Is Kabbalah a dead ancient tradition, or an art waiting to be lived?
A new website called Walking Kabbalah poses this question. Can Kabbalah be a living art that is walked and breathed?
The website is written by Devorah S., a student of Boulder kabbalist Samuel Avital, who says she was inspired by her studies to share about the inner way of life of kabbalah.
“Studying Kabbalah with Samuel,” she says, “changed my whole life. Because he is part of a line of great Kabbalists and Rabbis, stretching back generation after generation, he teaches Kabbalah as a way of life, not just a pile of information and diagrams. Built into Kabbalah are so many practices that teach things like awareness, balance, and total presence. They teach you how to be yourself and live from a state of unity even in a world that is built on complete division.”
Devorah says, “The kabbalistic practice is so beautiful. It integrates the physical and spiritual into a living understanding. The kabbalists say that there is heaven (spirituality) and there is earth (the physical world) and that man is what unites the two. So spirituality possibility is everywhere. If you can drink a glass of water with complete presence and be fully aware in that moment the miracle that the water is pouring life into all your billions of cells, that could be a spiritual moment.”
Devorah says that sharing these inner kabbalistic practices is what inspired her to create the website. She says “If you learn with an authentic kabbalist, these practices are naturally built into the study. But if you read online, you mostly just get diagrams and explanations. And that is not enough to understand or live Kabbalah.”
Devorah says that Samuel Avital has always explained the classical descriptions of Kabbalah like a restaurant menu – they describe what is available. But they aren’t enough. Because you can’t eat the menu. If you want to eat, first you have to learn to cook. And in Kabbalah, what are you cooking? Yourself. This means, removing bad habits, learning to be present, learning to be patient, learning to chart your own direction, learning not to procrastinate what you really want, etc.
So, Devorah says that her purpose in creating the website is to “share a glimpse of the amazing knowledge my teacher has shared with me.” She says she wants to link these practical kabbalistic practices to help people understand the material of kabbalah in an experiential way, one that can be felt, walked, and lived. Thus the title, Walking Kabbalah.
The Walking Kabbalah Website can be reached here: Walking Kabbalah
For those looking for an article to start with, Devorah recommends her top two picks here:
More information about Kabbalah Now, the Kabbalah school of Samuel Avital, Devorah’s teacher, can be found here: http://www.gokabbalahnow.com/