, the wine steward and the baker were also imprisoned. When they each had a powerful dream and needed help to understand it, they went to Joseph. This was their obvious choice – ask the guy who is so connected to God.
Joseph interpreted their dreams accurately, and eventually he advised Pharaoh himself, interpreted his dreams, and saved Egypt from impending famine.

Did Joseph lash out in anger against the events that befell him?
No, he maintained his patience and his wisdom.

In the same way Rabbi Yitzhak shows us how to turn away from anger, no matter what the insults are.

These are Isaac’s words from Chapter 1 of Volume 4, Walking The Bridge: With Courage And Trust.

glass-flask by Picryl w star

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Through Gratitude, Blessings Pour Upon Us, for Hanukkah or Anytime

Isaac said, Hanukkah is a time of blessings.

Hanukkah is a celebration of the vast abundance of Uncreated Light that pours Itself into all manner of blessings for us.

We all know the story behind Hanukkah, how a handful of holy men withstood an army of soldiers. The odds were overwhelming. It was practically a sure thing they would lose. You could bet on it.

This tiny group of people were so low, you could hardly even call them the underdog. You’d just call them the dog. Yet they came out victorious. God’s light brought them through. Then the single vial of holy oil for the lamps surprisingly lasted eight days, to rededicate the temple.

They were beyond grateful. They were deeply blessed.

Uncreated Light pours into whatever blessing is needed, at any time.

Your needs change over time. What you need now is not what you needed a few years ago. God knows this. His Light comes in and takes on the form of whatever is needed right now.

Gratitude is the key to reveal blessings. Before any blessing can flow, you need to be grateful for what you do have, for the good parts of your life. Even in difficulty.

We all have difficulties. But find something, anything, to be grateful for right now. Even a very small thing. Give it your attention and your gratitude. This will open the door to receiving blessings.

The flames of the Hanukkah candles reveal Uncreated Light to us. Let the light from the candles go into your eyes, into your brain, and right down into your heart. There the door will open.

This piece was previously posted in 2018.
It is an excerpt from Chapter 36 of Volume 2, 
Walking the Bridge – With Balance   -Guidance from a Wisdom School.
(Tonight, Dec 20, 2022 the third candle is lit.)

Hanukkah candles revised

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Give Attention with the Heart and Light up the World

We know about paying attention, like paying attention to the teacher in the classroom. There’s a difference between ordinary paying attention and offering loving attention.

Feel the difference for yourself.
We offer loving attention with our heart, not our mind.
It is the ability to connect with our heart, not with our mind.
Engage in loving attention and see if you can get a stronger feel for it.

Darkness is the opposing force to light and love. Our sages tell us darkness is the force of illusion. The biggest place to find it is in this physical world of “Assiyah.” In fact they call this the world of illusion, the False World.

But keeping your flame lit dispels illusion.

It’s like in the movie house, when there’s plenty of darkness, you see and engage with the drama on the screen. You think the movie is real.
But when light arrives, it’s like the house lights are turned up, and the movie disappears. The illusions disappear.

In the place of light there are no more illusions.

Many people live with the movie, however.
They are invested in desires and fears, running after desires and hiding from fears.
This can go on for lifetimes. It does not matter.

Eventually the person will become aware that their desires and fears are illusions.
When this is revealed, it comes with the knowing that these things always were illusions.

So your good deeds light up the world and light up the fire in your heart.

However – sometimes service becomes a burden. When we have tons of work to do for others, our ordinary eyes see overwhelm in our life.

Yet the flame in your heart tells you that service is the whole reason you are here on the earth. Service and good deeds are the fuel for the fire in your heart.

There’s a story about a man in Europe who started a charity fund that grew larger and larger until it was difficult to handle all the duties of that. He didn’t know what to do. It was getting to be too much. His wife suggested that he go ask the Chofetz Chaim what to do. (Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan of the Mussar movement, died 1933.)
So the man traveled to a town in Poland at that time to see the Chofetz Chaim.
When he walked into the Rebbe’s home, the Chofetz Chaim was just finishing his supper, saying the final prayer. The prayer says “goodness and kindness chase me all the days of my life.”

Right then and there the Rebbe turned to the man and explained to him, “Your good deeds will chase you all the days of your life.” The message was to keep serving in the way he had been doing.

We should continue serving because we light up the world.
This is our purpose in being here.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 28 of Volume 5, Walking the Bridge: to Freedom and Light

flickers we light the world _ J3SSL33 on Flickr

(Thanks to J3SSL33 on Flickr for this image.)

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How to Focus Upon your Heart and Be a Throne and Chariot of the Divine

Here’s part of an awesome teaching from Isaac.

I say my intention out loud, and I put some holy force into it. I use my concentration and devotion. This is a heartfelt sacred prayer. I put myself fully into it. “God, please reveal Your Light in me.”

The light inside you, still concealed, waits for your attention.

It is brought into revelation by giving attention to it. You hold your attention there.

