Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mindfulness

Do you want to find your "hidden" good thoughts and be more mindful of them? This lesson explains how our very best traits are actually hidden beneath our very worst traits and how we can bring them out.  




With blessings always,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Dr. Zev Ballen

Friday, June 28, 2013

In One Second


Here's a practical tool you can use to get ready for the next time you are tempted give someone a piece of your mind, but you know you would just end up kicking yourself for it later.
  




With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


































Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Anger Management



In the beginning, the world was completely black and devoid of G-d yet when G-d said "let there be Light" the light of the first day began to shine.

When we were slaves in Egypt, we lived under the worst conditions that ever existed. We worshiped idols and sunk to the 49th level of impurity, yet G-d still saw that little bit of good in us which was enough for Him to redeem us. At midnight, in a second, G-d ended the Egyptian exile and took us out to freedom.

Every night at midnight, in one second, a north wind came and blew through the strings of King David's harp awakening him from his deepest sleep to serve G-d like a lion all night long.

Don't wait until the next time that someone provokes you and you are tempted to vent your anger on the person, you can work on it now and in the future you will only need one second to be completely ready to deal with it.

1. Imagine someone is provoking you.
2. See yourself stopping and taking a deep breath.
3. Cry out to G-d (actually or mentally) to save you and redeem you from this test.
4. Breath in and imagine G-d has already given you the HOPE that you need.
5. Breath out and imagine that G-d has taken away your despair.
6. Breath in and imagine that G-d has already given you the STRENGTH that you need.
7. Breath out and imagine that G-d has taken away your weakness.
8. Breath in and imagine that G-d has already given you the PURITY that you need.
9. Breath out and imagine that G-d has taken from you all impurity.
10. Breath in and imagine that G-d has already given you the HAPPINESS that you need.
11. Breath out and imagine that G-d has taken away all of your sadness.

Promise yourself that you deserve to practice this exercise many more times. Then when and if you are tested in the future you will be ready to meet the challenge for G-d will have prepared your salvation in advance. In one second you will be able to stop and see with clarity that to let your anger out will only result in your regretting it later on. You will succeed at staying calm.

Dearest friends, I made a short video clip of this meditation which I called In One Second to help you practice it.  Look for it on breslev.co.il or on this blog later today or tomorrow. 

With all my blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen



































Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today's Live Broadcast: Mindfulness



When we're honest with ourselves we realize that most of the thoughts that we're having are going around in circles and are not within our control. We feel stressed by worries about money, health, our status, the kids, our schedules, and what we may being missing out on in our lives. 

Even though our thoughts are causing us so much worry and stress, we still resist giving ourselves even a minute to clarify and make sense of the hurricane of emotions that are piling up inside of us.

Today's lesson is not just about the power of positive thinking, it's a practical workshop on: 

1. How to find your "hidden" good, positive, self-affirming thoughts.
2. How to rescue your good thoughts from the darkness of thoughts that are dysfunctional and unproductive. 
3. How to live with more mindfulness of the good thoughts and intentions that you have.

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 4:45 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 9:45 AM in NY; 6:45 AM in LA and the West Coast, 7:45 AM Denver, 9:45 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 2:45PM in the UK, 4:45 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 4:45 PM Israel. G-d willing, we'll post a link to the lesson for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. Enjoy the broadcast!
 
With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, June 24, 2013

Looking for Paradise




A four year old child lost his mother in a crowded shopping mall and became hysterical. The store's security guard brought the child to the manager's office and together they attempted to console the child. They told him that his "mommy" is certainly not lost and that she will return to him very soon.  As nice as the store employees were, the boy was not consoled by their smiling faces, gentle words and even the lollipop that they gave him. It's his mother's face and voice that he was desperate for. His cry was a fervent prayer that his mother not abandon him and that he be spared the indescribable  pain of losing his mother and her love forever.
 

Most of us realize that there is a G-d in the world, but we don't know with the clarity of the child in this example just how rejected and abandoned we feel by G-d. Our denial of how hurt and lonely we are leaves us vulnerable to our enemy who will exploit any weakness that he sees in us.

We are living at a time when G-d is concealing himself and we don't know why. We are suffering with the existential anxiety and dread of not knowing how to deal with separation and loss and especially of what we perceive to be the ultimate loss...read more here.. 


