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What is Kabbalah?



Kabala is the study of the sacred symbol the Tree of Life.



There is a lot I could say about this image, but I will keep this article simple, and write more posts over time for those who want more depth.  The Lord's Prayer refers to the Tree of Life.  You may notice that some of the words in this image are in the Lord's Prayer.

There are two trees mentioned in Genesis.  Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God kicked them out of the garden to prevent them from eating of the Tree of Life.  The Old Testament is a collection of oral tradition stories gathered up over thousands of years, and finally written down.  (This is one reason the Old Testament is filled with contradictions.  Do you think that a non-literate people telling tales of this or that 4,000 years ago would tell the story exactly the same way 2,000 years later?  With this viewpoint, the one held by Talmudic rabbis, and that probably includes Jesus; there are no contradictions.  There is simply the evolution of a culture, and the stories of different times reflecting the viewpoint of a people at those different times.)

All sacred symbols are multilevel, and there are at least three maps within the Tree of Life symbol, which are of import in the training I teach.  One map is of how God created form out of formlessness.  Another is a map of the dimensions.  Another is the western human chakra system.  All of these require pages and pages to explain.  The Kabalic Tree is the foundation of all western mystical systems.  Western astrology and tarot both are based on the Tree.

I know that by putting this image on my website I make it available to anyone who wants to download it.  It is MY artwork, and the internet is filled with people who take things without asking.  So I give it away in advance; that way I won't worry about internet theft.  I simply ask for a feely given gift in return; I ask that you credit me as the artist and as a spritual teacher of Kabballa.  I can prove it's my artwork becuase I have the original.  I do NOT allow anyone to make money off of it without notifying me and getting permission.  It is NOT public domain becuase I am alive.  If you ignore my request, the karma is yours.  If you honor my request, I thank you for your willingness to share

Anyone who is studying Kabbala who would like to download the graphic  just to use it in private meditation; you are most welcome to do so.

.  —Bryna


The Enneagram is a geometrical symbol of consciousness which comes from Asia.  It is at least 6,000 years old and may be much, much older.  Sacred symbols are multilevel in their meanings.  Often sacred teachings have been kept secret down the centuries; partly because the average person of many times and places was not sophisticated enough to understand it, and partly because sacred teachings can give someone who learns them the ability to manipulate others.  Responsible teachers of sacred methods would carefully choose their students, making certain that students were ethical and would not abuse the powers the trainings could give them.



                                                                The Enneagram wheel consists of a circle containing a triangle and a shape I call the "open star" (which doesn't really look like a star when you separate it out from the triangle; it is the nine points of both shapes that make a star).  Each visual aspect of a sacred symbol has multiple spiritual teachings.  The shapes (the circle, the triangle, the open star), the points, and the lines, all mean many, many things.  In the human personality typing system within the Enneagram wheel each point designates a different personality pattern.  In the broader meaning of the wheel; the wheel as a map of all consciousness; each points symbolize stable states within which there are infinite possibilities.  The lines show how one stable state can change to another stable state.  Consciousness is always in motion, which is why I call the symbol a wheel.  Yet consciousness can, at times, become stabilized, and rest in one place for varied lengths of time.  Water is a metaphor for consciousness in many Eastern spiritual traditions.  By this metaphor the points would be pools of water and the lines would be the streams which connect the pools.  This is a valuable metaphor.  A pool stays within one place, and yet over the course of time there is infinite variety in the temperature, height, quantity of flow, amount of debris, etc., within any given pool.


I call the Enneagram the “Enneagram wheel” because consciousness is always in motion.  Each visual aspect of the wheel has multiple meanings.  Many of the meanings of this symbol are still secret.  Publicly, what is known in the west is that the Enneagram wheel is a human personality typing system.  This is true, but it is only a sliver of the teachings the wheel contains.  The Enneagram is a map of ALL consciousness.




The Enneagram came west in the 1950’s.  As a map of all consciousness, the Enneagram includes a map of the Mind of God, the story of why God created creation, a map of instinctive consciousness, a map of Soul consciousness, and a human personality typing map (and more). 




