Daniela Abravanel, could you tell us about your spiritual experiences?
My journey has been truly guided by some Great Masters who have managed to take care of me even when I was far away. I began my spiritual journey in Mexico when in 1980 I was looking for Don Juan and Castaneda.
I come from a secular Jewish family which, even if it came from the roots of great kabbalists, practiced a purely cultural Judaism rather than a spiritual and mystical one; their approach managed to make me lose faith in God. When I read about Castaneda, I said:
There is something interesting here and I want to look for Don Juan.
I found a Najual Maya who was 120 years old and who was one of the last if not the last descendant of the Mayan astronomers and the ancient Medicine Men. When I met him, I was really inexperienced in spirituality. I did not understand why, once I arrived ten meters from his palapa, Mayan hut in the jungle, I began to feel such a strong vibrations that my ears were buzzing. I understood somehow I was entering another dimension.
When I became his disciple, the thing that moved me most about him was his total humility. It is no coincidence that one of the spiritual figures recognized in all abramic religions, Moses, was described in the Bible as the humblest man ever existed on earth. Panchito put me to the test ever since I first came to him. He understood what my shortcomings were and pushed me to wake up.
He started putting my ego under pressure. No one can imagine what a curandero, a real shaman, can do. He specialized in astral traveling and overcame the laws of gravity and space and time. He could leave a flower near my bed when I was sleeping in a different village, Also he predicted the future through his astral travels. He could talk to me about intimate things that no one could ever know except me. When he returned from his travels to other worlds his assistant had to literally hold him and accompany him in his hammock, he would not be able, due to his tiredness for having travelled in other worlds, even walk alone.
Following his instructions, he pushed me to leave Mexico and explore the Spirit. Somewhere I had to learn to serve God. He had already shared all he knew with me he said. So I went to India. There the guru in Rishikesh told me “being Jewish is Karma...why do you not want to learn the Tora…”. I ignored his advise till in Dharamsala a lama gave me a book “The thrirteen Petal Rose”, a book written by the rabbi who would be my reacher, for decades...I read the book fell in love with the Kabalah and travelled to Israel. Met with Rav Adin Steinsaltz considered the wisest scholar of this century. He accepted me as his disciple and is still my spiritual mentor.
even if he passed away about six months ago, he is still guiding me, in my dreams and meditations. …
After 25 years in Israel and three kids, I was frustrated about the inevitable corruption of most rabbis in Israel. I had realized also Judaism was going through a strong bureaucratic decadence.There is a clear concept in the Kabbalah that tells of the corruption of generations, a process in which the spiritual principles of every religion decay, almost by inertia. I mean, all organized religions have fallen, including Christianity and Islam . So, as a result of this lack of spiritual integrity many Jews turn to Kabalah, many Muslims to Sufism and the western world turns to Eastern Religions or to Shamanism.
Seing I was starting to miss the ideals I had learnt all those years in religious academies, rav Adin pushed me to go back to Italy. To start teaching instead of learning. I wrote various books and gave so many conferences all over Italy, sharing what I had studied in those 20 years of passionate learning. When I returned to Italy I also came in contact with a Rabbi named Scialom Bahbout. He was very concerned with the descendants of the Jews of Trani and all the Jews in southern Italy; Sicily, Calabria, Puglia and Campania. They felt unaccepted by Jewish communities and did not see their desire to reconnect to roots..
Under his directives I began to give conferences in Bari, in Trani and in all these places in the south of Italy. Gradually a passion for sharing my love for the Kabbalah grew in me. Soon I was teaching especially to people of non-Jewish origin.. Most of my readers had jewish origins or felt they were somehow connected to the Torah. Actually it is written in the Holy Scriptures that Jewish converts are souls who had heard the Torah and the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai Revelation but when they witnessed this cosmic event, they were not in flesh and blood. They were present but in a spiritual soul dimension. When they incarnated they felt the need to become Jews and many of them are the gerim, converts to Judaism.
Some converts are reincarnations of Jews who died in the hoocuast.. In a book, “Born form Ashes” it explained how a Rabbi (who was also a psychologist) found out that many of his patients, under hypnosis or in dreams, had realized that they had died in the Holocaust.The Rabbi's thesis was very unique: because 6 million souls suddenly passed away during the Shoa, these same souls, during the process of reincarnating into a body, could not find a candidate family of Jewish race . Many of them could not be born into Jewish families due to the fact that their lineage had been decimated after the Nazis genocide. And there was no room available for any Jewish new born baby in jewish homes.... So they had to incarnate into non Jewish families. Many of them gradually found their place back in Jewish communities. Many of them managed to convert to Judaism
A very dear friend and student of mine told me that before converting to Judaism she had terrible dreams in which she kept seeing the crematory ovens and kept seeing a number on her arm, and she used to wake up startled by that nightmare. She kept having this terrible experience until she had a much clearer dream in which she saw herself in an unexpected guise. She was a Capo, the Jew who puts the Jews in the crematory ovens; she had burned her people in order not to be killed by Nazis. So when she understood this she put all her efforts to convert and her nightmares ended.
