Quote of the Week 378 - Core Teaching of Buddhism
The core teaching of Buddhism is to help people become less self-centered and learn how to give love to others.
--Lama Surya Dass, as quoted in Spirituality and Health magazine, September/October 2017 issue
Meditation (Click your selection, scroll down to view it)
- Audio Link: A Foundation for a Fruitful Meditation Practice: Science of Breath/Pranayama/Relaxation - Theory and Practice
- Meditation Basics - Expanded Version
- Meditation Basics - Condensed Version
- Mantra Meditation Basics
- Nada Meditation - Anahata/The Unstruck Sound
- Jewish Yoga Meditation
- Hebrew Mantras
- Hebrew Mantras, Part Two
- Hebrew Mantras, Part Three
- Hebrew Mantras - Adonai Hineni
- Healing Meditation: Ruach El Shaddai/Breath of Balance
- Meditating, Eating and Sleeping
- Shortcuts to Spiritual Development?
- Audio Link: Guided Meditation - I Am and Empty Shell, Therefore I Am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis
- Guided Meditation: The Stage
- Guided Meditation: I Am an Empty Shell, Therefore I Am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis
- Guided Meditation: The Rod, The Staff, and The Star
- Torah-Veda Meditation Class Site
- Interspiritual Contemplative Group
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Ten Plagues Passover Thoughts
As we know, the traditional Seder includes a description of the ten plagues that were inflicted on the Egyptian oppressors prior to the release/escape of the Israelites from their bondage. I have not found much discussion about the significance of each particular plague either in the Haggadah or in traditional sources, and usually, what discussion there is focuses on the suffering endured by the Egyptians caused by the plagues.
During a group study of these events a few years back, it suddenly dawned upon me that we are possibly missing an important lesson by not focusing on the impact on the consciousness of the Israelite slaves who witnessed these events. Were these events merely to inflict suffering on the Egyptians and illustrate to them the superiority of the Hebrew God and the protection God afforded to His People? What about the effect on the consciousness of these people? Perhaps witnessing these events was important as a preparation for this people which was about to emerge as a newly independent nation. Perhaps the forty years of wandering in the dessert was necessary in order for this people to adequately digest and absorb the inner significance of these events into their collective and individual psyches before they would be ready to enter the Promised Land. What was the significance and nature of each of these plagues? How were they intended to impact and impress the people witnessing them? How are they intended to impact and impress the consciousness of the people reciting them in subsequent Seders year-in-and-year-out? They involve water turning into blood, pestilence in the form of amphibians, insects, land animals, disease affecting livestock, boils affecting humans and livestock, hail with thunder and lightning, locust swarms, darkness, and finally, the death of all first-borns.
Traditional sources claim that each plague took a total of four weeks. There was first a warning issued by Moses, with the actual plague starting three weeks after the warning, and generally lasting for one week. The first nine are noted by traditional authorities to run in cycles of three. The first two of each group of three are preceded by a warning from Moses, giving Pharaoh a chance to comply with Moses’ request to let the people go and thus avoid the plague, while the third one commences without warning as punishment for Pharaoh breaking earlier promises. This parallels the time of the human gestational period of nine months, divided into three trimesters, so perhaps these can be seen as figurative stages of development in the womb in preparation for birth.
Why ten plagues? Any correlation with the ten sephirot and the ten commandments?
There is much food for thought and pondering here. So think about these things as you’re munching on your matzos, marror, charoset, and downing your kosher for Passover wine!