awareness, inspiration, love, spiritual book, spirituality, Walking The Bridge books

How to Grow Toward being Non-attached and Loving

Question: I was listening to one of your recordings about Chesed (loving-kindness) and attachment. Attachment is so strong to us, like coffee. I don’t know how I’d do without coffee. My question is: I am so attached to my children – how would I decrease that attachment?

This is a hard question, as so many questions are. It can be answered from the intellect, but it is a matter of the heart. Words cannot explain it away.

The heart loves, and the best it can do is to learn balance.

We sing about the world as a narrow bridge, where it’s so easy to fall off on one side or the other. We learn how to balance ourselves.

Of course we’re attached to our children – who wouldn’t be? They arrive so helpless and so cute. We love them, we protect them, we invest ourselves in them. We pour so much into them. No wonder we’re attached. We can’t push that aside with words or intellect. And then, after we’ve given them everything, they grow up and leave us. We are glad to see their independence, but sad to see them go.

When they leave, we miss the place where we used to pour so much giving, so much attention. Now it’s gone.

What do your children want from you the most? Your attention. They crave attention. That’s really all they want from you.

It’s the same for all things. Even inanimate objects want your attention, which is really your love.
In giving your present-moment attention, you give love.

Giving your full attention enlivens both you and the object of your attention.

As humans we are designed to pour forth loving attention.
When we do this, we ourselves come alive and feel good.
Of course we are mirroring the loving attention of God.

When you give your attention, you are Present.
You are in this moment, not in the past or the future.

The present moment is flowing through. You cannot hold onto it, cannot attach to it.

Attachment happens when we bring our past or future to this present moment of attention.

In meditation you stay here now in the moment and just be. Even though past and future stories will appear.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you will get rid of your stories. We humans will always have our stories. The practice is to do our best not to grab the stories.

So there you are, giving your attention to something or someone, perhaps to your grown child. A story of your past or future gets pulled into this moment. Whether the story is happy or sad, desire or fear, it is still a story. It doesn’t necessarily pertain at all to this Present Moment of what’s happening now.

It could be a story of your shared history or a personality flaw you’ve always seen in them or an old guilt or regret you still hold onto in yourself. It could be a story of the future, a worry or a plan about your expectations for them or your relationship with them. None of it pertains to this fresh unique moment you spend with them right now. But there it is. You grab the story and hook it into this moment. This is the beginning of another attachment.

This is where we begin to say, “I need you, I love you, you mean the world to me, you are mine.” We get possessive. We think we possess them.
With each phrase of claiming this person for ourselves, we are binding them. Binding them tighter and tighter.

Eventually they don’t feel this binding as love. They feel it as control, and it is.
That’s attachment. We need them, we control them.

Our spiritual path is to learn balance. Learn to love without attachment, if we can. Easier said than done, of course.

We hope to love unconditionally.

The only way to do that is to fully allow people to be as they are.

We give our attention and love to whatever arises in this moment, without grabbing a positive story or a negative story about it.

The person offering unconditional love is the one everybody falls in love with. They are so easy to be with. Non-attached.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Volume 5, Walking the Bridge: to Freedom and Light

heart-water-stone-balance by Hippopx

(Thanks to Hippopx for this balanced heart image.)

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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

awareness, consciousness, inspiration, spiritual book, spirituality, Walking The Bridge books

Have You Noticed the World is Your Awesome Mirror?

Isaac said,

Consider the world is a mirror to you. We have spoken before about this mirror.

Whatever is within you is on display outside of you. For instance, when you’re angry, the outer world gives you more of that vibration, and things are tough. When you’re lighthearted, the world reflects the same back to you. The world smiles with you.

Each of us lives in a mirror world.
Do you feel alone when you look into a mirror?

Dogs would not feel alone. They would bark at “that other dog.” That other form.
But you know that person in the mirror is you.

You’re alone. Just you there. Both forms are you.

It’s tricky to remember this mirror display, because the physical world gives you a delayed response. For instance you grumble when you wake up, dragging your feet on today’s task. Then an hour later in the slow traffic jam you get a flat tire. Both the traffic and the tire match up with your dragging vibration. But you may not see the connection.

The inner gives rise to the outer with a delayed response.

Imagine you’re standing in front of that mirror again. You comb your hair.
Ten minutes later your image combs its hair.
Suddenly you say, “Hey there!” You think it’s not you, it must be somebody different.

This is the illusion we fall under, in this world of delayed response.

