By Marc Gafni from a work in progress “Dance of Tears” Prayer is the restoration of the divine image through the restoration of the dignity of the word. Prayer, teach the masters, models sacred speech. Writes the Maggid of Mezeritch… “Take special care to guard your tongue Before the morning prayer, Even greeting your fellow [...]
Every event of consciousness shows up in the body; fear for example causes perspiration – however it is clear that fear is not reducible to perspiration. But by tracing the physical correlate of the emotional world of consciousness we gain an important window of understanding to the working of the heart. It is in this [...]
In the mythic teaching of ancient Hebrew mysticism, the calligraphy of your Unique Letter in the cosmic scroll is determined by the particular angle at which you were situated in relationship to the revelation at Mount Sinai. Sinai, in the great Hebrew myth, is a portal through which the Infinite discloses itself in love through [...]
How does your Unique Christ Self redeem suffering? When the who of suffering becomes clear, then you can bear almost any how. When you realize that the particular pain you feel is an intrinsic part of your passion and presence, part of your path and purpose, then it becomes somehow livable–even joyous. The pains and joys of existence [...]
The world over, God’s name is evoked in greetings. The Spanish hello – ‘Olah’ – originated in Arab Spain from the term “O’Allah” – Allah of course being the Arab appellation of God. In Bavarian German they say ‘Gruss God’. In Hebrew, the common response when asked how you are doing is ‘Baruch Hashem’ – [...]
God responds to the crying of Ishmael and not the crying of Hagar. Ishmael represents the crying of the baby with which all life begins. Why does the baby cry? The baby is hungry, the baby is afraid, the baby is vulnerable, the baby is lonely. The baby’s cry is a primal scream of protest. [...]
Why do we respond to death not with an exclamation of comfort, but with the Kaddish – a seemingly theological statement, “Magnified and Exalted is his great name”? The answer holds one of the most sacred mysteries of love rooted in the secret of the cherubs. There is a story told about Israel, Master of [...]
By Dr. Marc Gafni, Edited with Summary by Heather Fester, Ph.D. In this excerpt from Reclaiming Rosh Hashanah: The Dance of Tears (forthcoming), Dr. Marc Gafni explores the Garden of Eden biblical story and Abraham Kook’s teaching on the “inner essential I,” through which we come to understand that God requires our Unique Self service in [...]
By Marc Gafni We are all despearate for communion. It is what makes our lives worth living. Communion is the movement from loneliness to loving. It is the experience of being held and received. We are all systematically mis-recognized. To be recognized is to be seen. To be seen is to be loved. To be [...]
By Marc Gafni The following are notes from Marc Gafni’s dharma talk given in March 2012 at Shalom Mountain Wisdom School, where Gafni serves as the World Spirituality Teacher in Residence. Introduction The seven levels of certainty and uncertainty tells the story of how the great religious traditions came into being and how they were [...]
Now let me share with you something truly beautiful. It is a sort of Hebrew mystic expansion of Traherne’s moment of rapture. It is one of my favorite stories.
The Kabbalists were often referred to as Mistaklim or Chozim, roughly translated as the Lookers or Seers.
The Kabbalists takes the mandate of love implicit in self perception – one step further. I need to understand that not only am I a part of God but I am also a partner to God.
The unfolding of the universe entails full divine loving presence. The divine perspective changes to include human beings. It is an intimate relation of shared identity.