Returning to us, however, after a period in Italy the Jewish community disappointed my expectations too, they had used me as a good bait to be able to attract a lot of Jews who were no interested in the way the Torah was taught. My way of teaching was so full of enthusiasm, my books were so full of psychology and...much more..., that everyone was starting to show up at cultural Jewish events.
But soon I realized that there was too much business, most rabbis were buracrats, happy of their salaries but had lost much of the pure spirit of the Torah. I was ready to leave again but did not have the courage. The mystical aspect was too little highlighted while othodoxy and kasherut (that was a billion dollars business... at the expenses of animal suffering) became the center. I was moving away gradually,, when suddenly something happened to me; when God wants to send you out of a place if you don't go alone he kicks you and makes you go out, like it or not. I have had some family problems that I prefer not to describe.
Again my guide, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz told me it is time to leave again. Leh Leha...Like God said to Abraham...Leave your country, home, family culture and go to the land I will show you...He advised me to go to California where I had something important to learn for my curriculum as a healer and a scholar, and where my children had to ‘breath the spirit of freedom’ and of Nature that had died in Europe. After that, he advised me to return to Latin America to create a spiritual healing center based on Kabala, where there would be a strong connection with the world of animals and plants, in the jungle. This had also been the plan of Panchito, when he invited me to leave Mexico and come back with a deeper knowledge of God and the ways to serve Him and his creation.
Before doing this the Rabbi told me, you have to go to California for a while because you have to let your children breathe a little bit of spiritual freedom; you will see that something will happen. In fact, I enrolled in a Taoist school of Chinese medicine. Together we also followed the Tai Chi classes. Jung's school of depth psychology was very important for me, this experience was something that enriched me a lot and helped me to finally understand the cabala itself with more information and insights.
We have created this place that we called Tikun which in Hebrew means not only repairing but learning and improving it. It is as if at a certain point a rope tears where the knot exists; right in the strongest place in the string.
What do you do in life?
In Mexico I created Tikun holistic center in the island of Cozumel: I gathered all the healing strategies I learnt ...and that was exactly what Panchito had told me : 'One day you will go back to Mexico don't worry'. For 3 years we have been working in this beautiful center that we have created from nothing, very close to the sea but to the jungle too, safely connected to the wilderness.
In the jungle everything grows and it is an incredible experience to see birds, colors, medicinal herbs and fruit, truly incredible! All my studies were useful in the en, even my studies in Philosophy, in Family Therapy, and the kabbalah and Archetypal psychology and Astrology, Alchemy and shamanism...Kabalah is still the center of everything, because the power of Jewish prayer and mantras has been for me such a strong and healing experience…
Before this pandemic many people used to come here for yoga retreats, but they were given much more than this: from a basic discourse as proper food being the most important thing to heal and nourish our body, the Temple of our spirit. Not only proper food but also mindfulness is needed. We teach people the basic strategies to extract nutrients from their meals: chew until the food is liquid, be nourished by its smell, colour and texture, get in touch with its soul, its divine spark. And here is when prayer and blessing comes in, before and after meals’ When I say prayer I do not only mean classic prayers from the book ..It can be any form of expression of our gratefulness, our appreciation of God’s caring for us.
Then we use various “embodying” strategies such as Dance, Qi Gong, Sweat Lodge, Yoga, and deep diving in the caribbean ocean. People generally came here for yoga retreats most of the time but some are looking for some spiritual awakening or healing experience (either overcoming destructive eating habits, or compulsive behaviors, or deep wounds). I still receive letters from people about the unsexpected healing they experienced just with one or two sessions of psychotherapy with me (supported by an archetypal astrology reading), or a session with Maria Coro, an acupuncturist who also gives amazing massages; she has a touch that heals the soul not just the body. You can check some of our activities on the net: Holistic Tikun. Org. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, not many people have the courage to travel. So most of the classes and psychotherapies today are offered online, especially the archetypal and transgenerational psychology sessions: therapies that have changed the life of many people, just with one or two sessions...
