Jewish Meditation Techniques – Practical Jusuru


A statue of a man sitting on a rock

The author of the practical Jewish meditation guide, Ovfat David Kaplan, PhD, is very familiar with Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah. She combines secular rational knowledge with serious spiritual experience. Her book, The Jewish Mystical Mind, is a practical guide to meditation. It provides a richly rewarding experience for both spiritual seekers and longstanding practitioners of Jewish mysticism. In this book, she presents a ten-step system for developing a personal mystical life.

The ten steps in this practical guide are divided into three parts. The first four chapters explain the basics of meditation. Then, chapters five and six focus on more specific practices for developing a highly developed and refined kind of spiritual practice – one that will provide a lifetime of benefit. Finally, the last two chapters deal specifically with how meditative practice can be applied to practical life.

Part One:

A woman sitting next to a body of water

The Jewish Mystical Mind provides a simple description of Jewish mysticism. Then, Kaplan presents a short definition of Kabbalah and explains what it means. Then, she explains the mystical role of the Kabbalah Master. Finally, she examines the role of ritual in Kabbalah practice and the use of meditation as a spiritual tool. The practical portions of this book conclude with chapters dealing exclusively with practical Kabbalah techniques.

Part Two:

A woman sitting in front of a window

Practical Kabbalah Meditation The Practical Jewish Meditation Guide concludes with a brief look at the relationship between the Kabbalah Master and his student. At the end of the second part, Kaplan introduces the ten steps used in this practical guide to meditation. She includes a lengthy account of the uses of meditation, offering the basic benefits and practical implications. Following this, she concludes the book with a short meditation on Baaseh, blessing the home, reading the poem Samson, and concluding with a selection of recommended readings.

Part Three:

Jewish Meditation Guide for Westerners The third chapter of the practical Jewish Meditation Guide gives a brief overview of the Kabbalah spiritual tradition. Then, Kaplan expounds the various mystical meanings associated with the Kabbalah symbol, discusses the role of meditation in the Kabbalah tradition, and considers the practical application of Kabbalah symbolism. At the end of the third chapter, she offers a meditation based on the Kabbalah definition of “Tov shamayim” – peace, as well as a basic introduction to the Kabbalah ritual of building a home.

Other Facts About The Guide

This book is intended to provide a fast, deep, penetrating understanding of one of the most ancient Jewish practices. Specifically, the author takes us through three main focuses of her book. The first focus is on the mystical experiences experienced by initiates in Kabbalah meditation. The second focus is on the practical aspects of this ancient art of meditation. And, finally, she brings together these two experiences in a final focused third focus that presents the benefits of meditating Kabbalah.

The introduction to this book contains a short “Prologue,” which sets up the basic context of the book. The second chapter provides an introductory overview of the Kabbalah spiritual tradition, the development of the Kabbalah spiritual path, and the various mystical practices associated with Kabbalah. Following this is a concise, but thorough discussion of the practical Kabbalah practices. At the end of this chapter, Kaplan offers a simple translation of the Kabbalah haggel, which sums up the points of the Kabbalah meditation. This haggle also includes a translation of the word “Zakan” – a term referring to the process of meditating the Kabbalah.

In The End

I believe that the structure of this book, which includes a short prologue, a short postlude, a short final focus, and a short haggle, provides a smooth flow for the reader. However, some people may find the entire book too disorganized and difficult to follow. This may not be a problem for someone who already knows how to meditate Kabbalah. However, for someone new to meditate, I would recommend reading other reviews of this book to get a general understanding of the types of techniques and ideas present in this practical Kabbalah meditation book.

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