Thought of the Day
If we want to “become compassion” then it is vital that we strive to dwell in this consciousness every day, until it becomes an integral part of our being, like the pulse that beats in our heart and the blood that runs through our veins.
Weekly Teachings - Every Friday a teaching is posted on the site as a subject for study and contemplation during the coming week. The teaching guide the reader in using the teachings and practices of Judaism as a spiritual path that leads to God knowledge. They combine the wisdom of the Kabbalah, Hasidic Masters, and the Rabbis with the knowledge of the mystical and esoteric traditions of other faiths. The teachings provide a path that is both solidly anchored in the Jewish tradition and fully universal in its vision and understanding of the spiritual life. Here you will find all the past teachings under the category of Self-Transformation.
Sri Ramakrishna used to tell a parable about faith and doubt: “Once a man was about to cross the sea. Bibhishana [a great devotee of the Divine incarnation Rama] wrote Rama’s name on a leaf, tied it in a corner of the man’s wearing-cloth, and said to him: ‘Don’t be afraid. Have faith and walk [...]
“By practicing, it can happen anytime, at any door of perception, when one is ready, but not by expecting. Continue working. Every step is taking you near the goal. Continuity is the secret of success. Anyone who wants to know the art of living, who wants to experience this Dhamma [Dharma], has to understand it [...]
“You have set our wrongdoings before You, our hidden sins before the light of Your countenance.” – Psalm 90:8 When we hold an object at a distance from a light source, it becomes lost in the shadow, and all its imperfections remain hidden from us. However, if we move the object closer to the light, [...]
“While I had heard and read about selflessness, purity, and goodness, and while I thought I knew people who exemplified those golden qualities, actually I had not the faintest idea of the true meaning of a life lived for others, without any allowance made for oneself. I do not mean a life of martyrdom or [...]
Each day, there is a bat kol, a heavenly voice, which calls out from Mount Sinai: “Return O faithless children” (Jer. 3:14) – Tractate Hagigah 15A The Hasidic Master, Yisrael of Kosnitz, teaches that God is calling us daily. Everyone hears His or Her heavenly voice, but each of us hears it in a different [...]
Most of us live a fragmented existence. We are pulled in many directions at once. Our days have no clear purpose or direction. Our activities do not reflect who we are or who we want to be. Our time is filled with a hodgepodge of desires and obligations that we have bundled together and called [...]
The work of self-transformation plays a key role in the spiritual life. Without it all our other practices are meaningless. Unless we seriously engage in the work of personality purification, immersing ourselves in intensive meditation or the study of spiritual wisdom can lead to disaster.
Psalm 33:6 declares: “By the Word of God the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all of their hosts.” Sound is energy. Divine speech is the outpouring of creative energy – energy with a specific plan and purpose.
Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before jealousy? - Proverbs 27:4 The feeling of jealousy is a deadly poison for those on the spiritual path. It disturbs our inner equilibrium and makes us irritable and restless. As the Dhammapada states: “Let him not be jealous of others, because [...]
After Sri Ramakrishna passed away, his monastic disciples travelled around India practicing severe austerities. During this period, Vijaykrishna Goswami, one of Sri Ramakrishna’s devotees, met Swami Brahmananda, one of the monastic disciples, in the holy city of Vrindaban. One day Vijay asked him: “The Master gave you all that is covetable in spiritual life: visions [...]
After six years of severe asceticism, the Buddha came to the realization that neither the path of sensual pleasure, nor the path of intense bodily deprivation will free one from bondage. It is only the middle path (of moderation) that will lead one to enlightenment.
“If I have done any wrong toward my parents, my teacher, my elders, to anybody in the past, by thought, by deed, by word, consciously or unconsciously, may I be forgiven. If anybody has done wrong to me – if they have cultivated a grudge or complained or accused or offended – by thought, by [...]
When Swami Vidyatmananda, a westerner that had joined the Ramakrishna order was a probationer, he went to India to visit the headquarters of the Order. One day, he decided to leave the ashram in the outskirts of Calcutta and go into the city for the day to do some shopping. When he told his superiors [...]
