Bubbe Wisdom Blog

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

BubbeCamp 2018



Name Tags
A delayed bus
Dee’s Dogs
Homemade Slip and Slide
Gigantic Bubbles
Yummy Grill Foods
Qwems card game
Real Fruit Popsicles
The loss of Lily
Late Mornings/ late nights
Lots of Bagels and Fruit
Camp Songs and Dances
The Complete Genesis
Paper Folding and Handmade Books
ScrapBook ad-ons
Subway Sandwiches
Public Art
Baked Tofu
Chocolate Balls
Bat Mitzvah Discussions
Eco Tour
Prince of Egypt
Pizza and Salad
More Rummy-Q
Ruth and Naomi
Russel Crow’s Noah
Swimming at Iz’s
Asian Food
Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Coat
Parsha Miketz Genesis 41:1-44:17
Jane’s Pancakes
Science Center
Gateway Clipper
Steve’s Stacks
Rosh Hodesh Elul

Final Night Questions in preparation for Rosh Hashanah:

What is your biggest personal pet peeve of yourself?

When you are feeling sad, what do you do to make yourself happier?

What is one new thing you would like to try?

What bad habit would you like to stop?

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

What is the one thing you’d most like to change in the world?

Name something you do well and then something you would like to do better.

If you were the major of your city, what would you change?

If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?

If you could do something that would help change global warming- what would it be?

How would you help others if you won the lottery?

If you were a color, what would you be and why?

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

If there were 25 hours in a day, how would you spend the extra hour?

If you could be any age what would you choose and why?

May truth and justice guide our acts and compassion temper our lives as we move into the month of Elul.

See the video version HERE

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Letting Go Of Defense


When we have no territory to defend, God rushes in to where God always was. This is a paradox we understand only as we embrace life fully.

Today, as you go through your usual routine, you will make the choice to defend or let go perhaps ten or twenty times. How can you choose to let go without giving up your own integrity? How can you stand up for yourself and still remain open to all possibilities?

The answer is impossible to describe, but the method is clear and easy. Each time you feel as if you need to defend yourself- whether in a conversation with a friend or while making your way through a crowd or by claiming your own place in line- if you feel you are defending something that is not articulated, that is not named actually name it. Say to yourself: I am defending MY place in line; MY idea of what should be; MY choice. When you actually name it, you will be able to let it go more easily. This letting go does not mean you give up your rightful place in either the line or the discussion. It simply mean you are not defending your own existence.

See what that is like today. Perhaps you could choose to do this on every Tuesday or some other specific day? It will become your own, private holy day.

Jason Shulman; The Instruction Manual for Receiving God; page 64

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

What Is The Opposite of Anger?


Being with God is a non dual state. This means it can never be achieved by choosing only one side of reality in reaction to a less preferred condition or state.

Words like God, awakening, non dual, and others of their ilk are necessary evils. They open a path to a thinking about things, but they block the road, even as they point the way. They make us think there is a special way- a singular way that being with God or being awakened is a special feeling we need to recapture again and again. But God is kinder than that and makes every place a way home. Every molecule of reality- whether tangible, like matter, or emotional and psychological, like varied states of being- can be a gateway to the non dual experience of God.

Try this: Whatever you are feeling right now has a silent opposite that is present at the same time. So, confusion is present with its opposite, understanding; lost accompanies found. Hope is present with despair and loneliness with companionship, even though there may be no one around to fulfill that function.

Now: Allow both of a pair of opposites to exist. Completely, Vividly. Open your body to this allowing. You may notice a subtle feeling of openness, of silence, of expectations to God; it comes from being with what is in this particular way. Trust this opening, Friend. You can extend it further, to opposites that are challenging., like sickness and health and even life and death. As you do so, the doorway to God will open wider, as wide as your heart.

