Q&A – Spiritual Progress
Feb26

Q&A – Spiritual Progress

An Aspiring Breslover asks:   In everything we do in life, we want to see that we are making advances; especially something to which we are devoting an hour of every day. How can we measure our progress in the spiritual endeavor of hisbodedus?   Is it misguided to approach hisbodedus with the expectation of seeing [...]

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Cutting Through The White Noise
Oct03

Cutting Through The White Noise

After spending my daily hour in hisbodedus during Elul and Rosh Hashana devoted to identifying  unhealthy thought patterns, I discovered three major thought patterns that I deemed "unhealthy" (actually there were more but they are too sensitive to write about here). These thought patterns are worry, guilt, and comparison (i.e. comparing myself to others in any [...]

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Out To The Field – Rethinking Elul
Sep14

Out To The Field – Rethinking Elul

In past years, I have always approached Elul by determining what new practices I would take upon myself. Regardless of whether it was truly more than I could handle at the time or not, I felt somewhat compelled to take on these new practices. After all, isn't this what one does in Elul when everyone [...]

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Out To The Field – Shifting Gears
Aug25

Out To The Field – Shifting Gears

Continued from the last posting here: After completing the 40 day project a few days before leaving for vacation, I had the inclination that it was time to shift gears. When learning Likutey Moharan I:49 at the end of 2012, I had never taken the time to learn one of the corresponding discourses in Likutey Halachos [...]

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Out To The Field – Azamra Yomi
Aug04

Out To The Field – Azamra Yomi

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 7 In addition to going to Uman for Rosh Hashana and spending an hour a day in hisbodedus, a Breslover chassid is required to learn halacha every day. In the book A Day in the Life of a Breslover Chasid, Rabbi Yitzchok Breiter (1886-1943) summarized the Rebbe’s directive about a [...]

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Out To The Field – Living In The Present
Jul28

Out To The Field – Living In The Present

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 6 Continuing to focus on correcting my behavior instead of my youngest child's behavior, I had another important insight during hisbodedus. The insight was that another display of my chutzpah was how I was routinely annoyed by my youngest child's constant request to go to a store [...]

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Out To The Field – Poison Ivy
Jul20

Out To The Field – Poison Ivy

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 5 Ok, when is this Azamra lesson going to start kicking in already? I have been trying to apply the Rebbe's words for weeks now and haven't really seen any tangible improvement. In fact, things have seemed to get worse! After getting poison ivy, my youngest child [...]

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Out To The Field – What Chutzpah!
Jul14

Out To The Field – What Chutzpah!

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 4 Using the notebook on the first night of the 40 day plan to find my youngest child's nekudos tovos (good points),  I was only able to record eight items. As the days went on, I slowly became more attuned to identifying the faintest trace of nekudos tovos [...]

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Out To The Field – “Even Tiny Unimportant Details”
Jul07

Out To The Field – “Even Tiny Unimportant Details”

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 3 Not making any significant progress identifying the nekudos tovos (good points) in my youngest child, I consulted with a Chassidic Rebbe who had helped me apply Azamra  to  myself many years before. This Chassidic Rebbe is very close to the teachings of Rebbe Nachman and was one of [...]

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Out To The Field – Good Points Or Jelly Beans?
Jun30

Out To The Field – Good Points Or Jelly Beans?

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 2 One morning during hisbodedus, a thought came to me that I should begin harnessing the energy I receive from eating in order to implement the teachings of Azamra in my daily life.  This topic was fresh in my mind after speaking with a friend about achila d'kedusha [...]

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Out To The Field – Music Appreciation & Azamra
Jun23

Out To The Field – Music Appreciation & Azamra

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:282 - Week 1 It has been seven years since I last really spent time learning and trying to live the advice in this lesson. When I learned it seven years ago, I did not practice hisbodedus consistently, nor did I make this lesson the subject of my hisbodedus. Nevertheless, the [...]

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Out To The Field – Sitting Here Exhausted
Jun16

Out To The Field – Sitting Here Exhausted

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:3 - Week 2 The main avodah (spiritual practice) of this lesson is to learn Gemara at night. As someone who wakes up extremely early, doing anything at night is a REAL challenge. It is a nightly struggle just to say Krias Shema al HaMita (the Bedtime Shema) with any [...]

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Out To The Field – A Bissel Iz Oich Gut Yomi
Jun09

Out To The Field – A Bissel Iz Oich Gut Yomi

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan I:3 - Week 1 Since "becoming" a Breslover almost two years ago, I have put off learning this lesson in Likutey Moharan as long as I could since I knew it would obligate me to return to learning Gemara once again. I have tried and tried again to learn Gemara [...]

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Out To The Field – Finally Accessing The Advice
Jun02

Out To The Field – Finally Accessing The Advice

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan II:73 - Week 5 I was beginning to wonder when I would be able to access any of the eitzah in avodas Hashem that I wrote about here through saying Tehillim. Things down by the rock by the river certainly did not seem to be going my way. A [...]

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Out To The Field – Expanding The “Me”
May27

Out To The Field – Expanding The “Me”

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan II:73 - Week 4 In Sha'arei Tzaddik, Chelek Beis, Michtav #50, Rabbi Gedaliah Kenig (1921 - 1980) pointed out that the last letters from the words "He sees every person" (ראה את כל בני האדם) from Tehillim 33:13 can be combined to make up the word "Tehillim" (תהלים). At face value, it seems like just [...]

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Out To The Field – The Source of Holy Advice
May19

Out To The Field – The Source of Holy Advice

Continued from last week here: Likutey Moharan II:73 - Week 3 Saying Tehillim in the middle of the work day outside in my special place seemed to act as a defibrillator for my neshoma; waking it up from the slumber caused by a day in the office. One day when looking through Hishtapchus HaNefesh (translated into English [...]

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