WELCOME TO TORAH-VEDA

Torah and Veda are two ancient sources of spirituality still vibrant today. Torah is conveyed through the sacred language of Hebrew and Veda is conveyed through the sacred language of Sanskrit. The focus here is on meditation, mysticism, philosophy, psychology and the underlying spirituality that has been incorporated into religions, and not as much on the religions themselves. Your comments and posts are welcome.

Torah-Veda
An Interspiritual Journey
Find Your Inspiration and Follow It



Quote of the Week 37 - Wind, Water, Stone

Wind, Water, Stone
BY OCTAVIO PAZ

Water hollows stone,
wind scatters water,
stone stops the wind.
Water, wind, stone.

Wind carves stone,
stone's a cup of water,
water escapes and is wind.
Stone, wind, water.

Wind sings in its whirling,
water murmurs going by,
unmoving stone keeps still.
Wind, water, stone.

Each is another and no other:
crossing and vanishing
through their empty names:
water, stone, wind.

CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS

I will be making a presentation at the Atlanta Southeast Limmud this Labor Day weekend, with the following title:

Job’s Second Daughters and the Kabbalah of the Unicorn.

There has been much existential hand-wringing discussion over the centuries about the Book of Job. However, there has been little focus on the significance of the concluding verses and his second set of daughters. Come explore these interesting passages and the mystical significance of how one daughter’s name relates to a single-horned creature, sometimes associated with a unicorn.



Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest:


http://www.interfaithci.org/contemplative.html


Or


http://www.neshamainterfaithcenter.org/specialevents/#contemplation










Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Now, The Expansion of the Present

There has been a popularization and emphasis in recent years among some spiritual teachers of the concept that realization is achieved by expanding the present moment, the Now. They urge us to let go of neurotically dwelling on the past and anxiously anticipating the future, to the detriment of hardly being aware of the present, which is all that really ever exists. Expanding a sense of the present, of the Now, will provide a refreshing and invigorating perspective. Such a realization does not require a long and arduous search and effort or assistance from others. We all have the self-contained ability to arrive upon this realization right now.
This is really not a new message, as it has existed in various forms in spiritual teachings for a long time. It is no better portrayed than in the modern American tale of The Wizard of Oz. A traumatic event spurs Dorothy to embark upon a search to find her home, which she thinks she has lost. During her search, her consciousness is greatly expanded and opened to realms beyond her wildest imagination. It takes an encounter with a humbug wizard to lead her to the final realization that the ability to find home was always in her possession all along. It didn’t require a great search and lengthy effort to arrive upon an elusive goal attainable only in the vague and uncertain future of sometime later. It was available right now! The humbug also assists her traveling companions in coming to the realization that they all already possessed the qualities they were searching for elsewhere, so maybe he wasn’t such a humbug after all! This is a portrayal of what one teacher has coined “The Paradox of Instruction” – all that a spiritual teacher can really do is take something out of a student’s back pocket, buff it up, and give it back as a gift. The honest spiritual teachers admit to this sleight of hand; the less than honest ones lead the students to think the gift has come from somewhere else, and that they are indebted to the teacher for what has been bestowed upon them from out of their own pockets! But perhaps Dorothy’s and her companions’ searches and adventures leading to their revelations were somehow beneficial, and maybe even necessary. Perhaps without those preliminaries, they wouldn’t have been able to realize the value of the gifts bestowed upon them by the wizard.
Traditional Jewish sources provide certain insights into two profound “expanding the moment” events that occurred in close proximity to each other in the Torah: an elevation of the masses to a high level of consciousness that occurred right after they successfully left Egypt after the parting of the Red Sea, which instigated the group composing the famous “Song by the Sea”; and a similar raising of group consciousness at the foot of Mt. Sinai at the time of the giving of the Ten Commandments. The revelation shared by the masses at those times involved seeing that what was occurring at that precise time and place was perfect, that everything that had occurred before had led inexorably to that time and place, that everything that was going to occur thereafter proceeded inexorably from that time and place, and that everything that had occurred and that would occur was in perfect accord with the Divine scheme of things. There was a realization brought into consciousness of the perfection that was, is, and always will be. (Hayah Hoveh V’Ehyeh). The past, present and future merge; they exist everywhere all of the time. There really is only the present. The universe is unfolding as it should, but not in complacency; for every entity of every kind has its unique function and mission to fulfill in that unfolding, whether consciously or unconsciously, and perhaps even with a sense of urgency.

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