The points of the symbol designate stabilized states of consciousness and the lines designate consciousness moving from one stabilized state to another stabilized state.  In the personality typing system the points each represent a human personality pattern; as a map of the Mind of God, the points designate the stabilized states wherein God's Mind can rest.  Eastern spiritual traditions often use the metaphor water as a symbolic of consciousness, and this can be applied to the wheel.  By this metaphor the points are pools and the lines are connecting streams.




A pool stays in one place, and yet, over time, there will be infinite variety in its temperature, the height of the water, the speed and quantity of water entering it and leaving it, its purity and the amount of debris within it, and so on.  This is an excellent metaphor for the points of the Enneagram wheel.  The points are stabilized consciousness that can have infinite variety.  To give an example; the stabilized state of peace can span the range from a deep peace that as joyful, to the peace of having worked hard and taking a break to regain energy, to the peace of exhaustion, to the peace of hopelessness which has given up.  There is an infinity variety in the possible kinds of peace one can experience, and all share the commonality of peace, and yet there can be infinite variety within that commonality.


The human personality typing system within the Enneagram is far more complete, and has far more depth, than modern psychological personality typing systems.

Unfortunately, with publication, the Enneagram was diminished.  It did not have to happen that way, but it did.  My teacher would not let me read Enneagram books till I worked with her for seven years.  She did not want me absorbing the mistakes many of the publications make.

What Happens in Phone Sessions?

We talk on the phone about the energies in your energy field.  I tune into your energy field, and with your help, together, we clear and heal it.  The only work I do is with your permission.  I do distance energy work on you.  Your free will has a huge influence on your energy field.  Free will, after all, is energy.




I don’t need to be physically close to a person to work on their energy field.  Often I talk a client through mini-meditations that help a client shift consciousness.  Sessions are interactive.  If a client has a limiting belief system, I cannot change it; the client must change it.  Often I can identify limitations a client may not be aware of, and sometimes we have limiting beliefs that we do not recognize are limiting us.  When this kind of material comes up in a session, I talk about it with my client.  I can remove opportunistic negative energies from a client’s energy field without the intentional participation of the client.

I want to give you an example of opportunistic energies.  A person can be in a good mood, can walk into a bar, and can leave depressed.  That person might have absorbed emotional energies from someone in the bar that don’t really belong to the person.  These kinds of energies can be removed easily by a competent energyworker because they do not really come from the consciousness and energy field of the client.  But if a person is depressed for personal reasons, healing shifts in the energy field usually require that the person do inner work with the help of an energyworker.

Getting a phone session is a great way to get a taste of the material taught in classes.




My own belief is that divine forces give much help to aid the healing process during sessions.*  Sometimes a single session can make a huge difference in the life of a client, and sometimes several sessions are needed to make deep change possible.  This depends on the details of the issues the client wishes to address, and the client’s personal history.




These days most people have heard of chakras.**  I do work on the human chakra system during sessions, but I work on a lot more.  Human energy anatomy is as varied and complex as physical human anatomy.  Some energy anatomy is now familiar to mainstream folks through the New Age movement.  You may have heard of the chakras, the meridians, the astral body, and the imprint of previous incarnations on the energy field.  There is a lot more to energy anatomy.  I can explain the aspects of energy anatomy that I work on during sessions when the client wants this information, and students who come to trainings must learn this material in order to do sessions effectively.  Atheists; it is possible to see many of these energy structures as metaphors and symbols, and to do the work just as effectively with this approach.  The astral body is a good example.  Psychology would say dreams are in our mind; that when we sleep and we dream we just think we are somewhere else doing and experiencing other things.  Mysticism would say we actually have an energy body called the astral body that is blended with our physical body when we are awake, and that leaves our physical body when we sleep and dream, and goes traveling in the astral realms.  Regardless of the belief system one uses to explain dreams, the energetic techniques and meditations for healing one’s dream life would be the same.

