10 Simple Life Principles From Kabbalah: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Growth

In this article, we will delve into ten core life principles that can help you transform your perspective and enhance your spiritual journey.

Whether we like it or not, Creation has an order and certain principles that everyone are bound by and are elucidated by Kabbalah. True, Hashem can do everything and no rules apply to Him. However, He specifically choose to bind Himself to these principles so that free will could be maintained.

From understanding the power of attention and the significance of our words to recognizing the reflective nature of our experiences and the importance of personal transformation, these principles serve as a roadmap for living a more meaningful relationship with God.

As you read through these teachings, consider how they resonate with your own experiences and beliefs. Embrace the opportunity to reflect on your spiritual path and the ways in which these life principles can be integrated into your daily life.

Let’s explore how these timeless truths can enrich your life.

life principles

1. Where Attention Goes Energy Flows

Have you ever noticed how focusing on something brings it more into your awareness? In Kabbalah, this concept is key. By directing your attention to God, you invite His presence into your life. Think of it as tuning into a specific frequency—when you a certain idea, you naturally draw closer to it.

The principle of “where attention goes energy flows” underscores the deep impact of our focus and attention on our reality. This means that whatever we choose to concentrate on, whether positive or negative, will expand and manifest in our lives since consciousness is energy. It’s akin to watering a plant; the more attention and care we give, the more it flourishes.

The spiritual worlds operate in the same way and respond likewise. If we dwell on negative thoughts or distractions, we may find ourselves surrounded by chaos and dissatisfaction. For example, if someone chooses to focus on how bad his life is, then Hashem will provide Him with ample experiences to reinforce that notion. By being mindful of where we place our attention, we can actively shape our experiences and outcomes.

In practical terms, this life principle encourages mindfulness and intentionality in our thoughts and actions. Nothing is ever wasted and when we consciously direct our attention towards positive and meaningful aspects of life, we cultivate a more fulfilling reality aligned with God.

This is why Jewish Law has many rituals that seek to cause a deeper positive imprint every time we make them such as the Mode Ani prayer, the Mitzvot and the blessings before eating.

Moreover, this principle teaches us the importance of presence and engagement in the present moment. In a world filled with distractions, it’s easy to let our minds wander and lose focus on what truly matters. By practicing mindfulness and bringing our attention back to the present, we can bring added Kedusha (holiness) to life simply by choosing to focus on holy ideas.

2. It’s Not All About You

In our individualistic society, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we’re the center of Creation. And to a certain extent, there is truth to this thinking because we each have our own spiritual systems of Partzufim to rectify. However, true peace comes from understanding that we’re part of something much larger. By letting go of the constant need to assert our individuality, we can find a deeper sense of harmony and contentment.

This principle can also greatly impact our internal state. Constantly striving to assert our individuality and prove our worth can be exhausting and lead to feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction.

In a culture that often celebrates individualism and self-importance, Kabbalah teaches us to look beyond ourselves and recognize that we are part of a much larger context. A Jew cannot think that he is able to achieve the same praying Shacharit or Mincha or Maariv alone as he would by praying in the Minyan (a quorum of 10 men), there simply is no comparison.

Now, to be fair, there is a time and place to be alone and a time and place to be with the community. This doesn’t mean abandoning our sense of self, but rather integrating it into the service of Hashem with others. Acts of kindness, community service, and genuine concern for others’ well-being are expressions of this principle.

In summary: As we lift others, we lift ourselves.

3. Everything is Happening for You

Life’s challenges and setbacks often feel frustrating, but they are essential for our soul’s growth, known as Tikkun (rectification). These experiences are designed to help us rectify the vestments of our souls that became impure with the sin of Adam HaRishon.

Each event, no matter how difficult, is an opportunity for learning and spiritual advancement. The principle “Everything is happening for you” invites us to view our life experiences—both positive and negative—as essential components of our soul’s journey toward Tikkun, or rectification.

Rebbe Nachman teaches in Likutey Moharan that when a person can thank Hashem both for the good and “perceived bad”, that is a taste of the Olam HaBah (world to come).

According to Judaism (and this is no secret), every event and circumstance is divinely orchestrated to guide us toward this idea. This perspective encourages us to see challenges not as punishments or misfortunes, but as opportunities and by embracing this mindset, we can find meaning, purpose (and even salvation) in even the most difficult situations.

Therefore, instead of succumbing to frustration or despair, we can ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this? What is Hashem trying to tell me?”

