FROM WHERE I SIT
There is such a beauty in balance, in being balanced. When we look around our world and find things in balance we feel comforted, at ease, all is well and all because of balance. Tiferet symbolizes that comforting balance, that feeling that all is well that all is beautiful. And yet real balance is dynamic, not static like when we take a walk.
And yet movement requires us to change our balance. We must unbalance to rebalance with every step. In Judo we are taught to sweep a person’s leg as he begins a step. What our opponent thought was a move to balance leads to an even more balanced position. The most balanced position that we can have is prone on the mat. So, with each step we take, we unbalance a little in hopes of regaining our balance as our foot comes down creating a new realm of existence.
So it is with our Sefirot within Sefirot. It is the movement of dynamic balance. We start moving from our Tiferet balance point by stepping toward Hesed the place of compassion. We unbalance on the way, reaching out for compassion, trying not to lean too far in that direction or we will fall into a trap of not being able to stand for anything. Yet if we land carefully, we find a balanced path of compassion.
That is Hesed within Tiferet.
Our next step is from Tiferet to Gevurah. Tread gently here it is dangerous to move from a good balance place, Tiferet, to the inherently shaky place of judgment. We all judge and judge we should. Without judgment we would get taken by every email opportunity, play in traffic and tell our spouses what we really feel about that awful outfit that they are wearing. But Gevurah must be balanced, or we end up alone in our room, too good for our friends too afraid of the big bad world, as we sit calculating the odds before we open any door. Unbalanced Gevurah makes us overly judgmental and unforgiving. It needs the balance of being wrapped in Tiferet. The gentle judgment that is fair and balanced is
the Gevurah that is within Tiferet.
As much as we want to move, we do need to learn the beauty and balance within balance. When I was younger and had to travel the subways of New York I created a challenge for myself. It was the challenge of balance. In the crowded or empty, noisy, smelly subway car I began to try to stand without holding onto anything. After I have ‘mastered’ that I would try standing on one foot as the train swerved and heaved and shook and stopped and started. I eventually was able to find my balance on one foot. So next I tried it in between the cars on that little platform over the connections of one car to another. I would return home grimy and gamey but with a feeling of complete harmony and balance. There is an inner balance that can be quantified on the outside. But please don’t try the Tiferet subway riding, its dangerous and people look at you funny. On the other hand, if you can remain in quiet balance “when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you;” to quote Mr. Kipling,
then you have found Tiferet within Tiferet.
There was a wonderful book written a million years ago when I was young called “Moving Zen.” It spoke of how the martial arts could be a place of heartfelt Zen training. There are active ways of Tiferet training. They are found in the realm of Netzah. We step toward our active side while keeping one foot in that plane of balance. How do we act with inner balance within a world that is so out of balance? Actions put into this world that which comes from deep within our souls.
“Doing it makes it happen” and that is our Netzah within Tiferet.
Of course observing our actions requires a little down time, a little inaction. “Doing it makes it happen!” But not doing allows us to reflect, renew and rebalance. Look at your actions. Do they reveal your place of balance or that you are out of balance and need a little fine tuning. We look at our actions to reveal our inner self, our inner world, our inner balance.
In so doing we are using the balance of being, the Hod within Tiferet
Before we explore our place of balance in the outer world, we need to look in to our place of Ki or Chi or Prajna, our soulful center. Meditaion is helpful, personal davenin or what I call ‘Matra-davenin’ can be an amazing method for inner focus. We let go of the crowded noisy mind and, in that place of no-mind we find all the clutter that unbalances us and we let them go. We clean out the attic of our mind and sweep the cobwebs from our inner corners. Mantra-davenin is a powerful tool for that inner house-cleaning that we need in our lives.
It is so comfortable and comforting to feel the inner balance of Yesod within Tiferet.
Now we are ready for conscious living, becoming a balanced being. It is time to enter into the real world, comfortable and confident. Even though we must take steps that off-balance us a little, there is balance in each step we take, each action based on the inner path that we follow. The flow of balance should be with us when we rise up and when we lie down, when we go out and when we come in, as we say in the Shema.
For now we are in the realm of Malchut of Tiferet