Thursday, November 30, 2006

la boheme..

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe,
a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest
- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison
by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature in its beauty."
~Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I painted my bedroom RED today!
Of course I had plenty of time to think while I did it, so here are some of the lessons I learned..

When I decided to paint my room red, everyone close to me tried to discourage me. The said: “its too dark...its difficult to do on your own.. its too messy.. it’ll make the room look smaller.. just hire someone to do it.. green is more relaxing…”

Now that it’s done and looks AMAZING, they’re all going to tell me what a great idea it was, what a great job I did, how they’ve always wanted to do something similar and didn’t have the guts.

Lesson n# 1
When someone tries to discourage you and you really know/feel it’s the right thing to do.. Ignore them! Take chances! The regret of messing up something is never as great as the regret of not giving it a try.

Before you paint the walls, you need to paint the borders so that you don’t mess up the floor and ceiling. Its time consuming, detailed work, but if you don’t do it you end up colouring out of the lines!

Lesson n#2
Spiritual boundaries to protect us from doing the inevitable. We all like getting as close as possible to the edge, we never think we’re going to mess up, but if there’s no fence to hold us back, we often end up falling over.

The darker or stronger the colour of the paint – in this case dark red – the more the blemishes on the wall are noticeable, the more the streaks stand out and the more you have to be careful with every brush stroke to cover all the old paint and not leave any unwanted imperfections in the paintjob.

esson n#3 The greater someone is, the more we notice their tiny slip-ups, mistakes and shortcomings. The greater someone is, the more they have to be careful about every seemingly trivial action they take, as every fault will inevitably be detected in virtue of their greatness.

If you try to cut corners, get lazy and don’t cover the floor with newspaper or don’t clean up after yourself, you’ll end up spending way longer doing touch-ups and cleaning up the mess you left behind in your eagerness to get the job done quickly.

Lesson n#4 It’s pointless to try and rush through major self-transformation, if you skip baby steps you’ll end up spending twice as long doing damage control. Better to take your time and do things step by step, and clean up small messes and overcome small challenges as they present themselves, and avoid a major crash and lengthy corrections.

It took me two days of work to finish painting the whole room - it was exhausting - but I now have an amazingly beautiful funky red bedroom to chill in.

Lesson n#5
short term hard work leads to long term pleasure.

Trading Spaces and other home improvement television shows feed us lies, deception and straight out rubbish. They make it seem way simpler than it actually is.

Lesson n#6
Don’t believe what you see on TV!

I love my new red room!

Lesson n#7
it’s the simple pleasures in life, especially those you’ve worked
hard at achieving that make you happy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner


Dear Sweet Holy Moshiach,

We would like to invite you to our temple rebuilding party NOW in Jerusalem. We hear you are wonderful company and it would be a real pleasure to have you among us. As you arrive, please beware of the
flying benches,
soaring books,
airborne shtenders,
burning garbage,
hate and violence.
Unfortunately many of our guests tend to get a little rowdy when they are kept waiting too long. We expect the delay to have been worth it, but be advised that in the meantime all semblance of sanity has left our people. If it’s any consolation, many of the guests we hope to attract will not be waiting for you and have no idea that you exist, but from the rest of us, you can expect a huge sigh of relief. All in all we expect everyone to be pleasantly surprised by your arrival. We hope you will not get too frightened by the mob scene and pandemonium that await your arrival as we very much look forward to having you celebrate this new world order with us.

Believing and waiting impatiently,
Your (confused and frightened) supporters in need of serious salvation.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to real persons or situations is purely a fabrication of your (or my) guilty conscience. Please note that this post is not meant to point a finger at anyone, it's actually pointing every finger at everyone.. we all need to WAKE UP..

Beautiful response to the post above (thanks flör)

Dear Supporters(s),

I like to thank you for your kind words, support and inherent belief in my arrival. Sadly, I have had to make some stops along that way that hadn't been factored into the schedule, but hey-- what can you do? Gd does as Gd plans.

Interesting you warn me of these shenanigans..there are times I could swear I hear the ruckus all the way here! When that happens I stop to listen more closely..usually this is accompanied by a great wave of despondence on my part; a sadness so tremendous it takes me weeks to recover.

Then again there are those times -while few and far-between- I hear music in the wind that wends it's way down the long dusy paths of my travels. Clear notes awash in purity, drenched in tears and saturated with longing..and all the while the sun beams down in pride, and the celestial beings glow. Bluest-of-blue waves cavort along the pristine beaches; giggling as they crash on home..the tens of thousands grains of sand wait patiently.

Famished from my long trek-- goodness knows I'm looking forward to the grand feast that awaits. Delicacies of creamy sacrificial offerings, scintillating dithyrambs and manificent...ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself..

Be advised that though I may be 'late', never fear I will forget, or worse-- never arrive. Would I like to be there promptly? Absolutely. But as of now the road is long. I keep my eye upon the great white building in the distance; that magnificent edifice with a golden 'crown' glinting round it's roof. Faint column of smoke rising from the I imagine that sweet scent now on the breeze?

Yours Truly [madly & deeply],
SHM (Sweet Holy Mashiach)

p.s.- Please, keep up those musical bits, I put them on lay-away so we'll have more to dance to coming addition to them to keep me going. Will email when I get to the next rest stop (45 mi).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

at first they were tears of jealousy...why them and not her? she wondered
and then tears of worry...would her turn ever come?
then came tears of loneliness...would she have to spend the rest of her nights in solitude?
and tears of much more rejection and disappointment would she suffer?
then there were tears of sadness...would she get to raise her children as a young mommy?
and tears of fear...would she ever get to hold her own baby?
then tears of many mistakes had she made along the way?
and tears of anger...did He forget her?? she wondered
then came tears of much more would she have to endure?

but the real tears came at the end.. when it occurred to her that she had spent her whole life in tears...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Someone sent me an article from the Chinese Journal of Medicine (Vol. 70) which makes a connection between Tefilin and acupuncture. It's a couple of years old but I thought it was very cool.