Virtually all of us experience the delayed mirror effect. Whatever we set into motion takes a while to happen. This makes it easier for us to believe in separation.

Our default is to think nothing is connected to anything else.
We think everyone and everything is different.
None of that is “us.”

We each feel unique in our particular form.

For a tzaddik (holy person), the mirror is quite fast, almost instantaneous. Whatever he (she) does in the mirror happens right away, so he recognizes it as himself, not as anybody else.
He clearly sees his own projections.

Eventually it becomes obvious that everything is you. You are one with it all.

One, and alone.

The tzaddik with the fast mirror is almost ready to dissolve the personal self.

It’s not like you lose the personal self entirely.
Rather, your awareness rests in the reality that you are One, Alone, yet you are also a specific person with a form.

Your awareness includes both, if you are so blessed to reach that broad view.

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

(Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for this self-reflecting monkey.)

Self-reflecting_monkey Wikimedia Commons

awareness, consciousness, inspiration, spiritual book, spirituality, Walking The Bridge books

What Is Your Large Soul View, and How does it Affect You?

Question: We know that our mind makes form, according to our perceptions and vibrations. We know, as you’ve said, God is causing us to blossom in the beam of His attention and is pouring through us, making everything happen. At the same time, everything is already Created. We are told that everything that will ever exist is already Created by God. Help us understand how both of these are true?

Isaac answered by holding his hands in front of his face, with only a tiny gap to allow him to see one person at a time. “What can I see now, with a narrowed view? Only you, and now only the next person.”

It’s like a long storybook that is already written, but we can read only one page at a time. We are here now. We experience only one page now. But the whole book is written. We can’t see the whole thing at once.

Imagine your Large Soul sending you out, lifetime after lifetime. It sends part of you to the causal plane and part to the astral plane, and sends you here to the physical. It’s really not as defined as this, but for the sake of understanding we can work with it in this way.

The Large Soul may send parts only into the causal and/or astral. But if it goes all the way into the physical, it has the causal and astral layers for sure. It’s like the root we spoke about, going deeper into the physical.
If you are here in the physical body, you know you also have counterparts in the causal and astral realms.

The Soul incarnates in order to learn and develop more skill in areas where it may be weak. For instance, your Large Soul may want to work on its skill of how to handle anger. Perhaps in past lifetimes you handled anger in a coarse way. Your anger was easily triggered and seeking vengeance. Perhaps part of you felt regret in that, and now the Large Soul wants to try again this lifetime to really focus and learn about anger.

So here you are, in a potentially angry moment. (He held his palms open, both sides balancing like a set of scales.)
Inside you hear a whisper: “I can’t stand this – it isn’t fair.”
Another whisper arises and says, “Wait, not now. Speak of it later, but not now. Cool off.”

But the situation is so heightened that the scales could tip in either direction. It’s up to you to make your move and learn from it. It’s your own learning. The Universe doesn’t judge you.

If you manage to go with the more peaceful suggestion, then you experience patience – perhaps for the first time ever.
Now you have made one inroad into the experience of Patience. You feel its vibration. Now you will know how to get back here again, to Patience. You have a platform on which to build. Your Large Soul gains growth from this experience.

You are living page by page, and yes, the whole book is already written. Although you feel you are making choices, the long view says it’s all God doing this. It’s not you doing anything at all. You are guided in everything, the good and the bad.

In fact there is nothing bad. It’s all from God. All of it is good. There is no such thing as evil, when you see it from broad perspective. Yes, there is suffering, there is difficulty, and all of that is valid. That is also true.

A person could take this teaching and say, “Well, whatever happens is meant to happen, so I don’t have to try.” But that’s not the attitude we want. Don’t stop efforting just because you know the whole book is already written.

The Sages looked for two things in their students:
First, the humility of not knowing the whole picture and not attempting to control it.
Second, a willingness to put forth effort. In fact if students assumed a controlling attitude or believed they could control God’s gifts to them, the teacher would give them assignments that brought them low.

Anyone may be brought low on any given day. Always for a purpose. Have the humility to know you are not in control of anything.

When your life is done, your body falls away, yet your consciousness is still living in the astral and causal planes. You have more to learn on those planes before returning fully to your Large Soul.

These are Isaac’s words from Chapter 76 of Volume 1, Walking the Bridge – With a Fearless Heart.

earth between fingers Pxfuel(Thanks to Pxfuel for this image.)

awareness, inspiration, Judaism, miracles, spiritual book, spirituality, Walking The Bridge books

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