Thursday, July 31, 2014

Primal Scream


"This miracle seemed to happen after her a sudden heartfelt cry for help..."




Wishing you the greatest blessings!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: Your Amazing Potential


Please join me for today's live broadcast. I'll be speaking about the incredible human potential that we all possess and how we can better utilize it.

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed 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: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast 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. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Question about Psychiatric Medication

Should someone who has been taking psychiatric medication stop taking it once they discover emuna (faith)? Here's my 2 minute answer...





Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Price of Peace


When Sonya was on her deathbed, she spoke to her widowed friend Rachel:
 
“Don’t be shy and make yourself a stranger after I’m gone. You’ve been a part of our family for years and you must stay connected. This is my wish.”
 
Rachel wasn’t shy at all – she married Sam, Sonya’s husband shortly after her death. 
 
Sam was in his eighties, at the time, and without much family or social support. Rachel was a nurse and took excellent care of Sam who was at least 20 years her senior.
 
Sam then re-wrote his will and left everything he owned, all of his worldly assets to his new wife, Rachel and herchildren, and in so doing cut his own biological children and grandchildren out of the will completely.  
 
Was this Sonya’s wish, that all of her years of hard earned money should go to someone else’s kids and not her own?  It’s doubtful, but now that she was in Heaven, who knows what her priorities are. Could peace be what is most important to her now?
 
Sonya had two children who had never been close to one another - let’s call them Doris and Ed. Ed was learning about emuna and decided that if it was G-d’s will that he be written out of his inheritance, so be it. For that reason, Ed continued to maintain a relationship with his father and step mother. 
 
Doris, on the other hand, had been the apple of her father’s eye and just couldn’t deal with feeling so abandoned and rejected by her father. Hatred towards her stepmother ensued and words were spoken on both sides that soon resulted in outright war. It wasn’t long before the evil inclination had his way and Doris and her father were no longer on speaking terms. This sorry state of affairs had lasted nearly eight years when Ed finally woke up to something.
 
Ed, who had begun the practice of speaking to G-d daily for an hour, was “awakened” one day to some warm memories of his sister and himself as children. In addition, he had some future premonitions of being held accountable in the world-to-come for not having made an effort to draw closer to his sister. Doris’s health had been declining ever since the feud started. 
 
Ed started calling his sister every week and finally after a lifetime of emotional distance between the two, the formation of a loving bond between brother and sister began to emerge. 
 
In another five months, Ed’s personal prayer sessions began to tell him something more: that he was now obligated to try and make peace between his sister and their father. 
 
Ed left for Chicago ostensibly to visit with his father, but he was intent on speaking to both sides about reconciliation. When he got there, Ed prayed again – this time a much longer prayer session. Ed prayed that G-d have mercy on his elderly father who he knew still loved Doris. Ed also prayed that his sister Doris would become healthy in the merit of making peace with their father and giving their father the joy of having contact with his grandchildren during his final years. 
 
After praying, Ed called his sister and told her everything that he could think of about emuna. He told his sister that he didn’t like it any more than she did that they were being cut out of their father’s will, but if G-d didn’t want him to have that money, then he also didn’t want it. He said that everything that had transpired had come from G-d and that although he didn’t know how these events were going to be for the good, he knew that in the end they would be.
 
In theory, Doris agreed with her brother that all of these happenings had been orchestrated from Above. She said that it was never her intention to contest the will. Doris just wanted her father back but she didn’t know how it could ever happen since she was sure that after all this time Rachel would never allow her to be close with her father again. 
 
Ed met with Rachel and his father and told them that although he and his sister were not happy about Sam’s changes to his will, that neither he nor Doris would ever contest the will.
 
“What G-d wants most is peace,” said Ed.
 
There was a noticeable relief on Rachel’s face when she heard that Doris (who is an attorney) would not contest the will – but that wasn’t the only issue that Rachel had with Doris. There was plenty of anger and resentment on both sides after all that had happened.
 
Ed asked his step-mother Rachel if she would now be willing to apologize to his sister for her part in the conflict if Doris would reciprocate. 
 
