Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Prayers

To everything there is a season,

a time for every purpose under the sun.

A time to be born and a time to die;

a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

a time to kill and a time to heal ...

a time to weep and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance ...

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to lose and a time to seek;

a time to rend and a time to sew;

a time to keep silent and a time to speak;

a time to love and a time to hate;

a time for war and a time for peace.

ecclesiastes 3:1-8


In the house made of dawn.

In the story made of dawn.

On the trail of dawn.

O, Talking God.

His feet, my feet, restore.

His limbs, my limbs, restore.

His body, my body, restore.

His voice, my voice, restore.

His plumes, my plumes, restore.

With beauty before him, with beauty before me.

With beauty behind him, with beauty behind me.

With beauty above him, with beauty above me.

With beauty below him, with beauty below me.

With beauty around him, with beauty around me.

With pollen beautiful in his voice,

With pollen beautiful in my voice.

It is finished in beauty.

It is finished in beauty.

In the house of evening light.

From the story made of evening light.

On the trail of evening light.

american indian - navajo


To our Gods of old, we bless the ground

that you tread in search of our freedom!

We bless your presence in our lives and in our hearts!

Take of this offering to your delight,

and be filled with our prayers of thanksgiving!

May our lives remain as full as our hearts on this day!

yoruban - africa


You are the peace of all things calm

You are the place to hide from harm

You are the light that shines in dark

You are the heart's eternal spark

You are the door that's open wide

You are the guest who waits inside

You are the stranger at the door

You are the calling of the poor

You are my Lord and with me still

You are my love, keep me from ill

You are the light, the truth, the way

You are my Saviour this very day.

you are god - celtic oral tradition - 1st millennium


O love, O pure deep love, be here, be now.

Be all; worlds dissolve into your stainless endless radiance,

Frail living leaves burn with you brighter than cold stars;

Make me your servant, your breath, your core.

sufi mystic - jelaluddin rumi - 13th century


May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;

May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;

May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless;

And may all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,

And live believing in the equality of all that lives.

traditional buddhist prayer


Om namah shivaya! Om namah shivaya! Om namah shivaya!

Oh Almighty! We all pray to you!

shiv mahima - sacred hindu mantra


Elohai neshama sh’natata bi tehorah hi. Elohai neshama sh’natata bi tehorah hi. Elohai neshama sh’natata bi tehorah hi.

My God, the soul You have put in me is pure.

hebrew meditation

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


On a similar note, this blog will be about Haftarat Balak. In the Jewish tradition, when a portion of the Torah is read during services, a portion of the Haftarah, or the succeeding books of the Bible, is read as well. When I had my Bar Mitzvah back in 1994, the passage from the Haftarah was from the book of Micah. The most renowned scripture from this book reads from 6:8:

Higid l'cha adam, mah-tov; umah-Adonai doreish mimcha, ki im-asot mishpat, v'ahava chesed, v'hatzneya lechet, im-Elohecha.

It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.

To summarize, justice and mercy represent the feminine and masculine attributes of humanity. Although Western civilization often associates justice (Gevurah) with man and mercy (Chesed) with woman, it is essentially intended to be the opposite in the Tree of Life. In Buddhism, the middle path is often emphasized. This is also the case in Kabbalah, for there are not two but three columns. Femininity lies on the left and masculinity on the right, but the column in the middle is the asexual bridge between the female and the male. So therefore, humility and purity are to be embodied by all, with the crown of the Creator (Keter) on the apex of the middle column, and the tree as a whole. We need the balance of all three columns, maintaining a balance of the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves, all the while staying centered and linking to the Light. From there, we can transcend the physical world (Malchut) and create a direct connection to the Creator.

Naturally, I did not appreciate this scripture from Micah when I turned 13, but now that I am 30, there is definitely a grand appreciation I have for this verse. As I stated in the previous blog entry, stepping outside of the comfort zone is important and spiritual journeys are not all jolly at times. One does need to suffer regardless. However, it is more rewarding to suffer actively than stagnantly, for there is a greater reward in the continuing confrontation of one's insecurities and personal demons. In life, there is no turning back. You either stay still and create an illusion of regression, or move forward and evolve. Hopefully, anybody who reads this will choose the latter option.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Last night, I went to a couple of workshops at the Kabbalah Center in Manhattan. I picked up quite a number of good lessons regarding how I can embrace the Light. I will be more than happy to share these lessons with you. The parashat, or passage taught was known as Lech-Lecha. This literally translated means, "To go out for yourself." In the Zohar study, we were educated on the story of Avram (later to be called Avraham) and the denouncement of his father's idol worship. In an act of rebellion and righteousness, he destroyed all but one of his father's idols and placed a staff in the hands of one of these idols. When questioned on the destruction of these idols, Avram claimed that one idol destroyed all the others and that it must have been true, since his father placed so much faith in the idols. This story, combined with many others, made for a very interesting night at the Kabbalah Center.

Another theme of the night involved busting through the barriers of self-imposed limitations. If one opens himself or herself up to the Light, the Light will connect. However, the Light will not do all of the work for you. Zohar encourages people to step outside of their comfort zone and to explore new territory in life, encouraging those embarking on a spiritual journey to not only think outside the box, but more importantly, to travel outside of it as well. The only way to evolve is to embark upon a journey that will allow you to eradicate the negativity we all possess and embrace the Light by actively making changes and not copping out regarding blind acceptance to your excuses and your insecurities.

I leave you with these questions. How can you incorporate Lech-Lecha into your life? Also ask yourself what you will do differently this week to escape your comfort zone and evolve into the Light. The choice is yours.