What follows is a number of Shabbat meditations and a short summary of the Torah principles which they are based on.
All of these meditationsa are drawn from a series of Shabbat essays taught by the previous Slonimer Rebbe (Zatzal) in the second volume of his work Netivot Shalom. The common thread running through all of his essays (and I have only chosen a select few) is consciousness … the unique sublime Garden of Eden consciousness that we all can get a taste of in this world with a concerted effort, and thereby sensitize ourselves to a life of true paradise in this world and in the next one.
I hope that by practicing these meditations we can open up more and more this sensitivity.
1. ASCCENT MEDITATION (An introductory meditation or mindstate which is the root of all the other meditations and mindstates). The Kabbalah teaches that starting on Friday afternoon and culminating towards the end of Shabbat, there occurs “Aliyat Olamot” – “Ascent of the Worlds”. The imagery presented to us is that of one world rising or elevating against a backdrop of its present placement up to a realm which is above any type of negativity whatsoever. Practically speaking, this can be experienced as an ever deepening state of awareness of one’s soul and the removal , layer after layer of all that which separates it from the Master of the Universe.
**************** Focus on your present state of being, physically, emotionally, spiritually etc. See yourself now entering into a sort of cosmic elevator which climbs incrementally from one floor of a tall building to the next higher one to the next etc etc until it reaches the top.
Every time that elevator climbs up a few floors, focus again on the various aspects of your state of being, and allow yourself to experience a pure and holy state of being, stripped of all pretence and falseness and negativity that saturates you through and through and allows you to experience your inner Devine self.
Allow more and more of this pure holy positive Divine energy to saturate you more and more as the elevator climbs.
2. THE RETROACTIVE FUSION MEDITATION. When one is privileged to experience a higher state of being, they feel as if all that they do and accomplish, is not really them at all, but rather Hashem doing it through them. This is not only true of their present state of being, but is also true with regard to whate they can recall of their past accomplishments.
***********************Focus on a list of the highlights of your previous weeks – either based on a written one, or a stream of thoughts recollection that you do in your mind right now.
First see every detail and feeling of your week’s highlights or main accomplishments as being that of your own doing.
Then reframe every aspect of every accomplishment as being infused, enabled and empowered by The Master of the Universe.
3. THE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT MEDITATION. – Shabbat is a mindset that is patterned after a future era when there will be nothing lacking, not in people or in anything else. All will be experienced as being whole and perfect just as it is, and there will be no need to recitify anything or anyone else including ourselves.
*******************Focus on seeing everyone in your life in their perfected state; first scan the people you know (start with one or two and expand your list), and foresee or project what they will be like when they eventually reach their state of perfection.
Then project how differently you will relate to them when you are seeing them in this state.
Next see even their areas of lack as being stepping stones towards their perfection.
Finally, in real life, relate to these people as if you already see them in their perfected state.
Do the same entire process for yourself.
4. THE PLEASURE (Oneg) MEDITATION. - Rebbe Shlomo of Karlin Ob’m taught what he overheard being declared in the heavenly realms, and extremely important lesson; even if a person is very careful to observe all of the positive and negative commandments of Shabbat in all of their fine detail (and to properly observe these mitzvot in all of their fine detail is of utmost importance, of utmost severity and requires a huge investment of energy), but nevertheless do not make a concerted effort in this life to feel or to experience at all the sweetness and pleasure of the Shabbat, so too, when they get upstairs in their post life eternal environment, they will not experience this pleasure and will rather be like an unfeeling bench! This is because the atmosphere of the spiritual stratas are filled with only pleasure and happiness, and if one doesn’t condition oneself to this atmosphere now, how will they be sensitized to it in the future?!
***************Focus on taking pleasure on:
THE PAST: All the accomplishments that Hashem allowed you to accomplish last week.
THE PRESENT: All the physical delights of the day – eating, sleeping breathing, colol air and other bodily pleasures as well as spiritual pleasures.
THE FUTURE: Ask that Hashem should surprise and delight you for the remainder of the day.
5. THE REBIRTH MEDITATION. - When we are plugged in to the true energy of Shabbat, ie, being so much in Devakut in a fused clinging state with Hashem that we know that anything we do or want that is against Hashem’s will is not really our will, but something external to ourselves, then Shabbat provides us with a similar effect as that of Yom Kippur – a cleansing, purifying atoning, rebirth effect.
***************Plug in to how Shabbat allows me to connect with my true ratzon (primal will) and see that it is truly an extension of G-d’s will, and all that I do, or have done in the past that is not on this pure Divine fused soul level, is not the real me, but something external to me.
Now focus on how this
mindset infuses me with a spiritual purity and cleansing that
ultimately enables me to feel like I am being reborn.