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I started reading Aryeh Kaplan's "Meditation and Kabbalah". Got to Chapter three (Rabbi Abraham Abulafia) so far and apart from being scared of the Hekhalot texts, I enjoyed the read. It resonated with me and my imaginary brain got at work.

The meditative technique that truly sounds most easy to accomplish is the meditation on a Divine name: focusing only on the name and repeating it a 112 times (why exactly this amount of repitions doesn't get explained) and (hopefully) forgetting about everything else except the name is the aim.

How can I meditate on the Divine name if I am not familiar with the Divine name? Would 'haShem' or 'yud-hey-vav-hey' work?

A bit of background which probably gets deleted but I'd like to include it anyways: The book clearly warns from practicing the meditation from the sages of the east (buddhist-hindu meditation if I got it right) albeit mentioning that the systems are quite similiar in what our Torah teaches and expaining this with the fact that Avraham Avinu fathered the eastern nations with a concubine of his. I personally tried buddhist meditation a couple of times (using the 'oom' chant while listening to binaural frequencies on youtube) but it feels like it did nothing to me.

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  • Traditionally, IMHO, Judaism has nothing to do with meditation as it focuses on learning Torah and not reaching higher states of consciousness. it appears that some guys are trying hard to put it in the Judaism's supermarket just to prevent losing clientele. I don't think this question relates to Judaism and I VTCed. It also seems like a personal advise you're looking for, this site does not provide personal advices. – Al Berko Sep 7 '19 at 21:16
  • Meditation might be a misnomer (which interestingly enough gets also adressed in the book). – Ilja Sep 7 '19 at 21:18
  • I read the book, not everything the Jews do can be called Judaism, even if you put the Holy Name on it. – Al Berko Sep 7 '19 at 21:25
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    Would you say the views of Maimon, the Kabbalists (Ari, Luria, Shem Tov) on Hitbodetut are equally unworthy of being called Judaism? I like the idea of being potentially able to completely eradicate the mind from thoughts for a while and I am trying to find kosher Jewish techniques which might help me with that. Don't get me wrong that I am fixated on Kaplan. I'm absolutely open to other views on how achieve aforementioned yechidut (unification) that go in-depth. – Ilja Sep 7 '19 at 21:33
  • I understand, there's one point I'd like to stress - no matter what you try - Hitbodedut, meditation, MDMA or LSD you should focus on the goal of studying Torah and keeping Mitzvos. Unfortunately, many Baaley Teshuva that start practicing Hitbodedut and other esoterical exercises end just there. – Al Berko Sep 7 '19 at 21:55

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