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SINGING & KABBALAH: The Singing Spirit of the Sefirot: Part 5 of 7

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It is an honor to continue sharing with you how divine aspects that guide us in self-transcendence can be used as a roadmap for our singing experience. The spiritual energy of this week until May 14 is hod, which corresponds to humility, thankfulness, and splendor.

WEEK FIVE: HOD HUMILITY, THANKFULNESS, and SPLENDOR

By relating to our singing as a divine gift from beyond ourselves, and by appreciating this gift with humility and thankfulness, we can enrich our experience, until we can reach even beyond our perceived limitations. To paraphrase Rabbi Simon Jacobson: When we recognize how small we are, we realize how large we can become.

Tuning into singing: Hod emerges when we recognize our talent and acknowledge the gift we've received, or the capacity to develop that gift. This higher awareness transforms the notion of

"I am singing" into "I am a song being sung by something greater than myself." It is modesty and yielding from a place of strength. We can thus rise above our perceived limitations as singers and tap into a greater dimension beyond ourselves.

Questions for reflection: In what areas of my singing practice and career do I need to be more modest, yielding and thankful? In what ways could technique translate into an awareness of thankfulness? What would a performance sound like in which my main intention was sincere thankfulness for the gift of singing that I've been blessed with? How might the audience react to such a performance?

Exercise: 1) Bring the aspect of hod into your singing. Choose a favorite verse or chorus. Sing it three times. The first time, sing it the way you normally would. The second time, if it feels right, add a dimension of thankfulness to a Power beyond yourself. The third time, sing the passages with gratitude to your own voice, as if it were an embodied spirit separate from yourself. Notice any differences in the quality of your sound and in your personal experience. If possible, record this exercise and play it back.

2) Before you take a breath, empty out with "pah" until there is no breath left. Be sure not to slouch! At the bottom of that emptiness, reflect for a moment on the vulnerability of being empty. Ask yourself: Who gave me this breath? Will I get another one? Take a breath again and feel thankful for life, acknowledging the Wisdom beyond us that returns our breath to us at every moment.

Feel free to share your personal experience with these concepts.

Blessing you with personal transformation,

Devora-Gila Berkowitz

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