UNDER THE TABLE
& How to Get Up!
Jewish Pathways of Spiritual Growth

by Avraham ben Yaakov

Unabridged FREE online version
Just follow the links below
to the chapter of your choice

"The king's son had gone crazy. He thought he was a turkey. He felt he had to sit naked under the table and eat crumbs. None of the doctors could do anything for him. Until a mysterious Wise Man appeared, sat down right next to the Prince, and cured him in a simple and highly original way."

Read and loved by many thousands, this compelling modern classic takes an informal look at the most important issue we all face: how to discover ourselves and attain genuine fulfilment in life. The funny but profound Chassidic tale of the Turkey-Prince provides the framework for this handbook of easy-to-apply Jewish teachings on ways of developing the higher self, including faith, positive thinking, Torah study, prayer, caring for the body, relaxation, sensible diet, breathing, exercise, meditation, song, dance, joy, harnessing the power of words... and friendship.
 

Introduction

The Story of the Turkey-Prince

Turkey!

Under the Table

Order vs. Meaninglessness * The Paradox of Creation * A World of Choice * The Torah * Faith * Turkey Consciousness * The Soul in This World * The Nefesh * The Battle of Wills * Clothing of the Soul * Communication * Badges of the King * Crumbs and Bones * Truth and Madness * "The Prince felt compelled..." * "He thought he was a Turkey" * The Story of the Tainted Grain

The Wise Man and His Cure

Humility * Faith * Finding the Good * Patience * Simplicity * Breaking the Whole into Small Parts * Time * The Wise One Within Us

The Art of Sitting

Yishuv Ha-Da'at * Bilbul Ha-Da'at * Quiet Sitting * Learning the Technique * Progressive Relaxation * Physical Relaxation, Mental Attention * Applications * The Art of the Pause

Crumbs and Bones

Body, Mind and Soul * Eating * What You Eat: Kashrut * What You Eat: Diet for a Clear Head * When and How Much to Eat * How You Eat: Please and Thank You * Fasting * Changing Food Habits * Breathing * The Breath and the Soul * Controlling States of Mind Through Breathing * Breathing in Kabbalah and Chassidut * Breathing Practice * The Exhalation * The Pause * The Inhalation * The Complete Breath * Hyperventilation * Breathing in Daily Life * Breathing in Meditation and Prayer * Renewal: A Kavanah for Breathing * Exercise * What Kind of Exercise? * The Soul and the Body

"Who are you and what are you doing here?"

"What?" * Meditation * Hisbodidus: Time for Yourself * The Power of Words * Talking to Your Self * Prayer * Out Loud * Hisbodidus in Practice * How long? * How often? * When? * Where? * Posture * Procedure * What do you do in Hisbodidus? * Sitting, Breathing and Awareness * Getting in Touch * Confession * Surface Patterns, Deeper Causes * Your Goals * How can you attain what you want? * Praying to God and Talking to Yourself * Your Pen is Your Friend * The Process of Hisbodidus * Getting Started & Keeping Going *"I'm a Turkey !" * When Things Are Going Against You * The Honest Truth * The Truth Need Not Hurt

Putting on the Shirts

The Limits of Meditation * Torah Study * What to Study * When to Study * How to Study *"You can wear a shirt and still be a Turkey!"

The Trousers

"After a while..." * The Trousers * Prayer * The Fixed Prayers * The Set Prayers: How to Pray * Praying in Hebrew * Praying with a Minyan * Having Faith and Making Time * Out of the Mouth, Into the Ear * Devotion * Distracting Thoughts * Fervor * "You can be a Turkey and still wear trousers"

From Strength to Strength: Joy and Song

The Yoke of Torah * Looking for the Good * Your Good Points * The Music of Life * In Hisbodidus * In All of Life * Music * Dance * Other Ways to Keep Happy

The Royal Food: Faith

The Story of the Clay-digger * How did the Clay-digger stay happy? *;Faith and Personal Growth * Trust * Food for the Soul and Food for the Body * Fundamentals of Faith * Emunah: The Twenty-Four- Hour-a-Day Meditation * "You can eat good food and still be a Turkey"

Up to the Table: The Personal Connection

Avodat HaShem: Service of God * Yir'ah and Ahavah * Ups and Downs * Daring * The Table - Speech * The Divine Conversation * The Dangers of Subjectivity * Finding a Teacher * Friendship

The Last Laugh

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Azamra means "I will sing" (Psalms 146:2)

"And the way to sing the song of joy is by seeking the good in all people, especially in ourselves. Each good point is one more note in the song of life!"

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov