Jewish Meditation

As ancient Jewish culture and modern Jewish renewal have been kicked around a bit, I decided to start a thread on this.

The major methods of Jewish meditation are: mantra meditation, contemplation, visualization, experiencing nothingness, conversing with God, and prayer.

Interesting. I didnĀ“t know the Jewish would give value to such practices. I like that.

During the era of Rationalism, many of the mystical concepts in Judaism became extinct (I am sure a similar process happened in Christianity. Islam was probably spared because of practionners away from Europe). Today, Sephardic Jews and Ashkenazis who kept up the "backward" practices are packing in crowds because it is not mindless, repeatative prayer. Meditation is actually a major component of Jewish renewalism. BTW: Prayer (personal or formal) is considered the basic level, from there you can move on to candle meditation, letter meditation, mantra or visualization. Contemplation should not be used until later and Nothingness (cleaving to G-d) should not be attempted by one who's soul is unprepared.

MS

interesting

are there any books or sites you can recommend on this? I might enjoy trying to integrate such types of medidation into my prayer life. As a side note, I have been using visualization and symbol medidation for a while, and find it to be a wonderful type of communing with the divine, just enjoying his prescence if you will.

Aryeh Kaplanl Jewish Meditation, Meditation and the Bible, after those two, Meditation and Kab.

MS

I am uncomfortable prodviding exact details since I am not an initiated meditation teacher nor even a recognized Kab. but I will provide a low-level meditation. First, mantra meditation would mean nothing to almost everyone here since they can not read or understand Hebrew (I question the hundreds of Westerners who use the various Indian dialects when meditating since they can't converse in the language with a gun pointed at their head. They do not know Sat Nam from Om from Har Har Har- for this reason I can not teach you basic word and letter meditations). The two I have most familarity with are visualization and Conversations w/G-d.

Small, bare room, no interuptions of cell phone, etc. Comfortable clothing.

For a conversation w/G-d, first you must cleanse your mind and body. Bathing is reccomended, also spend about 20-30 minutes simply purifying your thoughts. When you are at peace, you should notice a tingling in your head (technically, there are no mechnoreceptors there so the feeling should not exist). If you can allow this to continue and find NO discomfort what so ever, you are ready. If this is uncomfortable, you need to learn to relax and purify your mind more. Be aware that should a demon be walking by, it will attempt to convince you it is G-d at this point since you have not yet established communications, you must be careful.

Once you are at peace and the connection has been established, show yourself to G-d and ask a question. You've got to be careful what you ask since more often than not- G-d does not answer or does not answer simply. Having done this for a while, I can talk to G-d while walking along the street.

MS

mantra sounds like something similiar to 1 of Buddhist practices I've read about

"experiencing nothingness"

this is very Taoist sounding, wu ji

experiencing nothingness sounds pretty mystical but as I understand it is simply clearing your mind and being able to focus on the moment at hand without your mind getting in the way, at least the Taoist meditation version

When you experience nothingness, you destroy your self and all the constructs thereof, you cleave to G-d and become a vessel for His will.