*Atheists; it is possible to explain “divine” forces with an understanding of quantum physics and the psychologist Jung’s concept of the collective human consciousness, and with such a belief system, one might use vocabulary like “ethical” energies, or energies of “wisdom and healing” instead of the word “divine”.  My students and clients do not have to share my vocabulary or my belief systems at all. (What students must agree with are the ethics of the training, not my personal beliefs.  For example, once one has the skills to tune into another person’s energy field you can get a lot of information about that person which is private and is none of your business.  One ethical requirement to attend my trainings is to agree never to tune into the energy field of another unless that person asks for a session, and spying on others, or using psychic skills to manipulate others, is strictly forbidden.)  Atheists can develop psychic sensitivities and do energywork as effectively as anyone who has a religious belief system.

To give a taste of a scientific and/or atheistic approach to this material; the electromagnetic wavelengths that come from your brain, energy which carries your thoughts and your emotions, moves through everything, including every other brain on the planet Earth.  This is why it is possible to walk into a room of meditators and to perceive the peace of the meditation, and why it is possible to stumble upon an angry mob and to perceive the anger of the mob.  It is through innate sensitivity to energy that most people can pick up on the vibes of a group.  Jung said that the combined electromagnetic wavelengths from all the brains of all people create the “collective unconscious” of humanity.  He and Freud parted ways when Jung noticed that many Europeans with whom they worked had dreams about Gods and Goddesses of other cultures, and the dreams would be culturally accurate in individuals who were ignorant of those cultures.  Freud brushed it off.  Freud believed that person probably read a book about that culture, stored the information in the subconscious, forgot about it in the conscious mind, and then the information would surface in dreams.  Jung found that explanation inadequate.  He noticed that this phenomenon occurred frequently, and often in people who had no desire to find out about other cultures.

My own approach to energywork includes science, very much so, and these days, my belief system is Kabalic.  (My beliefs have changed so much in my life, you will not hear me say “I know” relative to my beliefs.  How do I know what I will believe in ten years or in twenty years?  As children we mostly believe what our parents tell us, and then, as we grow, we start getting our own ideas from our own experiences.  Because of this I insist that my students and clients honor their own beliefs, except, of course, the belief that, “My belief is the only way,” or “My belief is the best way.”  Your belief may be the best way for you.  To call out for the divine you must start with your own beliefs in your own heart, and this is why an atheist must start with atheism.  Honest meditation and prayer is always the most powerful.  A reporter once asked the Dalai Llama, “Why are there so many religions?” and the Dalai Llama answered, “Because there are so many kinds of people.”  I like that. And one must admit, organized religion doesn’t have a very healthy or loving history….  Ethical atheists, those who call themselves humanists, are often coming from an honest look at the bloody history of organized religion, and theirs is a valid and ethical approach.) 

For those who are curious about my current beliefs; Kabala teaches that God and God’s helpers are formless, and that, in the astral realms, in the realm of thought forms, in the realm of dreams and imagination, God and God’s helpers put on costumes for human beings; costumes which help the human understand the experience that person is having.  Let me give you an example.  Prayer is a discipline which can form subconscious patterns and expectations about divine energies, in the mind of the religious person who prays.  Imagine three religious people; a religious Catholic, a religious Hindu, and a religious Tibetan Buddhist, all of whom are disciplined at prayer, all of whom are skilled at perceiving subtle energies, and who have had visionary experiences at times when they pray.  Suppose that these people are in need of compassion and mercy.  The Catholic might get a vision of Jesus, the Hindu might get a vision of Ganesha, and the Tibetan Buddhist might get a vision of Green Tara.  Or suppose that these people are in need of courage to face ethical challenges.  The Catholic might get a vision of Archangel Michael, the Hindu might get a vision of Kali, and the Tibetan Buddhist might get a vision of Blue Tara.  The Kabalistic explanation is that God is formless, that God has many aspects, and skilled devotees from specific cultures, whether they are in need of compassionate mercy or ethical courage, will get visions which conform to their own culture and training, so that they may understand the support God offers them.  


**For those of you who have not heard of chakras, a chakra is an electromagnetic vortex wherever there is a cluster of living nerves.  Knowledge of the chakras, in our times, comes mostly from Hinduism and Buddhism.  The word “chakra” is Sanskrit.  However, knowledge of chakras is much older than Hinduism (6,000 years old) and Buddhism (2,400 years old) and spans the entire globe.  For example, many Native American spiritual teachings include knowledge of the human chakra system.