Rachel refused: “Apologize? For what? I didn’t do anything to her!”
 
Ed spoke with his sister and said that it seemed that G-d was giving her the rare opportunity of getting all or at least most of the reward for making peace with Rachel, but it came with a price tag – she would need to step up, become the “bigger” person and “take the blame” for the whole thing. 
 
Doris couldn’t do it. It was too much to ask after she felt that Rachel had lied and manipulated and maligned her character to her father and others. When Ed hung up the phone with Doris, he had no idea of what to do next so he just prayed that his sister would have the strength to rise to the occasion and for the sake of peace, be able to nullify her pride and subdue her anger. Continue here...

Also see:


By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Every Creature is my Teacher

By Rivka Levy - A Minute of Peace


By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Dance the Troubles Away 

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Video Lesson: My Greatest Teachers

Who are the people, in my life, who have taught me more that anyone else? You may be surprised to find out who they are... 





Blessings for the new week and the new month!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Perfectionism


Do you or somebody you know have some perfectionist trends in your personality? Here are some quick practical tools and tips to rid oneself of perfectionism...





Wishing you the greatest blessings for the new week!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting Accepted

A Brave young woman scores big points Above by going against her boss... 




Wishing you blessings for peaceful Shabbos,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Obsessive Compulsive Prayer

What should a person do if her prayers are only leading her to frustration and exasperation? If you have about 4 minutes? Take a look...





Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: My Greatest Teachers


Please join me today when I'll be speaking about the people who have helped me most in my life to grow and how. You may be surprised to find out who they are...

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed 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: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast 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. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

EMDR: Why Not?


Somebody recently told me that he went for EMDR therapy for a childhood trauma. He said that the treatment actually "worked," but that it didn't really do him any good. Are you wondering what he's talking about? Here's his explanation...




Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Daniel's Psychiatrist


Daniel was on heavy doses of psychiatric medication. Regardless, Daniel was still too frightened to leave his apartment.
 
After being homebound for 6 months, Daniel wandered out on a Wednesday night and heard a lecture by Rabbi Shalom Arush. Soon afterwards he contacted me expressing an interest in receiving psychotherapy based on Torah and emuna.
 
When I first met Daniel his eyes suspiciously darted and scanned the room. He didn’t smile.  He didn’t dare trust me.
 
Since what seemed to be bothering him most were auditory hallucinations (internal voices that yelled at him and commanded him to do things) I decided to start by seeing if we could alter the way that he experienced these voices. 
 
We found out that there were many persecutory voices speaking to Daniel. The voices varied from parental voices to teachers and other relatives and most recently the voice of a particular Rabbi. We noticed that oftentimes when he was hearing voices he was simultaneously seeing a cruel and persecutory image of the Rabbi’s face. 
 
With practice Daniel also learned that his soul could form equally vivid pictures of the true desires of his heart. He was able to see himself living the passionate and empowered life that he wished to have in the future; and he came to believe that this “future self” was a message that was being sent to him by G-d. 
 
Of course, at first, the picture of the Rabbi was much bigger, brighter and closer to Daniel that was his image of his real “future” self - but he quickly learned that with G-d’s help he could expand the desired picture of himself and move it over the picture of the Rabbi which eventually shrunk down and all but disappeared. With practice Daniel became confident that he could dissipate frightening images from his mind whenever he wanted to. 
 
This is just a small sample of only one of the many techniques that I used with Daniel. In short after two weeks he came out of his psychotic state (state of unreality) and returned to his job. In addition we continued to help Daniel to reclaim whatever gave him joy and self-esteem from the past that had he had felt forced to severe himself from. For example, he started to listen to music that he had enjoyed before becoming religious; he started playing sports and working out again; he started reactivating the social skills that had been buried within him.
 
In consultation with Daniel’s psychiatrist and with guidance from Rabbi Arush, we began to cut back on Daniel’s medications.  By the time I left for my speaking tour in June of 2014, Daniel had tapered down to a small amount of medicine. His communication and intimacy with his wife had reached an all-time high and he appeared much more energetic and happy. My wife commented to me that Daniel looked like a completely different person. 
 
