Meditation, Judaism, and Self-Mastery

Did you know that:

* Meditative practices were widespread among Jews throughout history?

* References to meditation are found in major Jewish texts in every period, from the Biblical to the premodern era?

* Meditation was central to the the prophetic experience?

* During the period when the Bible was written, until approximately 400 BCE, meditation was practiced by a large portion of the Israelite people?

* Regular schools of meditation existed, led by master prophets, who were in turn under the leadership of the primary prophets that are quoted in the Bible?

* Jewish mystical masters had dialogues with Sufi masters, and were also aware of the schools of India?

These are among the many fascinating facts about the rich Jewish spiritual tradition that have been uncovered by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Z”L. In his books on the topic, he shows how this tradition was once part of mainstream Jewish life – most especially prayer.

This class is a study of those books.

In particular, we will review “Jewish Meditation” and “Meditation and the Bible.” We will involve other books by Rabbi Kaplan as well. In addition, we will bring in the work of other scholars that help us understand meditation in general, raising consciousness, and personal growth.

As Rabbi Kaplan points out, self-mastery is a universal spiritual practice, and is one of the most important goals of meditation.

By studying his teachings, we will become part of his mission to reclaim our spiritual heritage.