Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are you an internal or external person.

In order for a person to be successful in any endeavor, he needs to be totally and completely present. For a soldier to win, he can’t be distracted in any of his soul garments. Whether it is in thought, speech or action, when a soldier is engaged on the front, every part of the soldier has to focus on his mission to be successful. That means no Blackberries, iPhones, texting or multi-tasking.

Chassidim sing a meditative melody to prepare themselves to hear and absorb a mystical discourse. It once happened that they were singing this preparatory song quickly in order to already get to the intellectual discourse. Their Master addressed his students on the differences between the preferred and better, internal oriented person versus the inferior external oriented person. The Master explained that an internal centered person, even while singing a preparatory song, he is still totally and completely into what he is doing at the moment, despite anything or everything going on outside of the present moment.

A person who is completely immersed in the moment won’t just do things technically as an external oriented person. An internal oriented person is completely involved in the moment. He is therefore totally alive and enthusiastic in what he is doing since the act is not only on the outside for show but is internally oriented. This manner in doing things allows the person to have the greatest chances for success, since all of his faculties focus on the mission at hand. Doing something, and having ones soul in it, gives a person the greatest satisfaction since the person is at peace with himself and living harmoniously.

Once, a Mystic in the times of the Bolsheviks was being sent off to hard labor. Minutes before he was taken away, he was working on important documents and addressing issues, completely oblivious in his thoughts and actions, at that moment, that so much danger lay ahead for him. At another occasion, he explained that this is the secret in making the best out of a day and the most out of life ,to always be in the moment.

When a person prays, the Bible says all his thoughts, and of course his words and actions, need to reflect his desire and interest to connect with G-d. If while saying his prayers at that moment he entertains foreign and alien thoughts, thoughts that just don’t belong with the words and actions he is involved in, the words remain hollow and lack the thrust and engine to reach the heavens. For prayer to be meaningful and to have any significance, a person has to enter the words with his thoughts and soul and immersed in the words he is saying.

King Solomon says, “In all YOUR ways you shall know him,” and “all YOUR deeds shall be for the sake of heaven.” King Solomon is teaching us something very important. In all that you do, always make sure it is imbued and in line with your higher purpose --, that is the secret to success and deep soulfulfillment.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Success with time is to be totally immersed in the moment.” The Rebbe Rashab.

“ …we need to serve and worship - in this place and at this time with whatever abilities and powers we have at our disposal, using our thoughts, speech and action in the manner of an “internally centered person” who is totally and completely immersed in what he is doing now at this moment. He doesn’t think at this moment, about anything else but what he is now involved in... This is how one transforms the present moment (totally and completely, when saturating it in all ways with Holiness) into – a holy moment, a connected moment with G-d himself….”

This principle rule, that where the mind is, that is where the person really is, is especially powerful and true when it comes to visualizing in the minds’ eye.

We already established the very close and strong connection between the mind and the soul, how thoughts are connected to the infinite spark of G-d inside ourselves and it is for that reason that there are no boundaries of time and space in a person’s mind. Thoughts have many of the qualities of the soul. That is why a person, in his mind, can see himself in the past or even in the future. In a person’s mind, he is higher than the limitations of past, present and future.

In a person’s mind, one can re-experience an incident from the past and go through all the same physical occurrences he had when he went through it the first time.

It has been established that a person can actually salivate when thinking about eating a bitter lemon rind.

Good memories, especially those that are spiritual, can enlighten one’s brain and warm up one’s heart. When a person relives a spiritual G-dly experience, for example such as an encounter he had with a G-dly person, this will place him in an elevated disposition, just like he had the first time and this will affect his body accordingly.

The same goes for a person who places his imagination and thoughts with negative and harmful memories, at this point we don’t have to spell out how this is tremendously destructive to the soul and to the body. In the same way the positive memories will uplift and strengthen the person psychologically and physically, the negative will pull down and destroy the person.

