Death of the Heart

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"Where there is no memory, there has been death of the heart" -R. Nachman I often sit with someone and they tell me that they do not remember much from their younger years. That despite having had a "good childhood", the particular memories remain elusive. It appears that the beautiful person in front of me has had to turn off his heart. Emotionally lonely and unseen, the heart goes into hiding.…

Living a Borrowed Life

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One of the Hebrew word for grave is "Sheol". The 3 letter root of this word שאל is the same as the word "borrow". Every time I define myself by another person, every time I borrow my identity from your opinion, from your judgment, I turn on myself and step into the grave of a borrowed life. Living a life borrowed from others is a betrayal of the divine life force that is yours and…

Pain as Intimate Guide

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What if the most important work we have to do in life is to experience the meaning of loss and allow it to guide us toward the only thing we truly have? What if suffering is intended to nudge us towards parts our selves that are needed to experience the wonders of healing and the joy of reunion? What if everything and everyone is moving in the direction of wholeness? What if…

Traumas of Pain and Pleasure

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Traumas of pain and pleasure Negative Trauma = Experiences that overwhelm one's system with PAIN. They cannot be processed as they happen and are therefore held down as condensed pockets of pain to be AVOIDED at all cost. Positive trauma = Experiences that overwhelm one's system with PLEASURE and are therefore held in constant awareness and CRAVED at all cost. Perhaps our psyches…

Abraham's Journey

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Abraham's journey... had very little to do with his actual steps toward a new geographic location. It's truth was an inner journey from unconscious conditioned fears, desires and thought patterns to the open expansive space of Divine consciousness. His first encounter with an open awareness that transcended his limited conception of the Divine. The shift from complete identification with objects (physical…

The Burden of Responsibility

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When God places Adam in the Garden to guard and serve it, the verse states: "And the Lord, God TOOK Adam and PLACED him in the Garden.." Apparently Adam did not want to go on his own. What was in the way? Was not the garden glorious? The answer our sages give is that Adam feared responsibility. Responsibility. Service. Sacrifice. Love. What if I fail? What if it's too much…

Would You Like to Live Less Guarded?

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Would you like to live less guarded? If so, what's holding you back? Or more importantly... Who's Holding the Keys? Often the one holding the keys is elusive, he's hiding, because he believes that the keys are his only hope, his only protection. And he doesn't even feel good about hanging on to them so strongly, but.....what will happen if he sets them down? Who will he be then? Until…

Stop Blaming Your Parents

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Stop Blaming Your Parents. כִּי־אָבִ֣י וְאִמִּ֣י עֲזָב֑וּנִי וַֽיהוָ֣ה יַֽאַסְפֵֽנִי׃ Though my father and mother abandon me, God will take me in. During this month, Jews have a custom to read chapter 27 of Psalms where the above verse is found. I believe that on one level, King David is speaking of a moment that every human…

My Teenage Tears, Toxic Shame and Hakuna Matata

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I recently had the pleasure of watching the Lion King with my daughter and nephew. I originally saw it in the theatre when it came out in 1994. I was 18 at the time. It had me in serious tears and I had no idea why. It was actually quite embarrassing because I couldn't hide the tears. It was one of those cries where as hard as you try, the tears won't go back in. Anyway, I liked the original…

Are You Avoiding Me?

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Yesterday a friend asked me if I was working on Tisha B'Av. I answered "no". I later thought about how nice it would be to work, or better yet, to sleep. To go unconscious and wake up Friday morning not having to worry about it until next Summer. What am I trying to avoid? It is not as if I have experienced the Temple or anything directly associated with it to feel the loss I am supposed…