Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You Are Your Desire

What is it that you truly desire in life? What's the connection between what you wish for and how the Torah defines who you are as a person? Tune in and find out in this short clip...


Wishing you the greatest of blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, June 29, 2015

Emuna and the Creative Process

Many people can't see a connection between emuna and creativity; what does one have to do with the other? Well, psychologists have been studying creativity for decades, and they've done hundreds of studies to understand the creative process. What these researchers wanted to know is how do people come up with new ideas? How did Einstein come up with the Theory of Relativity? How did Picasso paint such beautiful pictures? The thinking was that if they could somehow understand the creative process, then they'd be able to teach other people how to access higher levels of creative thinking and innovation.

But the studies came back inconclusive, because the creative process is not something that man builds, it's something that's given to him as a gift from G-d. When they asked all the Nobel Laureates, and the other creative geniuses, how they came up with their innovative ideas, they all said the same thing - they didn't know! They were just kind of sitting there one day, or woke up one morning and poof - somethingnew bubbled up from their creative unconscious mind.

Ok, at this point you may be wondering why I'm telling you all this; after all, you're not an aspiring Einstein, or Picasso, and you really just want to serve G-d and live a good life. So why do you need creativity? What does all this have to do with emuna anyway?

Jeremy Dean is psychologist who thoroughly reviewed the creativity research and wrote a book about it.  One of the things that he found is that when a person wants to create something new, he first has to let go of his existing knowledge base because his fixed knowledge base inhibits his creativity. 

We need creativity in our service to G-d because G-d is also beyond human knowledge and beyond the limit of what we “know” that He can do. The purpose of our lives is actually to get to know G-d, and to form some sort of connection with Him; but to have any hope of actually doing this, we have to go into the world of creativity and abstract thought, and let go of our logic and our “knowledge.” That doesn't mean that we completely discount and ignore science, but rather that we use science as a starting point, or a springboard, to help us to get to G-d.

So how does a human being perceive G-d? Click here to continue...

Also featured this week:

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Shema: Loving Hashem

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Get it Right!

Racheli Reckles - Caitlyn and the 50th Gate

Have a wonderful day!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Friday, June 19, 2015

The World of Infinite Possibilities

Our time down here on planet earth is very limited. The most long-lived of us can look forward to a maximum of 120 years, and G-d gives us that time to do a specific spiritual job. If we don't work to amass the merits and credits that we were sent down here to get, then we have to start all over again, from the beginning. G-d is going to keep sending us down here, as various reincarnations, until we do the job we were sent to do.

The good news is that ultimately, we are all guaranteed success. Our prophets tell us that all of the nations of the world are going to know G-d. Even the “evil” nations are going to realize that all of their prestige and all of their material advantages need to be put at the service of those people who are close to G-d, and who aren't afraid of taking risks, and experiencing some pain and suffering.

But even before we get to that “ultimate' stage”, the people who are willing to live with uncertainty will already have a much higher-quality life in the here and now. This is because when people demand, either explicitly or implicitly, that everything should be exactly the way they want it to be, they are dooming themselves to a life of misery, because it's never going to be that way.

If our blueprint doesn't fit with G-d's plans for our life, then we're going to be profoundly unhappy. But when we can change our blueprint, and alter it according to the circumstances that we find ourselves in, and according to the Heavenly hints and directions that we are constantly receiving, then we'll all get to where we need to go in life, even if it's not what we ourselves originally planned.

Here’s an example…

Someone I know was recently negotiating with a landlord for the opportunity to move his family to an apartment that was going to cut his rent in half. The man had been struggling to pay the rent for a few months, and he was relishing the idea of moving to a cheaper apartment in a different part of town, that would give him a better standard of living, for a lot less money. He looked around and found a great apartment, and was all set to sign on the new place. But…the landlord started to come up with some conditions that made our potential renter feel very uncomfortable. He wanted three months' rent in advance; he didn't want to fix anything that was broken in the apartment; and he wanted an extra month's rent paid to cover the month's rent he lost when the previous tenants ran off.

On the one hand, it was a great apartment, in a great neighborhood, at an extremely attractive price. But even though it was a very good deal in many ways, our potential renter decided against doing the deal. “Something” (an embedded message from G-d) was telling him that he was asking for trouble, to pursue the deal as it stood, with the landlord acting in such a selfish, dishonest way. He continued to have faith that G-d would send him something even better, and kept praying for the “better deal” to appear.

A couple of days' later, our potential renter got a phone call from the real estate agent, telling him some amazing news: continue...

And please don't miss these:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - They Don't Decide

By Racheli Reckles - The Adidas Prince

Have a wonderful Shabbos my friends,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Today's Live Broadcast: Walking in Two Worlds

At times life requires us to attend to practical realities and at times life  "calls" for us to journey beyond where we have ever been before. How can we live in two worlds at the same time? Join me today and experience this for yourself...

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: drzevballen@gmail.com. 

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Heath Benefits of Awe

What does appreciating the beauty of nature and belief in G-d have in common?

Wishing you the greatest blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Dream Can Come True

G-d has sent us into a world in which most things are out of our control. We can’t control events and we can’t control what people think, do or say. Most people get very frustrated by this even though it’s obvious part of G-d’s plan. But the one thing that we do have complete control over is what we think and what we believe. We are given the awesome power to choose to find positive empowered meanings in literally every kind of human experience. But if we don’t learn how to search for higher meanings, our instinctive stimulus-response nervous systems will take over and we end up thinking that there isn’t any meaning to life at all, or finding the lowest meanings possible. Then we just do everything we can to avoid pain and chase after any “pleasure” we can find.

Let's take a very common issue, of couples who have been trying to have children for years, and who haven't been able to. The first thing we need to do is to look at that couple's belief system. Is there a part of them that actually believes they can't have children? Are they listening to the Evil Inclination, which is telling them to give up already, because it's never going to happen?

Or take someone who's getting older, and still hasn't met her soul-mate. She has just hit her 40th birthday, and the Evil Inclination is constantly telling her that it's all over, and it's time to pull up the drawbridge and retreat from the world. These beliefs simply aren't true, and they are extremely limiting, but so many people are stuck with this so-called “realistic” view of their world, and what could really happen in their lives. Continue here...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Glassblower Analogy

Have you ever really felt Hashem's love for you? With the help of this short clip, you'll feel His love right now!

Wishing you the greatest blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Feel Your Very Best

When you let stress go and G-d in you'll do everything with more joy and success. This isn't a lecture, it's a "free emuna coaching session" that's designed to help you feel your very best right now!

Wishing you the greatest blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Dr. Zev Ballen

Friday, June 5, 2015

Self-Belief and Emuna are One

If you don't believe in yourself then you don't really believe in G-d. How can this be...?

Have a wonderful Shabbos dear friends!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Dr. Zev Ballen