Clusters of nerves occur in the body wherever there is a joint in the skeleton, but the densest nerve clusters, which have the most electrical activity and the strongest electromagnetic fields, are in the brain and down the spinal column, and they can carry your thoughts and your feelings.  They show your history.  Clearing these electromagnetic vortexes is healing to mind, body, and spirit.    




My trainings and sessions honor all belief systems; atheists welcome!, members of specific religions welcome!, lightworkers welcome, and those who say, “I don’t know,” welcome!

None of us has all the answers.  Honoring the beliefs of others is a basic ethical guideline for taking classes, and in my opinion, for enjoying life and learning from others.  The ethical guideline for attending class that requires a student to honor the belief systems of others comes under the umbrella guideline of "Honor the free will of others." 



What I stress are ethics and techniques, not beliefs.  How can we heal ourselves and help others heal and grow?  The trainings and sessions I do focus on achieving this, and not on explaining how the entire universe works, where it comes from, or where it is going.

One of the beauties of the training is that once you learn the meditation techniques and develope psychic abilities, you can use the meditations to explore and embellish your own belief system.  

I strive to make my students independent.

The Classes I Teach; SEEK CLASSES

Studies in Ennergywork, the Enneagram, and Kabala; “SEEK” classes


At this time SEEK classes are fifteen levels of eight full days.  There are a variety of ways to organize this training, from intensives, to classes of a few hours each time we meet, spread out over many, many months.  Over time I will offer several formats for the training.  After completing the first four or five levels most students are able to do distance energywork and phone sessions.  The advanced classes include hands-on work and there is a massage table for every pair of students.

All levels of SEEK classes include meditations, lectures, and sessions in which students practice the techniques they have learned by doing sessions on each other;  all the while being monitored by the teacher (and, possibly, apprentices).  The hands-on work is always done on a client who is clothed, in classes, and professionally.  Clothing is not an obstruction to energywork.

An important part of the training is in healthy ethics.  Healthy ethics are a must to do energywork and meditation effectively and safely.




Often there is confusion about the distinction between the two, especially in the Lightwork community.  Most spiritual trainings emphasize one or the other, and do not include training in both.  This is because the methods of the two seem to oppose one another.  I say that combining both together makes for a training which is more inclusive, complete, and balanced.




Growth in self awareness is a matter of reclaiming repressed and subconscious material.  Recent neuropsychological research indicates that the conscious mind processes about 40 kilobytes of information per second, and the subconscious mind processes about 40,000,000 kilobytes of information per second.  Human free will is in the conscious mind.  The deepest habits and unhealed traumas are in the subconscious mind. 

I quote another spiritual teacher; “The more conscious you get the more unconscious you realize you are.”*  This quote could be a motto for all paths of growth in self awareness.  Growth in self awareness is humbling because it helps us see more clearly how far we have to go.  (After all, growth is a never-ending process.  This can be denied, or it can be celebrated.)  Some examples of paths of growth in self awareness are psychology, Buddhist mindfulness, and Enneagram studies.  With this kind of training one develops the power of neutral observation of self and others.  Doing this is lots of hard work.  It requires commitment and discipline.




Energetic sensitivity is sometimes called psychic ability.  Growth in energetic sensitivity is the development of the ability to perceive subtle energies.  All babies and animals are psychic, and in our culture, once we are four or five years old, we usually learn to shut it down.  When psychic abilities are reawakened ethically one gets in touch with the glorious inner nature of the self, of others, and of all life and creation.  Reawakening psychic abilities is usually fun and easy (when one finds a good training).




Growth in self awareness is humbling, and growth in energetic sensitivity is inspiring.  Growth in self awareness requires developing penetrating objectivity, and growth in energetic sensitivity requires releasing resistance to our inborn sensitivities and developing subjective perceptions.  Growth in self awareness is hard work and growth in energetic sensitivity is fun.  You can see from all these oppositions why the two are seldom combined; humbling insights that show how much growing we have yet to do, as opposed to subjective inspiration about how glorious we really are; developing objectivity as a tool of understanding, as opposed to developing subjective sensitivities for inspiration; hard work as opposed to fun…. 




