Resource Room

For Steve Kobrin's Jewish Meditation Class

“Meditation, Judaism, and Self-Mastery”
Let’s reclaim our spiritual heritage!

Upcoming schedule:
Sunday, August 29: 8pm EST
Sunday, September 5: No class – Labor Day / Rosh Hashanah
Sunday, September 12: 8pm EST
Sunday, September 19: 8pm EST
Sunday, September 26: No class – Chol Hamoed

No official class. But if people want to learn, let me know. We will study a special topic.

Today’s Class Agenda:
We will learn about other forms of Jewish meditation that relate to self-realization, including Hitbonenuth.
We will also continue to learn how understanding conceptualization can help improve our personal meditation.

Jewish meditation techniques we have covered so far:

Amidah: achieving consciousness of God through prayer.

Hitbodedut: becoming mindful through internal and external isolation.

Ruach Hakodesh (Enlightenment:) transcending the physical, through work on yourself.


Unification: experiencing Oneness with God by reciting the Shema.

Blessing power: meditations to bring you closer to God through mundane acts.


The Traditions: Enlightenment
Rabbi Kaplan – “Meditation and the Bible”


What sins are evil?
How does the pursuit of Ruach Hakodesh help us avoid them?

Ruach Hakodesh (Enlightenment:) transcending the physical, through work on yourself.

These are the steps leading to Ruach Hakodesh outlined in the Talmud: Study; Carefulness; Diligence; Cleanliness; Abstention; Purity; Piety; Humility; Fear of Sin; Holiness.


The Musar movement and how it promotes work on yourself.
Meditation Techniques: Rearranging your life

Conversing with God

Other forms of Jewish meditation that relate to self-realization, including Kavanah.

Rabbi Kaplan – “Jewish Meditation,” pp 49 – 53

Common Jewish terms for meditation
Prayer / worship – meditation
Direct one’s consciousness
Concentrating on the act
Kavanah meditations
Hitbonenuth, p 50
Rambam – God’s creation
Go beyond the physical
Understanding self in light of the Creation
Any focus
Abraham ben Maimon- two types
Sensory deprivation
True meditation

Meditation integral to Judaism

Best practices for meditation
Bhante Gunaratana, “Mindfulness in Plain English,”
Dealing with Distractions Part II, pp 115 – 130
Understanding mental states, pp 123 – 130
General pattern
Craving and desire
Tricky positive states
Similar to breathing
Extend awareness
See them rising
The “I”
See it as it is, p 127
Multiple sensations
Developing mindfulness

Meditation as mental acid

From Matt Furey: mind / matter
Fear is nothing but a mental image that is projected onto the screen of our mind. 
Some fear is good for us as it prevents falling into a complacent state of over-confidence. Excessive fear, however, paralyzes us or makes us act irrationally, even ignoring our natural instincts. 
When we encounter a fearful mental image, we have an opportunity to examine it. We can look at it objectively, then ask ourselves what the opposite of this image would be.
As soon as you become aware of what you are picturing when you feel a sense of fear, change the mental picture playing in the theatre of your mind to something that generates courage and confidence. In so doing, you feel a shift for the better and immediately begin to realize that your mental images govern your feelings.
You can interrupt the onslaught of fear and other negative emotions with deep breathing exercises – but ONLY if the deep breathing exercises are combined with mental imagery that shift your mind away from disruptive emotions. 
To breathe deeply without a change in mental imagery might help you a tiny bit – but this microscopic change is negligible when compared to the MACROSCOPIC changes that instantaneously occur when you project “positive outcome” images on your mental movie screen. 
Fear is only something when we make believe it is something.
Once we realize that we make ourselves afraid, that is when we can see that fear is nothing. 
Here endeth today’s lesson.
Matt Furey

Steve Siebold, “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class”

The World Class is determined to Win, p 76

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