Jason Shulman; The Instruction Manual For Receiving God; page 56

P.S. My meditation of Ireland is here:

Friday, July 20th, 2018

The Diamond Approach

Irish Tree

From The Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom: part of The Diamond Approach Inner Working To The Fullest Realization of True Nature

The Definition of Knowing: Beginning to Know Yourself without Reference to Your Body, Your Feelings or Your Environment

When you know your essence, you can allow yourself to experience merging love with another person; you don’t feel the need for barriers between you and the other. When you feel your beingness and the beingness of the other, it is okay for them to become one beingness. When there is no issue of me and you, of boundaries and separation, then there is no issue of us as One. Merging love creates a state with no barriers. There are no barriers then between you and anyone or anything, between you and your body, your surroundings, your car, the whole universe. You feel you are sharing in everything, you are part of everything, melted with everything. Your heart is open and melting like butter. This is a deeper aspect of who you are, a deeper realization of yourself. You begin to know yourself without reference to your body, your feelings or your environment. You are a depth. You look into the distance and you don’t feel you are looking at the distance; you are the distance. You look up into the sky, into the clouds and you don’t feel you are looking into the clouds. There is no distance between you and the clouds. You are the clouds. You are here and everywhere. Your boundaries are gone and the belief in boundaries is gone. They have melted away. This kind of love is one of the most difficult for people to experience in love relationships even though it is exactly what they say they want.

Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 161

Friday, July 6th, 2018

The Law of Unintended Consequences



Yesterday, I heard someone mention The Law of Unintended Consequences and wondered about it.

It is a form of innocent evil: people enacting with moral intentions that instead yield immoral consequences.

Nothing has just one cause. Causes fan out in all directions over time. Reasons and causes are never singular. Seek and find multiple causes, reasons or motives. It’s like playing piano with oven mitts; it’s impossible to hit only one key so don’t try.

The universe is inherently unpredictable. Nobody is perfect. The insignificant may prove significant. Small differences may make big differences. Each and every choice has an unforeseen rippling.

Without exception, the universal motivation externalizes negatives and internalizes positives. Each choice comes with regrets that inspire awareness and learning. Remember the serenity prayer and stay true to the path.

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Some Observations on Ireland





Irish soda bread, Irish Brown Bread and most Irish breads use buttermilk to rise and are not vegan.

The Irish people are extremely open, friendly, and consistently helpful.

Everything in Ireland is very quant and pretty much un or under developed.

Irish People drive very fast even on very narrow roads.

Everything is perfect , always.

There hasn’t been a heat wave like we saw this past week since ’76.

Potato leek soup is the most readily available soup everywhere in Ireland.

The reason the color of Ireland is grass green is because it can be seen everything in and about the country.

The countryside was formed from the movement of tectonic plates.

In the countryside the preferred language is Gaelic.

The Guinness Beer Factory may be touristy but it is worth the visit just to learn how to get the full flavor when drinking beer.

Ireland is a mystical place with vortexes, fairies and lots of superstitions.

Friday, June 15th, 2018

2018 Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day All In One



The Solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice, once in summer and once in winter each year when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole. During Solstices the tilt of the axil of the Earth (with respect to the Sun) is the maximum at 23° 26′. In the Northern Hemisphere, this solstice marks the longest day of the year. Early dawns. Long days. Late sunsets. Short nights. The sun at its height each day, as it crosses the sky. South of the equator winter begins.

The 2018 Solstice happens on June 21 at 10:07 UTC (coordinated universal time) and 6:07 a.m. for our time zone.

Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India about 6,000 years ago. In the 19th century, yoga, along with a general interest in Eastern culture and philosophy came to attention of the West as Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu teacher to actively advocate and explain yoga to a western audience, toured Europe and the United States.

The United Nations General Assembly declared International Yoga Day official on December 11th, 2014.

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi

Celebrate International Yoga Day along with the Summer Solstice June 21st. l’chaim

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Ichi-go ichi-e: this is the moment

ichi go ichi e

A simple practical idea from the art of tea or Sadou, the way of tea. Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会) is a concept expressing the ideal roughly translated that means one time, one meeting or one encounter; one opportunity. In the way of tea we respect and honor the moment as a once-in-a-lifetime gathering, a simple encounter that will never happen again. Ichi-go ichi-e reminds us that each tea ceremony (and each moment) is unique unto itself. Even though the elements may seem familiar, remember, they are not.

One Time; One Meeting; One Moment; Never Repeated; Totally Unique and Original.

Friday, May 11th, 2018

The Blending Balance of Masculine and Feminine

Boynton Approach

Boynton View

Boynton Yin and Yang


Sedona is a blending of all things. This can be deeply felt in The Boynton Canyon Vortex, the site of balanced male/female, yin/yang energy.

