“Meditation, Judaism, and Self-Mastery”
Let’s reclaim our spiritual heritage!
Today’s Class Agenda:
We will start learning about Visualization Meditation: holding an image in the mind’s eye.
We will also continue our study of Mindfulness, including the Fundamental Activities of Mindfulness.
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.
Mantra Meditation – Hagah – quiet the mind for spiritual growth.
Contemplation: concentrating on a visual object.
Visualization: holding an image in the mind’s eye.
Unification: experiencing Oneness with God by reciting the Shema.
Blessing power: meditations to bring you closer to God through mundane acts.
The “Refresher:” a simple yet effective move to regain emotional equilibrium.
Posture: structured and relaxed
Hands: forget ‘em
Feet: shoulder width
Shoes: okay, but better barefoot or socks
Eyes: closed if possible
Rabbi Kaplan – “Jewish Meditation,” pp 77 – 82
Holding an image in the mind’s eye
Picture a letter
How to begin
Wait for a calm visual field
Hard at first
Repeat the name
Start with contemplation meditation
Or split the session
Patience and perseverance
Engraving – chakikah
Hewing – chatzivah
Number of ways
Useful another forms of meditation
Yichudim – unifications – not for now 🙂
Best practices for meditation
Bhante Gunaratana, “Mindfulness in Plain English,”
Mindfulness, pp 131 – 142
The Characteristics of Mindfulness
Awareness of change
The universe within
Hard to describe
Three Fundamental Activities of Mindfulness
- Mindfulness reminds you of what you are supposed to be doing
Reminder that your mind is wandering
Both bare attention, and a reined to pay bare attention
A distinct feeling in consciousness
- Mindfulness sees things as they really are, pp 137 – 138
Adds nothing; subtracts nothing
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.
Steve Siebold, “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class”
The World Class is Determined to Win, p 76
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