The plan was for Daniel to stay on that low dose of medication, and if he functioned well while I was gone for 3 and a half weeks then he would go off the meds for good – but G-d had another idea…continue reading...


Also featured:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Portrait of Ishmael 2014


By Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Key to Redemption

By Racheli Reckles - Is He The Right Guy?

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen























































Dr. Zev Ballen
 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Video Posted: No More Excuses


We can either get results or have excuses - but we can't have both. How can we stop fooling ourselves? For those of you who missed the live lecture or want to review it again, I hope you enjoy this...





Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Friday, July 18, 2014

Holy and Mundane


Outwardly, holy people may not seem very different than most of us - but don't let what you see on the outside mislead you. Here's what to look for...




Wishing you and yours a wonderful Shabbat!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, July 17, 2014

EMDR


There is an amazing woman who calls herself "Izzy." (see the full article here). Izzy came to to me with the most severe childhood traumas that I have ever encountered as a psychotherapist for the past 33 years. One of the most eye-opening things that Izzy revealed to me was that of the many types of treatments that she tried in her attempt to deal with her traumatic past was something called EMDR (short for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Izzy told me that EMDR actually did help her to not be as triggered by traumatic memories; and yet she said that this hadn't done her any good.

Why not? 

A very condensed version of the answer that Izzy gave was that it didn't do her any good to be "less triggered," without having been given the tools to live more happily with faith and hope. She said that what she needed was a reason and purpose to keep living which she only found in the faith-based teachings of our holy Torah. Izzy is making aliyah next month to convert to Judaism and live here in Israel.

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: No More Excuses


A favorite ploy of the evil inclination is to blind us the many ways that we rationalize, justify and make excuses for not doing what we need to do. We can either get the results that we want or make excuses but we can't have both. How can a person stop fooling himself? Tune in today and find out!

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed 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: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast 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. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Breslev in Gaza


Students from our yeshiva went out to the Gaza border to give strength and encouragement to our brave soldiers while they wait for their orders. May they be protected every single second that they are there and return to us safely.



With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Monday, July 14, 2014

The Rabbi and the Mat


Adam was a restless kid who was looking for something but he didn't know what. 
 
When he was young, Adam didn't find what he was looking for in piano lessons, boy scouts, karate lessons or the swimming team. 
 
Although he hoped to find it in college, Adam didn't find it there either. For a while, Adam found something in eastern meditations, but it only lasted as long as he sat with his legs crossed. 
 
One day, Adam saw some people praying outside while they bowed down on mats. Now this looked really cool - Adam decided to give it a try. Adam bought himself a mat and decided to join those people. He went to their classes and joined in their prayer sessions. They spoke English and were initially very friendly to Adam even though he was a Jew. When Adam had more experience with their ways, he decided that he might find what he was looking for in Mecca, by the birthplace of the "prophet." 
 
So Adam took his mat and began his pilgrimage to Mecca. Adam was a very determined and intense young man and somehow he managed to gain entry into the "holy" city which is banned to non-Muslims.
 
In Mecca, Adam thought that he had finally found what he was looking for. He felt accepted and happy.
 
One day, Adam heard that there was a tiny Jewish cemetery in Mecca. He went there looking for the grave of a relative. A Muslim woman spotted Adam, dressed in Islamic garb, entering the Jewish cemetery and asked him point blank, "Are you a Jew?". Suddenly Adam feared for his life. He ran away from that place and returned to his life in Brooklyn. 
 
After his ordeal Saudi Arabia, Adam made a trip to Israel to continue his Islamic practices there.
 
One day Adam visited the Kotel, the holy wall in the old city of Jerusalem. When Adam saw the wall he became so excited that he wanted to take out his mat and pray next to it - something told him that it might not be a good idea. Just then Adam was approached by a friendly looking Rabbi with a big smile. Adam didn't know it, but the Rabbi was famous for bringing young men back to Torah-observant Judaism and had started his own yeshiva for that purpose. The Rabbi had a lot of experience speaking with young men like Adam.
 
