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Levi Ben-Shmuel
Levi Ben-Shmuel blends his intimate knowledge of Tai Chi Chuan and Kabbalah to create a unique, uplifting spiritual voice. He is the author of Living Wisely, a book that provides inspiration and keys to live a wise and balanced life based on his experience of two of the world’s great wisdom traditions – Judaism’s mystical Kabbalah and Taoism. Levi is the co-creator of Sulam Chi, a graceful and powerful movement form that integrates the energies of Tai Chi and Kabbalah’s mystical Tree of Life. (Sulam Chi means Ladder of Life Force Energy.) A DVD called, Sulam Chi: A Dance of Life, is a beautiful introduction to the movements and what is behind them.

Levi is also a singer-songwriter and writer. His CD, Take a New Road, is a joyous celebration of the inner journey toward freedom. He contributed an essay to the book How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, a collection of 101 insightful essays from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, leaders, and writers.

While pursuing a career in software development, he earned a master’s degree in economic development from MIT in 1989. Levi studied Yang-style Tai Chi intensively during his years in the Boston area. He moved to Israel in 1991. During his ten years there, Levi became a dual citizen of Israel and the U.S., taught Tai Chi, met his Kabbalah teacher, and co-created Sulam Chi. He returned to the States in 2001.


Entries by Levi Ben-Shmuel

The Price of Making Decisions Alone

(4) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 9:30 AM

Growing up, I loved reading Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes's remarkable powers of observation and deductive reasoning never failed to delight me. Given my history, I was intrigued to see how a 93-year-old Holmes, with his memory failing, would be portrayed in the new movie Mr. Holmes.


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Get Fit in 7 Minutes With 7 Movements

(2) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Soon after arriving to the Bay Area, I noticed a large blue exercise station filled with people working out on the Marina Green in San Francisco. Every time I drove by it and saw people using it, I wondered what it was about. By chance, I met the man behind...

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Something Is Off Kilter in the Avenger's World (And It Has to Do With Women)

(25) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 2:28 PM

Spoiler Alert: If you plan on seeing the new Avenger's movie, you might want to save reading this post until after you see it. I mention some details that are not huge giveaways, but they are surprises.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is on track to be one of the top...

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Where Does God Go When We Lose?

(14) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 10:08 AM

My wife and I love to relax by watching tennis. In the first round of the tournament being played at Indian Wells, CA, we saw the up-and-coming American Jack Sock defeat Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan. As the camera closed in on Jack after his win, he made the sign of...

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Hanukkah: 8 Days, 8 Ways to Bring More Light Into Your Life

(5) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 4:33 PM

When I was growing up on Long Island, the shorter and colder fall days leading to the depths of winter invoked a sense of loss. I loved the heat, the beach, and the seemingly endless days of summer. Once the fall chill hit the air, hope and possibility were diminished...

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Creating Transcendent Moments

(14) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 12:14 PM

Last weekend my family spent time at Muir Beach, a small jewel of a beach north of San Francisco. While gazing at the ocean, I noticed a few dark fins surfacing not too far from the shore. Excitedly, I alerted my family to them. It turned out to be a...

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Fight With Love as Your Primary Weapon

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 12:57 AM

Recent headlines remind us all too well that conflict is very much a part of life. An important question we need to ask ourselves, whether a conflict is personal or on a larger scale, is how can we best resolve them in ways that serve life for the greatest good?

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3 Biblical Tips to Stay Sane in Our Overloaded World

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 10:40 AM

In Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough's excellent biography of John Adams, he shares a correspondence with Adams' granddaughter Caroline in response to her being distressed over how little she felt she knew about life. This letter was written towards the end of Adams' long and illustrious time on earth (he...

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Are You Living Life as a Champion?

(7) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 11:36 AM

I saw the much-acclaimed movie Rush during its opening weekend with my wife. For me, the film had an epic aspect. It portrays two polar opposite ways of living via the racecar champions James Hunt and Niki Lauda's approach to driving and life. It led me to reflect on how...

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What Do You Really Really Want This Rosh Hashanah?

(5) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 9:47 AM

My son Jacob has been playing the Spice Girls 1996 hit "Wannabe" a lot lately. In a flash, the connection between the song and preparation for Rosh Hashanah came to me a few nights ago.

The lyric, "So tell me what you want, what you really really want" speaks to...

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Having Trouble Reducing Anxiety? Play!

(5) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 11:15 AM

A reader of my blog suggested I revisit a topic I explored last year in a two-part series titled "Are You Ready to Stop Working and Start Playing?" but with a different twist. He requested I explore how play can be a powerful tool to reduce anxiety, an...

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The Price of One Negative Thought

(11) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 12:15 PM

In a post I wrote a few weeks ago, I explored what genuine justice means. I found the timing synchronistic that last week, I was given the chance to see justice in action through being called for jury duty. Close to 150 of us were interviewed to be...

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Are We Playing God? The Wisdom in Bringing Back What Is Gone

(12) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 8:13 PM

I missed seeing a lot of movies in the 1990s. The 20th anniversary of Jurassic Park gave me the chance to see this modern-day classic on a big screen (an added bonus was seeing it in 3D!). Going to the movie was part of our son's 11th birthday celebration. Seeing...

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Are We Demanding Justice or Retribution? The Search for a Just World

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 11:36 AM

From President Obama on down, the call for justice in the wake of the Boston bombing has been unwavering. In the aftermath of such a horrific crime, isn't it natural to demand that justice is served? I think it is. Yet one question I have been thinking deeply about since...

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Crossing Your Own Red Sea: How Will You Get Through?

(12) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 12:14 PM

While living in Israel, one of my most cherished Passover experiences took place in Haifa the night before the last day of holiday. The seventh night of Passover marks the crossing of the Sea of Reeds, popularly known as the Red Sea, the event where the Israelites were definitely freed...

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Will Your Heart Go On?

(2) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 12:54 PM

Last week, I needed to visit the New Mexico Heart Institute (it was not to check out my own heart). Soon after I arrived, a woman walked in with a small harp. She set up her music stand and began playing for the patients and staff in the reception area.

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Want More Than the Academy Awards? Introducing the Kabbalah Awards

(11) Comments | Posted February 21, 2013 | 9:24 AM

The idea of recognizing excellence serves many purposes. Inspiring others to reach for the best within them is one of my favorites.

This coming weekend's Academy Awards ceremony inspired me to create the Kabbalah Awards. Based on Kabbalah's mystical Tree of Life -- a map of Divine energy flowing...

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Brother, Lay Down Your Arms

(4) Comments | Posted December 27, 2012 | 11:23 AM

The carnage in Newtown ripped my heart. But the HuffPost's reporting of the continued slaughter of young and old across the nation -- the last count I saw was estimated at more than 100 dead since Sandy Hook -- is simply shocking. I know the problem is complicated...

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Time For The Changing Of The Guard? Some Lessons From 007

(21) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 6:22 AM

My wife and I saw the new James Bond movie, "Skyfall," this past weekend. I was surprised to see that the movie tackles the tension between the roles of aging boomers and a new generation of young people who want to make their mark in the workplace which, in this...

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Is Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem a Waste of Time? Absolutely Not

(85) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 8:44 AM

When I read Jerusalem was a target for Hamas rockets, the sadness I felt was deep. For me, Jerusalem is not an abstraction; I lived there for nine years. It is part of my heart and soul. During those special years, I spent time in Arab, Christian, Armenian and Jewish...

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