This video teaching, called Varieties of Paradox, is a summary of the different types of paradox that we encounter in the world. People expressed confusion because we have introduced so many different kinds of paradox and each one calls for a different response and they felt a bit overwhelmed by the unruliness of the subject. This video provides a framework that organizes the complexity and makes it more manageable.
#1 — A Jewish Meditation from the Code of Jewish Law
The first level of meditation instruction appears on the opening page of the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Arukh). It is an obligation that takes hold at the moment of awakening.
One of the most difficult and subtle challenges of a spiritual path is the matter of “strange fire” which we’ll define as: “taking pleasure from something that violates one’s own moral code.” It makes sense to avoid temptation whenever possible, but that’s a strategy that needs to be augmented with an equal (perhaps even greater) measure of inner work, i.e., meditation.
A spiritual path asks its adherents to walk their talk. Yet that is easier said than done. Most of us are challenged by the obstacle of Strange Fire. Meditation, and in particular the practice called “Withdrawal of the Senses,” is a helpful (if not essential) tool for addressing this challenge.
This second video on Jewish Meditation gives useful tips and incentives. Hopefully you have been experimenting with the meditation from the Code of Jewish Law presented in Lesson 1. Before moving to more advanced techniques it is good to have some practice under your belt. The next lesson will suggest ways to deepen the experience.
Paradox is a subject that is oft-discussed, but there is actually very little instruction about how, practically, to work with it. These 12 Illustrated Video Teachings (of 7 – 10 min. each) present paradox as a spiritual path and provide practical instruction about how to negotiate (and even embrace) paradox.