The Rabbi engaged Adam in some light conversation before telling him some very interesting stories about Judaism. Adam told the Rabbi that he practiced another religion. He expected the Rabbi to be shocked, but he wasn't. 
 
The Rabbi said, "It's ok. You can still come learn with us at the yeshiva - it won't conflict with anything you're doing. You can live with us in the dormitory and do whatever you want." Adam sensed that the Rabbi was very wise and shrewd but he didn't quite see the point of living in a yeshiva.
 
Adam said "You should know I have a mat and I pray on it five times a day."
 
The Rabbi laughed and said, "So bring your mat. I promise - nobody will bother you. Just use it in your room and you can be yourself." Continue here...


Also recommended:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - The Fur Coat

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Emuna and the Eyes

By Racheli Reckles - Obamacare Hidden Blessing?

Wishing you the very best blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finding Truth: The Full Video

What's the difference between people who find Truth in their lives and those who probably never will? The answer is so simple that most people miss it... 



Wishing you the greatest blessings and success in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Friday, July 11, 2014

The Fundamentals of Prayer


What's the difference between people whose prayers are from the heart and those whose aren't? Here's a quick demonstration.The answer is so simple that most people miss it...  

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos!
Dr. Zev Ballen








Thursday, July 10, 2014

Feeling the Future

Do people who learn about spirituality and practice personal prayer know what's going to happen before it happens? Check this out. 





Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Live Broadcast: Living with Truth



One of the most obvious challenges that I see is:  how are people to find real truth in their lives? What makes this so hard? Because today the truth is more illusive and confusing to find than it has ever been.


Why not join me for today's live broadcast, at 5 pm Israel time, when I'll be speaking about the difference that makes the difference - why some people find truth and live well and some just don't. We can all learn and grow from the successful people who I'll be discussing today.

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed 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: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast 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. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Real Peace - The Full Video Version


The real meaning of peace is to fit opposites together and to make them one. Imagine not being disturbed in the least by people who think and act differently than yourself. It's really possible... 





Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen
































































































Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Flipping the Pain




Kevin is a married man with three young children who has worked hard to keep his anger at bay. Kevin strains himself to speak to people in a polite soft-spoken manner, but deep down he feels violent towards others and is fearful that one day he'll explode and really hurt someone.
 
Like so many people that I speak to, Kevin was a victim of severe physical abuse - in his case, by his father. As a child, Kevin was beaten so brutally and so frequently by his father that he would often pass out. His body was always covered with painful bruises -  but, like I've heard from so many victims of abuse - even physical torture can't be compared to the agony of feeling one's soul being murdered repeatedly by someone who is supposed to love you. 
 
When I first met Kevin, it had already been many years since his father had laid a hand on him. Kevin wanted to know why he was still feeling so violent towards his father and others; he also wanted to know what possible "good intention" could G-d have had for the pain that he had suffered as a child? After four sessions,  I too wondered, if Kevin would ever be able to see how the abuse that he suffered had been "all for the best." Both of us were short on answers, but Kevin was asking good questions and I saw that his desire to know the truth was very strong.
 
In our fifth session, Kevin began to think about his situation from a different perspective. He wondered how his life would have been different if his father would have been consistently kind, loving and predictable. What would he be like today if he had grown up in a "normal" family?
 
As Kevin probed and dug deeper into himself he realized that it was only because he had suffered so intensely at his father's hand, that during his college years, he started looking for love and connectedness in a completely different type of "father" which he found in the Lubavitcher Rebbe. 
 
There was a Chabad house near the campus where Kevin went to school. He would go there often and watch videos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He sat entranced by the Rebbe for hours drinking up the Rebbe's facial expressions, his tone of voice, his emuna, his strength and the wisdom with which he spoke to his followers...continue here...


My picks for this week from the other Breslev Israel writers:

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Salami

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - The Unlimited Pantry

By Channa Coggan - My Baseball Addiction

By Rivka Levy - The Breslev Infirmary

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life,
Dr. Zev Ballen