Counting of the Omer
Get out your running shoes! The Omer is a marathon of cosmic cleansing. Kabbalah teaches us that during these forty- nine days following Pesach, we need to take great care in ridding all negative influences from every area of our lives. After Pesach, we begin anticipating Shavuot, the next holiday and in essence the conclusion of Pesach. Pesach was a free connection. The Omer is the work we do to earn the Light of Pesach and Shavuot. We cleanse ourselves by counting the days of the Omer until Shavuot's arrival. The Omer is counted from the second night of Pesach through the night before Shavuot. It is best to count the Omer at nightfall; however, one may count at any time throughout the night.
Over the seven weeks we have the opportunity to break open klipot (negative shells) from within our being, releasing the Light that has been trapped by our own choices. Yes, the extraction process may be painful. But the benefits of releasing the trapped sparks of Light are more than worth it.
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Chesed, the most expansive of the Sefirot, representing Mercy, sits below Chochmah on the right-hand column. Chesed, representing pure positive energy, holds the still undifferentiated seed of all that has taken place between the upper Sefirot, and since it represents the total Desire to Share, it can be generous to a fault. We all have seen Chesed run amok. It is the person who weeps more for the criminal than for his victim; it is the poor man who has won the lottery and gives every penny of his new fortune to charity, leaving his own family destitute. Unrestrained, Chesed gives until it hurts - to almost everybody.
Consciousness for Week 1 by Karen Berg
Day 1, March 26-27, 2013
The energy of today is Loving-Kindness of Loving-Kindness. Just for today and today only express kindness by smiling all day no matter what happens.
Day 2, March 27-28, 2013
The energy of today is Discipline in Loving-Kindness, so just for today replace every critical thought with a thought of appreciation.
Day 3, March 28-29, 2013
The energy of today is Harmony in Loving-Kindness. Just for today notice the beauty that is all around you.
Day 4, March 29-30, 2013
The energy of today is Endurance in Loving-Kindness. Just for today let's push ourselves to do something for somebody else that we only want to do for ourselves.
Day 5, March 30-31, 2013
The energy for today is Humility in Loving-Kindness. Just for today follow instead of lead. See what it is like to do what someone else thinks is right.
Day 6, March 31-April 1, 2013
The energy of today is Bonding in Loving-Kindness. Just for today do something with someone you would not usually work or socialize with.
Day 7, April 1-2, 2013
The energy of today is Leadership in Loving-Kindness. Just for today focus on the things you love to do and do it for another.
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Gevurah is known as Judgment. Whereas Chesed gives almost to a fault, Gevurah is miserly. Where Chesed expands, Gevurah contracts. Where Chesed says "share," Gevurah says, "What's in it for me?" Where Chesed celebrates heroism, Gevurah is a disciplinarian with fear looking over its shoulder. Gevurah, run amok, without Chesed's balance, becomes the tyranny of a police state, but the undifferentiated seed that lies in Chesed never become the differentiated tree without Gevurah's strong hand. Gevurah bring the energy of the upper Sefirot into differentiation, which is the beginning of physicality.
Consciousness for Week 2 by Karen Berg
Day 8, April 2-3, 2013
Today is the energy of Loving-Kindness in Discipline. Just for today notice if your criticism of others is really meant for yourself. Recognize what advice you would give those you want to criticize, and then take it for yourself.
Day 9, April 3-4, 2013
Today is the energy of Discipline in Discipline. Take a look at the areas in your life where you have given yourself permission to let negativity run rampant. Today, all day, control your negative patterns; don't give yourself the space, to yell, to overeat, to smoke, to feel depressed...
Day 10, April 4-5, 2013
Today is the energy of Compassion in Discipline. To truly listen is the key for compassion, today all day really, really listen to others.
Day 11, April 5-6, 2013
Today is the energy of Endurance in Discipline. Think about a part of your life you have given up on. Is there more you can still do? Instead of feeling like a victim and shutting down, today take responsibility for what went wrong and do something to open up again.
Day 12, April 6-7, 2013
Today is the energy of Humility in Discipline. Know that without the Creator there is nothing you can do. Today all day get out of the way and make room for the Light.
