The Forgiveness Challenge – with Rabbi Rami Shapiro

November 5, 2013

Friends, we’re happy to announce a new online program with Rabbi Rami Shapiro, entitled The Forgiveness Challenge: 21 Days of Radical Acceptance. We’re taking registrations now and the course will begin officially on January 29, 2014. Once the course becomes available in January, you will be able to work through it at your own pace. When you register for the the course, you will also receive a free copy of Rabbi Rami’s ebook Forgiveness.

We’ve all been taught that forgiveness is an integral part of our spiritual lives. We understand that forgiveness enables us to let go of pain and anger, heal our relationships, and grow in compassion and humility. But what is forgiveness, really? And why does it often seem difficult, if not impossible, to achieve?

The Forgiveness Challenge offers you a 21-day training program in what Rabbi Rami calls “Self-awakening”—or realizing directly that you are at once both a worldly self and a divine Self that transcends time and space. For the next three weeks, you will experience a variety of contemplative practices and psycho-spiritual exercises that work five core dimensions of being: body, heart, mind, soul, and spirit. Each endeavor is designed “to awaken the narrow to the spacious” and allow the acceptance of the experiences of self in the larger context of Self.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all online in January! Learn more and register here.

forgivenesschallenge

 

Author Info for Rabbi Rami Shapiro Coming Soon

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Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, teacher, and former congregational rabbi whose written prayers are used in books around the world. With Sounds True, he has published the spoken-word offering How to be a Holy Rascal and the forthcoming book Holy Rascals: Advice for Spiritual Revolutionaries. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Rami and Tami Simon talk about the concept of the “holy rascal” and just what it takes to become one. Rami speaks on his background as a rabbi and how he came to a practice of “nondual Judaism.” Tami and Rami also discuss his encounters with God as a mother figure, and how these mystical experiences led to a burning away of his clinging tendencies. Finally, Rami underlines the importance of ecstatic experiences and why holy rascals are needed now more than ever. (68 minutes)

The Forgiveness Challenge: Shifting from Narrow Mind t...

Tami Simon speaks with Rabbi Rami Shapiro, the co-director of the One River Wisdom School. Rabbi Rami writes the column “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler” for Spirituality & Health magazine, and hosts the How to Be a Holy Rascal show on Unity Online Radio. With Sounds True, he has created The Forgiveness Challenge, a three-week online intensive course on radical acceptance. In this episode, Tami speaks with Rabbi Rami about dealing with situations where we find it challenging to forgive, the importance of asking others to forgive us, and how looking deeply into the areas of life that require forgiveness can illuminate meaning in our lives. (71 minutes)

The Forgiveness Challenge – with Rabbi Rami Shap...

Friends, we’re happy to announce a new online program with Rabbi Rami Shapiro, entitled The Forgiveness Challenge: 21 Days of Radical Acceptance. We’re taking registrations now and the course will begin officially on January 29, 2014. Once the course becomes available in January, you will be able to work through it at your own pace. When you register for the the course, you will also receive a free copy of Rabbi Rami’s ebook Forgiveness.

We’ve all been taught that forgiveness is an integral part of our spiritual lives. We understand that forgiveness enables us to let go of pain and anger, heal our relationships, and grow in compassion and humility. But what is forgiveness, really? And why does it often seem difficult, if not impossible, to achieve?

The Forgiveness Challenge offers you a 21-day training program in what Rabbi Rami calls “Self-awakening”—or realizing directly that you are at once both a worldly self and a divine Self that transcends time and space. For the next three weeks, you will experience a variety of contemplative practices and psycho-spiritual exercises that work five core dimensions of being: body, heart, mind, soul, and spirit. Each endeavor is designed “to awaken the narrow to the spacious” and allow the acceptance of the experiences of self in the larger context of Self.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all online in January! Learn more and register here.

forgivenesschallenge

 

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5 Tools to Create More Space in Your Mind

Busyness, distraction, and stress have all led to the shrinking of the modern mind.

I realize that’s a strange thing to say. Most of us don’t think of our mind as something with space in it, as a thing that can either be big or small, expensive or claustrophobic.

But just think about the last time you felt overwhelmed, stressed, or out of control. Chances are, you might not even have to think that hard. You might be experiencing that state right now as you read these words.

What happens in these moments? 

First, our mind wanders. It spins through all sorts of random thoughts about the past and the future. As a result, we lose touch with the direct experience of present time.

Second, we lose perspective. We can’t see the big picture anymore. Instead, it’s like we’re viewing life through a long and narrow tunnel. We become blind to possibility, fixated on problems.

Put these two together and you’ve got the perfect recipe for eradicating space in the mind. The landscape of the mind begins to feel like a calendar jammed with so many meetings, events, and obligations that these neon colored boxes cover-up even the smallest slivers of white space. 

So it could be nice for our partner, for our kids, and, mostly, for our ourselves to consider: how can we create more space in the mind?

Here are five tools for creating mental space. If you want to go deeper, check out my new book with Sounds True on the topic called OPEN: Living With an Expansive Mind in a Distracted World.

1. Meditation.

You’ve no doubt heard about all of the scientifically validated benefits of this practice. It reduces stress. It boosts productivity. It enhances focus.