My dream? To create a community, totally self-sustainable, with people who share ideals, spiritual and moral values ... and who are also ready to practice bartering. Anyone, from a psychotherapist, a musician or gardener, should be giving and exchanging their unique contribution to the community. Obviously if some visitors want they can purchase services. I believe though that the world is changing and that many people will not need or want to use money. Only dynamic and human currency.
In this community I would like to recreate the experience of the Prophets; an experience of mind expansion that was primarily musical. Music is an ideal tool for channeling light and power. I would like many musicians to live in this community. And many therapists, like the Essenes ...on the DeadSea. 2000 years ago. I would like to gather a tribe, a group of people capable of truly serving one another according to their abilities. A sort of extended family. Where all the purest aspects of religion will have a place.
Today people are very eager for connection between religions but unfortunately official religions don't really want this to happen. One of the signs of the Messiah is that everyone will know God and will need no rabbis or priests to teach them because ‘the knowledge of God will cover the world like the waters of the sea, there will no longer be a need for any intermediary. Between man and God. It will be just a sharing of the Light. In fact when Maimonides said that a rabbi should have a job and should not receive a salary to share his spiritutal knowledge meant that he should not turn into a salaried bureaucrat and let himself be corrupted by the communities.
Are you writing other books?
I am writing three other books, one is on Chinese medicine and the Cabala because I have found in the principles of Taoism incredible connections and analogy between the disciplines. For example, when a baby is in the mother's womb in the Cabala it is written that an angel holds a candle on his head and explains to him which will be the tests he will have to face and tells him how to overcome them. Then when the baby is coming out of the mother's belly this same Angel touches him and gives him a slap on the upper part of his lip, making him forget everything, after which he tells him ‘be righteous'. How can he ask the baby to do this if he caused him to forget the whole script? The angel relies on the fact that everything he has taught to him and all of that knowledge has been stored into the subconscious.That is why one the most important precept in the Bible is ‘Remember’....
Chinese medicine tells the same story, adding the reason why the angel makes the newborn forget everything: if the soul knew all that it would have to suffer, it may refuse to incarnate. As you can see there is an incredible potential for mutual enrichment between disciplines
The other book I'm working on is about Jung's psychology and the Kabala, Obviously this will also touch the role and teachings of Jesus' and the Essenes, which are a formidable bridge between Judaism and Christianity.
I'm also dedicating myself to writing an autobiographical book, a novel that I hope to finish within a year, in which I read my life through the interpretative key of the archetypes, this allows me to see my life not as mine alone but as the life of an entire generation and to recognize a spirit that passes through the generations and the invitations it gives to resolve unfinished themes and dynamics that we inherit from our ancestors.
How is the Coronavirus changing the world?
It is obliging us to exploring the potential of the means of communication that allow us to transcend enormous distances that once we could not have overcome. This is a decidedly revolutionary aspect that great rabbis hoped for: they said that actually one of the reasons why the knowledge of the Cabala and the great prophets did not spread is that in those days there was no internet.
The concept of Messiah is a truth that can be revealed and understood by all human beings but must be able to reach everyone: the Internet if used in the proper way could be useful for this purpose, even if presently it reveals the unpreparedness of this world leaders, of its politicians and technicians to use it to bring forth Redemption. To make an example: each religion generally has its own medicine: Islam had it, Judaism had it, etc. ... each one was aware that getting sick was a karmic fact as well as a lack of sexual discipline, proper eating habits and management of the sleep-wake rhythm . Unfotunately the use of the internet today is still leaving masses in a state of oblivion, behaving like a great flock relying on a pharmaceutical mentality that is completely external to the religious experience. That is why I am beginning to doubt the veracity and authenticity of organized religions and am asking what the relationship with God and Mother Earth is.
Bruce Lipton said:
"if we continue like this the planet will vomit us out because we are only parasites"
climate change affects us all, but the planet will survive anyway, for example in Chernobyl everything has been destroyed and yet nature has now regained control and foxes and other wild animals are seen living there. You don't have to save the planet but save yourself, beware "you are crossing the border".
I think people who are truly connected have understood that it is God who is giving us what we deserve. A friend of mine reflected, she said that when the holocaust took place practically what happened is that the lungs of millions and millions of people were targeted because millions of people were suffocated: now almost 100 years later fate is throwing us back into this criticality and we are dumping it on the planet, suffocating it in turn without taking up the challenge and the task that this experience is providing us globally. There has always been a transcendent Divine aspect and an immanent one and unfortunately the immanent one has disappeared.
In many religions these rites of connection with mother earth, with consecrated nature, are lacking. The Sufis, the Kabbalists and the Taoists know that God is in nature and in the tree of life but generally the consecrated religions think differently and flatten the believers’ faith.