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About Jewish Meditation

The goal of meditation according to the Torah

In short, the Torah’s view of the ‘meaning of Life’, of why Hashem (G*d) created this world and specifically the Human Being is the following:

There are 3 main reasons given:

1. Because Hashem is the ultimate ‘Good’, He wanted to create an ‘other’ to whom He could ‘do good’

2. He wanted to create a ‘dwelling place’ for Himself in the lower worlds.

3. Hashem wanted to create a place (seemingly) without Divinity and a being that could have an experience of Him in order to reveal His hidden Divinity in the darkness below.

In the spiritual worlds, similarity is closeness, difference is distance. So, this is only possible when that Being is like Him, therefore He created Human Beings ‘in the Image of G*d’, ‘b’Tselem Elokim’

It’s interesting to see how the Tree of Life, as well as the design of the Temple and even Hashem’s most central Hebrew Name, the ‘Havayah’, the 4 letters yud, hey, wav and hey, written on top of each other look very much like the shape of the human body, with head, arms, torso and legs.

Human beings are created to be the bridge between Heaven and Earth, a system of flows from the Spiritual to the Physical, Soul to Body

If Hashem would have created us wise and whole, there would be one thing He can do that we can’t: to choose that we are wise and whole, create ourselves wise and whole. So, we need to do that ourselves: be self-determining, to choose our state and then to choose to want to be and then work on becoming like Hashem. According to Torah, the Jewish mission on Earth is to ‘fix this world’ (‘Tikun Olam’) which means: to align, to heal, to fix the concealment of Light by revealing it, drawing it back into the world, but in a very specific way. Not only in the outside world but also in the inside world, and it must be done on every level, otherwise the levels that are left out will sabotage and corrupt. You need every part of you, and they need to align and combine into a larger harmonious unity, a wholeness, in which the highest level, our G*dly Soul, is in charge. Like a chariot (‘Merkavah’) for its expression. And the mitswot (commandments) in Torah are all tools to create this alignment. Meditation and inner work are part of these mitswot.

We want to understand this whole system of flows between our Soul and our Body, the full map of Human Consciousness. and the Torah gives that in the more mystical teachings in the form of the ‘Tree of Life’. Also, the Temple is an exact description of Human Consciousness, that’s why the Torah gives us every detail and measure of it.

 

So, the goal of meditation and inner work in the Torah is to help us to reconnect to, to remember, to re-align with, and more and more reveal and experience our Divine Self and Hashem. To draw that Light in, into the lowest levels, to transform them so they too reveal and experience the Divine, to make also your ‘ego-self’ and your body a ‘vessel of Divinity’. This gives pleasure to Hashem, ‘Nachat Ruach’ and also to us it will turn out to give the biggest pleasure, surpassing every only-physical pleasure we ever can experience.  And all this finally leads us to complete immersion and unification with Hashem’s consciousness, changing the whole physical word into a place where indeed ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of G*d as the waters cover the sea’.

 

Where are the meditation techniques in the Torah and why are they getting re-discovered?

The Torah is one of the oldest sources for meditation techniques. Information about meditation has always been there in the Torah texts of all levels. In the time of the 2 Temples this knowledge was open and accessible to the masses, there were schools of mysticism and prophesy where meditation was an important part of the program. And at least a million Jews had some level of prophesy. 

In this time of open prophesy, ‘avoda zara’ (idol worship) had become a very strong temptation for the ego needs. At some point there was a call to Hashem (G*d) that they couldn’t handle this challenge and some change was needed. The sages then went into the higher worlds and closed the root for this temptation. But it was exactly the ability to prophesize that gave the people the inner spiritual opening to also perceive the idols and their attraction, so prophesy disappeared at the same time. The ability to perceive the divinity of all things, spiritual, meditative Judaism disappeared, and Talmudic Torah was created instead, much more intellectual, analytical. Hashem was able to reveal another level of the Torah through this, made us develop a new ‘muscle’: bina, logical understanding. In Judaism this was still in a realm of holiness, built on a spiritual system.