Day 13, April 7-8, 2013
Today is the energy of Bonding in Discipline. Today share your realization from Day 11 with another person, devise a plan where you can help them to persevere, and they can help you keep going.
Day 14, April 8-9, 2013
Today is the energy of Leadership in Discipline. Today when you see the things you want to change in yourself, remember human dignity begins with you. Mistakes are part of the plan. That is why pencils have erasers. When you can move easily out of your own mistakes, you can help others move easily out of theirs.
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Tiferet, representing Beauty, rests below Keter on the Central Column, and beneath Chesed and Gevurah to the right and left.Tiferet is Beauty because a thing of beauty, whether a sunset, a flower, a poem, or a human mind, must combine wisdom (Chochmah), understanding (Binah) and the luminosity of the Light to exist as such.Tiferet is a thing of beautify because it is the balancing point between the right (giving) and left (receiving) columns, and without the symmetry of balance, there can be no beauty. Tiferet, thus contains all aspects of the world in which we live. Tiferet teaches us to share and when to receive. Tiferet represents that elusive balance between judgment and mercy that allows a parent to discipline their child out of love instead of out of reactive anger.
Consciousness for Week 3 by Karen Berg
Day 15, April 9-10, 2013
Today is the energy of Loving-Kindness in Compassion; just for today pick one person in your life who could use your energy. All day long send them the energy of your love. See them surrounded by the light of mercy. Know with certainty that your genuine effort made a difference in their life and yours.
Day 16, April 10-11, 2013
Today is the energy of Discipline in Compassion; review one of the challenges in your life. As hard as it is, see the light at work there. Search until you find the gift that the Creator is bestowing on you through this difficulty. Manifest that change in consciousness by addressing the challenge differently than before.
Day 17, April 11-12, 2013
Today is the energy of Compassion in Compassion; in order for there to be true peace in the world, we need to sit across from our enemy and see that they too are valid in their thoughts. Just for today understand their position. Feel their pain. How can you change yourself to transform the situation from judgment to mercy?
Day 18, April 12-13, 2013
Today is the Energy of Endurance in Compassion; what act of discipline is difficult for you to maintain? Exercise? Meditation? Investing in a friendship? Today make it your focus to do the things you routinely do, with total dedication, total attention, and total commitment.
Day 19, April 13-14, 2013
Today is the Energy of Humility in Compassion. One of my favorite songs is "What If God Was One of Us." It reminds us how different we would be if we could remember that God is always by our side. The greatest act of humility is having the awareness of the Creator. Today acknowledge the force of the Creator around you. Notice the humility that it brings knowing God is always there.
Day 20, April 14-15, 2013
Today is the Energy of Bonding in Compassion. Nothing in this world disappears. Energy never dissipates. Today, take one action or take up one project with the idea that the good you put in will benefit humanity forever.
Day 21, April 15-16, 2013
Today is the energy of Leadership in Compassion; so just for today be so positively different from your natural state that it inspires people to want to learn what you are learning.
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Netzach, or Victory, resides on the Right Column, just below Chesed. A repository and storehouse of positive energy from Chesed, Netzach radiates the Desire to Share and becomes the channel of that energy as it begins to approach the physical world in which we live. It is, in short, analogous to the sperm that, in union with the egg, ultimately creates the individual human being. Netzach also represents eternity and involuntary processes and is representative of the right brain where the creative process takes place. Netzach is the artist, the poet, the musician, the dreamer and the masculine fertilizing principle.
Consciousness for Week 4 by Karen Berg
Day 22, April 16-17, 2013
Today is the energy of Loving-kindness in Endurance; so just for today respect the idea of someone else even if it differs from your own. Give the same time and passion to their thoughts and ideas as you would your own. Once you have internalized their point of view, go back to your own thoughts. Do you still feel the same way?
Day 23, April 17-18, 2013
Today is the energy of Discipline in Endurance. Be painfully aware of one negative behavior that is common to you, whether it is yelling, exhibiting frustration, shutting down, communicating poorly, etc. Just for today be vigilant about controlling that quality. Don't give into it under any circumstances. See how empowered you feel afterwards.
Day 24, April 18-19, 2013
Today is the energy of Compassion in Endurance. If someone upsets you today, call them after the fact and listen to them. Once you understand their life and situation, do you still feel the same about them? Understanding someone's situation is a key to achieving compassion.