This also encourages us to be patient with ourselves and our progress, realizing that Hashem is behind everything. While progress is always great, sometimes we just need to wait as Rebbe Nachman also teaches in Likutey Moharan.

4. God’s Real-Time Updates

One of the most powerful life principles to keep in mind is that “God is updating Creation in real time and with unimaginable compassion and love” and it highlights the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of Creation and our lives. According to Kabbalah, God is not a distant, passive observer but an active participant in the unfolding of creation.

What we think, speak and feel are the inputs that will come back to us. Some cultures call it Karma, but in Kabbalah it is called the secret of Mayim Nukvin (feminine waters) and Mayim Dukhrin (masculine waters), or an “awakening from below that generates an awakening from above.

Embracing this principle invites us to trust in the process of life, even when it seems unpredictable or challenging. When we acknowledge that Hashem is continuously updating creation, we recognize that there is a higher intelligence at work, guiding and shaping our experiences for our highest benefit, which is the Olam HaBah. This perspective can be incredibly comforting, especially during times of uncertainty or difficulty. It reassures us that we are never alone and that every twist and turn in our journey is carefully orchestrated.

DALL·E 2024 04 01 12.17.08 Two ancient Jewish men are engaged in a fierce discussion in a historical courtroom setting. The men are dressed in traditional Jewish attire relevant

5. God’s Clues and Synchronicities

Have you ever experienced a moment where everything seemed to fall into place perfectly? These synchronicities are not mere coincidences; they are messages from Hashem. Pay attention to these signs—they are clues that can guide you on your path. By being aware and attentive, you’ll find that the answers you seek are often right in front of you. Trust in these divine hints to lead you where you need to go.

This life principle emphasizes the importance of awareness and mindfulness wherever you are. According to Kabbalah, Creation is filled with signs and messages from Hashem, guiding us towards our true path and helping us navigate life’s challenges. These signs can come in the form of seemingly coincidental events, meaningful encounters, or sudden insights that offer clarity and direction. By being attuned to these synchronicities, we can receive divine guidance and align ourselves more closely with our spiritual purpose.

This can happen whether we are studying and find the same Pasuk (verse) in 2 or 3 different books, or hear two different people say the same idea and so on. This last Friday, as I was buying Halva, the young man from the store started asking me things and even my name (which is unusual). When I paid, I saw that the price was 68 Shekels, which is the exact Gematria as Chaim (חיים)

Practicing this principle involves cultivating a heightened sense of awareness and being present in the moment. It’s about paying attention to the details and recognizing the significance of events that might otherwise seem random. For instance, meeting someone unexpectedly who provides the exact advice you needed or repeatedly seeing a particular symbol that resonates with your current situation can be seen as a message from God.

Generally, synchronicities often serve as affirmations that we are on the right path, offering reassurance and encouragement but we should always temper it with reason.

6. No One Escapes the Spiritual Mechanism

Regardless of who you are, everyone is part of the spiritual mechanism of creation and Tikkun. Each of us serves a higher power, whether it’s God, our inner inclinations, or past incarnations.

This life principle teaches us that in Kabbalistic thought, everyone, regardless of their spiritual awareness or life circumstances, is bound by the same divine rules and processes. This means that every person is part of the grand design of creation and its Tikkun (even if it’s just as a bad example).

This is a slap in the face of atheists, who think that they “are free from God” because they don’t “believe in Him”. As I explained in my article about reincarnation, you are beholden to your soul and up to another 6 souls that came to this life with you.

It’s also important to note that our base consciousness is only a very minor part of the lowest level of the soul (the Nefesh) that is vested in the body. The part higher than that which is the Ruach (which few people merit to reveal) is unbelievably wiser and more powerful than the Nefesh. The Neshama which is higher than the Ruach is beyond our imagination, the Chaya is higher than the Neshama and the Yechida will only be revealed in Olam HaBah.

Think that the higher levels are all negotiating with Hashem to make sure you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Internalizing this can significantly shift our perspective on life’s challenges and the behaviors of others. When we see everyone as part of the same spiritual mechanism, it becomes easier to practice empathy and patience.

7. Difficulty Means You’re on the Right Path

Great achievements don’t come easily. Generally (but not always), if you’re facing challenges, it’s often a sign that you’re on the right path. The effort required to move closer to God and fulfill your purpose is significant, but it’s also deeply rewarding. Remember that obstacles are not just tests; they are confirmations that you are striving for something meaningful.

