“I ought to know, by now, that God uses everything that happens as a
means to lead me into solitude. Every creature that enters my life,
every instant of my days, will be designed to wound me with the
realization of the world’s insufficiency, until I become so detached
that I will be able to find God alone in everything.  Only then will all
things bring me joy.”

–Thomas Merton

 

 

One should flee far from a fool. One should gratify the encountered person with pleasantries, not with the intention of intimacy but in the manner of a kind and impartial person.

Taking only what benefits Dharma, like a bee taking nectar from a flower, I shall live everywhere without acquaintance, as if I had not existed before.

A mortal who thinks, “I am rich and respected, and many like me,” experiences fear of approaching death.

Wherever the mind, infatuated by pleasures, finds enjoyment, there a thousand-fold suffering arises and falls to one’s share.

Hence, the wise should not desire it. Fear arises from desire, yet it passes away by itself. Generate fortitude and look at it with indifference.

Many have become wealthy and many have become famous, but no one knows where they have gone with their wealth and fame.

If others despise me, why should I rejoice when praised? If others praise me, why should I be despondent when reviled?

–a guide to the bodhisattva’s way of life

 

“If you want to have an instant glimpse of how easy it is to identify the sefirot, take a minute to close your eyes, and try to picture life. What do you see? A baby? A field of flowers? A forest full of birds and animals? Whatever it is you are envisioning, you know it is life. You know it not with your analytical brain, but with your soul. Your soul has the capacity to see the Divine quality called life.

    Now close your eyes and picture love. What do you see? Perhaps you picture a mother kissing her baby. Again, what part of you recognizes that as love? Your physical eyes see only a big creature pressing moist lips on the cheek of a little creature, But your soul soul knows that that is love.

    When you see life, beauty, power, love, you are seeing Hashem. This is because Hashem is life, although we can’t say that life is Hashem, because Hashem is not just life. He is also beauty, power, truth, wisdom, kindness, justice, and all the other sefirot. And even if you added them all together, you could not say that Hashem is the sum total of these qualities, because Hashem is so much more – above and beyond all this.

    Now we have a better sense, through the eyes of experience, of what the sefirot really are – qualities of reality.

    Reality, the endless light of Hashem, shines through the qualities of love and life and beauty and kindness and power and truth. These qualities are no-thing. That’s why they are eternally real. All things pass away, but these qualities are timeless. Kabbalah teaches that what really attracts us, what really confers value, is precisely this no-thing quality.”

– David Aaron (Seeing God: Ten Life-Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah )

 

 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.

   

 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

   

   My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”

   

 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

–Psalm 42

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