For a person to avoid a conflicted life and live a harmonious life in a peaceful existence, this is THE GREAT SECRET.

Wherever a person is, he should be in truth – not half way – appearing like he is there but mentally he is somewhere else and away from what his actions are reflecting.

When a person is physically in one place and in his mind he is someplace else, it is “one of the mouth and one of the heart,” and it is untruthful and unwholesome. It is a lie to the person himself. No one can live with a pretender, not even the person who pretends to himself.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Seven Mystical truths to inner happiness & Fulfillment.

This was a full day seminar I gave a couple of times in Palm Beach at the Palm Beach Wellness Center. This is a copy of the handout -- Hope you enjoy.

#1 Foundation of all foundations.

The foundation of all foundations is that G-d is the source of all things and He impossible to be understood because He is beyond any kind of logic.

G-d is one and is everything. We must know our entire existence is G-d. Feelings of ego run contrary to this principle. Judging others is a product of the ego. Ego makes us want to be in control and ultimately causes us insecurity. We meditate on the above in our morning prayers and before we go to sleep in our night prayers. This knowledge that all is G-d, gives us our security, strength and pride.

#2, Giver and taker.

Everything in this world has the dual function of giver and taker. We receive what we put out. By attaching and elevating ourselves to a level higher than ourselves to spirituality we make ourselves part of the cycle of life to receive G-dliness. When a person gives charity whether physical or just helps another person, this is the highest form of currency “current” flowing through him. In the measure a person gives of himself he will receive through that exact circuit. “Bring another person closer to G-d and G-d will bring you closer, Love another person and G-d will love you, do a favor for another person G-d will do you a favor.”

When all this is done with Joy, all boundaries are broken in the giving and in what comes back. When you bless another person with a full heart G-d blesses you with a full heart. The way we approach G-d is the way G-d then responds to us.

#3, Reward and punishment.

For every action there is an equal and in line reaction. The principle of reward and punishment. Everything we do every act, even mere thinking creates a response and reaction. King David was amazed at how the higher spheres are affected by the small details of Mitzvot (G-ds commandments.). Our mind wields much power. We can make a sacrifice not kosher, by how we think. We control our emotions with our mind. Everything we do or don’t do is a decision with consequences. Bad past decisions can be dealt with through Teshuvah-repentance which puts a person in touch with his pure essence the spark of G-d within, and this puts him in touch with the past and the future. Lechatchilah Ariber – elevating oneself above his current challenges, is the thrust to move forward.

#4, Everything is in the hands of G-d.

Except for the study of Torah and the performance of Mitzvot (good deeds) and fear of G-d everything comes from G-d with little effort. There is a plan and purpose behind everything. Divine providence is always in charge and all comes from G-d and therefore a person is always accepting of the way things are. A person doesn’t have to work hard to have a livelihood or health etc. It’s enough he does a small effort and has trust in G-ds kindness and benevolence in providing him with what’s best for him. We don’t have to feel stress or pressure regarding any worldly needs. Although a person must always pray for his needs and wish for what is needed he is always in a great state of Joy believing and accepting G-ds timing.

A person need only to be focused on his performance of doing what’s proper in the eyes of G-d which at times come with great illusionary difficulty to assure all the others things that G-d provides almost effortlessly. G-d assures everyone that strength is provided to fulfill this task.

#5, The path YOU choose.

G-d provides His kindness in line with our desires. As we desire so will G-d help us. Nothing stands in the way of a true desire and the world was given to a person to conquer. A person was created with free choice to choose as he pleases which direction he will go in, similar to G-d who chooses his decisions without coercion. A person by strongly attaching his mind to something is able to propel himself in that direction. A person realigns and refocuses himself three times a day during his prayers and is never embarrassed of the direction he has chosen to go in.

#6, Acceptance of G-ds timing.