Day 25, April 19-20, 2013
Today is the energy of Endurance in Endurance. Today, instead of seeing the negative quality in yourself, see a good quality in yourself. Spend the entire day building on that quality, especially at times when you don't usually bring it forward. Grow the good.
Day 26, April 20-21, 2013
Today is the energy of Humility in Endurance. When we see or experience a work of art we find ourselves in awe of the artist who created it; however, do we also appreciate the Creator who put the eyes in our head to see it? Today, acknowledge God in everything around you: in the fruit you eat, in the sun that shines, in friends that call in the unconditional love of a puppy. It is all God.
Day 27, April 21-22, 2013
Today is the energy of Bonding in Endurance. Choose one positive quality that is not in your nature but that you want to take on, or learn one new thing that can help you be better. Share your new lesson or experience with a friend.
Day 28, April 22-23, 2013
Today is the energy of Leadership in Endurance. The first step in leadership is showing others that you can make mistakes. Today share something you are ashamed of with someone you trust. Exposing your weaknesses is a powerful step to achieving strength.
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Hod translates as "glory." Hod, analogous to the egg in human conception, begins the materialization of that which was held solely in potential in Chesed and Netzach, much as the woman gives birth to that which has been conceived in conjunction with the male fertilizing principle. Hod also controls voluntary processes and left-brain activities, channeling the practicality of Gevurah into the human psyche. As Netzach is the artist, Hod is the scientist, the logician, the math whiz, and the certified public accountant in the brown tweed suit.
Consciousness for Week 5 by Karen Berg
This week is all about humility and remembering that everything we have was given to us by the Creator for a greater purpose. Focus on making yourself small this week so you can truly discover your greatness.
Day 29, April 23-24, 2013
Today is the energy of Loving-kindness in Humility. As difficult as things can be, the Creator always gives us something good in our particular situation. Today, as tough as it seems, see the blessing you have been given. Now share it.
Day 30, April 24-25, 2013
Today is the energy of Discipline in Humility. It is our nature to feel that we are right, that only we understand and that no one else sees what we see. Today really know and remember that what we understand and see is very limited and only 1% of reality. There is a bigger picture out there that we don't see.
Day 31, April 25-26, 2013
Today is the energy of Compassion in Humility. There is always a reason why people are the way they are. When you see someone behaving badly, there is a reason, and if you walked in their shoes you might be behaving just the way they are. Just for today, walk in the other person's shoes.
Day 32, April 26-27, 2013
Today is the energy of Endurance in Humility. Think of something that will remind you of your smallness. Maybe it is an affirmation of how grand the universe is, or how perfect a flower is, something that is personal for you, that you can use every day for the next year to remind you that in relation to God we are but a spec.
Day 33, April 27-28, 2013 Lag B'Omer
Today is the energy of Humility in Humility. Prayer is a way for us to acknowledge the Creator and remember that we are not entitled to anything we have. We take many of the gifts the Creator has given us for granted — we feel we are entitled to walk, to talk, to see, to hear. Today pray for the ability to acknowledge that everything is a gift from the Creator.
Day 34, April 28-29, 2013
Today is the energy of Bonding in Humility. True friendship is a gift and a wonderful tool to maintain humility. Focus on building a true friendship — knock gently on another's heart and be grateful for the chance to look inside. Friendship is respectful, so allow him or her to be themselves.
Day 35, April 29-30, 2013
Today is the energy of Nobility in Humility. One day a man called out a slanderous comment to King David. As his guards moved to put the man in his place, King David said, "Leave him be, if he is saying this to me then I am meant to hear it." The greatest measure of humility is knowing that the Creator is the voice behind everything we hear. Today listen to what the Creator is telling you.
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Yesod, or foundation, sits like a great reservoir at the bottom of the Sefirot. All the Sefirot above pour their intellect and their attributes into its vast basic where they are mixed, balanced, and made ready for transfer from a radiance so brilliant no mortal could survive in its presence into a form of energy that is manageable by human beings. Metaphorically speaking, Yesod is a cement truck that gathers all the raw components including water and sand, blends them together and pours out a wet mixture that will eventually solidify and harden into the cement that is our physical universe.