Also featured this week:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody -  Saga of a Sausage

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Crying for the Right Reason

By Sacha Levein - My Uman Adventure

By Rivka Levy - Small Miracles

By Rajel Hayyim - Spiritual Leprosy

By Rick Eskenazi - Emuna to Repair the World

By Rabbi David Charlop - True Zealotry

With blessings always,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Dr. Zev Ballen

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Attachment and Detachment



Everything in the physical world is formed and held together by it's attachment to something else.

From the tiniest microscopic particles to the movements of the celestial bodies, all physical matter is composed of attachments.

In this world, very often people who don't carefully monitor their thoughts end up being tied up in knots through their attachment to thoughts and beliefs that aren't healthy.

It's this idea of being attached to something unhealthy that's the cause of people falling into behaviors that are forbidden by the Torah. Since Hebrew is a holy language, it is meaningful that the Hebrew word for forbidden is issur which also means to attach. Also the Hebrew word for falsehood, sheker and the Hebrew word for attachment kesher, are composed of the same three identical letters just arranged differently.

The way to escape from unhealthy thoughts and beliefs is to break the thoughts up and scramble their connections to each other. This is sort of like setting a bird free from his cage; once he's no longer trapped in the box he is free to fly.

Meditation

 1. Affirm to yourself strongly that G-d is above space and time and He is therefore beyond all of the limiting physical connections of this world. Being purely spiritual, G-d is not bound, tied or limited by anything physical whatsoever.

2. Take a deep breath and exhale. Now admit to yourself that most of the time your thoughts look like the picture above. The majority of your thoughts are attached and inter-related to thoughts other than G-d that are false - such as sadness, worry, despair and lack of faith.

2. Now turn to the Creator and implore Him to set you free from all of the unhealthy attachments to false meanings that are holding you back from allowing your best qualities to emerge.

3. Fortify your belief that, with G-d's help, the tangled knots of your attachment to falsehood will disappear...melt... and evaporate away. 

4. See yourself flying freely now in the open space of purely positive good thoughts, good beliefs and good intentions - By doing this, you are connecting yourself to G-d's infinite Simplicity and Goodness.

4. Beseech G-d to help your thoughts to become more open and receptive to the positive meanings that He wants to show you in everything that takes place in your life today.

5. Humbly request that G-d remind you to repeat this exercise as often as you need to until it comes "automatically," and you consistently feel it's beneficial effects.

Adapted from: Likutey Halachos; the laws of tzitzis; law no. 3; paragraph no. 21.



Dr. Zev Ballen

Lost and Found


People have so many good intentions, hopes and desires that they don't know about because they are buried and seem "lost" to the person. 

Beautiful friends - it's critical that we know the immense power of our deeper wishes to be more generous, more tolerant, more wise or have more faith. Once we unearth these buried treasures, their power is so great that we can literally win a nuclear world war with them.This is priceless information, my friends!

With blessings always,
Dr. Zev Ballen 



Dr. Zev Ballen
 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rosh Hashana


1. G-d is not in the world.
2. G-d is the "place" of the whole world. All places and times are within Him.
3. We cannot judge a person until we are in his "place" (which is never completely possible).
4. Someone who judges his fellow is assuming the role of "Rosh Hashana" (the day of Judgement) onto himself.
4. Only Hashem who is the "place" of the whole world; Who has within Him every one's place and Who knows every body's place can judge people favorably as He will on Rosh Hashana.

Have a wonderful Shabbos, cherished friends!
Dr. Zev Ballen 

Adapted from Likutey Halachos: Orech Chiam; The Laws of Tzitzus; Law no. 3.
Dr. Zev Ballen

 




Positive Self-Regard

Here's another inspiring and quick technique to see more of the good in yourself and elevate your self-esteem.

With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen



Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Let There Be Light!


In the beginning, an empty void of darkness filled the world. Since the "world" was empty of G-d, this was considered an aspect of "bad." When G-d said: "Let there be Light," a correction took place as G-d revealed His light which had merely been covered over by the darkness. Then with the creation of each day of the week G-d said that it was "good."

G-d is re-creating the world every second in part to teach us that we must mirror Him and continually seek to reveal our own goodness and Light - the Light that He put into us. By doing this we are correcting and perfecting ourselves on an individual level.

1. Start a list of any little bit of Light that has ever come into or is present in your life today. Keep adding to your list.

