Your Thoughts And The Power Of Hisbodedus
Dec22

Your Thoughts And The Power Of Hisbodedus

One of the key tools used in the Jewish spiritual tradition that can have a profound impact on the way we think is hisbodedus, sometimes called Jewish meditation.

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Chassidic Meditation
Jun05

Chassidic Meditation

Now that the weather is warm and pleasant, (for most of us anyhow!) why not get outdoors and experience the beauty of creation. Nature is the perfect device to inspire committing to Rebbe Nachman's life-changing path of Hitbodedut. Try it yourself: Meditation is the highest path of all. One must therefore set aside an hour or [...]

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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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What Stops You From Really Praying?
Sep18

What Stops You From Really Praying?

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are on the horizon, and you know there will be a prayer-marathon: days of intense, emotional, and ultimately uplifting introspection, prayer, and closeness to God. But what if Elul is feeling more like a last-minute scramble than a preparation period? And what if you feel you are "falling behind" and you need to do some psycho-spiritual catch-up? [...]

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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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Self-Assessment, Honor, And Coming Closer To God
Sep09

Self-Assessment, Honor, And Coming Closer To God

Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment for all humanity. But despite its profound ramifications, Rosh Hashana is actually a very down-to-earth day. On the New Year, we are judged and awarded (or not), all the ‘stuff of life’ in this world—life, health, wealth and sustenance for the coming year.  What we’re given depends not [...]

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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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How We Can Bring Mashiach
Jul17

How We Can Bring Mashiach

  We think of Moses as being the ultimate prophet, someone who spoke “face to face” with God and stood between Heaven and earth. Therefore we assume that when he experienced a prophecy, its message and interpretation were obvious to him. Indeed, in this week’s parashah Moses states, “This is the word that God has [...]

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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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Recapture the Flag!
Jul09

Recapture the Flag!

The Jewish people have never lacked enemies. Just as we are attacked today by terrorists, so too, in the days of Moses, our enemies constantly schemed and planned our destruction. However, in the days of Moses, our nation was one worthy of prophecy – ours was a nation that witnessed the Ten Plagues in Egypt [...]

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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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SHOCKING! People Like Pain?
Jul07

SHOCKING! People Like Pain?

According to a study carried out by the University of Virginia and published in the journal “Science”, most people - including 65% of men, would rather experience pain, then being forced to sit alone in private thought. The study found that even older people responded similarly. A broad selection of people of all backgrounds, ranging [...]

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