 

But at the same time when the 2nd Temple was destroyed and the Jews were exiled, the ability to read the texts in a deeper, feeling way and find that information, got lost to the masses, for historical, political and mystical reasons. It was preserved by a few sages over time, by passing it on secretly, teaching it to individuals who had the right talents and middot.

 

We are now living in the year 5782 according to the Jewish Calendar. Torah sources like Rabbi Yosi teach that we will have 6000 years until the time of the full redemption, when the world will be transformed and ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of G*d as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2.14). It is said that Hashem will open the gates for the ‘water’ from above and below. ‘Water’ meaning ‘knowledge: the spiritual from above and science from below. And finally, both will come together and fuse and every Human Being will be in full Deveikut, immersion in unity consciousness, with Hashem 100% of the time.

 

It is also predicted in Torah that this will be speeded up towards the end and indeed exponentially more, and more knowledge becomes available to humankind, both scientifically and spiritually.

We are coming really close to this time and have already developed quite far towards it. We can see now that Hashem has started to open these ‘gates of wisdom’ already a few hundred years ago.

In around 1240 on the Western Calendar, 5000 on the Jewish one, Roger Bacon introduced scientific thinking. And around 1740 the Ba’al Shem Tov felt that souls started to be ready to receive the spiritual levels of the Torah so he started teaching this under the name ‘Chassidut’ to the ones that were ready to receive it.

More and more powerful techniques for inner transformation are being revealed and becoming mainstream (like EMDR, meditation, mindfulness etc.). The discoveries in science and spirituality are coming closer to each other and are beginning to merge, which will lead up to the final redemption, when everything and everyone will become One Divine unity consciousness.

Nowadays there is in the whole world a growing general inner opening and hunger for spirituality and inner growth and healing. So, Jews are now finding that the same knowledge (and more) is available in Torah texts and have started teaching that. Meditation has also been re-discovered and initiatives like the Elevation Project are becoming popular rapidly.

 

Why does the world need Jewish meditation specifically?

There are a few clear differences between most other methods and Jewish Meditation:

1. Jewish Meditation is sourced in Torah, in absolute knowledge of Truth, outside space and time. It is

a full system of teachings about human life and human consciousness on all existing levels. From body to feelings, thoughts, imaginations, da’at/mindfulness, rational thinking, chochma or deep inner knowing to Da’at Elyon when there is no more separation, and all is in Unity. And that also has deep knowledge and a full system of explanations of why Human Beings are here and how the World needs to be ‘repaired’ to bring it to full unification with Hashem.

2. As explained above, the goal of Jewish meditation, therefore, is to bring us finally to Deveikut, complete immersion and unification with Hashem’s consciousness and added to that, also to bring the whole physical word to completion.

3. The Hebrew letters are the building blocks, channels, ‘DNA’, through which Hashem created this world and is creating everything still now, every single moment. Therefore, Hebrew letters, words and specifically also all the Divine Names can become very powerful tools in making it all happen that we need for this process.

4. We find in our sources powerful techniques to connect to Hashem directly and be a channel for Divine Light from the highest levels to help for healing and reparation.

5. Through Jewish meditation we get access to the unbelievably deep mystical knowledge and understanding that our sages (Tsadikim, including prophet(esse)s, forefathers and -mothers) had and to their strong and high-reaching ‘inner line’ to Hashem by connecting to them in the higher realms.

 

Jewish meditation can bring humanity much further than to have a nice spiritual experience, more inner peace and a happier and healthier life (though those things will happen too and are valid reasons to begin with). In Jewish Meditation our inner work gets embedded in a larger perspective of why we are here, why we must go through all the things we experience. Everything in Creation has a purpose, has a Divine spark in it that wants to be revealed. The same with our traumas and un-aligned tendencies, they all carry a precious gift that we can reveal and receive, and then give to others.

Torah-based meditation will be necessary to help to bring humanity to its final fulfillment, as Hashem had designed the world: complete immersion and unification with Hashem’s consciousness, changing the whole physical word into a place where indeed ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of G*d as the waters cover the sea’.

Navah Sarah Tsiporah