In this era of uncertainty, many people are feeling compelled to evaluate their lives, their career paths, personal priorities and spirituality.
According to Dr. David Sanders, Judaism offers a tool for such evaluation and spiritual connection Kabbalah.
Kabbalah, which literally means receiving, is the discipline and school of thought surrounding the mystical aspect of Judaism.
Sanders says that Kabbalah study involves spiritual growth and addresses issues that are common to all of us as human beings.
Classes at the Kabbalah Experience in Denver helps students from all backgrounds Jewish and non-Jewish to reach their highest spiritual potential through the three dimensions of reality in Kabbalah: soul, space and time.
Sanders is the founder and director of Kabbalah Experience and its lead instructor.
The academic year at Kabbalah Experience is divided into three semesters, each dealing with one of these dimensions.
In the first year of study, classes focus on introducing Kabbalistic concepts and gaining a foundation in understanding the language and spiritual messages of the Kabbalah, Sanders says.
Second year classes teach students how to apply the spiritual learning. Peoples lives become the text.
Sanders has been teaching Kabbalah in Denver since 2003 and established the Kabbalah Experience in 2006.
A psychologist by profession, Sanders was moving along his own path toward a deeper understanding of Judaism when he discovered Kabbalah. He studied with Kabbalah teachers in Israel and the US, equipping himself to impart mystical thought to students in Denver.
Since he started the Kabbalah Experience, which is governed by a board of directors and includes professional faculty, Sanders has noticed that his school basically attracts three kinds of students.
The first type accounts for about 40% of his student body the usual suspects, those who have taken other Jewish enrichment classes and still seek a deeper understanding of Judaism and a deeper spiritual connection.
Another 40% are Jewish but have no Jewish connection besides Kabbalah study.
The remainder of the students, who are not Jewish, are interested in the universal spiritual aspects of Kabbalah.
Many students of Kabbalah also study or practice Buddhism. The two dovetail in many ways, Sanders believes.
However, Sanders says there is a difference between Kabbalah, which is about connection, and Eastern mysticism, which deals with detachment.
While these are basically two sides of the same coin, the difference is that Kabbalah has implications regarding a relationship with G-d, Sanders says.
Robyn Loup is a relatively new Kabbalah student. Over the years, shes been busy with her career as a stockbroker, local and national federation leader and mental health advocate. During this time shes become intrigued by Kabbalah, and enrolled in Kabbalah Experience classes for the first time last semester.
Its much more than I ever expected, Loup told the IJN. It has brought out feelings that I had but I was not able to articulate before. I just knew they were there.
Loup says the concepts introduced in the beginning Kabbalah class were not difficult to grasp because David [Sanders] is very smart in the way he conducts the class. He makes it easy to understand. He promotes insights in the students. He and the other students relate great stories which are wonderful metaphors for the curriculum.
Loup now meditates every day, which she says is a way of feeling the essence of G-d around you all the time. She also feels a sense of peace after each class. Its calming, reassuring, reaffirming.
The spring semester of classes at Kabbalah Experience begins Wednesday, March 18. The program is housed at Kohelet House, 428 S. Forest St.
Joining faculty members Sanders, Yehudis Fishman and Dr. Lorell Frisch are two new instructors this semester: Dr. Anne Steinberg and Stephen Kapnick.
Information: (303) 321-7729 or www.kabbalahexperience.com.