What is Kabbalah meditation? How do you do Kabbalah meditation? Is meditation an integral part of Kabbalah?
In the Zohar, Rabbi Simon bar Yochai explains a lot about the Heichalot, the heavenly chambers.
In heaven, there are spiritual places called the Heichalot. There are many Heichalot and for each of them, the Zohar goes at great length explaining all the names of the angels that are there. What is the name of the main angel, what are the names of the helper angels, what are the names of the helpers of the helper angels and much much more.
In the writings of the Arizal, he describes all the spiritual worlds and all that fills them.
What is the point of all of this? Why do we need all of this information?
For some people in this world, all of this is very practical. They have spent many years on purifying themselves, learning Torah and Jewish meditation. They actually travel to these spiritual dimensions. All the names of the angels are like the keys to enter into different spiritual doorways.
How to do Kabbalah Meditation
I will now clearly describe to you the process and the meditations that the big tzadikim do to actually experience all the spiritual worlds that are spoken about in all the books of Kabbalah.
Kabbalah meditation [also called kabbalistic meditation] is clearly explained by Rav Chaim Vital.
In Shaarei Kedusha of Rav Chaim Vital [the main student of the Arizal] this is what it says:
“When you want to prepare yourself to receive the Ruach HaKodesh after you already have all the good character traits, go into a room by yourself after you have gone to the mikvah and in holiness. It should be a place that you hear no sounds, either from people talking or the birds chirping [or any other sounds]. After midnight is better for all of these types of things.
- Close your eyes, separate your mind from all the matters of this world, as if your soul has left your body like a dead person who does not feel at all.
- After this, strive and strengthen with a strong desire to meditate on the upper worlds, to connect to them, and to connect to the root of your soul and the Holy Spiritual Lights.
- Imagine yourself as if your soul had left your body and ascended up.
- Picture the upper worlds as if you are standing in them.
If you have done a specific meditation, think to bring light and abundance to all the spiritual worlds. Concentrate to receive your portion too, but only after all the spiritual worlds.
Meditate in your mind as if divine inspiration has rested upon you to some extent.
If you do not feel anything at all, perhaps you have not yet ready and prepared. Therefore strengthen yourself, even more, to go in the ways of Hashem and after a few days meditate just like we explained above. Do this until you have the merit of the divine inspiration.”
We can add to this the famous teaching of the Baal Shem Tov “Wherever a person’s thoughts are that is where he really is”. This is the reason why we learn the entire structure of the spiritual worlds. Because the more a person knows the structure of the spiritual worlds, all that fills them and all the happenings in them, the more you can connect your mind to them.
A few popular Kabbalah Meditations
On King David Kabbalah we have written about and made videos on a number of Kabbalah meditation techniques [or kabbalistic meditation techniques]. Some include meditating on the 72 Names of God or meditating on the Hebrew letters including Alef and Bet.
There are other popular meditations such as Yechudim or on the name YKVK. There are also specific meditations to do at specific times and locations. One such meditation is what to do at the graves of Tzaddikim.
If you only know a bit of it, one small piece of the spiritual worlds, you can meditate on that. Even if you don’t know the entire structure of the Spiritual worlds you should meditate on what you know. If you only know the letters of the Alef-Bet you can meditate on that because the Alef-Bet are vessels that hold tremendous light. [If you don’t know what the Alef-Bet look like, google it.]
The more you can connect to the root of your soul, the more you can bring down the Holy Spiritual Lights.
In a way, all of prayer is a meditation. With this in mind, the prayer book [or Siddur] is really a book on meditation.
The role of Imagination in Kabbalah Meditation
When people do this sort of thing they are doubtful. “What is the purpose of imagining it as if it is so? Its just imagination, it’s not real!” they say to themselves.
We can prove that imagination is powerful can be brought from another angle. Everyone agrees that thinking about a sin causes a lot of harm to one’s soul. It is well known that the good side is more powerful than the bad side. Therefore imagining something that is holy can be a very powerful tool to bring you closer to Hashem.
Furthermore, we know that if you want to bring up in yourself a certain hidden power, imagine that you are already there and you are much closer to bringing this into reality.
Another word on the imagination. All the Tzadikim who spoke about these concepts agreed that in order to come to true divine inspiration you need to go through and use the faculty of the imagination.
The more you meditate like this the more you will experience it. The more you purify your self the more you will experience it.
Keep meditating, don’t give up if you did not experience anything. Just keep at it and you will succeed!