A person places upon G-d his worries and lets G-d sort out the solution and how they will materialize. To a person, however G-d decides to respond, is always equally acceptable to him because G-d knows best. A person opens his hands to accept G-ds good grace in whatever way G-d decides to send his graciousness. Moshiach- the ultimate good and all good things come by surprise in the blink of an eye as G-d decides how and when to send his blessings. We never expect or demand that G-d should send His blessings in any specific way we are whole hearted and sincere in our belief and acceptance of G-ds ways.

#7, Unique mission for each person.

G-d has a unique plan and mission for every individual. No one thinks or looks alike and each individual has a purpose that no one else can duplicate which the entire world and cosmos is dependant on. Wherever a person finds himself it is because he was sent to offer his unique talents to that part of the planet. Everyone has a unique mission in the army of G-d in bringing about G-ds plan in this world. In addition to the idea of each person having a unique mission, every person has a particular unique practice that is special to him and this is his special act among all the other things that he does. At every stage of a person’s life he must ask himself am I doing and fulfilling the reason I was created for.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What you desire, want and think about is who u are and where you will ultimately end.

A person, we’re talking about the real person, his soul and who he really is, is where his thoughts are. A mystic once enlightened his student, “better to be on the outside looking inside, than to be on the inside looking outside.”

This is quite profound. If you had a choice, would you rather live in a million dollar house, but in your mind you are living in a dark ugly world, or live very modestly, but in your mind where you are focused the sun was shining?

The fact that thoughts put the entire person in a situation, in the present tense and even ultimately, reveals and proves the closeness between the garment of thought and one’s soul.

Even though the desire and will for something derives from an even deeper place in one’s soul than thought, the will and desire for something must always flow through the conduit of thought to express itself. That is why we find interchangeable the expression, “where a person’s desire and will is, or where a person’s thoughts are, that is where the person himself finds himself.”

What you really desire and want, will express itself in your thoughts, and whatever you are thinking about, that is who you are and where you find yourself in life.

This influence of thought on the soul is not superficial, but an actual transference and conveyance of the soul itself, to where the thoughts are. The desire in one’s mind, what you allow yourself to think of, represents the yearning and the course-plotting of the soul itself, as opposed to when a person says something or acts in a certain way, it may very well be one of the heart and one of the mouth. The talk or the act can be totally outward, and not authentic to the person himself.

When angels above are passionate for G-dliness, they are described as being one with G-d and even higher than G-d. When a person yearns and desires for something and he is thinking strongly regarding his wish and aspiration, he points and is guiding his soul in that direction, and as far as the soul is concerned he is there, right now at this moment.

So if a person desires and thinks Holy thoughts, that’s where his life is. When a person desires and thinks unholy thoughts, that’s also where his life is.

Physically, a person may be and “appear” in a holy place and yet, where he really is, and what his character really is, is one that is rolling around in the mud no better than a cow.

I had a very famous teacher who was in the gulag of Siberia. On his birthday he imagined himself asking for a blessing from his spiritual mentor and actually got a written response sent to him.

Yes, what we desire and how we think is so powerful, it can take us to great places.

The positive triggers and negative influences on your soul.

The following is a quote from one of the great mystics,

“ … incredibly powerful are thoughts and the ability to imagine. They place a person in an illusionary place as if it where really true. At that moment the person is totally elevated from the nonsense and trivia of the corporeal. His awareness and aspirations are carried away, his thoughts are dancing, elevated in the realm of the spirit and soul, and his flesh (if it hurts) is estranged from him…”

The Baal Shem Tov said, “Where a person’s thoughts are, that is where the person is.”

In the Zohar it says “man - he is thought”. What is man and where is he?? In his thoughts.

Through thoughts, the soul of a person, his feelings and his life are drawn and expressed. Strength and weakness in a person’s life are all from his thoughts. Thought is compared to a funnel. Just like through a funnel, the water is given shape and directed; it is through the garment and funnel of thought that the soul streams and is revealed.

