Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Her Loving Hands

Welcome prayer while meditating on Names,
For Names are the hands of your Mother.

Can you resist the cooing of your Mom,
While she coddles you in her hands?

In her hands shine the lights of her love,
Viscerally felt entering your every pore.

Your spine electrically tingles with her love.
Your muscles relax, from crown to sole.

You don't understand her, yet you know her.
She's far deeper than you can fathom ... don't try.

Yet her love fully bathes you in her radiant light;
Carrying you, as you visualize Divine Names.

Remember, though the Names are many,
The Being named is Seamlessly One.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Contemplation on a Permutation

There are twelve permutations (i.e. letter scrambles) of the Tetragrammaton, God’s primary name which is composed of four letters  י-ה-ו-ה  .י-ה-ו-ה in standard order is the name’s permutation for the first Hebrew month of spring, the month of “Nissan”. We are now in the Hebrew month “Tammuz” whose permutation is ה-ו-ה-י.
Oddly as much as it seems to be, this name ה-ו-ה-י is not simply י-ה-ו-ה in reverse. If it were  י-ה-ו-ה in reverse, then it would have been plausible to claim that this monthly permutation is also energetic opposite of  י-ה-ו-ה  The name  י-ה-ו-ה represents a flow of spiritual energy from above to below. This means that there’s an arousal from above, i.e. a flow of blessings that start in the higher realms and then steadily flows downwards to the earthly realm. This flow commences on Divine initiation alone without any human involvement. It’s totally or at least largely independent of human behavior. This is reminiscent of a waterfall. All one needs to do is stick out a cup underneath the falls and it easily fills to the brim.
The reverse of an arousal from above is an arousal from below. Here, the spiritual energies flow from below to above, from the earthly realm to the higher spiritual realms. This depends on human involvement. Activities like prayers and deeds of kindness send waves of spiritual energies aloft into the higher spiritual realms where they arouse the spiritual wellsprings of blessing to release their blessings for the benefit of humanity.
However, simply what appears to be an energetic reversal of  י-ה-ו-ה due to an exact reversal of spelling is not. Therefore, an arousal from below is not the central theme of the month of “Tammuz”. Here’s why.
All the seasons together comprise a single meta-Tetragrammaton; i.e. a single large  י-ה-ו-ה. Spring is the י. Summer is the first ה. Autumn is the ו. Winter is the final ה. Therefore, all the three spring permutations begin with י. They are י-ה-ו-ה   י-ה-ה-ו   י-ו-ה-ה. All the three summer permutations begin with the first ה. They are ה-ו-ה-י   ה-ו-י-ה   ה-ה-ו-י. All the three autumn permutations begin with the ו. They are ו-ה-י-ה   ו-ה-ה-י   ו-י-ה-ה. All the three winter permutations begin with the final ה. They are ה-י-ה-ו   ה-י-ו-ה   ה-ה-י-ו.
Clearly, since the starting letter of any permutation during the summer months begins with the first ה and not the final ה, the permutation of the month of “Tammuz” is also included in this pattern. So the ה-ו-ה-י of “Tammuz” really begins with the first ה of י-ה-ו-ה and not the last ה. Had the ה-ו-ה-י of “Tammuz” been the reverse of the י-ה-ו-ה of “Nissan”, it would have commenced with the final ה and not the first ה of י-ה-ו-ה.
(Actually, I saw in the writings of Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov that the first six months of the seasonal cycle, from “Nissan” through “Elul”, is characterized by an arousal from above. In contrast, the latter six months of the cycle, from “Tishrei” through “Adar” is a period of arousal from below. Since “Tammuz” is one of the first six months, it’s part of the period of arousal from above.)
So what’s the meaning of beginning the month with the first ה of the name? The first ה is an expression of the mother principle. It’s nurturing and understanding. The season of summer itself is the nurturing mother season. Most mating and seeding occur during the spring.  In the warmth of summer the products of spring’s seedings and couplings find a nurturing environment to begin their growth, whether in soil, in eggs or in uterus. As the first of the three summer months, “Tammuz” begins the fetal phase, which continues through the rest of summer. Then so much of what summer nurtured is born at the end of summer or at the beginning of autumn, as the first ה gives birth to the ו and the final ה of the name, i.e. the autumn and winter seasons. These latter two seasons largely draw life from the residuals of summer.
So beginning summer is really about entering into a very special season, a season whose effects will spillover well beyond itself. Spring can largely sustain itself, but, without summer the other two seasons would lack sustenance. There would be no warmth or remaining produce.
“Sefer Yetzirah” teaches that the character of “Tammuz” is “sight”. This makes sense in context. The beginning of pregnancy is the early fetal state when the bird’s eye view of the entire organism is being developed. At this time the fetus is a general outline, a phase with a vision towards the entire picture of the final outcome; the real creature in fullness. It’s the time when that larger vision is being coordinated, as sperm just met egg. It’s not a vision that either gamete alone could establish.
The letters of the permutation of “Tammuz” demonstrate this. The first letter  ה indicates pregnancy, i.e. mother/nurturing principle. The middle two letters are ו and the final  ה. These are the letters representing the two seasons of autumn and winter she’s carrying in her middle portion, i.e. in her womb. The middle letters of a name tend to indicate “process”. In this case the latter two seasons are being processed. Then the final letter, the י represents overall vision, a general vision with the goal strongly in mind. In Kabbalah this י is the father principle, which tends to stand back a bit from circumstances to opt for a wider angle view.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dream Exposure

Sabbath morning for my first time in years, I held a prayer book artistically written in Torah scroll font. The experience was so powerful that I realized for the very first time in my life that I was holding in the form of a prayer book a written account of the core dreams of my people, the Jewish people; as essentially most prayer is about exposing dreams.

So what do my people collectively dream about? From the message of the liturgy, it appears like we dream for an ideal version of a certain kind of relationship with God.

Then I sought to identify my own personal core dreams. But no immediate answer that I could be certain of arose. So I thought to myself, "Don't worry. In the meanwhile immerse yourself in communal prayer, in the collective dream. As sure as a dollar is comprised of one hundred pennies, so too embedded inside a people's collective dream are all the individual dreams. That's why communal prayer, with it's set liturgy, can become like a nurturing womb which eventually gives birth your personal dreams. Just be patient with the process. Eventually, your own core dreams will emerge."

Friday, June 5, 2015

"Mother Bird's Outcry"

In a foray into Ruth's Zoharscape,
 I encountered anguished Mother Bird.
Banished from her nest, fledglings snatched away.
 Tear streaked, she withdrew to a perch high up.

The angel of birds couldn't bear her pain.
 Her pain was his, so he cried, cried, cried...

Angel of mercy couldn't bear it either.
 All pain was his, so he too cried, cried, cried...

The whole cosmos exploded in cries & pleas,
 Until the Master of all Mercies too awoke.

He recalled an earlier Mother Bird.
 Yes, how she was banished so long ago.

He recalled her tender downy fledglings,
 How they cried to her, whilst trapped in cruel hands.

Overwhelmed to tenderness, He too cried,
 "The whole universe needs My compassion !"

Flows of mercy washed over the cosmos.
 Tears dried midstream on cheeks upon cheeks.

Night gave way to day, as lives brightened up.
 Frowns gave way to smiles, as renewal dawned.

All this is thanks to tiny Mother Bird;
 Whose tear stained perch, evoked such vast blessing.

~Inspired by the Zohar Chadash on Ruth, P. 94a,b