Four Dimensional Flourishing in Shuls on Shabbos

Four Dimensional Flourishing is a framework that I developed with David Linn. The goal of FDF is to increase the amazing-ness quotient in our lives. We’ve compiled a booklet and given two seminars on the subject and are planning on refining, expanding and publishing the framework in the upcoming year.

What does an amazing life look like? It’s a life where we experience physical pleasure without being controlled by it. A life where we reduce our anger and envy and develop happiness, and deep connections to others. It’s living in a way that finds significance and meaning even in seemingly mundane endeavors. It’s having a clear understanding of our purpose, and living each day in accordance with that purpose.

The first step on the road to a flourishing life is understanding that all human experiences fall into four dimensions: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. To flourish, we need to know the goals we are striving for in each dimension. In the physical realm, we are looking for pleasure. Emotionally, we are in pursuit of happiness. In the mental realm, we are searching for meaning. And in the spiritual dimension, we seek to fulfill our purpose.

In each dimension, there is a central habit that is critical to flourishing and a major deterrent that distances us from flourishing. In order to increase the degree of flourishing we experience in our lives, we need to develop these habits and address these deterrents.

Shuls on Shabbos provide a great opportunity for Four Dimension Flourishing. Onegs, Shabbos Kiddushim and Shalosh Seudos provide pleasure in the physical dimension with the key component that there is a mitzvah to have physical pleasure on Shabbos.

In the emotional realm, connecting to people is one of our primary sources of happiness. Shabbos in Shuls gives us plenty of face time to connect with our friends and deepen those happiness generating connections.

Meaning is the currency of the emotional dimension and we find meaning in things we find significant. For many of us, the Shul is one of the most significant institutions in our lives, and our participation in belonging, supporting and operating it provides meaning.

The highest dimension is the spiritual and it is in this dimension that we define the purpose of our lives; developing a relationship with Hashem. The extended davening and learning that takes place in the Shul on Shabbos helps us achieve our purpose.

Living an amazing day-to-day life of Four Dimensional Flourishing is within our grasp, and Shabbos in Shul gives us a large scoop of such a life.

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