THE SINGING SPIRIT OF THE SEFIROT: PART ONE
The spiritual teachings of the Kabbalah can inform us about our own personal development and enrich our singing on a deeper level. In this seven-part blog, I hope to universally share some of the insights into the sefirot, or divine characteristics, in relation to singing.
Background information: The Jewish festival of Passover marks the freedom of the Hebrew people from the enslavement in Egypt, and is the beginning of a seven-week journey towards the giving of the Torah the Jewish teachings over 3,000 years ago. During this time, the people had to spiritually shed the remnants of slavehood in order to be vessels for receiving divine wisdom.
Personal Transformation: The forty-nine days leading up to the receiving of the Torah is still embedded with tremendous spiritual energy, which continues to be accessed by tuning into the appropriate aspects of each day, which correspond to the Creator's divine attributes or sefirot. They are: loving kindness and benevolence; discipline, restraint, and awe; beauty, harmony and compassion; endurance and ambition; humility and thankfulness; bonding and foundation; nobility and leadership. Through introspection into these traits, we can achieve more emotional balance and spiritual refinement, shedding the negative characteristics that enslave us from fulfilling our higher potential. Although this is traditionally a spiritual process for Jews, I believe that the powerful energy in the universe at this time is available to all who seek inner transformation for the good of everyone.
WEEK ONE: CHESED - LOVING-KINDNESS
The spiritual energy through April 16 is chesed, or loving-kindness and benevolence. Love is the strongest power there is. When we tap into giving of ourselves and being open to receive from others, we can approach an experience of an infinite Love which is beyond our own limitations. With this increased awareness, singing becomes a deeper, more meaningful experience.
Tuning into singing: How is singing an experience of love, giving, and sharing? How is it an experience of receiving? By focusing on communication, we can create a living relationship that is beyond the components of singer/audience. By recognizing that the ability to sing comes from beyond us, we can be open to the great Love of the One who gave us this gift.
Questions for reflection: Do I see singing as an act of giving and receiving? What is my experience of the audience when I sing? What is my experience of myself? Am I willing to be vulnerable enough to share my deepest emotions through the song, or am I too self-conscious? Can I open up to receive the hearts of my listeners, or am I worried about criticism? Can I allow myself to feel the awesome Love of the One who gave me the gift of song?
Exercise: When you take a breath for singing, imagine you are taking in a Divine breath. Try to feel the Love within that breath. Experience singing out your own love from that Loving breath.
If you are performing, notice your feelings towards yourself and your audience. Are you connected? You might try using a positive affirmation such as "I am loved by the Greatest Love" or "I give from my heart and receive love" or any other phrase that helps connect you.
I'd love to hear about your personal experience with these concepts.
Blessing you with personal transformation,
Note: A personal thank-you to Judy Rodman for her teachings on communication to the audience.
For more information on her "Power, Path and Performance" vocal training,
paste and follow this link: http://judyrodman.com?a_aid=49c0342e