Take two teachers. Both are equally bright. One gets the information across to the students while the other struggles in the endeavor. Put personality aside and you find another central factor. One of the two understands the material being taught much better than the other does.

When can a person say that s/he really knows the subject at hand? Only when the understanding is so firmly embedded within that drawing on the knowledge is a simple matter — just press the mental "enter" button. The mind, heart, and body act in unison. The thoughts flow, the heart energizes, and the body speaks, both in sound and expression.

The teachings of Chabad Chassidism explain the Kabbalistic basis of the processes of understanding and emoting with the knowledge we possess. The mind draws from the sub-conscious and interprets the data. The heart moves into action and creates an emotional response to the data. And then the body is motivated by the emotional charge to share the knowledge through an act of relationship.

These three stages — mind, emotion, and relationship — are referred to in the teachings as Chabad, Chagat, and Nehy. These three are acrostics for the Sefirotic energies constituting each. In the Chabad process, the three energies of Chochmah, Binah and Da’at create the flow of interpretation and thought sequence. In the Chagat process, the three energies of Chessed, Gevruah, and Tif’eret form the state of compassion and emotional intelligence. In the Nehy process, the three mind-directed emotions, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, become a commitment in relationship.

The mind is like a compass, providing direction and assessing propriety in the moment. The emotions become the driving force that energize the wisdom of the mind. And the relational tendencies no longer have the immediacy of mind or emotions, but seek love and commitment at various levels.

A teacher may understand (Chabad) his/her subject, and even have a liking for it (Chagat). But unless there is a sincere commitment (Nehy) to the welfare/knowledge/wellbeing of the student, the transference of information will not be entirely successful. And it is through the commitment process that a much deeper understanding of the subject arises.

This is true of all study. If a person studies with the conscious intent of sharing the knowledge with someone else, the information penetrates deeper and becomes more connected to the mind and heart of the student.

The final stage of instruction is the actual state of speech and behavior, known in Kabbalistic terms as the Malchut stage.

These seven elements are the basis of the journeys the Jewish people undertook in traveling from Egypt to the Land of Israel. These constitute the stages of refinement of an emerging nation that was beginning its primary role to be teachers to the world — teachers of a sacred wisdom.

MASTERY: Try an experiment. Open a book and read a few pages. After reading, try to recall the subject matter. Now do the exercise again with another book, but this time, do so with the clear intention of sharing the information with someone else. But you must in fact have decided beforehand on a specific person to share the information with. You will find your capacity of recall much more potent in the second reading. Always imbibe information with the consciousness of sharing it if you would like to understand it deeply.

MEDITATION: Listen to someone speaking to you. Become aware of how your mind is interpreting what the person says. Then become aware of your feelings in response to what is being said. Finally ask yourself: what is my commitment to the person who is speaking? Try being fully conscious of the three stages over successive conversations and become aware how much more deeply you relate to the person speaking to you as a consequence of this act of consciousness.

Follow-up resources: Practical Kabbalah (book) Achieving Balance and Unity - The Shema Meditation(audio tape) available at Rabbi Wolf's Website (see link below).