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Rabbi Rami: "I Find Myself Wishing My Dad Would Die?"

Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler

My dad is dying, and I moved him to a very fine care facility. The cost is crushing, and I took a second job to cover it. Now I find myself wishing he would die, and the guilt I’m experiencing is as crushing as the cost. How do I stop these thoughts and the feelings they trigger?Rabbi Rami: You don’t. You are not in control of, or responsible for the thoughts and feelings that pop into your mind. When you find yourself wishing your dad would die, accept that this is an honest response to a very tough situation, and that your actions rather than these thoughts show your true character. You are a good son in a difficult situation. Know this, and love will triumph over guilt.I attended a weekend retreat where the teacher promised us a mystical experience. I felt nothing, and he said I didn’t try hard enough. Was this a con? What is a mystical experience? Are such experiences true? How hard is it to have one?A mystical experience is one that sees through the illusion of “self” and “other” to reveal the non-dual reality that embraces and transcends all duality. This is the “I AM of God” (which is very d …

Author and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro has been called “one of the best bridges of Eastern and Western wisdom.” His newest book is Embracing the Divine Feminine.

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

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