Thursday, July 12, 2007

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Meditative Prayer

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, HaRav Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, wrote, and the Rebbe codified, what appears to be a simple sefer, HaYom Yom, from Day to Day, just little tidbits of Torah and Chassidus for each day. But, hidden within are gems, and sometimes...secrets... (from the entry for the 20th of Tammuz):

There are three forms of Hitbon'nut (contemplation, meditation):

a) Study-meditation: After mastering the concept thoroughly, one meditates on its profundity, until the intellectual element shines forth for him.

b) Meditation before davening (prayer): This is directed toward sensing the vitality of the concept learned, in contrast to sensing the intellectual element emphasized in study-meditation.

c) Meditation in Davening: To sense the "G-dly element" in the concept learned.

These three are rungs on the ladder of sensitivity.

It is only by G-d's kindness towards us that we may occasionally sense G-dhood spontaneously, without any Avoda (divine service...prayer with the above) at all. (And, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov explains this further in Likeuti Mohoran 4:9, "We see that now and then a person becomes inspired while praying and he recites several words with tremendous fervor. This is due to G-d's compassion for him, the light of the Ein Sof has been opened to him and shines for him. When a person sees (so to speak) this radiance, his soul is instantly ignited in great devotion...)

This comes about by virtue of the quality of Ultimate Essential G-dhood (atzmut) within the soul.

For Avoda by one's own efforts, however, these three forms of meditation are essential.

With this the Rebbe teaches us a 3 step meditative process to become sensitive to the divine.

Posted at Mystical Paths. Read it elsewhere? Stop by the source.


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