Friday, April 4, 2008

Contemplating the stars

In his book Jewish Meditation, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan describes a traditional technique based on the biblical verse “Lift your eyes on high and see who created these [stars], the One who brings out their host by number, He calls them all by name . . .” (Isaiah 40:26):
  1. On a clear night, lie or sit comfortably out of doors, gazing up at the stars.
  2. While repeating a mantra, focus your attention on the stars as though you are probing them to reveal the mystery behind them. You can use the traditional Jewish mantra r’bono shel olam to help you deepen your concentration and your sense of the sacred. Or feel free to use a mantra of your own choosing. As Rabbi Kaplan puts it, you are “calling to God in the depths of the heavens, seeking to find Him beyond the stars, beyond the very limits of time and space.”
  3. Remain absorbed in your contemplation for as long as you want. According to Rabbi Kaplan, this meditation “can bring a person to an overwhelmingly deep spiritual experience.”

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