That is all true. But here is the real benefit of meditation: it creates more space in the mind. To get started, try it out for just a few minutes a day. Use an app or guided practice to help you.

2. Movement.

So, maybe you’re not the meditating type. That’s fine. You can still create space in the mind by setting aside time for undistracted movement.

The key word here is “undistracted.” For many of us, exercise and movement have become yet another time where our headspace gets covered over by texts, podcasts, or our favorite Netflix series. 

There’s nothing wrong with this. But it can be powerful to leave the earbuds behind every once in a while and allow the mind to rest while you walk, stretch, run, bike, swim, or practice yoga.

3. Relax.

When it comes to creating headspace, we moderns, with our smartphone-flooded, overly-stimulated, minds seem to inevitably encounter a problem: we’re often too stressed, amped, and agitated to open.

Relaxation – calming the nervous system – is perhaps the best way to counter this effect and create more fertile ground for opening. When we relax – the real kind, not the Netflix or TikTok kind –  the grip of difficult emotions loosens, the speed of our whirling thoughts slows, and, most important, the sense of space in our mind begins to expand.

How can you relax? Try yoga. Try extended exhale breathing, where you inhale four counts, exhale eight counts. Try yoga nidra. Or, just treat yourself to a nap.

4. See bigger.

When life gets crazy, the mind isn’t the only thing that shrinks. The size of our visual field also gets smaller. Our eyes strain. Our peripheral vision falls out of awareness.

What’s the antidote to this tunnel vision view? See bigger.

Try it right now. With a soft gaze, allow the edges of your visual field to slowly expand. Imagine you’re seeing whatever happens to be in front of you from the top of a vast mountain peak. Now bring this more expansive, panoramic, way of seeing with you for the rest of the day.

5. Do nothing.

Now for the most advanced practice. It’s advanced because it cuts against everything our culture believes in. In a world where everyone is trying desperately to get more done, one of the most radical acts is to not do — to do nothing.

Even just a few minutes of this paradoxical practice can help you experience an expansion of space in the mind.

Lie on the floor or outside on the grass. Close your eyes. Put on your favorite music if you want. Set an alarm for a few minutes so you don’t freak out too much. 

Then, stop. Drop the technique. Drop the effort. Just allow yourself to savor this rare experience of doing absolutely nothing.

Nate Klemp, PhD, is a philosopher, writer, and mindfulness entrepreneur. He is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Start Here and the New York Times critics’ pick The 80/80 Marriage. His work has been featured in the LA Times, Psychology Today, the Times of London, and more, and his appearances include Good Morning America and Talks at Google. He’s a cofounder of LifeXT and founding partner at Mindful. For more, visit nateklemp.com or @Nate_Klemp on Instagram.

Chip Conley: Midlife: From Crisis to Chrysalis

Midlife has a bad reputation, often paired with the word “crisis” or seen as the “over the hill” phase of our journey. As the founder of the Modern Elder Academy (the worlds’ first midlife wisdom school), Chip Conley is changing this negative narrative to one that reclaims our middle years as a time of incredible regenerative possibilities. In this podcast, Tami Simon sits down with Chip to talk about his new book, Learning to Love Midlife, and how those of us amidst this phase can activate our capacities for renewal and “let our souls lead the dance.” 

Tune in for a very honest and hope-giving podcast on: The phoenix phenomenon; the anatomy of transition; the metaphor of the chrysalis; cultivating a growth mindset; the components of high “TQ” (or transitional IQ); creating space for something new; the great midlife edit; the dark night of the ego; radically shifting how you want to live your life; vulnerability and accepting help; “dancing backwards in high heels”; developing a friendship with your body; letting go—but also welcoming in; the alchemy of curiosity and wisdom; goosebumps as a sign you’re on the right path; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Mark Matousek: Living Like a Stoic

When things are at their worst, says celebrated author and writing mentor Mark Matousek, Stoicism is at its best. Considered the most practical of all philosophies, Stoicism is on the rise in today’s world—for reasons you’ll hear discussed in this podcast. 

Give a listen to this educational, pragmatic, and perspective-shifting conversation with Mark and Sounds True’s Tami Simon exploring control versus acceptance; using the mind in a more skillful way; humility, proportion, and appropriate action; taking responsibility for what we’re capable of; amor fati, to love life; working with your emotions; Emerson and “the exterior life”; writing prompts for letting go of the disempowering stories we tell ourselves; choosing how we hold our memories; why Stoicism is not a form of bypassing; adversity as a path to freedom; the practice of turning the obstacle upside down; shifting your angle of vision and telling the whole truth; “cosmic optimism,” Emerson’s reality-based form of hope; asking questions and finding your own way; doubt, confusion, and struggle on the spiritual path; Emerson’s view of enlightenment; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

  • Juanita Rizzo says:

    I am thrilled to see Sounds True/Spirituality & Health offer this course with Rabbi Rami. I own this book and it helped me in profound ways, just reading Rabbi Rami’s views, which were honest and direct. He makes it all sound so easy, but we must be ready to actually hear him and open ourselves up to making changes.

    juanita Rizzo

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