Acupuncture is a medical procedure used in Chinese Medicine where needles are inserted into certain specific points in the body - acupuncture points - and which is beleived to bring about relief and heal a variety of ailments by rebalancing 'yin, yang and chi' (don't even ask me what that is - google it! :)

"The acknowledged purpose of the tefillin is to raise the spiritual consciousness of the men who wear it. If we examine where the knots and wrappings are placed from a TCM point of view, it appears that the tefillin and wraps form a potent acupuncture point formula focused on the Governing vessel (DuMai) and aimed at elevating the spirit and clearing the mind."

"The Governing Vessel (Du Mai) is an extra-ordinary meridian that runs up the spine and penetrates the brain. It is well known for its ability to treat psychiatric disorders and influence the mind. The spiritual action of points on the Governing vessel can be explained because it has the closest relationship with the brain, which according to pre-Inner Classic and later Daoist traditions is considerde to be the seat of the spirit."

Acupuncture points are mapped out and named (ex: DU-24, DU-70, DU-23 etc..). This article establishes that the points covered by the hand and head tefilin are exactly those points where the acupuncture needles are inserted in order "to clear the mind and harmonise the spirit."

This isn't really suprising.. is it?
But it's still fun to know.. isn't it?

I love finding connections and seeing harmony in the Universe. It's so easy to get distracted from the world of truth when we get lost so easily in a world that seems disconnected and incoherent...but Truth is all about UNITY. There is no chizuk like finding synchronicity. G-d cant expect only those "lucky" few in boropark to have access to His wisdom and truth, it only makes sense that we find connections, hints, allusions, links.. in the world around us that lead us back to Him.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why does everyone look so grumpy in the morning? How is anyone expected to have a decent day at work when the first thing we’re faced with in the morning is a crowded mass of grumpyness? The misery that accosts us when taking the subway to work in the morning is depressing enough to drive anyone into the tracks. Are people really that miserable going to work? If so, why aren’t we doing anything about it? How is it that countless people are accepting this miserable excuse of an existence without a fight?

I sit on the subway and I look around.. I try imagine what goes on in people's minds – I think that young guy is daydreaming of his lazy Sunday morning he spent with his kids, and that lady is fantasizing about a romantic vacation with her lover on a white sandy beach, and that college kid in his stuffy new suit is dreaming of backpacking across asia, and this one wishes he could see sunlight more often.. while they all robotically maneover through their morning routine – slide the metrocard, walk to the platform, stare into space, walk onto the subway, hold on to the railing, day dream of REAL life, walk off the subway, mindlessly follow the crowds, walk into the office, smile hello, make coffee… and survive the day on automatic pilot until its time for the same subway routine after work.

Sometimes I just want to get up and yell for everyone to just WAKE UP!

But then I just mind my own business, stick my head back into my book and immerse myself in a written world that promises me depth, drama, and thought provoking endings.

Is it human nature or is it society that’s driven us to living this way? Are we supposed to accept it as inevitable or do we spend our lives fighting it?

I dont’s way too early in the morning to be thinking about all this..

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

battle cry


enough running away, enough hiding, enough pretending, enough avoiding

FEAR is the mind killer
fear is the MIND killer
fear is the mind KILLER

I have to kill it before it kills me

time is flying ahead, afraid of nothing
and I’m falling behind..

i need to beat the !*#$% out of it

What am i so afraid of? I mean, honestly!! what's going to happen? someone wont like me? i'll upset someone? i'll fail at something? my boss wont be happy? my parents will be disapointed? i wont be as incredibly brilliant and amazing as i want to delude myself into believing i am? what the heck am i so afraid of? why it does it paralyze me this way? i'm intelligent, i'm rational, i'm self aware, so how does it just always manage to hijack my sanity and corner me into submission. there is no outcome that is more painful than the regrets i have. There is no situation I cant handle, I really beleive that. I've overcome, I've surpassed, I'm capable - so how does it manage to sneak into the tiny slivers of doubt i have an inflate them into brick walls I can't get past.
I just have to get past it. the price is too high. i can't stop time , so i better make the most of it while it's around. i HAVE to stop being afraid.

There are no monsters under my's just dirty old socks!!
UPDATE - I FACED MY FEAR!!! and am alive to blog about it.. woooohoooo more power to meeeeee!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

everything is illuminated

Lehagid baboker chasdecha ve'emunat'cha baleilot (Tehillim (92:3)

David hamelech comes through once again..

Emunah isn’t blind belief - it's belief based on knowledge.. the knowledge I acquired when my vision was clear.

In the morning, the sun shines and it provides me with a vivid understanding of G-d’s kindness - and it’s a pleasure to give praise.

But when nighttime comes, and it gets dark and gloomy, confusing and obscure, I suddenly don't see what's right in front of me so clearly. It’s at that time that I trust my belief, my conviction based on the clarity I experienced earlier.

The permanence of His existence isn’t dependent on my clarity of vision.

Objects don’t cease existing when the light is turned off – I just rely on my other senses and have confidence in the memories created when there was illumination.

In the darkness of the night, I trust that what I saw with such clarity in the daytime is still there.
My emunah is awakened.. and I continue to seek.. and praise.

Who links to me?