Historically our public lives have been dominated by the masculine need to survive and thrive in the physical world with the me first (substitute America first) attitude in the areas of finances, politics and technology. With that the feminine care of others was relegated to the private life of home and family. A stronger masculine employs greed, selfishness, and exploitation all with the end to elevate the self. A stronger feminine sits in the spirit of generosity and equality.

It is a tumultuous time in the Boynton Canyon Vortex. Feeling the masculine influences of technology, politics and ethics, we recognize that we are at the moment in our evolution when we need to, more than ever before, incorporate and balance our feminine side strengthening our relationships with intimacy, commitment, honesty and generosity.

Friday, April 20th, 2018

What We Need More Than Even: Patriots


I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom…At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in. Rosa Parks

Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. Remember Rosa Parks. The moment you set an example the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow. Timothy Snyder, Lesson Number 8.

There is so much information coming to us of late, I understand how it can cause overload and the need to withdraw, but I found a book and the interview that gives me good reason to see good emerging from all of this bad.

Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny is a very practical book. He reviews the outcomes learned from the history of the last century, outlining 20 everyday measures each of us can take to resist authoritarianism. The list (complete list here) includes among other things, being polite to strangers, making new friends, joining social, and donating to power-checking institutions.

Of all the James Comey interviews, Stephen Colbert did the best job. Watch it HERE. For sure, the best line was “I’m like a breakup he can’t get over” but when he talks about how it’s not okay for just shrug his shoulder’s at Trump’s indecent and immornal behavior, he is showing us the steps he is taking to be the Patriot that Tim Snyder says we need in these times.

I’m impressed and encouraged by both. Maybe it will do the same for you.

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

Enlightenment Now


…The story of human progress is truly heroic. It is glorious. It is uplifting. It is even, I daresay spiritual….

…We are born into a pitiless universe, facing steep odds against life-enabling order…We are made from crooked timber, vulnerable to illusions, self-centeredness, and at time astounding stupidity.

Yet human nature has also been blessed with resources that open a space for a kind of reception. We are endowed with the power to combine ideas recursively, to have thought about our thoughts…We are deepened with the capacity for sympathy-for pity, imagination, compassion, commiseration….

…We live longer, suffer less, learn more, get smarter, and enjoy more small pleasures and rich experiences….We will never have a perfect world…but there is no limit to the betterments we can attain…

And the story belongs not to any tribe but to all of humanity-to any sentient creature with the power to reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.

Steven Pinker Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

The Spiritual Path On Counting The Omer

My Kabbalah- detail

My Kabbalah- detail

In the days of the Temple, Passover marked the ripening of barley by offering a special measure called an omer. The forty-nine day omer count begins on the second day of Passover in preparation to receive the Torah on Shavuot.

Jewish mystics use seven of the ten divine attributes to contemplate the count in terms of our personal and moral growth. There are books and web sites to help you follow along to this outline: Counting the Omer with Rabbi Yael Levy
Counting the Omer by Day
1.Chesed of Chesed: generosity vs. lack of boundaries
2.Gevruah of Chesed: strength that enables generosity
3.Tiferet of Chesed: compassion of generosity
4.Netzach of Chesed: perseverance in generous
5.Hod of Chesed: sincerity of generosity
6.Yesod of Chesed: connecting to the task of being generous
7.Malchut of Chesed: accepting and including generosity
8.Chesed of Gevurah: kindness in strength
9.Gevurah of Gevurah: strength vs. rigidity
10.Tiferet of Gevurah: balance and mercy with strength
11.Netzach of Gevurah: persistence with strength
12.Hod of Gevurah: surrender as an expression of strength
13.Yesod of Gevurah: focused intention applied with strength
14.Malchut of Gevurah: receptivity as an expression of strength
15-21.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Tiferet: compassion
22-28.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied Netzah: perseverance
29-35.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Hod: surrender
36-42.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Yesod: intention and connection
43-49. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Malchut: receptivity and nurturance

Ritualwell, a project of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC and Ma’yan, the Jewish Women’s Project offer feminist resources and rituals to count the omer: The Kolot Egalitarian Omer Calendar and An Omer Calendar of Biblical Women By Rabbi Jill Hammer which offers this female version of the daily omer prayer:

Beruchah at yah, eloheinu ruach haolam, asher kidshatnu bemitzvoteha vetzivatnu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

May we move out from our narrow constrictions to a more authentic life.

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