Monday, October 12, 2015

Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide by Aryeh Kaplan




Students of mediation are usually surprised to discover that a Jewish mediation tradition exists and that it was an authentic and integral part of mainstream Judaism until the eighteenth century.
 
Jewish Meditation is a step-by-step introduction to meditation and the Jewish practice of meditation in particular. This practical guide covers such topics as mantra meditation, contemplation, and visualization within a Jewish context. It shows us how to use meditative techniques to enhance prayer using the traditional liturgy—the Amidah and the Shema. Through simple exercises and clear explanations of theory, Rabbi Kaplan gives us the tools to develop our spiritual potential through an authentically Jewish meditative practice.



Aryeh Kaplan, Orthodox rabbi and author of Meditation and the Bible (Weiser, 1978) and Meditation and Kabbalah (Weiser, 1981), shows that meditation is consistent with traditional Jewish thought and practice. He then presents a guide to a variety of meditative techniques: mantra meditation (with suggested phrases and Bible verses to use as mantras); contemplation; visualization; experiencing nothingness (which he does not recommend for beginners); conversing with God; and prayer. His instructions are clear and explicit, and his advice is informed and sound, advocating that a simple 20-minute-a-day program can indeed help make the practitioner a better person and a better Jew, and develop a closer relationship to God and things spiritual. 

Reviews

“The classic text for Jews who want to experience the meditative methods of their own spiritual tradition.”
—Daniel Goleman, author of The Meditative Mind
 
“[This is] the first book to read on the subject. It is a gentle, clear introduction and provides exercises and practices that can be used right away by any Jew who wants a deeper prayer experience.”
—Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus
 
“New and old davveners can learn from this sainted teacher how to deepen their holy processes . . . One can, with the help of God and the aid of this manual, tap into the Cosmic.”
—Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi

“A guide to Jewish prayer and meditation that is both grounded in the tradition and genuinely mind-expanding. For anyone seeking to connect with the spiritual side of Judaism, this book is essential.”
—William Novak

“At a time when Jews are rediscovering their hunger for spirituality, Kaplan’s clear and comprehensive book could well be one of the most important Jewish books of our time.
—Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

1 comment:

  1. This is an extraordinary book for me as far as meeting expectations in my field and helping other people adjust valiantly to the idea of meditation.It's approach is confidence based and helps the reader feel more quiet about intercession.Bound all through the book is the idea of getting to be closer and more associated with God.Adored this book.~Kim Wagner.

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