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Kabbalah:  The Personal & Practical Side


Penny Cohen, LCSW

Since writing the book Personal Kabbalah:  32 Paths to Inner Peace and Life Purpose, many people ask me what I think of Madonna and her involvement in Kabbalah.  And they further ask what is Kabbalah?  What are the benefits of studying it?  And, how do I get started?


What is Kabbalah?


Kabbalah is the mystical interpretation of the old testament and the foundation of the Western Abrahamic traditions.  The word Kabbalah means to receive.  It’s receiving love, wisdom and pleasure through the divine flow of energies which come through thoughts, feelings, instincts, and intuition. 


As for Madonna’s role in Kabbalah – she publicized it.  And, it seems that she, and many other entertainers, professionals, laypeople, and adults in general are searching to attain a state of peace, serenity, and pleasure.  The study of Kabbalah offers that.


Kabbalah can be studied from two perspectives, “The Work of Creation,” and “The Work of the Chariot.” The “Work of Creation  involves the macrostructure and the study of God, creation, the beginning of time, the cosmos and the structure, function and dynamics of the universe, and their effects of human nature.


The “Work of the Chariot,” or the personal path, on the other hand, deals with our individual relationship with the Divine, the evolution and repair of the soul, human nature, life, death, reincarnation, love, destiny, service and their mutual relationships.  The ultimate goal is Tikkun Olam; world repair.  However, in order to have world repair we first have to repair our own souls, “tikkun nefesh.”  World peace starts with reaching a state of peace within ourselves.


What are the benefits of studying Kabbalah?


Just imagine a world filled with peace and serenity.  We work side by side with other countries and nations to improve the state of the universe.  And, our lives are filled with peace and serenity.  These are the benefits of studying Personal Kabbalah.


How do we start?


We can work toward accomplishing these goals by climbing the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.  The Kabbalistic Tree of Life is a diagram representing the flow of energies in the universe as well as pathways and means for us to align with these energies in order to connect with the Ein Sof Aur (endless light) and live a life of peacefulness, love, purpose  and pleasure.


The spheres on the Tree f Life represent different levels of consciousness.  As we ascend the Tree we learn how to transform the various parts of ourselves that might not be so loving, kind, and forthright.


  1. We learn sensory perception and inner peace through meditation. 

  2. We commit to awaken to our Higher Self and uncover and live our purpose. 

  3. We gain clarity of thought.

  4. We experience emotional freedom. 

  5. We open to higher consciousness and compassion.

  6. We discipline ourselves to be non-judgmental and non-critical.

  7. We forgive from the heart, not just the head and stay open to unconditional love. 

  8. We understand our role and purpose in life.

  9. We dare to dream and receive higher intuition, revelation and prophecy. 

  10. We live in an enlightened state of love, humility and oneness by living totally in the present.

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