By Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Schwartz

Welcome to a new week full of new adventures and opportunities y'all!....Before I move on to another aspect of G-d Clinging [Dvaikus] mastery, I must share with you a bit of a breakthrough that I had last week in the purifying waters of the Mikve--the breakthrough I was praying for ---the ability to open up the overflowing wellsprings of  the topic of Emulating G-d...Here's what I came up with in the holy waters [with of bit of post Mikve editing];
A-Awakening others who are asleep [both spiritually and physically]
B-Bridging two normally unbridgeable extremities
C-Creating things that have never been created
D-Delighting in those who I love
E-Extending a hand to those in need
F-Fixing all that needs to be fixed
G-Giving and only giving , and not taking
H-Hearing that which cannot be normally heard 
I-Infinitizing all activities thoughts, feelings, ideas..etc..
J-Joining together contradictory ideas to unite in one paradox
K-Knowing all that was , is and will be
L-Loving that is unconditional and unlimited for all created beings
M-Matchmaking people with their 'beshert' spouses,teachers..etc
N-Noticing all that is normally not noticed
O-Obligating Himself to take responsibility for everything
P-Purposeful-ing every single aspect of reality with meaning
Q-Quickening the pace of 'Tikun' when it needs to be speeded up
R-Re-newing Creation Every second-what is never was or will be
S-Suffering the pain of all those who suffer
T-Tikun-ing the entire universe constantly till all is perfect
U-Unifying all aspects of life into one grand plan 
V-Voice-ing His Opinion to all that are ready and able to hear
W-Watching out for  the wellbeing of all creatures
X-X-raying everything and everyone to reveal their essence
Y-Yearning for all of His Children to come back Home
Z-Zealous-ing for justice and truth to reign where it's missing

  *****I certainly hope that despite the fact that that we now move on to new pastures, that we all will be able to keep on emulating and exploring more and more of this wonderful and elevating method of Divine connection...
 Perhaps one of the most important [and well-known] areas of G-d Consciousness is Prayer.
 We often walk through our lives in a very precarious fashion---wading our way through waves of confusion, through challenges that oftentimes seem too much to cope with---and other challenges that seem too hard for an entire nation to cope with.......and sometimes , even the smallest , pettiest and most insignificant circumstances throw us off-balance---and here too, we're stuck! 
What are we to do?!
The primal answer, the obvious answer,  the answer that comes so natural to one and all ---is Prayer...
  And we need to know on the one hand, that  there is the  One Above [and below and all around for that matter] who waits to hear from us and our prayers------ like a parent who longs for their beloved children to call out to them---and who can't refuse giving it over abundantly, unconditionally....And the reason is [to the extent that we can fathom it] is because this is their  raison d'etre -their very reason for living --their life force that they long to  fill up with and to share with their precious children...the same parent that feels the pain and deficiency of their child, as being their own....the parent who rejects nothing that we ask for , no matter how trivial or petty, and at the same time, who reaches out to help us to the point of completely fulfilling our request,  when our problems seem insurmountable....
 And we need to know on the other hand ,  that when we pray, we can rest assured that no prayer ever goes to waste---even when we don't immediately or ever, see that the prayer has been answered ....and we need to know that the more that we pray from the depths of our hearts, the more the prayer impacts [so to speak] the corresponding heart of the One Above....and we need to know that there is nothing too small or petty to  pray for--everything qualifies.....and we need to know that the prayers that we pray, effect the Upper Worlds to draw down to the whole world and to  us and to all in need, great Shefa[ abundance and wellbeing].....and we need to know that when we have in mind that Hashem feels our own lackings and pain and needs and losses, much more than we do, and we then reframe our prayers to comfort  Hashem in exactly what it is that we are hurting about, rather than ourselves, then we draw down incredible , rectifying healing and wellbeing....and sometimes, when we realy and truly pray from the depths of our hearts, then that prayer will elevate all the other prayers that we have prayed over a long period of time , and sometimes even many of the prayers of others who have trouble opening their hearts to elevate their prayers as well.....   
I've collected a list of 'Prayer Preparation Practices' that are drawn from a the full spectrum of  Jewish Sources-----Halacha based, Kabbalistic based and Chassidic based----especially those that are prevalent in the world of Chassidic Rebbes
These practices are compiled in a semi-comprehensive list--meanng that there is no way that one person would or could practice all of these in preparation for prayer [they would have no energy left for the main job of prayer]---however when you use the list in a way that you choose those practices that speak to you most, from each of the 4 unveloping categories, you won't be overwhelmed....
Taken as a whole, all of these preparatory  prayer practices, can be seen as a way to get into a Holy Prayer Space-----a mindset or 'headspace' which enables you with the greatest of ease and expanded consciousness and transcendence to pray !   By the way, this headspace applies not only in preparing yourself to pray, but also in the prayer service itself as well....and for that matter, for any spiritual activity that you may be involved in.....
In order to maximally tap in to the Prayer Space, we will present the practices that belong to 4 categories, in a sort of natural unfolding  or opening up of Prayer Consciousness or Prayer Space;
A. FLOW------- First clear out all that is obstructing the FLOW of being in a Prayer Space with all the proper practices
B. TOTAL SELF EXPRESSION-----Now with a freed up mind, do all the practices that are neccesary  to open up  your TOTAL SELF EXPRESSION
C. INTERPERSONAL CONNECTION-----------Then, once you have achieved total self expression, you'll naturally want to extend yourself to others and to do practices that effect INTERPERSONAL CONNECTION with others ---with mutual benefit and enpowerment elicited for you and them
D. G-D FUSION---------------------Finally, after freeing up your mind, expresing your soul and extending yourself to connect with others, the most important step to now take is to FUSE WITH G-D.  Do the practices in your preparation that effect this and thereby enable you to cross the threshhold bridging preparation , or Prayer Spac-ing to the actual service of prayer itself
A. FLOW ENABLING PRACTICES [or how to overcome the inner obstacles]
1. Physical Flow Enabling Practices

