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What exactly is meditation? Would it be taking it too far to say that meditation is a Mitsvoh? Or that Mitsvos are meditations? Simply put, meditation is the focus of the mind on a specific thought, subject or object, the intensity of focus depending on the method and skill of the meditator. The result of the prolonged purposeful focus is a laser-clear consciousness, free of conflicting patterns and scattered thoughts. The ultimate goal is freedom of the ego, the consciousness that normally pervades and deafens a person from hearing or experiencing a higher consciousness. Meditation can be thought-orientated, or combined with speech, or action-based - acting deliberately, with purpose and intent. When the focus is on G-d, or attachment to G-d, the meditation is a Mitsvoh.
Indeed, this is how the holy Baal Shem Tov explains the term Mitsvoh. As well as its literal meaning, “commandment,” Mitsvoh is related to the verb לצוות – “to attach to”. Because Mitsvos are G-d’s Will, through performing them, one connects to G-d, whether the mitsvoh entails action, intellectual focus or emotional intent. Thus the Zohar describes the six hundred and thirteen Torah ordinances as six hundred and thirteen different ways of attachment to G-d. Each Mitsvoh is another advice, another pathway to the Creator.
Torah and Mitsvos are a lifetime meditation modus operandi on G-d, a meditation gestalt that binds man and creation to G-d. This attachment is described by the Zohar, Rambam, Baal Shem Tov and the Vilna Gaon as the purpose of all the Mitsvos.
Each Mitsvoh is a meditative process that unites all one’s faculties to Ein Sof – the Infinite Creator, blessed is His Name. The Mitsvos involve all our being, our emotions and our intellect, enabling an unparalleled unity of consciousness and essence.
The exercises in this book centre primarily on this Divine precept and Mitsvoh - to cleave to G-d. Though it may sometimes appear that the meditation techniques and visualisations are similar to those of other disciplines, there are major differences. In meditation, the place of focus is of paramount importance. In Jewish meditation, we always focus on the one G-d and His Presence, the One Who made a covenant with Israel. This is not the same as “universal consciousness” or “the universe”, “nothingness” or even “everythingness”. Our G-d is not an omniscient but impersonal Creator, or a creator who has set the clock in motion and left it ticking. Our G-d is the personal G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the G-d of the Mount Sinai revelation, He Who provides individually for every living being.
Jewish meditation together with Torah and Mitsvos create an experiential knowledge of and closeness to the G-d of Israel Who is everywhere and dwells with the seeker. The seeker strives, not only to nullify himself before G-d, his soul to become one with G-d, but to do the Will of G-d and become G-d’s partner in perfecting the world. It is this goal of personal connection to G-d that is of prime importance.
As the process of seeking and yearning brings down ‘light’ from the soul’s holy source, the seeker becomes a vessel to G-d’s Will and Light of Essence. His significance takes on infinite proportions.
 Or on emptiness. Focus on emptiness per se, as opposed to nullification of ordinary consciousness, is not generally practised in Jewish meditation, as will be discussed.
 Speech may also be considered action; see Sanhedrin 65a and Shabbos 119a.
 Zohar I, 99b.
 Ma’alos HaTorah (Rabbi Avrohom of Vilna) in the name of his brother, the Vilna Gaon: any action performed for G-d (within the Torah’s parameters) is a Mitsvoh.
 Toldos Ya’akov Yosef. Also Meor Einayim, VaYeiroh.
 Zohar Vol II, 82b. See also Toldos Yaakov Yosef, intro. Also Rambam, Iggereth Hamussar (Warsaw 1927 p.7). Also Rambam in Yad, Hilchos Yesoidei HaTorah, Chap. 2.
 Brochos 6a: כל העולם לא נברא אלא לצוות לזה and commentaries ad loc.
 Deut. 10:20.
 In actual fact, G-d is everywhere. But His Presence is felt by those who seek him and His Shechinoh is manifest with them. Thus, He is described as ‘dwelling in Jerusalem’ or in the holy Temple. As the Kotsker Rebbe answered his questioner “Where is G-d” – “Wherever you let Him in.”