Such wonderful inspiration from the podcast On Being (with Krista Tippett) and her interview with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. What drew me to write about this is the connections I experienced in my brain and heart as the Rabbi talked about Ein Sof and Yaish. “Yaish refers to virtually everything in creation. Anything that has a beginning or an end, that has spatial coordinates, that has a definition, that is bordered by other things, and it’s not just material reality. I mean, love has a beginning, it has an end. Beauty can have a definition.Turns out there is only one thing that’s not yaish. It has no beginning, it has no end, it’s not bordered by anything, it has no definition, it has no spatial coordinates. … it is the opposite of yaish. It is called Ein Sof — without end. Literally it means nothing. But with a capital N.”
Whoa. Jewish mysticism and Qi. 96% of the energy in the universe is unseen, no spatial coordinates–this is Source Energy or Ein Sof. Yaish is form, the 4% of the universe we can see. And oh, the images I came across while researching Ein Sof and Yaish all rang bells of connection. There are spirals, a Tree of Life, layers in the spiral that are ten emanations of visible light. Lots of references to light. Mystical study and foundations of spiritual thought seem to always come back to the same foundational truths: source energy, light, formless and form. Qi (formless) and me (form).
“…Everything in the world is the wave of which the Ein Sof, or God, is the ocean. And our knowledge of the ocean is largely based on the way it manifests itself in the waves” (Kushner). As you and I exist on this earth at this same time and place and as we gather and connect, we become community. We open ourselves to source energy, that ocean of qi, and learn from each others’ hearts more about that Source. We are the waves. We look to ourselves and to each other to become closer to understanding the Source.
Through the practice of qigong, we claim a path that leads us to become proactive co-creators of wholeness. Our bodies express and give form to our souls, the emanation of Source Energy. Through making whole our individual selves, we can simultaneously open our hands and extend Qi, formless Infinite Light, to all Yaish, all that is seen. And by opening our hearts to that service, we do our part to repair the world (Tikkun Olam). Haola!
Kushner is a long-time student and articulator of the mysteries and messages of Kabbalah. The Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah is a rich, magnetic world of thought and teaching. It has resonance with modern understandings of reality — and describes a cosmic significance to the practical moral call to tikkun olam, “repair the world.”