a. Bathroom--------Try to [literally] empty your body of all wastes...........a piece of advice ----Besides the standard ways to aid you to empty yourselves  such as the proper food, and drink intake, exercise...etc..., you should know that when you clarify and close on specific directions and decisions in your life, the body reacts  by clarifying and filtering out that which is physically useful for it, and expels the rest
b. Handwashing-----Wash each hand 3 alternate times [ie...first the right and then the left, right left right and left....]This removes the remainder of spiritual impurities that cling to people as a result of being in susceptible situations
c. Mikve-----Totally submerge your non-clothed body in the purifying waters of a man-made mikve or a natural body of flowing water [spring, ocean, lake, river...etc...]....if not possible, then a steady shower flow or at least a conceptual substitute, such as imagining being in the water. This water immersion has not only a purifying effect, but also a renewal or rebirth power---the total submersion into the endless character of water [similar to the soul ascending to it's home in the infinite womb] enables you to transcend your present reality and be born into a new one
d. Exercise-------------Awaken and release the sleeping and painful aspects of your body with any appropriate type of exercise.....Choose whatever works best for you, but as a means of getting into 'Prayer Space' , let it be as quick and to the point [awakening and pain releasing ] as possible.  Together with the physical exertion, you can add a spiritual dimension---such as speaking to the the different parts of the body in order to awaken them to do their Divine Service........The physical liberation that you achieve from exercising, will help to free your mind and soul to be in a  proper Prayer Space
2. Spiritual Flow enabling [block-busting] practices
a. Avoiding conversation and outside contact with people------Refrain from connecting with people immediately prior to the Prayer Service [unless this would insult someone].......There are 2 reasons/benefits for this----First of all, you will be focusing all of your attention and respect to Hashem.........2nd  of all, you will be you will be avoiding potential confusion that often occurs when connecting with others
b. Emptying your mind of worry and mundane concerns---------Give over all of your worries and concerns into Hashem's loving and capable hands.......Let go, in this way, of as many of your concerns for what people think of you and whatever control that you feel that you need to exert, in order to cope with your life's challenges.........Similarly, take this Prayer time off from thinking about your problems---concerning money, health, people...etc....The advantage of this internal thought release is obvious---it will allow you to drop that which stifles your cosciousness, in order to free it up....
c. Tshuvah [penitence]--------------Search for whatever you recently did that is contrary to what you should have done and /or contrary to what Hashem  would have wanted you to do.....Feel contrition about it--Confess it---Commit to not do it again [perhaps by making a plan that will avoid such pitfalls].  The advantage of this activity, is that you will liberate yourself from that which stifles your consciousness and your soul, in order to get into a Prayer Space of maximum Divine connection
d. Pray and declare  that you will be free of foreign thoughts and other obstacles in your upcoming prayer service....
*****We still have alot of other Prayer space Preparation practices and meditations....Just before we sign off, I'd like to give you a brief  preview of the practices that we have coming up B"H, that make up the total pictureof of a preparatory prayer Space ;
FLOW [BLOCK BUSTING]  PREPARATION PRACTICES-----pray to overcome obstacles, pray and declare your nullification of all foreign thoughts and other disturbances...
TOTAL SELF EXPRESSION PREPARATION PRACTICES----proper place, proper time, candles, special clothes and ritual clothing [Tallis and Tefilin..etc...], pipe smoking meditations, the 'Merkava Meditation', heart opening meditations.visualizing yourself in the Land of Israel or in the Garden of Eden, sing and dancing
INTERPERSONAL CONNECTION PREPARATION PRACTICES-------------charity, loving ne's fellow erson as they love themselves, forgiving one and all, connecting with the mystical dimension called'All of Yisrael', connecting yourself with 'Tzadikim',
G-D FUSION PREPARATION PRACTICES------ Divine breathing meditations, spontaneous -longing to connect -prayers, Emulation meditations, Wordles or One word mantras directed to Hashem [such as 'tatee!'---Daddy!], spiritualize the entire environment as being all g-dly-visualizations, pray to pray meditate about G-d's greatness and your smallness
may we merit to be in the proper space to pray properly

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