I have combined growth in self awareness with growth in energetic sensitivity in the sessions I give and in the classes I teach.


*I heard this quote on a Patricia Sun tape.  I do not know if she is the originator of this quote, or if she heard it elsewhere.  I use this quote a lot.

What is my background?

                                                                                                                                                                              photo courtesy C Bauman







I have been teaching and practicing energy work, internationally, for almost twenty years.  I have taught classes, and done sessions for clients, in Canada, Great Britain, Japan, the Netherlands, and several places in the United States.  I have trained instructors and practitioners.

Much of what I learned and what I teach comes with no diploma.  Spiritual training is often outside of academia.  It is appropriate to honor one’s most significant teachers; those with whom one worked, over years and years’ time.

My most important spiritual teacher was my Enneagram teacher.  She took a vow of anonymity which I will honor by not naming her.  (She has passed.)  Her influence upon me is significant, and I am grateful. 

I am an unusual Enneagram teacher in that my training was traditional.  Therefore it was extremely rigorous.  My teacher did not ask the same vows of me that were asked of her (anonymity for life, never to publish, and only to work with a select few).  She only asked that I would not speak of the Enneagram publicly until she deemed me ready.  I studied with her for sixteen years, sometimes for hours, daily, before she gave me the go ahead to begin to teach Enneagram studies.  I was already teaching energywork classes at the time, and I began to introduce Enneagram teachings to my advanced energywork students.  This is how I came to combine Enneagram teachings with energywork teachings.  I am very, very lucky to have received a traditional Enneagram training.

I began studying meditation as a way to heal my own consciousness at age 18 by learning Transcendental Meditation, and I have much training in a variety of energy work and meditation methods by now. 

I did community organizing for a decade, and then children’s book illustration for a decade.  During this time I took a variety of spiritual trainings.  Then, in my forties, I began to teach spiritual studies, and I became a practitioner.  The spiritual studies I have undertaken include Kabala, Vipassana, Pleiadian Lightwork, Reiki, Lightbody, Native American shamanism, Flower of Life, Reiki Sechem Reiki, the Enneagram, and more.

Ethics and Psychic Abilities


Healthy ethics are extremely important for anyone with psychic ability to get useful information, and to be safe while doing psychic work.




Psychic abilities are actually pretty easy to reawaken once a person finds a training or a path that is appropriate for that individual.  I use the word “reawaken” intentionally.  Babies and animals are naturally psychic.  Babies pick up the values of the culture that surrounds them.  All it takes to shut down the energy sensitivity of a toddler is for the toddler to share a psychic experience with a parent, and for the parent to say, “That’s all in your imagination, honey,” and, poof!  The sensitivity closes down.




The realms which psychics perceive are called the astral realms, and these are the realms of thought forms.  The realms of thought forms are around and within us all the time.  Even in our culture, where almost everyone learns to shut down psychic sensitivity as a child, a residual sensitivity remains in most people.  Almost anyone can walk into a room with a group of people and pick up the vibes if the group has emotional coherence. 




It’s easy to perceive the peace of a group of skilled meditators, and to perceive the anger of a group of neo-Nazis.  The quantum physics explanation might start with the information that any thought or feeling anyone has leaves the brain in the form of electromagnetic wavelengths that move through every other brain on planet Earth.  The electromagnetic wavelengths of love or anger are very similar in each human brain, so the vibes of others can be very recognizable, and your own brain might be the tool which picks up, and interprets, the transmissions from others.




