The last chapter we explored the benefits of meditation. This time let us discuss what mediation should look like. Mediation like prayer is practiced in various different religions and cultures and all forms of mediation like prayer share several salient points in common.
When examining prayer one find three basic components. The first component is praise, next is petitioning and finally thanksgiving. Praise is when we extol the attribute of Hashem or any other Deity we chose to pray to. Thanksgiving is when we thank Hashem or any other Deity we are praying for doing something for us. The second aspect is petitioning. Petitioning is when we ask the creator for something, be it health, money or what ever.
One easy example of meditation would be to think about rearranging the furniture in your mind. The object would be to stay focused. If thought enter then you gently push them out or get your mind back on the subject. One can take things a step further and think about how they would rearrange their life. This would be an unstructured form of meditation that is internally driven. One can verbalize their thoughts and talk out loud to Hashem or their patron deity. This is still unstructured ad through such mediation which if one find productive can become a set pattern on a daily or weekly basis such meditation could help one realize that G-d is both within and at the same time way out there.
Such verbal meditation is called, by Rebbe Nachman, hisbodedus. One can turn this unstructured meditation into a structured meditation by adding an agenda of what they would like to discuss. In Tzaphat the mystical cabbalists would pick a verse out of the torah and meditate on it for insights. This was called Gerusin. They could repeat the verse over and over again like a mantra. Rebbe Nachman used to repeat master of the universe like a mantra.
This verse could also be gazed upon and looked at. This would be called contemplation. Just staring at it and absorbing it’s meaning. This contemplation could also be applied to looking at a flame or a Hebrew letter.
The common elements of meditation are contemplation, mantra, structured and unstructured thinking and internally and externally directed meditation.
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