When a person’s thoughts take on a certain shape and direction, the soul will follow that direction. Thoughts that accentuate optimism and happy beliefs will bring the soul to those places. Opposite thoughts force the soul and everything about the person to subdue itself to that negative pattern.

The influence of a good thought on the soul is even greater than speech and action, the other garments of the soul, as we explained previously, because of its closeness and constant attachment with the soul.

G-dly words and inspiration, for example the book of psalms, are the ultimate thoughts of wisdom and light, and are particularly beneficial to influence, mold, and direct the soul for the good.

When a person thinks G-dly thoughts, it will surround the soul and encompass the soul with Holiness and this will trigger from within the soul a shine and infinite light that knows no bounds. This will cause the soul, a spark of G-d, to bring out the best and the strongest of goodness from the soul.

Thoughts that are the opposite of Holiness and G-dliness will cause tremendous damage, by surrounding and strangling the soul. This choice, to think non-worthy, negative thoughts will shift the soul away from its light and strength to a place of darkness for the person.

The positive influence from a good thought, finer speech and actions is much greater on the soul than a bad one. “Much greater is the measure of goodness over the measure of punishment.”

A small positive light will chase away much darkness from a large dark room. Positive, inspiring thoughts are more powerful than the darkness caused by negative thoughts.

The more we accustom and train ourselves to think positive thoughts, the more we train our souls to flow in a positive direction and we chase away and cleanse our souls from the negative effects that the bad garments have made on our soul.

Thoughts of sin are worse than sin???

What you allow yourself to think is mighty powerful from all angles. It’s from the soul, to the soul, and on one’s own soul.

To better appreciate the exclusivity of thought over the other garments of the soul --speech and action -- let’s turn once again to the article of clothing metaphor.

Speech and action are like clothing that always remains separate from our real selves. Thought is to the soul, like the skin is to the frame of our bodies, united and one with the soul, all the time. That is why you can never stop thinking, just like you can never take off your skin. It’s always on and always needs your attention.

The soul garment of speech and action are put on the outside, for people, looking from the outside. They are meant to make an impression on outsiders.

Thought is an internal expression of the soul inwardly, for oneself. The thoughts which a person decides to think remain an internal communication to the person, from the person, who decided to think those thoughts. Thoughts are always a double whammy, internally, from the person to the person.

This fact that thoughts are one, united with soul -- i.e. our life force -- presents the added measure of respect necessary towards our thoughts. Bad thoughts will leave a deeper imperfection and blemish, even if only once. Encouraging and optimistic thoughts will make a tremendous positive manipulation on the soul. Because of its closeness to the soul, thoughts will affect the soul in a much more profound and deeper way than speech and action

The garment of thought not only has more impact on the soul; it is also more sophisticated and refined than the other garments. Any stain or spot on a sensitive and refined garment will stand out more boldly. A cut or mess-up on clothes doesn't compare to a cut or mess-up on one’s skin.

The percentage of value that an expensive car or diamond will drop with a blemish on it is much steeper than the small and relative insignificant reduction a much cheaper and insignificant item will have, because of a relatively same blemish.

This is what the books mean when it says, “Thoughts of sin are worse than sin itself”. One can ask why is thinking all that bad if I didn't DO anything wrong??

The answer is, since thought is so intimately attached to the soul, using thoughts wrongly will cause even a greater harm to the soul, to the person themselves, than a bad action.

The prophets would admonish the people that all their sacrifices were worthless, because their thoughts and intentions were compromised. The Bible tells us of a king who had bad intentions, but did good deeds. He was rewarded for his good actions and brought about punishment for his evil thoughts.

Indeed, thoughts are very, very powerful.

Your thoughts are the results of what you decided to think.

Before I begin this week’s lesson, let’s quickly review what we have learned over the past three weeks. In my first article, we established that the soul has three garments – thought, speech and action -- and we choose when to put them on or take them off. The second article taught us that even when we don’t feel like it, or we are not in the “mood”, we always can get into the thoughts and garments we choose to put on. In article number three, we learned that the only way to take control of our thoughts, since we are always thinking, is to consciously insert the thoughts we want.

