What is the path to ﬁnding your truth? To ﬁnding universal truth? To ﬁnding God? How do you ﬁnd your roots? Your values? How do you answer the big questions: Who am I, and why am I here? Through studying Kabbalah or Tantric philosophy we often raise these questions and contemplate them. This is not out of the ordinary. Yet if we get back into life and we forget how important it is to practice, we fall again to an old pattern of forgetting. This reminds me of what my favorite Buddhist teacher, Suzuki Roshi, says: "The most important thing is to remember the most important thing."
I recently made a vow not to forget. In the Shambhala language, it's called taking a refuge. Taking refuge means that we have some understanding of suffering. We should not be taking refuge to avoid problems, but we should take refuge to avoid problems in future lives.
I recently met an Israeli artist, Gilad Segev, who truly made me turn my head and caused me to really want to get to know his work. We spent one afternoon on a lovely street in old Tel Aviv in one of my favorite Yemenite restaurants, and he told me his story. To know me is to know that I have ALWAYS been passionate about music. I don't know it all, but I know what I like.
Gilad had a soul that revealed to me when he spoke on all the subjects, which I too had been embracing myself since childhood. Our shared philosophy was that, "Life is why we are here; to ﬁgure out what our true purpose is." And I saw, deep inside of myself, that I was ready to hear his story.
What I discovered after our interaction was that he arrived to a place of remembering something that was taught before, like most of us who access the same answer. Go INSIDE. It is there that you will ﬁnd everything you need, because (in a humble way) you are God itself. You get a spark of the whole when you discover that you are no longer alone. Suddenly, depression and confusion are not issues anymore. We are all a bit confused and lose our way. Some of us get knocked down more often than others and it takes longer for us to step back onto the path. But if the true purpose is to exist we must keep looking and remember what was taught to us long ago. The answers are within.
So Gilad went into his roots of Polish Syrian Jewish heritage, and he found the melodies and embraced the prayers, which he ultimately embedded into his music. He said he went "dark for three years. Going really internally. Not listening to the radio. Socializing very minimally." He called it "prison with better conditions." After this period he discovered that he had inside of him a deep internal knowing that nothing could break him again, no matter how difficult life would be. A profound shift had occurred inside of him. And from that point on, his creative voice would come from the essence of his being. He realized that an outcome is not nearly as important as the process you go through to get to that outcome. It's the parts we don't see that matter the most.
I ask myself a very similar question these days. When life is challenging, it's not always a bad thing because it might bring you closer to the truth, and more importantly, bring you closer to the inner voice of your greatest strength.
So remember, whatever it is for you:
"The most important thing is to remember the most important thing." -- Suzuki Roshi
With love and gratitude,
For more by Osi Mizrahi, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.