It’s also possible to understand all this as symbols that emerge from the subconscious mind (although I personally lean towards a mystical belief system to explain it all.)  I mention this because I want my work to be available people of any belief system; to atheists and to religious people alike.  And I know that I don’t really know much about the universe, so even though I believe in a God which created the universe, it’s a faith, not knowledge, and if my faith has truth, then God is too big for me to comprehend, so who am I to tell another person what to believe in?  (I do have certainty about spiritual methods which can help people heal and grow; after all I’ve been teaching and doing sessions for almost twenty years.  But this is a certainty about improving the human condition, not about the origins of creation or about the nature of God.)  Whether you think of the astral realms as genuine realities that coexist with the physical realms, or mystical words to access the subconscious mind and describe the subjective experiences of humanity, the methods to work with these realms of thought forms remain consistent, and we can all agree on certain things.  We can agree that the astral realms hold much beauty and healing (as in the experience of religious person who prays, who has a vision of angels) and much terror and dysfunction (as in a mentally ill person who hallucinates that s/he is being attacked by demons).  The mystics have long called the astral realms of healthy ethics the “light astral realms” and the astral realms of dysfunction the “dark astral realms”.




Imagine a priest of the middle ages who lives in a feudal village.  The villagers are illiterate, and even the nobility who live in the neighboring castle may not be able to read and write.  The priest knows Latin, and loves the peasants who come to his church.  The priest has done years of disciplined prayer, and sometimes visions of angels come to this priest, and give him valuable advice that he has used down the years.  He trusts his visions of angels deeply.  When people of his church suffer, and he prays for them, and angels have appeared and told him what to do, that information that has helped him help the villagers in ways that have filled him with wonder and faith. 




At the same time, this priest is a normal human who has absorbed the limitations of his culture.  He’s a good priest and the villagers love him, but like most people of his time, he sees his own culture and beliefs as the best, and he sees outsiders to Christianity as being wrong, and damned to burn in hell.  He accepts the church teachings about heretics and witches.  He is loving towards his own community, but judgmental and fearful of outsiders.




A woman in the village, who uses herbs for healing, is accusedby villagers who fear her, of practicing witchcraft.  The accusers are respected, and the accusation sticks.  The priest prays and an image of an angel comes to him and confirms that the woman should be burnt.  What has happened, energetically?




I believe there are holy energies that communicate with humans.  These energies, in my opinion, take many forms; from angels (for a Christian) to Boddhisatvas (for a Buddhist) to any holy being that has been honored by any human culture (to New Age meditators, who see ‘em all).  The holy energies we call upon honor our free will.  I believe there are unhealthy energies that communicate with humans.  These energies, in my opinion, also take many forms.  These energies respond to anyone who calls for support to do something unethical.  They also honor free will, in their own way. 




In the case of this priest, when he prays for people in his church he gets “real” angels, who give him truthful advice to support healing and love.  He is ethical when he prays about his own congregation because his love for them is real.  Because he is already convinced that the church should burn witches, the “real” angels honor his free will to be stuck in delusions, and they do not come to him when he prays about the fate of the woman who uses herbs.  In mystical language, he gets dark astral entities, and because he wants all his psychic experiences to be with angels, these dark entities are able to appear to be angels in his visions.  And so, when he is unethical, his free will to be judgmental and punishing is honored by both the light astral realms (the realms of the “real” angels) and the dark astral realms (the realms of nasty energies).  His free will to be in delusion is honored as much as his free will to be ethical.  His visionary experiences reflect his ethics of the moment.




In modern mystical classes this dynamic is called “filtering”.  A psychic person may be very ethical and loving most of the time, and may get valid information from the astral realms all those times.  But even those of us with the best of intentions have attachments and delusions.  Whenever a psychic has a hidden personal agenda, it is more likely that the person will filter; will get energies that confirm what that person wants.  It is for this reason, in classes, when members of one family attend as students, I never pair them up together to do practice sessions on each other.  The more intimate we are to another person, the more likely it will be that we have personal agendas for that person.     



The language in the title has such different personal meanings for so many people that I’ll start with giving you some of my personal meanings (only because I’m the one writing and using my own beliefs and language is most habitual, and the most true to my heart.  I define my words for clarity, not for conflict or collusion.)  Sometimes the personal meanings between people overlap, and sometimes they are different.  My personal meanings (which you may share, or not) includes that one’s spirituality is what gives one a sense of meaning in life, and spiritual growth leads to having a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. My personal meanings include the ideas that healthy spirituality rests on healthy ethics, and spiritual growth rests on ethical growth.


