Think about before the world from the beginning until the end [lemaaleh].
Do not place a limit to your thoughts that you think about the creator. Rather, He exists from the primordial past until now, there is none other. Similarly, for the end of days, from now until forever.
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Begin thinking from the beginning of time without limit to your thought except He is God and there is none else. Similarly, for the ends of the depth of good and depths of bad, which show beneficence to the good and to destroy the bad. To exist in exaltedness and variations.
The creator is completely desire and filled with knowledge and power. We find changes in the Shekhinah [appearing] sometimes as a young man and sometimes as an old man. Know that the reason is because the Kavod glory appears to the prophets according to the needs of the moment.
Sodei Razaya Aryeh Kaplan in his book Sefer Yetzirah turns these intentions to the infinite Creator- Father in Heaven into mental and nonverbal meditations on infinite. The Sefer Yetzirah speaks of depths of the world in Mishanh Kaplan identifies those depths with the Kabbalistic sefirot and with the depths described by Rabbi Eleazar of Worms.
He also places the ten dimensions as a temporal sequence. He also removes reference to this as done at the time of prayer or to the personified Father in Heaven. Although the depths of these directions is infinite, it can be described mentally. The first technique involves verbal thought… Gradually, then, once can learn to depict these infinite depths non-verbally.
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Let the mind travel back to a moment ago, and an hour ago, a day ago, a year ago, continuing until you reach a level where you are trying to imagine an infinity ago. Then do the same with regard to the future. The next exercise involves trying to imagine good and infinite evil. The limits are pure ideas, which cannot be verbalized. Finally, one must imagine the limits of the spacial [sic] dimensions.
One must perceive the height of the sky and beyond the sky.
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The depth of the earth and beyond the earth. Kaplan took an obscure medieval text and made it sound like a 20 th century meditative path. Goleman also focused on Buddhist meditation on infinite space as starting in the 5 th level of Buddhist meditation. This was not the era of meditation as mindfulness, rather meditation was considered as great acts of mental focus. However, Kaplan did not actually teach these techniques in his classes nor did he practice them.
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He did not create a meditative school. Most of those who came to him because they were interested in Asian meditative techniques returned to their Hindu and Buddhist teachers, even among some of his closest students. His accomplishment was presenting texts only known by scholars and only discussed in their harder to find articles in the public domain. And for the last forty years, English language books on Jewish spirituality are indebted in his popular presentations and adaptations. He argued that Hinduism is not temple worship to statues but a modern cultivation of the mind, an activity eminently progressive form of New Thought and philosophic idealism.
Largely because of him, we use the words mantra and yoga in English. Vivekananda took a few pages of the medieval work Kurma Purana , a long work of legend, mythology, geography, pilgrimage, and theology, as his base by which to abstract a system of meditation. Here is the medieval version. From yoga comes knowledge; knowledge, again, helps the yogi to obtain freedom.
Yoga is divided into two parts: one is called abhava-yoga, and the other, maha-yoga. Sit in a straight posture. The next thing to do is to send a current of holy thought to all creation. The more you practice this, the better you will feel. You will find at last that the easiest way to make ourselves healthy is to see that others are healthy, and the easiest way to make ourselves happy is to see that others are happy.
Another meditation is given: Think of a space in your heart, and think that in the midst of that space a flame is burning. Think of that flame as your own soul. Inside the flame is another effulgent light, and that is the Soul of your soul, God. Meditate upon that in the heart. Then the wise man should meditate upon the luminous, benign form of the Lord…Then he must meditate upon his oneness with the luminous form of the Lord.
Lastly, he must let the form vanish and meditate upon the Atman. Meditation is cultivating a single thought reminiscent of the subject of meditation by repeating it over and over again. By following the same method and concentrating on the same subject at the same center of consciousness, that single thought becomes a giant thought-wave.
In course of time the mind develops a channel for that thought-wave and the practice becomes effortless. No practice, however mechanical or intermittent, is ever lost. Kaplan used the language of mantra and meditation that Vivekanada bequeathed to the English language. Many of these same adaptation techniques in his translations of a medieval text were done by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable.
Traditional Egalitarian Torah Study in the spirit of Conservative Judaism
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