Thoughts are continuous and always connected to the soul. Unlike speech, where there is a time to speak and a time to be quiet, thought is constant and more deeply attached to the soul. Because the garment of thought is always on, and is closest to the soul, thoughts have the greatest influence on a person. Also, the stain that comes as a result of ones one’s thoughts, for the good or the opposite, will be deeper on one’s soul.

We see in clothes. When a person puts on nice clothing, he actually changes his mood and feels good and honorable. Garments in the Talmud are called “my honor’, they bestow honor. An ordinary person, when he puts on honorable clothing, will feel and will be treated admirable.

So it goes with the clothing of the soul -- garments will manipulate the actual soul positively or negatively. Every speech, action, or thought will have a positive effect on the soul and the same is true with the negative.

With enough repetition, the garments of our soul, which we are always in control of, will eventually mold and shape the actual soul for now and all eternity.

The spark of G-dliness inside ourselves, that defines who we are and remains alive even after we leave this world, will be formed forever, by the habits and garments we regularly decided to place over our souls.

A person’s service to G-d, is judged by the choices he makes regarding the clothing of the soul.
What he is left with to stand before G-d, is the result of these choices.

After a while, with enough routine and habit, the thoughts that come automatic because of our past choices, will express the character and nature of what our souls have become. For a person who has decided to be involved in wisdom, intellectual thought comes to his mind. A person who decided to think happy and joyous thoughts, cheerful and joyful thoughts will start flowing automatically.

For some people, the thought to murder never enters their minds, for others, the thought to contribute to society in a positive way will never enter their minds. In the end, what we think is a result of how we trained ourselves to think.

The fact that thoughts manifest the personality and character traits of the soul, brings a special seriousness and attention to the content of one’s thought. Proper thoughts reflect a healthy soul, while empty, vain thoughts reflect an empty and confused soul. Even when these are irregular once in a while, thoughts are a reflection of the character of a soul.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The soul attracts and picks up thoughts like a vacuum.

Garments are put on and off at will. Garments affect the way we feel, and garments tell people who we are. Every soul has three garments -- thought, speech and action.

One immediate distinction between the garments of thought versus speech and action is that. Because speech and action are in the domain of the outside, the outside can sometimes pressure a person to speak and act in ways not consistent with ones beliefs. Thoughts, which are totally inward, are always entirely our own choice.

Something else differentiates the garments of thought, and the other two -- speech and action. Speech and action are not constant garments, a person can more easily put them on or take them off, “a time to speak and a time to stay quiet”, “a time to act and a time not to act”. Thought on the other hand is always flowing. A person can never stop thinking -- this garment is glued to his soul and this garment a person can never take off like he can with the other garments of the soul.

Thoughts are sometimes compared to a flowing river that never stops. Even while sleeping, when at that time the person isn’t speaking or doing anything, his mind is still working and his thoughts are still flowing. That’s where dreams come into the picture.

Although thoughts are always flowing and can not be stopped, a person can decide what should flow in his mind -- clean and pure water or muddy water. Even though a person is not in control of stopping the flow he can decide what the content of the flow should be.

The soul attracts and picks up thoughts like a vacuum, from what is in the atmosphere or the results of what we have trained the soul in the past to think, or we can place the thoughts we decide upon the soul.

The only way a person gains control over their thoughts is by inserting into this current and field of energy, what he does want to think. To ignore the conscious effort necessary to decide what to think allows for random thoughts and the random results that come as a result of not taking control.

A person can distract himself from unwanted thoughts by inserting consciously different preferable and supportive thoughts. According to his true wishes and what he really wants to think and the degree of his commitment to chase away his current thoughts, by inserting what he wants to think he will succeed to drive away what is presently there.