The Chofetz Chaim had tremendous opposition and difficulties writing the Mishnah Berurah over a period of 22 years. Stay the course and know that your perseverance is a testament to your commitment to spiritual growth.

In Kabbalah, these obstacles are seen as necessary tests and refinements that help us develop our Middot (character traits). They are not merely roadblocks but essential components of our spiritual journey that signal progress and alignment with Hashem’s will.

Understanding this principle can transform how we respond to challenges. Instead of feeling discouraged or defeated when faced with obstacles, we can see them as indicators that we are making important strides in our spiritual and personal growth. These difficulties push us to dig deeper, to find inner reserves of strength and wisdom that we might not have realized we possessed. Once they are acquired they become ours forever.

Remember that Kedusha (holiness) requires effort and sacrifice.

Tumah (impurity) is free (most of the times).

8. The Law of Manifestation

I know this sounds like some “new-age-y” thing, but the Law of Manifestation is grounded in Kabbalah and Chassidut. I’m only borrowing the name here.

This law posits that our thoughts, beliefs, and intentions have the power to shape our reality. This principle teaches us that by aligning our mental and emotional states with our desired outcomes, we can bring (manifest) those outcomes into existence. And this is why it’s so important not to covet another person’s spouse; because we are literally “attracting” them to us.

Essentially, the energy we project through our thoughts and feelings directly influences the spiritual worlds and can then be manifested in the physical realm. After all, this is the basis for all Kavanot and Yichudium. Not only that, but this life principle teaches us the importance of maintaining a positive and focused mindset, as it is through this mental clarity and intention that we create our reality.

For those who are new, visualization is the process of creating a detailed mental image of the desired outcome, which helps to reinforce the belief that it is achievable. This is also in line with Principle #4 of Mayim Nukvin and Mayim Dukhrin.

The reason is simple: every form of energy that we release and that keeps being repeated reinforces its imprint in the higher realms. At one point in the future, depending on the strength of the imprint, the result is bound to become manifested one way or another.

9. The Power of Intention

Intention or will is from the Sephira of Keter, and is the driving force behind our actions.

In Kabbalah, setting clear and positive intentions is vital for spiritual growth. Always make a plan to where you want to be and what you want to achieve. We generally set intentions for Rosh Hashanah, but we have to keep setting intentions every time we want to do something.

Intentions are the driving force behind our actions, infusing them with meaning and direction. When we set clear and positive intentions, we align ourselves with our higher purpose and the divine will, making it more likely that our efforts will lead to fulfilling outcomes (see previous principle).

In practice, harnessing the power of intention involves being mindful and deliberate about our motivations before taking action. This ensures the will flows from the highest Sephira of Keter (will) down to Malkhut (actualization).

It’s not easy, and this requires regular self-reflection and a conscious effort to align our intentions with our values and goals. For instance, before engaging in a significant activity or making a decision, we can pause to consider the underlying reasons and desired outcomes. Are we acting out of love, compassion, and a desire to contribute positively, or are we driven by ego, fear, or selfishness? This requires some Hitbodedut (self seclusion), but will ultimately help us realize whether we will succeed or not before investing time and effort.

Being aware of the power of intention empowers us to reach expanded states of consciousness (it’s good for meditation) and living a life that reflects our deepest values and highest aspirations.

10. The Principle of Reflection

The world around us acts as a mirror, reflecting our inner state. Ultimately, the life you have is a reflection of what you are. While this mind sound outlandish, the experiences and people we encounter serve as reflections of our own thoughts, feelings, and actions.

When faced with challenges or conflicts, instead of blaming external factors, look inward to understand what is being reflected back to you. This introspective approach can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of oneself.

DALL·E 2024 03 07 12.26.58 In this imaginative variation we witness an even more expanded ancient Jewish family gathering now including the man with a turban his wife five c

Concluding remarks

Kabbalah offers an outstanding wisdom that can transform how we perceive and navigate our lives for the better.

Incorporating these teachings into your daily life can lead to significant positive changes. As you become more mindful of your thoughts, words, and actions, you’ll notice a shift in your perspective and interactions. Challenges will become opportunities for growth, and synchronicities will affirm that you’re on the right path. By seeing every experience as part of your soul’s journey, you’ll develop a resilient and optimistic outlook, knowing that everything is unfolding for your highest good.

In summary: Hashem will become more evident.

Remember, spiritual growth is a continuous journey. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you go about your business.

And remember: It’s all for the best!

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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