Consciousness for Week 6 by Karen Berg
Tonight we are entering week 6, which means we only have two weeks left. Keep pushing to make small changes each day.
Day 36, April 30 - May 1, 2013
Today is the energy of Loving-kindness in Bonding. For today, be a channel of mercy, kindness and love for someone who you know needs guidance. Your actions below will activate abundance from above.
Day 37, May 1-2, 2013
Today is the energy of Discipline in Bonding. Sometimes it is more difficult to be right than to be wrong, harder to be cruel than to be kind. Today, set some boundaries. As hard as it seems, set them with human dignity and like water the Light will find its level.
Day 38, May 2-3, 2013
Today is the energy of Compassion in Bonding. Completion from a spiritual point of view is the balance between mercy and judgment. We need both to be complete - to be compassionate. Today, find a way to exercise both.
Day 39, May 3-4, 2013
Today is the energy of Endurance in Bonding. Perseverance in our spiritual work is the difference between the winners and the losers in the game of life. Joseph spent 13 years in prison before he became the source of abundance and power in Egypt. Today, embrace the process and see the Light in the fact that you have not already arrived.
Day 40, May 4-5, 2013
Today is the energy of Humility in Bonding. Today, be a channel for bringing people together. Helping others in their relationships will foster an improvement in your own.
Day 41, May 5-6, 2013
Today is the energy of Bonding in Bonding. When we worry only about ourselves, the Creator can't come in. Today be a channel of sustenance or abundance for someone else.
Day 42, May 6-7, 2013
Today is the energy of Nobility in Bonding. Today, live in the consciousness of abundance. I don't mean go and spend money you don't have, rather focus on seeing the outpouring in what you do. If you are very smart, that is abundance. If you have healing hands, that is abundance. If you are given the gift of gab, that too is abundance.
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Malchut, or Kingdom, contains the world of physicality. It is here where the uncongealed cement mixture hardens like rock and takes on physical form and structure. It is the only one of the Sefirot where physical material seems to exists - in a minuscule percentage of the whole. And it is here that a divergence in human consciousness spells the difference between individual lives lived in the Light and those lived in the darkness.
Consciousness for Week 7 by Karen Berg
Day 43, May 7-8, 2013
Today is the energy of Loving-kindness in Nobility. Like King David - who represents Malchut - a true King knows his job is to be in service of others not the other way around. Today, manifest your consciousness of service to others with actions.
Day 44, May 8-9, 2013
Today is the energy of Discipline in Nobility. Before telling anyone what you think of them consider three things:
- Is your criticism true?
- Do you love the other person genuinely?
- Will they hear you?
If you can meet these conditions, then speak up. If not then it is better to be silent.
Day 45, May 9-10, 2013
Today is the energy of Compassion in Nobility. Jacob was considered one of the most complete beings that walked this earth. He knew when to be merciful and when to apply judgment. Check yourself today - are you delicate when you should be definite or judgmental when you should be gentle? Don't forget that tonight is the New Moon of Gemini. Chodesh Tov (Good Month)!
Day 46, May 10-11, 2013
Today is the energy of Endurance in Nobility. Instead of feeling doubt when something "negative" happens, say to yourself, "I know I have done all I can to make this a positive experience. I have certainty that in the bigger picture this situation is positive." When you do this, you give darkness no entry into the situation.
Day 47, May 11-12, 2013
Today is the energy of Humility in Nobility. Take inventory of the past 46 days. Hindsight is 20/20. Do you see the blessings and the growth? As we come to the end of this Omer, use this day to appreciate the ladder the Creator gave us to climb towards Him.
Day 48, May 12-13, 2013
Today is the energy of Bonding in Nobility. Joseph took responsibility for his process. To be a conduit of Light for others, there is no room for victim consciousness. Wash yourself clean of the injustices you feel others have done to you so you can jump into the bright future that awaits you. We're almost there guys!
Day 49, May 13-14, 2013
Today is the energy of Nobility in Nobility. Take a moment and meditate on manifesting all the changes that you have undergone in the last 49 days. After Pesach, the Light that we received as a gift went into concealment to give us a chance to earn it back. On the eve before Shavuot, seal in your transformation. You are a new vessel, prepared to receive the Light of immortality; are you ready?
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