This study path contains six classes, as well as optional follow-up work for each class; reflection questions to help you internalize the wisdom, and 'thought into action' prompts to help you apply what you're learning to create real, meaningful change in your life.
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Are you a good friend? How would you need to change to become a better friend? In this episode of Spiritually Hungry, Monica and Michael Berg discuss what it means to be a good friend, have a good friend, and maintain true friendship in every relationship.
Question: Are you truly vulnerable with your friends? Do you allow yourself to be fully seen, and do you create a safe space for your friends to be fully seen? How can you expand on this vulnerability in your friendships?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, focus on the three key factors of a true friendship mentioned in the lesson: benevolence, concordance, and a sincere desire to share. Pay attention to your friendships and notice how these factors show up. Are any of these factors lacking? Do you see any patterns with these factors? Out of the three factors, try to identify which one requires more effort from you and commit to putting energy into building this factor.
In the portion of Vayishlach, the Zohar offers us valuable tools to face confrontations and challenges in a proactive way. In this class, you will learn why it is fundamental to first confront our own negativity before any external confrontation takes place. In our friendships, proactive communication or confrontation is inevitable at some point. Dive deep into the spiritual prerequisites for successful confrontations – learning how to differentiate between the desires of our ego and our soul when faced with conflict.
Question: What is something external you want to confront in your life right now (or recently)? If you shift your focus to your internal world, what may you need to confront in yourself first?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, observe the ways in which your Opponent works to keep you in a victim movie when a potential confrontation arises. For instance, does the Opponent use “right and wrong,” blame, expectations, or anxiety? Just notice the Opponents game without judgment and practice pushing back on the Opponent. Observe how your thoughts and feelings around confrontations, big and small, shift when your Opponent is not running the show.
Join Michael, Monica, and guest speaker Matthew Stevenson in this powerful question and answer session. Hear how Matthew, an orthodox Jew and kabbalah student, befriended Derek Black, a former White Nationalist, and assisted in his positive transformation through acts of radical kindness. This is a story of the power of friendship against all odds.
Question: Is there anyone in your life right now you’ve written off maybe too quickly– decided they’re too different from you, not a good person, not worth investing time in, etc.? What would it take for you to give this person a true chance at friendship? What would extending yourself beyond your comfort zone look like?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, pay attention to the friends or friend you judge most (and don’t judge yourself for judging!). Simply observe your judgment, and every time it comes up, challenge yourself to switch into the mode of curiosity. Observe what changes you experience in yourself and with this person when you move from judgment to curiosity. Any surprises?
In this Zohar class focused on the portion Noach, you will learn the Kabbalistic definition of unity, as well as consciousness tools for building and maintaining unity with others. In this class, you will gain a deeper understanding of the blockages we often face or create in the pursuit of unity and how to overcome these blockages.
Question: Think about the different relationships you have right now – romantic, familial, friendships, coworkers, etc. Who is someone you have a relationship with but don’t fully respect or believe in? How is this affecting the relationship? How can you build more respect and a true belief in the person in order to become more unified?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, practice truly being happy for others' success and good fortune. Take the time to celebrate other people’s happiness with the intention of becoming more unified. Notice the relationship between your ability to be happy for others and the unity you feel with them.
In this lesson, you will delve into kabbalist Rav Ashlag’s intentions for writing his renowned book, 'On World Peace', as well as how the concept of peace will come about according to Kabbalah. Join Chaim as he elaborates on the teaching that everything has a right to exist, and there is a purpose behind even the most seemingly evil or negative parts of existence.
Question: What is something or someone you identify in your life right now as “bad”? Based on what you learned in this class, how can you shift your perspective to look at this person, place, situation etc. as simply underdeveloped, unripe fruit? When you adopt this new perspective, how do you feel?
Thought Into Action: For the next week or two, every time you judge something as having no purpose, or no positive purpose, pause. Catch yourself. Remind yourself, according to Kabbalah, everything in existence has been created with purpose. Challenge yourself to look longer and harder, search deeper for a concealed purpose. Notice how this effort to find purpose shifts your thoughts and feelings about whatever person, place, situation, etc. you are dealing with.
Like it or not, who we are, our unique personalities - good and bad - can be traced back to who we were in the past. In this reincarnation class, you will explore the connection between your current friends and your past lives. Looking at your friendships, you will begin to discover clues about your past lives for the sake of better understanding your purpose in this lifetime.
Question: Download the lesson handout on the lesson page and answer all questions.
Thought Into Action: For the next week, focus on transforming the one quality you identified is most awakened in you by the people you surround yourself with. For instance, if you have discovered it’s a pattern that you often feel insecure around your friends and family, dig deeper into this insecurity. What is the negative limiting belief system or system(s) driving this insecurity? “I need to be perfect in order to be worthy of love” ... “If I don’t get approval from the people I love, I will die”...