OK, simple question, simple answer.
First I tell you what I am not:
- I am not a Kabbalist. Kabbalists study, practice, and teach Kabbalah full time, for many many years. It could be even said that being a Kabbalist is like an insider... you need to be appointed.
- I am not a teacher of Kabbalah
- I am not a guru
- I am not someone who knows a lot about Kabbalah but doesn't live it.
OK, then what am I?
Well, I was first introduced to Kabbalah by a friend of mine (who is accidentally out of my life now... but more about it later.) My introduction happened by way of the book "72 names of God".
She called me that must come, right away, to Borders... (for those of you that don't know, Borders is a big book chain with excellent coffee and lots of room to read while there.) At the time I was new to Syracuse, so it took me a long long long time to get to the store... 7 or so miles in an hour... how is that for speed.
I liked the book, I liked the idea that everyone has a "god-name" according to their birth date, mine is 34. The letters, lamed-hey-chet loosely mean "Forget Thyself".
I didn't think it applied to me, but you'll notice, no one does. It has something to do with your soul's tikkun (more about that later.)
Anyway, I bought the book, went home and did a search on the internet, found the Kabbalah Centre's website, ordered their free (shipping only) book The Secret (not the "famous" movie). Then in a few days I got a call from the Kabbalah Centre and they sold me a set of 23 books, called the Zohar. I opted to pay in payments. It came in a huge box. I picked it up at my mailbox and in the next 10 minutes it saved my life.
What sold me to buy the book is that it is said to have an energy connection to "The Light" and it protects the space it is located. The story said that a shipment of a pallet of Zohars in Iran survived a warehouse fire. The only thing that survived, unscathed, was that one pallet. After how my life is going, I believe that this is true.
I bought the Zohar 5 years ago and since then I haven't had a scratch on my body... which is a miracle, especially if you take into consideration that I drive like a maniac, and my history was lots of accidents... not since March of 2003.
The other amazing thing that happened right after I bought The Zohar is that I suddenly found the courage and energy to leave an abusive, going-nowhere, dead-end, soul-deadening relationship... which I'd wanted to do for about 3 years at the time. By the end of July I was out of there, found an excellent apartment, and had more energy to live than in the past 10 years. Yaay.
Two years later I got my own "student support" person/teacher, Sivan Bramli. We have been studying Kabbalah together ever since, I have gone to several big holiday events, watched screencasts of others, and read lots of books.
Aside from Kabbalah, I was active in Landmark Education for 20 years, am a trained axiologist/ Value Profile consultant, studied with different transformational teachers (will compare the teachings in other articles... ok?), am an avid reader (read about an hour a day in spite of my dyslexia and add).
But more important qualifier than anything: I am a thinker. I am a right-brain thinker. I am in touch with that hidden dimension where all is known.
So, here you are, this is what gives me the right to write about Kabbalah.
If you want people closer to the horse's mouth, go the the Kabbalah Centre's website, or find the many orthodox kabbalah sites, or the sites that teach the mystical aspects of the Kabbalah. I, personally, subscribe to the Kabbalah Centre's interpretation of what the Kabbalah and The Zohar say, and I see it work in my life, and in the lives of people that I coach... oh, I forgot to say that I have been a transformational coach for 22 years.
PS: Update August 2017: What I didn't know back in 2008 is that I am a true empath... that changed everything!