One! The singular sensation that fuels A Life of Practice

The inner workings of A Life of Practice  

Those of you who have been drawn to this tribe of Good Enough human beings have told me that you appreciate the perspective of A Life of Practice with its focus on becoming not more perfect but more human. Over the past year you have responded especially to posts that offered open-hearted personal stories and models of how to engage with practice in daily moments both challenging and celebratory. I greatly appreciate your traveling with me, and your comments along the way.

What I want to share in a deeper way is the beating heart that fuels me to live A life of practice: Nondual Kabbalistic Healing© (NKH). NKH was developed as a curriculum of healing and awakening by Jinen Jason Shulman. It integrates the wisdom of Buddhism and Advaitic understandings of nonduality with the wisdom of the Kabbalah and the insights of  modern psychology. This is a path towards realizing, for each of us, our unique humanity, and living a life of vital and intimate relationships.

I began to receive healings and then study this work over twenty years ago with a “goal” of becoming more human. If you had asked me what that meant, my answer would have been vague.

 

One! Singular sensation…  (from the Broadway musical, Chorus Line)

Nondual Kabbalistic Healing © is rooted in a practice that underpins all of A Life of Practice. One! that helps me to wrestle with the unending dualities of life. One! that keeps me moving with life, whether or how these dualities get “resolved.”

And that One! is:  a radical practice of Oneness.

 

What do I mean by a radical practice of Oneness?

The central prayer of Jewish worship is known as the Shma: Shma Yisroel HaShem Elokeinu Hashem Echad. I learned this prayer as a kid in Sunday school, where it was translated as: Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

Another and quite accurate translation is: Listen, you who wrestle with God, Reality is One Thing.

In NKH, we throw everything up against this statement. I mean, everything.

Whatever limitation or wart you want to leave out: include.

Whatever the shadow cast by the brilliant sunbeams of your latest inspiration: include.

Whatever you cannot bear turning away from in disgust: include. Include even your turning-away.

Because all those things we edit out or orphan: they haunt us.

They too want to come in out of the cold.

This is the radical practice of Oneness, the alchemical power of Kabbalistic Healing, and the heart of A Life of Practice.

This Oneness is not prescriptive: how human life should be in some idealized or actualized state, some Golden Age past or future.

This Oneness is descriptive:  true to how life actually is, lived on the ground, in the mind and imagination, in the heart, in the soul.

 

This Indivisible Oneness is a fabric embellished by the moments of our One Life

Some of those moments feel like shining, precious gems, others like bird droppings. Yet all are adornments. One Life. NKH’s radical practice of Oneness invites me to make use of everything I am and experience, a  potent compost that nourishes and sustains a life of practice.

 

Practice is our faithful and trustworthy ally on the journey – because we do still need to journey within the One.

The “journey” is then our gradual, erratic, persistent wandering, awakening to the Presence of God, to Reality, to our own glories and limitations, an integration of our split-off parts, an enlivening of the everything that is right here, right now.

Me and my practice – we keep moving with the movement of life.

And on we dance, awake and awakening, healed and healing.

 

Reflection: 

How are you faring in your “journey”?

What have you accepted?  How have you changed?

What have you brought in from the cold? What remains huddling outside?


Let’s talk about your journey. For a free 30-minute consultation with Sara: http://alifeofpractice.com/contact/

One! Sara guides you though a 3-minute video exercise:  http://alifeofpractice.com/welcome/

A Society of Souls, Jason Shulman’s School of Nondual Healing and Awakening, offers a four year professional training program:  http://www.kabbalah.org

 

 

Your Herbal Medicine Cabinet:  Fall Allergy Season Tips

Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes? Manage seasonal allergy symptoms with friendly herbs and simple steps.

 

Reduce your exposure to airborne triggers

Limit your outdoor time or time of day to early morning, late in the day, and after rains, when pollen counts are lower.

Avoid exposures to secondary smoke and chemical irritants.

Use a HEPA filter vacuum.

Change pillowcases nightly.

Get pets off the bed, out of the bedroom.

 

Wash away irritants

Fill neti pot with warm salt water, use morning and evening.

Add 5 drops each of Goldenseal and Propolis tincture to soothe and restore health to irritated nasal tissue.

Add 5 drops Echinacea tincture to fight infection.

 

Desensitize your immune response to local allergens

Enjoy a daily teaspoon of local honey!

 

Reduce “lifestyle load” and manage your stress response 

The stress hormone cortisol increases immune production of IgE, a key immune cell in the allergic response: lower your stress response, lower your tendency to allergic hypersensitivity.

