10 Teves 5779 / Tuesday, December 18, 2018 | Torah Reading: Vayechi
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Out of the EGO Mode    

Out of the EGO Mode

EGO mode is the "Expelling G-d Out" mode; those are the times when one's mental sojourns take him far from Hashem, when he thinks that the “power is in my hands”…


I recently saw a one-liner from the Talmud that really got me thinking. It said: “If I (the Creator) am here, (then) everything is here.”


I was alone in my favorite place for personal prayer, and that one-liner kept coming back to me. What was the message for me? I thought about the word “here”, which was emphasized twice. And soon I realized what was getting in my way; what was severing me from Hashem. It wasn’t my lack of prayer or study. I wasn’t that I wasn’t trying to help people who seek my advice. I was doing all those things. But what I wasn’t doing enough of was being HERE in reality. Somehow I had forgotten a pretty fundamental truth, namely that Hashem is reality and Hashem is HERE.


When I space out in my own “reality” even while doing good things, I am alone and not with Him. Some of you might say: “But you’re still doing good things - doesn’t that come from Hashem too?” I also think that way when I’m functioning in my EGO mode (Expelling G-d Out mode). Those are the times when my mental sojourns take me far from Hashem and I think the “power is in my hands”.


I as sat with myself I wondered if I was trully prepared once and for all to abdicate ME and live more with Hashem? A voice came back: “It’s your choice, Zev, either live a real life with Hashem or your own illusory life without Him.”


What happened next was a life-changer. I can’t  express in words what I felt, but if you will read what I’ve written here slowly and thoughtfully, I’m sure that you’ll also feel what it’s like to know “If I (Hashem) am here, then everything is here,” with every fiber of your heart and soul. May it be so.


Sit comfortably and become mindful of breathing naturally…soon you’ll feel more centered and grounded in yourself…


Place a hand on the place (abdomen or chest) where you feel Hashem is breathing you the most and  your feeling of being more grounded, centered and  balanced will grow stronger…


Let your brain drop down into your breathing and become more calm and relaxed with each slow breath that you take…just breath calmly like this as you read on slowly knowing Hashem is exhaling from his innermost essence and lovingly breathing Himself into you right now…


With each breath put your entire self into this moment. This is the moment that matters most. This is the moment where your real life is. This is the only moment when you have the power to choose the truth and be aware of Hashem, who is Truth. This second right now as you are gazing at these letters and these words…your loving Creator is here. He’s in these letters, and He’s in these words. He is here and He is seeking YOU. “I will dwell in their midst”, said Hashem. Hashem is calling to you personally in the reality of this moment. Don’t waste one precious moment without Hashem, for in every moment that we forget Hashem we aren’t spiritually alive. It’s as though we don’t exist!


It takes courage to stay in the here and now but by doing so you are building your faith. You are demonstrating to Hashem in a tangible way that you believe in Him. No longer will you “stray after your heart and your eyes”. By staying out of your head and being aware of Hashem, your fears will go away as your capacity to concentrate on His constant Presence is growing stronger and stronger. You can practice breathing your whole self fearlessly into every moment and every movement all day long. And as you yield to each moment you’re going to get more proficient at resisting the pull of outer and inner distractions. You will feel much less need to cover up your vulnerability with silly distractions. You will prefer to absorb the blessings and miracles of each full moment and each moment will glow and grow longer. Time will expand for you because Hashem is beyond time and space and you will always feel rich with time. You’ll have an abundance of time to do as you please.


By bringing Hashem to you, here now, through your awareness of Him, you are attaching yourself to His infinite Wisdom, Kindness, Protection, Love, and Patience. You are attaching yourself to “The Knower, the Knowledge and all that is Known”.


Slow down and stay with me and you’ll sense the wondrous blessings that are enveloping you and permeating you right now. It’s even possible to sense the eternal that exists in you if you stay with the process.


Where is Hashem? He is everywhere and anywhere that you LET HIM IN. “There is no place that is devoid of Him”. Your breathing is your deepest physical way to let Him in.


According to Kabbala, Hashem governs the world every moment with a different letter combination of His holy name. This means that each moment is unique. This moment has never been and will never be again. Only you can be doing what you are doing in this moment. Our father, Abraham discovered Hashem by simply staring at the sun and the moon. As a boy, he thought they might be Gods, but when they disappeared he knew that Hashem was the only G-d who controlled them.


Rabbi Akiva used to be against Hashem. But his whole life changed in one moment when he slowed down and observed drops of water that formed a hole in a rock. The first drop was no different than the second, the third, or the fourth – but Rabbi Akiva sensed the Divine intelligence in this scene and realized that just as there was an immense power in those persistent soft drops so too could knowledge of the Power behind the water turn his heart of stone into a heart of flesh. You are a child of Abraham. Your soul comes from his. The more that you live in reality the more you will reveal the great love and gratitude for Hashem that is already a part of you.


You will thank Hashem because He rouses you from your sleep, He revitalizes you, He gives you sight, He enables you to walk, He gives you speech, choice and everything that is yours.


The more that you slow down and reflect, the more you will “taste” your palpable attachment to Him and the more you will love Him. “You will love Hashem your G-d with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your might”. And you will forever thirst to thank Him for all the thousands of thousands of tens of thousands of favors, miracles and wonders that He does for you every day.


Make copies of this script and use it daily to instill these ideas deeply within yourself. Commit yourself to monitoring your tendency to drift into unproductive imagination and negative emotions and soon you will find that many of the difficulties that you previously struggled with will be gone. May it be so.

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