Seeking Peace

My heart has wept many times over the last few years over the seemingly endless and violent conflicts between some of the worlds religious traditions and cultures. Like so many others, I have yearned to find a way to help bring about peace between the faiths. From this place of deep yearning, I began developing an interfaith daily practice to see if I could personally find and affirm an energetic harmony between the traditions. To my amazement the practices of the different faiths that I was exploring merged into one long beautiful sacred dance of movement, meditation, contemplation, chanting, and visualization. As part of this sacred dance I was guided to look up the words for peace in different languages and was further moved to develop an Interfaith and Integral Spirituality iPeace Mantra which I now perform several times a day.

This iPeace Mantra that emerged from my practice is a compilation of eight words for PEACE from eight different languages used to represent the eight major streams of world religions: Primal Traditions, Paganism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. The words are arranged in the chronological/historical order of the emergence of each of these faiths. The purpose and intent of this mantra is to nurture and amplify personal and collective peace.


The eight words of the iPeace Mantra are:

Sipala Sith Shanti Shalom T'ai Sidi Pax Salaam.

Sipala is the Hopi word for peace and represents the Primal Traditions (Shamanic , Aboriginal, etc).

Sith is the Gaelic word for peace and represents the Pagan Traditions (Goddess, Druid, Celtic, Wicca , Greek, etc.).

Shanti is the Hindi word for peace and represents the Hindu and Sikh traditions.

Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace and represents the Judaic and Kabbalistic traditions.

T’ai is a Chinese word for peace and represents the Taoist and Confucian traditions.

Sidi is the Tibetan word for peace and represents the Buddhist tradition.

Pax is the Latin word for peace and represents Christianity .

Salaam is the Aramaic word for peace and represents Islam and Sufism.


As part of this practice, I also developed the above iPeace Mandala with the words of the iPeace Mantra and symbols from each tradition set within a mandala pattern created by a dear friend of mine, artist Maja Apolonia Rode.

The iPeace Mantra and Mandala can be found at the iPeace Project web page.

The Ten Lessons

One of the most difficult elements of the Passover story for me has always been the ten plagues. As a child I was terrified at the description of a God who would administer such suffering. As I studied the mystical interpretations of these events I found a deeper meaning that has helped me hold these archetypal elements in a way that brings me closer to spirit.
The world was created with ten Divine statements.
The ten statements of creation brought the world into being
in a manner in which the energy of spirit
that maintains its existence
was hidden.
The ten plagues were actually ten lessons
that sought to break through
the veils of concealment
and allow for
the revelation
of that
Divine power
to enter our consciousness
through the giving of
the Ten Commandments,
the Ten Precepts.
-Rabbi Yehudah Arieh Leib of Gur.

According to this mystical interpretation, each lesson or plague shattered an illusion of human power over nature and of the powers of idolized gods, thus revealing that there was a single Divine force at work in the world. Once all ten lessons occurred, the human ego (Pharaoh) surrendered its control to the higher Self (Moses) and the rest of the human psyche (the children of Israel) so that the mind and heart of each person who was to receive the Ten Precepts would be open to receiving them.

This process was created by the Divine to establish a profound experience for humanity to aid in the awakening of the Divine self within all beings. It was a symbolic and a literal example of Divine principles at work within the individual, collective, and unitive heart and mind. To this end, the Divine led the children of Israel, the Awakening Self, into the land of bondage/narrowness (Egypt/Mitzrayim) with the intention of freeing them by means of the Ten Lessons.

And the Divine “…hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to have the opportunity to display many miraculous signs and wonders in the land of narrowness;” (Exodus 7:3) proving the existence of the one true Source of Life and shattering the belief in false gods and human powers.
These are the Ten Lessons
that the Divine
brought upon the land of Mitzrayim, 

the consciousness of narrowness;
each lesson revealing
a Divine aspect
of creation:

Lesson/Plague (Hebrew) Lesson/Plague (English) Represented Divine Aspects of Creation
Dom Blood All sustenance comes from the Divine
Tzifardeyah Frogs All support comes from the Divine
Keenim Lice All integrity comes from the Divine
Arov Wild Beasts All endurance comes from the Divine
Dever Pestilence All beauty comes from the Divine
Shicheen Boils All justice comes from the Divine
Barahd Hail All mercy comes from the Divine
Arbeh Locusts All understanding comes from the Divine
Choshech Darkness All wisdom comes from the Divine
Makat Bichorot Death of Firstborn All life and death comes from the Divine


Buber, M. (1947). Ten Rungs. New York: Citadel Press.

Kaplan, M. A. (2003). A Mystical Passover: A Transformational Passover Haggadah. Pacific Grove, CA: Original Gravity.

Touger, E. (1988). The Chassidic Haggadah. New York: Moznaim Publishing.

*Image: The Ten Plagues
*Originally published on KabbalahBlog hosted by

Season of Liberation

The Jewish holiday of Passover (Pesach) is approaching. As part of my personal journey of healing, studies, and return to the Judaic path, I have explored the meaning, purpose, and practices of this important holiday through a process of spiritual exegesis. This process consisted of a radical interpretation of the Passover rituals and prayers into a language and process that resonated with my own heart while also attempting to honor the heart of Judaism itself. Through this technique I endeavored to heal old wounds and purge myself of the obstacles between the Divine and myself in relation to this important Judaic ritual of liberation.

There are three basic levels of text interpretation in the Jewish tradition: Literal-Biblical, Theoretical-Talmudic, and Mystical-Kabbalistic (Fishbane, 1998; Kenton, 1980). Literal-Biblical text interpretation includes the historical, biblical and narrative levels of the material. Theoretical-Talmudic text interpretation consists of the extrapolation of the philosophical, ethical, moral and religious doctrines, laws and teachings that are woven into the fabric of the written material. Mystical-Kabbalistic text interpretation seeks to unearth the hidden and concealed metaphysical teachings buried in the text.

On the literal level of interpretation, Passover is a ritualistic retelling of the story of a historical biblical event, the Israelites’ liberation from bondage in Egypt. On the theoretical level, the story and rituals of Passover have many philosophical, ethical, moral and religious lessons to teach us about human behavior and the human endeavor to live according to the teachings of the religion of Judaism. Traditionally, the rituals of Passover, including the Passover Seder, tend to focus on these two levels of interpretation and understanding.

In the Jewish mystical tradition, Passover can also be seen as a powerful vehicle for personal and communal psycho-spiritual development. From the Mystical-Kabbalistic perspective, the Passover story of a people being freed from the bondage of slavery is transformed into a road map for how an individual can be freed from the bondage of limited consciousness (Kenton, 1980); the land of Egypt becomes the realm of narrowness of body and mind, and Moses becomes the Higher Self being called upon by the Divine to free all the different voices of the psyche (the children of Israel, the Awakening Self) from the bondage of the ego (Pharaoh).

This mystical level of interpretation became my pathway through the metaphysical gates of these ancient and sacred rites of inner and outer freedom, leading me to the discovery a personally transformative psycho-spiritual Passover experience. The final product of this endeavor was the creation of a Mystical Passover handbook or Haggadah (Kaplan, 2003) which I now use ever year at this time.


Fishbane, M. (1998). The Exegetical Imagination: On Jewish Thought and Theology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Kaplan, M. A. (2003). A Mystical Passover: A Transformational Passover Haggadah. Pacific Grove, CA: Original Gravity.

Kenton, W. (1980). Kabbalah and Exodus. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc.

*Image: Mystical Sedar Plate revealing the inner dimensions of the physical symbols.

*Originally published on KabbalahBlog hosted by