 

Choose foods that improve immune response and avoid foods that make the body reactive

Eat more colorful foods, whole grains, organic when possible for selected foods.

Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids: fish and fish oils, & in nuts & seeds & their oils – flax, walnut, canola oil.

Drink more water and herb tea to keep flushing out your system.

Eat less red meat, white foods.

Drink less alcohol, coffee

Avoid sugar, which depresses immune response.

 

Herbal help for acute bouts of sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes

Chinese skullcap tincture (Scutellaria baicalensis): 3 droppersful in a little water. You can repeat that every 20 minutes up to one hour, but in my experience, you probably won’t need to!

 

Herbal supports for extended use through the allergy season

Nettle tea: limits histamine release, reduces production of excess mucus, and helps your lymph system remove wastes and toxins, allergens among them.

Elder flower or berry as a tea or tincture, or the berry as a concentrate mixed with water, limits histamine release and reduces mucous membrane swelling.

Mullein leaf or flower as a tea or tincture helps reduce flow of mucous with sense of heat, soothes irritation to reduce cough. Generally safe for long-term prophylactic use, and short-term symptomatic relief.

Note: Consult a health professional before self-treating with herbs if you are on blood-thinning medication, or multiple prescriptions for medical conditions; pregnant; or anticipating surgery.

More about seasonal immune support:  http://alifeofpractice.com/herbalism/nourishyourimmunesystem/

More about how herbs work for health: http://alifeofpractice.com/about-herbalism/

Forgiveness and Fore-giveness

Fore-giveness is a profound kindness built into all of life – you could say we are made of it, and that it is the juicy and sweet seed of our own capacity to forgive.

Fore-giveness shows its Holy Self in those fleeting moments when I know who I am, where I stand, in whose company and in Whose presence. Receptive and responsive to the unique gifts of that brief measure of time.

I call these fore-giving moments, made of honesty and kindness, wisdom and understanding. They have a way of letting errors, insults, woundings, achievements and attainment each be just themselves. They leave me empty, fault and faults forgiven – and also entirely responsible and with the capacity to repair.

I understand these alchemical moments to be expressions of  a pre-existing and eternal character of the universe we humans inhabit. A compassion that precedes us in time, rank, and position. A kindness great enough to hold even the grudge I am not ready to release.

 

Yom Kippur at the Holy of Holies

by Sara Eisenberg

 

once each year

a single-hearted woman

gathers

a single seed

of every type,

drops each soundlessly into

a clean linen pocket:

tov mo’ed.

 

she stands on holy ground,

around her ankle

a twine of bright ribbons

woven by her intimates and

on which they gently tug,

pull her back from the edge.

they whisper

“forgiven, pardoned, granted atonement.”

they sing

“enter the year!”

 

she slices wide a pomegranate,

they feast on sweet-tart arils

while the juices run.


Read more about honesty and kindness:

http://alifeofpractice.com/daily-practices/at-the-heart-of-healing-honesty-kindness/

Nothing is as you left it? You’re walking into walls?

Ever wondered why you go through periods of feeling disoriented and clumsy? As far as you know, you have never been visited by leprechauns, but nothing is quite as you left it. Maybe you notice that you’re walking into walls. Dropping things. Reaching for a fork and instead picking up the spoon that sits right next to it.

A life transition – even diving deep into inner work on a retreat – can shake me up. Raise better questions than I’ve become accustomed to asking. Disturb the location of my beliefs and prejudices. Bring forward what has been lurking in the background.

Integrating new understandings is a physical as well as  a mental process.

It can take my body some time to catch up with this beneficial mischief.

 

Mischief-makers

by Sara Eisenberg

 

I could say “Elves,” but it’s not elves exactly,

who stole into my house late Tuesday night

to make mercurial mischief of walls and many sticks

of furniture.

Nothing is quite where I left it. As I left it.

Certitudes, laws of physics, mirrors.

I knock the orange ceramic bowl up against the blue one,

shattering its edge: the space between hand and bowls and counter has shifted a little to

the right or left.

I pick up the glass of iced tea at lunch and generously spill it over onto my blue jeans.

My shoulder and hip bump into a wall that now extends where the kitchen door on its hinges stood yesterday.

Basic math is unbruised, long division still works.

But nouns and verbs, cause and effect have gone all wavy, bobbing along and trading seats.

Assumptions, beliefs, conclusions, doubts, all

zag.

You see how things are mis-placed, the rabbits are all out of hiding?

My clumsiness, isn’t it where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Rather, say what’s left of the original owner has been given safe passage

while my entire interior fields are ploughed under.