On Yom Kippur, praying with intention

How to access your infinity and create the life you desire.

Praying with intention (photo credit: NECHAMA JACOBSON)
Praying with intention
(photo credit: NECHAMA JACOBSON)
Prayer is meant to be transformative. On Yom Kippur, prayer is meant to transport you to a state of total blissful unity with the Divine, liberating your consciousness and allowing you the opportunity to create yourself anew. This is why Yom Kippur is considered to be one of the most joyful days of the year.
 Like a mikveh ritual bath, the day itself has an energy that purifies, releasing you from the binds of your past deeds, to enable you to choose a new reality beyond anything your experience has known. Additionally, the prayer process – if done with intention – can be the ultimate transformational experience. What is the secret behind this capacity to transform so completely, and how can you best make use of this evolutionary upgrade?
Yom Kippur is the anniversary of when Moses received the second set of tablets and experienced the highest revelation of God’s glory, as God passed before him and called out the 13 attributes of Divine Mercy. We know that proclaiming those 13 attributes has the effect of taking us from a place of constriction to a place of expansion.
The Baal Shem Tov taught us that wherever your thoughts are, that is where you are located. Put your mind on Godliness and you will be located in an exalted reality. Research shows that just two minutes of focusing on the Godly emotions of forgiveness, loving-kindness, compassion, will vibrationally bring you into that joyful space of being, and create coherence between your brain and your heart, causing your body to produce endorphins that support life and regrowth. The more you connect to God, the more your body naturally aligns with a higher state of wellbeing.
We understand from science that the vast majority of our awareness and experience is unconscious: instinctual, emotional and habitual programming that we have learned and ingrained through repetition. Our logical conscious creative awareness makes up a mere 5% of our overall consciousness. That means we are not making conscious decisions most of the time. In order to effect change and move beyond the unconscious wiring, you must be greater than your instinctual habits and your emotional reactions.
Yom Kippur, then, is an opportunity to divest yourself of these ego attachments. The ego defines itself by these finite terms of likes and dislikes and orientations to various people, places, and things. But your essential self does not. And when you go through the evolutionary teshuva (repentance) process of Yom Kippur, you free yourself from that cycle of unconscious conditioning, returning to your true eternal self, and become free to choose your identity from that place of oneness with eternity.
What do you want your future to look and feel like? This is the place where creation happens.
Come with a vision of what you want to release into the past and create in its place.
Many will say that fasting just makes it harder to focus with a grumbling stomach or dry mouth. Refraining from food and drink is to demonstrate mastery over your body and the ability to override your programming. Just because you are experiencing thirst does not mean that you have to drink. Just because you are feeling annoyed doesn’t mean that you have to react. Yom Kippur is about stepping into the knowing that you are greater than your bodily sensations and ego desires. You can go beyond them and create something expansive. Change comes when you go beyond what your ego has known, into a space of faith and courage, of open possibility. Our ego attachments make us feel small and afraid, limiting our vision and holding us back with the illusion of safety.
Thus, the process of teshuva helps liberate the ego of it’s emotional baggage. When verbally confessing the wrongs committed, you bring the unconscious to the conscious realm, allowing the self to become more fully integrated and whole. You no longer have to hide or reject parts of your experience.
Releasing judgment on yourself releases blocked energy, which then creates access for higher frequency emotions and thoughts to enter your experience. If you want to upgrade your life, then start accepting yourself and others. A sense of regret for what you have done wrong is a recognition that it is not who you really are or would like to be.
Letting go and releasing the need to justify it – as well as giving it over to God to take care of for you – is an act of faith that bonds you to God. Committing not to repeat those same mistakes, to be more conscious in the future, is an acknowledgment of your ability to change. Something amazing happens when you own your mistakes and admit them out loud. Suddenly, they don’t have the same hold over you, and a new energy is released into your system – opening your heart to feel greater joy and expansive love and hope in the future. The necessary discomfort of the shame that is inherent in facing your regrets and asking for forgiveness is alleviated by the pleasure of accessing your godly self and evolving forward in your life.
The “self” is made up of five different levels of soul consciousness, from the lower-frequency and so-called “animal soul” – which contains your instinctual, emotional and intellectual ego functions – to your higher-level “divine soul” consciousness, the Experiencer of all your experiences, and beyond even that: your purest life force.
When you move through the five prayer services of Yom Kippur, they each unlock a level of soul, releasing your consciousness to be more fully known. So that when you enter the final Ne’ila prayer service, you are in a state of total oneness with the divine. Here you may plant the seeds to your whole new reality. At the finale of the service, before the shofar is blown, envision your new future that you will create. Connect to that new experience of self: feel your purpose, pleasure and love radiate from within. Allow that to reverberate out from the epicenter of your soul to your entire life. Declare one new action that you will take in the new year in the direction of your desired vision. And feel the immense gratitude in knowing that your prayer is already being fulfilled.
Time, space and soul collide on Yom Kippur into the highest potential for blessings as the High Priest enters the holiest inner sanctum of the Temple at this auspicious time of the year. Like the High Priest, we too dress in white and refrain from all worldly pleasures. We, too, perform the sacrifices of the day, as we offer the services of our heart in prayer, shedding the layers of ego through repeated confession and focus on the greatness of God. We progress into an increasingly elevated consciousness and enter into our personal holiest inner temple – our most essential divine self. There we experience a sublime union with the Omnipotent Source of all that was, is and will be. An intimate loving encounter with Infinity.
We are taught that teshuva can happen in an instant. We are living in exciting times where neuroscience and brain imaging can map out the changes in real time that occur when someone enters into a heightened experience of Oneness. The brain rewires so that it no longer triggers the same reactions. Know your compassion and truth and connect with your eternity, get in touch with who you really are, come face-to-face with God and you will change. We are a priestly nation. Like the face of Moses and the High Priests after their close encounter with Divinity, you, too, can shine with godly light.
The writer is a Jerusalem-based licensed psychotherapist and energy healer, who incorporates spiritual elements into her therapy and workshops.  yochevedkalev.com