All power rests in the Eternal One.
It is inside you.
Rest in the Divine Presence.

This Being that lights the stars, that makes the planets spin, that explodes fission, this infinite power, is not far away but resting in you, in concealment.
It is sitting in your chair with you so bright, yet you don’t see It.
It would burn everything, and yet It still is in you.

This Presence, if you would be exposed to it, would cause fear, love, intoxication, everything.
If you were exposed to this Presence, the world of form would be nothing to you.

Yet this Being is sitting right in your heart.
Not on occasions, but always.
Always.

The caretaker of the temple is running around everywhere but there, trying get what it needs. “We need new windows, I’ll go to Home Depot,” instead of going to the Master of the House and realizing that all needs are filled from This.

All answers to your needs emanate from this Place.

Turning your attention away from anything else onto the sun of light that is shining in your heart brings it from concealment into revelation.

This is not a philosophy only, but rather a direct experience that is available to a person who will do that.

When attention becomes fixed at the heart, a line of communication opens.
This may or may not follow your expectations, but it is a line of communication, which simply means revelation will open. The more you dwell there, the wider this line is. The language of silence that emanates from It becomes clearer to you.
It begins to permeate your everyday thinking, your actions, your dreams, the relationships you have with family and friends.

Everything becomes illuminated by and influenced by this Light.

“I make of myself a throne and a chariot to for the divine presence.”

If you aren’t there already, imagine living a life where an intimate Presence is clearly guiding you to do what you are here to do, assisting you to accomplish those tasks, and allowing you to be conscious of that assistance.

Imagine you can reap the joy of that consciousness, the joy in divine service as opposed to joy through objects.
You would be introduced to that Presence.
You would know that It truly lives in you.

You would want nothing other than to be ever closer, ever more in alignment, to have it ever more revealed, at least to the degree that you can tolerate it.

And so we hear stories of the holy master, the Baal Shem Tov, who gets on a wagon drawn by horses, and five minutes later he’s in a city five hundred miles away. In five minutes he moves locations, five hundred miles. It’s called the folding of the way. It doesn’t go according to natural law.
He found the Holy Temple in himself.

The Dweller of the Holy Temple is beyond time and beyond space.
When you hold the hand of the One who lives in the Holy Temple, there is no distance.
There is no problem that cannot be solved.

Naturally this shifts your behavior. This is the end of anger, the end of violence. Why would you need those any longer?

You can do your work, you can eat a meal, you can watch television, and yet you can also be aware of this Presence inside you.

Turn your attention to the Holy Temple inside your heart.
This divine flame stays ever bright.

These words of divine connection are from Chapter 7 of Volume 4, Walking The Bridge: With Courage And Trust.

look into heart Public Domain(Thanks to Public Domain for this image.)

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Divine Grace Light Shower Upon Us

Isaac opened our morning with his amazing sweet new song that tasted like awe. After meditation he gave us a teaching about these lyrics.

Arut perum jyoti tani perum Karunai.
Divine Grace Light shower upon us.
Or zarua la Tzaddik uleyishrey lev simcha.
Light is sown for the saintly, and joy for the pure in heart.

Isaac said the first line is from the mantra of Ramalinga Swami who lived in the 1800’s in Southern India. Ramalinga Swami wanted to do away with the caste system. He preached no rules and no steps to follow, only simply to connect with the Divine Light, as light.

He spent his life praising the Light and feeding the poor.
His main teaching was just to be harmless. To do no harm to anything.

Light filled Ramalinga so much that his body gradually became light. First came the golden body, at which time he glowed with golden light. As the light in him increased, he wrote a poem of forty thousand verses telling how he became more and more light. Eventually even his physical organs stopped working. His heart no longer beat, his blood didn’t flow, his lungs didn’t breathe. And yet he lived.

His body cast no shadow. He was careful to cover his head and entire body with clothing, as he did not want to frighten his people.

Ultimately, he became nothing but astral light.

He didn’t die as we would in a body. Instead he told his devotees he would be leaving, and they should lock the door of his room. While they were chanting outside his door, they saw a flash of violet light. Then his room was empty. He had dissolved into the very Light of the Universe.

The third line of this verse, in Hebrew, is from King David’s psalms (97:11). It translates as: Light is sown by the tzaddik, the upright heart is blessed with joy. This says Light is sown everywhere the tzaddik goes, the same way a farmer sows seed. And we enjoy the fruit of that seed in our joy.

This new song brings together similar messages of Light. It brings West to East, and past to present. With our singing we bring West, East, past, present, right into this Present Moment.

Each of us gravitates to one of these four phrases, and we sing them together.
(Our hearts expanded as we sang it again. Such deep Peace!)

This Isaac teaching is excerpted from Chapter 33 of Volume 3,  Walking The Bridge: The Art of All-Is-Well

Ramalinga Swami
Ramalinga Swami, a.k.a. Vallalar