“Meditation, Judaism, and Self-Mastery”
Let’s reclaim our spiritual heritage!
Rabbi Kaplan – “Jewish Meditation” pp 104 – 105
Does standing still help you be receptive?
From Daniel Yoel Cohen
Daniel Yoel Cohen is a therapist and teacher living in Jerusalem. He teaches with Or HaLev: Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation and runs experiential pilgrimage trips to Israel focusing on life of the spirit.
Kabbalistic and Hasidic teachings teach that there is a constant influx of energy from the Divine into the world, yet we rarely perceive this in our daily lives. Could it be that the sense of lack and longing that so many of us experience is a function of our constantly running around, of not being still long enough to open to what Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook called the “flowing river of the supernal soul of life.”
The Amidah prayer is the place for this receiving, for the meeting of our human yearnings and God’s life-giving waters. The Amidah is the centerpiece of Jewish prayer, traditionally recited silently, three times a day, while standing still.
The stance of this prayer is rooted in the Bible, which records that the patriarch Abraham “got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood.” (Genesis 19:27) Standing contrasts with moving, and the word amad (“stood”) can also be translated as being still. This reading teaches us that the first dimension of prayer is to become still.
Standing still – ayin-mem-daled – standing in support of someone; deference
Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch, “Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew”
ayin-mem-daled = standing in preparation to act, p 187
Examples in Torah
Was Abraham still when he stood before God?
Re: fate of sodom. See Genesis 18.22 (Sharfman, p 160)
Re: fate of Lot. See Genesis 19.27 (Sharfman, p 177)
Other examples in Torah of standing still:
Joseph standing before Pharaoh. See Genesis 41.46 (Sharfman, p 415)
Joseph’s brothers standing before him. See Genesis 43.15, (Sharfman, pp 434 – 435)
Standing meditation to get you prepared and ready to act:
Cultivate Boundless Energy With An Ancient Standing Meditation Called Zhan Zhuang by Scott Jeffrey
Zhan Zhuang (pronounced “Jan Jong”), a dynamic form of standing meditation from ancient China.
Zhan Zhuang is a standing meditation where you stand still. The initial goal is to relax and sink all the tension in your body beneath your feet.
This standing method cultivates the body’s natural energy called chi.
It’s a simple practice with extraordinary mental and physical benefits. You can practice it anywhere.
For creative professionals and knowledge workers, Zhan Zhuang offers a fast and effective means to recharge your energy, reduce stress, gain superior mental clarity, and stay focused.
Zhan Zhuang helps rebalance your energy from your head to the center of your body.
The Chinese call this center the lower Dantian; the Japanese call it the Hara.
This center point is below the navel, down the width of two or three fingers.
By learning to bring some of your awareness to this region, you begin integrating your body with your mind.
This helps you reconnect with your instincts and your gut feelings, leading to clearer thinking to make effective decisions.
You gain more energy, improving your focus, concentration, and effectiveness at whatever you do.
Although there are thousands of forms of Qigong, most of them use a derivative of Zhan Zhuang as a foundational practice.
Zhan Zhuang means “standing like a tree,” “pile standing,” or “post standing.”
As the name implies, Zhan Zhuang is a standing practice where one stands still, in an upright posture, as if standing like a tree.
More on how to use the Amidah as a meditation:
Rabbi Kaplan – “Jewish Meditation”
Eyes closed, p 105
Pace, pp 105 – 106
Visualization, p 106
How to visualize:
Steve Siebold, “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class”
“The great ones are products of their own imagination,” pp 114 – 115
“Champions feed their vision, and starve their fear,” pp 225 – 226
Commander Mark Divine, “The Way of the Seal”
“Build your mind gym,” pp 79 – 80