The practice stretches between two major sacred festivals. First, Passover, commemorating the exodus from Egypt (“the narrow place”), but more symbolically about leaving places of constraint. Think about a momentous life shift, like divorce, or a healing crisis. It’s about moving into a new and better you. Forty-nine days later comes Shavuous, Sinai, being in the divine presence and taking it in through every pore of every incarnation.
They’re the book ends. Here’s how the middle works:
Tree of Life in Judaism refers to the symbolic tree of creation and to a paradigm of how to look at the world. The Tree is a set of stacked triangles that operate in triads: a characteristic, its opposite, and a balance point. They’re traditionally represented as spheres, called sephirot. The bottom seven are a strong and useful paradigm to use for solving any personal issue you’re wrestling with, aka getting out of a narrow place.
The first triangle is about unconditional love, discernment, and compassion. For an example, in relationship terms, think about: I love you madly forever; I need more boundaries, space, and time; Let’s work out something that’s good for us both. The names of these spheres are chesed, gevurah, and tipheret.
The second triangle is about your life force: What energizes you? How and where do you aim it? What’s possible? In creative terms, it’s your Eureka! moment; your final draft/exam/signature/etc; and the possibilities that open up come from becoming an author/doctor/homeowner/whatever you’ve been striving to manifest. The spheres are netzach, hod, and yesod.
The seventh sphere is malkuth, the kingdom of here and now. This reality. How you pull all that powerful everything into the day-to-day of this life you’re living.
Week 1, which starts Tuesday April 15 at sundown, is a week of meditating on chesed. How you are open, generous, expansive, giving, and filled with love. Every Tuesday at sundown for the next six weeks is committed to each successive trait.
The holographic path has circuits of each sphere within the primary trait of the week (7×7=49 days). First you think about how loving you are, then why it’s good to have some boundaries, how to set them with grace,….and so on daily, through each trait. You can Google for daily meditation prompts from various perspectives, or ask and listen to your heart for questions as well as answers.
I recommend naming/numbering journal pages with the traits before you start, because it’s easy to slip behind and harder to get back in queue. This is a practice very worth doing, especially if you can identify one issue that you’ve been grappling with and feel like you’re stuck in a repetitive cycle that’s not leading you forward. You may not get to goal, but you will almost certainly get new insights and ideas about how to change your perspective and behavior.
So just for fun, starting bedtime Tuesday, think about how you are giving, loving, open, generous, and kind, in all the aspects of the Tree of Life, and see how it changes your now. Then work your way through each trait.