“To meditate”

“But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

-Matthew 6:6

I wanted to expand on the post I made yesterday in regards to meditation. Now, instead of attempting to explain the Hebrew myself I’m going to turn to a passage from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s Meditation On Kabbalah. I left a link for the book itself in the title for those who are interested.

“There is one word that is consistently used as a term for meditation by the commentators, philosophers, and Kabbalists. The word which often denoted meditation is hitbodedut. The verb “to meditate,” is represented by the word Hitboded.

“The word Hitboded is derived from the root word Badad, meaning “to be secluded.” Literally, then, Hitbodedut actually means self-isolation, and in some cases, refers to nothing more than physical seclusion and isolation. In many other places, however, it is used to denote a state of consciousness involving the isolation of the self, that is, the isolation of the individual’s most basic essence.

“Thus, when discussed in a Kabbalistic context, the word Hitbodedut means much more than physical isolation. It refers to a state of internal isolation, where the individual mentally secluded his essence from his thoughts.”

-Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

Now, some of you are probably wondering what the connection between Christ and Kabbalah is. I promise you I will do a full length video detailing how the two are connected. For now, I’ll simply state that Christ is Binah or (Understanding). The living embodiment of the path to enlightenment.

So when Christ speaks of going into this inner room, He is speaking of isolating ones self from the physical world and the ego-mind. That place where only our highest essence, our soul, exists in perfect Union with the Creator. Any practice that is used to accomplish this is referred to as Hitbodedut in the Jewish mystical tradition.

I feel it’s important for us to study what these terms would have meant at the time of their use. To understand the depth of Christ’s teachings often involves diving deeply into the Hebrew school of thought as well as the Greek thinking of that era. In doing so, we unearth a truly profound methodology for meditative practice.

I hope this adds depth to your daily practice. Thank you so much for reading.

2 thoughts on “HITBODEDUT

  1. This is the genesis for the early days of the Desert Fathers and Mother’s who lived and worked in isolation, devoting themselves to prayer for the world, meditation and so very often were the mystics of the early church.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yessss . Absolutely. Their practice was a living, breathing embodiment of their faith. To constantly be in that state, to constantly strive towards the betterment of humankind, that is the pinnacle of meditative practice. Thank you for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

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