Tuesday, March 20, 2007

in the early morning part 4

Let me state unequivocally, the path of ascent is not some form of astral projection.
When we perform our rituals, we are not going anywhere, not in body and not in spirit.
Our travel is metaphorical only. We are traveling in our minds, and where the
imagination takes us, this has no end. It is through the process of our minds that we
can go anywhere in any universe and at any time.
Being that this metaphorical travel is highly personal, happening as it is within the mind
of the single individual, the imagery imagined in the mind will be equally highly personal.
What the individual sees or experiences must be interpreted within the individuals own
psyche and psychological parameters. This is the way spiritual experiences have
always been. This is how it was with the Biblical prophets and the Talmudic Yordei
Merkava. This is why the Mishna Hagigah states that Ma’aseh Merkava can only be
taught one on one, on an individual basis, and then only to one who already has the
ability to understand.
I can teach you all the techniques in the world how to alter your consciousness and how
to experience spiritual things, but if you do not know how to recognize what you see and
how to interpret what you experience, what good is it for you to learn in the first place?
This has always been the problem facing teachers, it is not easy finding ready and
worthy souls who are willing to let go of their preconceptions and surrender to see truth
for what is really is. This being said, please accept it as my warning, that unless you
sincerely surrender your hearts (and not just your minds) to Torah and mitzvot, you will
never be able to satisfactorily accomplish any sincere spiritual growth.
Let me begin here by teaching you one of my favorite initial methods of mental training.
This can be used as a meditative device for training the mind to concentrate and to
focus. In and of itself, this tool can help you focus on your Torah learning and it is also
good to do before going to sleep; it can help guide your dreams. Yet, the best time to
perform this is at the beginning of midnight rituals, before one meditates upon the holy
This meditative technique is outlined in many old sources and it is based upon the Sefer
Yetzirah. This is a process of uniting all the Hebrew letters one with another. It is a
mental exercise performed with your mouths closed. The entire focus must be mental.
One begins (as the Sefer Yetzirah says) by uniting the letter Alef with all the letters of
the Alefbet. One actually recites this mentally.
One begins…
Alef Alef, Alef Bet, Alef Gimel, Alef Dalet, Alef Hey, Alef Vav, Alef
Zayin, Alef Het, Alef Tet, Alef Yod, Alef Kaf, Alef Lamed, Alef Mem,
Alef Nun, Alef Samekh, Alef Ayin, Alef Pey, Alef Tzadi, Alef Kuf, Alef
Resh, Alef Shin, Alef Tav.

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