2. Have your list available to you at all times.

3. The moment that you see any darkness take out your list.

4. Ask G-d to: "Please remove the darkness from before my eyes, "Please let me see Your Light in my life right now!"

5. Allow your eyes to focus automatically on the first example of Light on your list.

6. Breath slowly, deeply and mindfully as you remember all of the beneficial aspects of that person, situation or event in your life which was good.

7. Enjoy meditating on this good memory or other positive aspect of your life because you feel blessed and grateful to have it.

8. Ask G-d to please remind you again and again of this good and the many other aspects of good that are yours.

9. You are finished. You can continue your day with more connection to G-d who is the source of all Goodness. 

 Please make a copy of this and carry it with you, then share it with your family and friends. Thank you.

With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Today's Live Broadcast: Lost and Found




There are many wonderful aspects of ourselves that have been "lost." Many of our positive perceptions of ourselves can only be seen through the eyes of others. Just as in the physical world we cannot see the back of our heads except with the help of a mirror, so too in emotional and spiritual matters G-d wants us to turn to others to fill in the missing gaps in our perceptions of ourselves.

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 10:00 AM in NY; 7:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 8:00 AM Denver, 10:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00PM in the UK, 5:00 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 5:00 PM Israel. G-d willing, we'll try and post a link to the lesson for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM Monday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. We hope you enjoy the broadcast.
 
With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spiritual Roots





The Torah compares a man to a tree growing in a field. People also have roots that connect them to their land, to their nation and to their spiritual heritage. To a casual observer, a person who has been disconnected from his roots may appear normal and healthy, especially during his youth, but even when he's young, if you look into his soul you'll see he's also dying.  It will become more obvious, as he ages,  that graduating from the best medical schools, the best laws schools or making a fortune of money will never make up for a lifetime of being severed from who he was created to be.

How does a person become severed from his roots? It can happen in many different ways. Continue reading...


Also featured this week:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - The Right Tools

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Time For Our Children

By Howard Morton - More Soul Than Body

By Dovber HaLevi - An Answer To Our Prayers

By Rivka Levy - A Nation Of Journalists 

By Racheli Reckles - Focused On Themselves

By Chaya Golda Ovadia - One Heart - One People

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - He's My Brother

By D. Yaakoba - Feminism And The Kotel

By Rabbi David Charlop - Anatomy Of A Curse

With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Zero Space and Time





Abraham looked at the stars and saw that he would never have children, but G-d lifted him above the stars and showed him that he would. 

The Russians imprisoned Rabbi Noson of Breslev but it was there that he wrote some of his most original and wondrous torah  commentaries on Rabbi Nachman of Breslev's teachings. 

When the Nazi's, may their names be  destroyed, were searching for the Satmar Rebba, they walked right past him without seeing him because he made himself invisible to them.

A person despairs, becomes restricted in his thinking, and is vulnerable to the forces of evil  only when he lives within the confines of space and time. It is only time and space that can trap and imprison us.  It is only within the confines of this physical world that evil can grab onto and attach itself to a person.

Since Hashem exists in zero space and zero time, a person who clings to Hashem cannot be touched by negativity, limited thinking or despair. For Abraham, Rabbi Nosan, and the Satmar Rebba, "place" was completely immaterial because their "place" was with Hashem who is beyond space and time. All places, times and events are nullified in G-d.

If you want to get away from a painful situation or a difficult person you can push a button and launch yourself far beyond that person or situation. You can transport yourself to zero space and time.

1. Close your eyes.

2. Contemplate how millions of names can be stored on the tiniest micro chip the size of a dot.

3. Imagine how G-d, so awesome and infinite can "fit" Himself into less space than an atom; how He can exist in zero space and zero time.

4. Now imagine that you are in a special rocket ship that can reach up higher  than the stars and even higher than space itself into the splendor of the spiritual realm.

5. As you safely enter the spiritual realm, you feel a blissfulness and peace that cannot be described.

6. Now you are filled and surrounded by the perfection of pure simple love, kindness, joy, peace and  hope.

7. You are basking in paradise and are one with the eternal G-d.

8. Enjoy this for as long as you can.

9. When you are ready, you can bring yourself back only as much as is necessary for you to function adequately in the physical world.

10. Even after you return, there will be a thin thread of Light..a thread of loving- kindness that connects you to the sublime and infinite realm Above.

11. You may re-visit this experience as often as you wish. 

With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen 

Inspired by Rabbi Nosan of Breslev's Likutey Halachos: Orech Chaim; Laws of Tzitzus; Number 3; Paragraphs 7-15.