Every morning, we begin our day with the following prayer: “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Who gives the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.” The attribute of discrimination is a great blessing. Discrimination is a power of the mind. It is the capacity to look at any situation and analyze [...]
“Suppose a net has been cast into a lake to catch fish. Some fish are so clever that they are never caught in the net. They are like the ever-free [souls]. But most of the fish are entangled in the net. Some of them try to free themselves from it, and they are like those [...]
“When she came into the room, she picked up a little plastic toy duck that must have belonged to her grandchild and took it over to a plastic basin on the windowsill. In the soft afternoon light coming through the window, she began bathing the duck. It was like baptizing this little plastic toy. What [...]
Sri Ramakrishna was known for his God-intoxicated state. One day, he went with a devotee to a reservoir in a Temple garden in order that he might teach him how to meditate on the formless God. The reservoir was filled with tame fish. Later, the devotee recounted: “Visitors threw puffed rice and other bits [...]
Sri Ramana Maharshi was asked how to recognize a genuine holy man, he responded: “by the peace of mind found in his presence.”  The ability to give others peace has been a characteristic of the spiritual master since the beginning of time. The music of the young David brought peace to the troubled mind of [...]
Who is willing to put the needs of others before their own needs? Who is willing to make sacrifices for the sake of humanity? Which one of us is prepared to suffer so others do not have to suffer? Who among us is ready to take the suffering of someone else upon himself? The Baal [...]
Love is a most powerful spiritual force. It conquers the heart and mind of an individual in a single moment. Love transforms a sinner into a saint. Love turns grief and sorrow into acceptance and peace. The Biblical story of Jacob’s reunion with his brother Esau is an example of the great transforming power of [...]
Faith is the engine that powers all our spiritual work. When we have faith, our every act is infused with spiritual livingness. With faith, we can change Heaven and earth. According to the Hasidic Master, Dov Baer of Mezeritch, a person with complete faith can raise the dead, turn silver to gold, and change the [...]
“No good thing will He withhold from those who walk betamim – in sincerity and simplicity.” (Psalm 84:12) Because the way of God is to do good, therefore He will not hold back good from those who walk with sincerity and simplicity, on whatever level they are, as long as they act betemimut – with [...]
“And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hands, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hands, that Amalek prevailed. When Moses’ hands became weary, they took a stone and placed it under him, so that he would be able to sit on it. Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, [...]
There are four remembrances in the Torah that God asks us to hold in our mind. The Hasidic Master, Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Apt, teaches that these four remembrances are the essence and root of religion.
must learn to regulate your life. Keep regular hours. That is very important…Regularity in life is like the structure of a building. The hidden arches and supports of a building are the most important thing. A regular life, building up good habits, is the foundation of spirituality. Keep regular hours.” Swami Ashokananda  All the [...]
“A god whom one could serve only in one set way – what kind of God would that be!” The Seer of Lublin  “Just as people’s faces are different one from the other, so their opinions are also different one from another.” Midrash Tanchumah  “The Midrash is telling us that in the same [...]
“Once upon a time a lover of secret lore came to an anchorite and asked to be admitted as a pupil. Then he said to him: My son, your purpose is admirable, but do you possess equanimity or not? He replied: Indeed, I feel satisfaction at praise and pain at insult, but I am not [...]
e of his spiritual disciplines, Saint Francis of Assisi never ate meat. Once, however, because he was ill, he ate a little bit of chicken. When his physical strength returned, he entered the city of Assisi. When he reached the city gate, he commanded the brother who was with him to tie a cord around [...]
“Once [the Hasidic Master] Zusya [of Anipol] prayed to God: ‘Lord, I love you so much, but I do not fear you enough! Lord, I love you so much, but I do not fear you enough! Let me stand in awe of you like your angels, who are penetrated by your awe-inspiring name.’ “And God [...]
“A little spark of the Universal Spirit is enshrined in all living beings… The karma yogi believes in this mystical fact of the universe and keeps himself or herself always aware of this truth.”  Swami Chidananda When we help a person who is in need it is an act of lovingkindness. When we recognize [...]