You can see how there could be lots of other words a person could use here.  An atheist might replace “spirituality” with “wisdom”, and “spiritual growth” with “self actualization”.  A Buddhist might keep the expression “spirituality”, and replace “spiritual growth” with “awakening”.  And so on.




The modalities I teach and use in sessions; the Enneagram, energy work, and energy meditation; all can contribute greatly to human spirituality and spiritual growth, and this can happen regardless of whether one is religious, or an atheist, or whether one is on a path of one’s own design.  These three modalities (the Enneagram, energy work, & Kabbala) can each support a person who is finding deeper meaning and purpose, whose ethics are evolving, and whose wisdom is deepening.  The thing is; I don’t want to get into any big debates about vocabulary.  I completely support you in your power to make your personal choices for the specific vocabulary you use in prayer and meditation, relative to belief systems and cosmologies.  The area in which I ask some consistency, in classes, is that of ethics.  One of the ethical guidelines of my work is that I do my best to honor all spiritual paths that are ethical, and students who come to classes must agree to do this as well.  And so my classes are filled with people who have different beliefs, and in the meditations and prayers I teach, I encourage a Christian student to call on Jesus and an atheist student to call on the healing power of Nature (or whatever that atheist believes in).  I offer my words for use by someone who doesn’t know what words to use, but I do not require that anyone use my words at all.  I encourage you to find your own way.  To be ethical, to be truly compassionate and responsible, your heart must be engaged, so if your heart already accepts a belief system, use it.  If you are already a practicing Hindu (or whatever), and you have been welcoming Ganesh* into your meditation practice for years; great!  Stick to that.  I will use words like; “I call upon the Limitless Source”, and you will use the words that have deepened meditation and prayer for you for years.  You will continue to call on Ganesh.  Fundamentalists will not be comfortable in my classes.  At times we must discuss belief systems in spiritual trainings.  We all want deeper understandings of the mysteries around and within.  But discussion for sharing and learning is quite different from discussion in which people try to prove their point of view is correct and everyone whose opinion differs is wrong.  My classes and methods emphasize ethics and techniques, and I control the discussions about beliefs because I don’t even want to affect your beliefs (so long as you are making ethical choices), and I certainly don't want one student power tripping another student over belief systems.  You decide what gives your life meaning and purpose.  You decide how you choose to reach for the divine.




We're pretty lucky in these modern times in that we can explore so many possibilities offered up by human culture; from science to any tradition humans have used down many ages, and in many places.  If one honors diversity, and enjoys learning from others, at some time, on a spiritual path, a person can narrow down their focus (as I have done with Kabbala, the Enneagram, and human energy field work), and go for depth.  Or one can retain breadth and variety (and be a dabbler; which is a valid choice, and the correct choice at certain times).  There are many spiritual teachings that advise triads, and I agree.  I think a modern human being should eventually choose three spiritual paths to work with, in order to grow, heal, and find deeper purpose.  (I don’t mean three religions; anyone of any religion can work deeper by exploring Enneagram teachings, for example.  The Enneagram is not a religion, but it is an incredible spiritual tool for growth in self awareness and compassion for others.)  If one has been anchored in one method for many years, adding some other approach can be very, very rich.


Were I to get into more depth in this article, I would share an overview about the Enneagram, the Kabbalic Tree of Life, and studies of the human energy field.  I would discuss that there are paths that differ in the emotional flavor and intellectual approach (differences that have nothing to do with cosmology or belief systems); there are paths of self awareness, and paths of psychic activation, and paths of healing through ceremony, and paths of spiritual growth through responsible social action, and more, and sometimes people combine more than one of these, as we should, in my opinion.  After all, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (the Christian minister who combined the religion Christianity with a path of social action) acknowledged that he found inspiration from the life of Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi (the devout Hindu who combined the Hindu religion with the path of social action), and Gandhi acknowledged that he learned a lot from the teachings of Jesus (the Israelite Kabbalic mystic). 


We might as well all learn from the best role models…. 



*Ganesh is the god of compassion, mercy, and blessing.  His powers overlap somewhat with those of Mother Mary in Catholicism.  He has the form of an elephant.