This power to control the garments, in particular thought, will determine ultimately how our soul and internal character will be molded.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dimensions of the soul.

The soul inside ourselves has three garments -- thought, speech and action. Through these garments we express different dimensions of our soul, and through these garments people judge us, and rightfully so! Our garments have the influence to make us either feel good or just the opposite.

Although the soul is revealed through these garments, they never become a part of it, and always remain an external instrument, with means of either helping or hurting the soul.

We can change our garments as we please. Yet, we can not easily change our inherent self. The same is also for the garments of the soul. A person can decide to think, speak or act in line with his nature, such as a rich man putting on rich cloth or a lean person putting on the right size clothing…Or a person can decide to think, speak and act, not in line with their souls, much like a poor person donning rich clothes or a heavy person squeezing themselves into thin clothing.

It is possible for a person to put on clothing not compatible with his soul. For example, a dirty soul can put on clean clothing, and a clean soul can put on dirty clothing. Although a person does not get to choose the kind of body or soul they have, we always have the full control over the garments of thought, speech and action we place over our souls.

A person can do (action) a favor for someone, even when his heart tells him to do the opposite. A person can say (speech) nice things, even when his heart feels differently. And in thought, a person can think positively, even when he is inclined to thoughts of sadness and hopelessness.

While freewill and total opportunity is always present to think, speak and do as a person chooses, it takes extra effort at the precise moment that it does not feel natural to conscientiously and deliberately put on an incompatible thought, speech or action to the soul.

That is why the instructions and commandments to be moral, ethical and G-dly are satisfied through the garments and not so much with the soul itself and its characteristics. G-d expects us to do things that are within our power to fulfill. Otherwise, it would not be fair to expect something a person could not deliver. A person has full control over his garments, even against the feeling of his own heart or what he or she believes is a natural tendency of their soul.

Garments of a Soul??? The Power of thought..

In the next few articles I will explain and enlighten you on HOW and WHY your thoughts hold the key to your life. You will come to appreciate how powerful your thoughts are and how they hold the key to literally EVERYTHING. You will think of your thoughts in an entirely new and respectful manner after you read these articles.

Kabbalah says,”The person is his thoughts”.

The master key to all of your life is determined by the way you think.

So let’s get started with an introduction of sorts.

Inside each one of us - inside our bodies of flesh and blood - we have a soul. A pure spark of G-dliness that animates our bodies.

This soul is pure and provides us with life. Our intellect, emotions and self identity are all from the soul. This soul is preprogrammed by G-d to operate in a certain way, like the body of every person that operates by a predetermined pathology.

There are many things that can affect or manipulate the body either in a positive or negative manner.

Kabbalah explains that the soul inside our bodies, which is this pure spark of G-d with its own preprogrammed pathology, has its own ways in which it can and will be manipulated. This comes in the form of spiritual garments to the soul.

The soul has three garments: thought; speech and action.

Why are they called garments? Because their relationship to the soul is similar to clothing and the person who puts it on. A garment is not the essence of a person. A garment serves the person.

Garments serve the person by revealing and expressing the person. They are a form of communication. People judge us by the clothing we wear. The essence and character of a person are expressed in the clothing he or she decides to wear.

Clothing, also affects and influences the person’s attitude and demeanor. We feel and think very differently when we are wearing expensive and classy clothing as opposed to cheap and “shleppy” clothing.

Through thought, which uses internal letters and words, a person reveals feelings for one’s self. That is why the better a person’s vocabulary, the clearer a person will understand him or herself.

Through speech, a person reveals his or her thoughts to the people around them.

And through action, a person expresses his or her soul and character in this physical world.

Like actual garments, the thoughts a person CHOOSES to place and clothe on their soul, whether they are positive or negative – will affect their feelings and motivations accordingly.

Thinking, speaking and acting positive is not just how you communicate with others, it is also how you manipulate and control your own feelings.

More next time.