by Dr. Zev Ballen
It distracted me to speak during meditation.
Rather than bringing me closer to a genuine spiritual experience, speaking seemed to take me further from my goal. For me, speaking and meditating seemed to be two contradictory activities. My mind associated speech with my ordinary waking state of consciousness. If I was going to get that 'big hit' of G-d I yearned for, I didn't dare speak.
Sometimes I closed my eyes and imagined myself in a timeless spaceless void; on another occasion I might contemplate the wonders of G-d's creation. On still another occasion, I focused on G-d's power and infinite greatness.
As I continued with these methods, I occasionally 'hit the jack pot' and saw ecstaticly beautiful images.
Unfortunately, these spiritual peaks although genuine and meaningful, were not translating into much personal growth or positive change in my life.
I persisted anyway hoping each time to repeat that spiritual 'high' But chasing this experience just kept frustrating me. Unfortunately steady change seemed to call for something else.
I was about to give up when I found a book that said exactly what I wanted it to say:
Thought is on a higher spiritual plane than speech.
So I kept reaching for that peak experience that would catapult me away from my problems forever.
Nope - It didn't work.
I wondered what led Rebbe Nachman of Breslev to say that we must actually pronounce the words with our lips when meditating? I also wanted to know why he called speaking to G-d in words superior to all other methods of meditation?
Maybe the answer is that hisbodidus is not exactly meditation. In fact, Rebbe Nachman refered to hisbodidus as [personal] prayer; and prayer is a verbal process.
Still, one might ask, if thought is higher than speech why not think our way through the prayers and avoid speech altogether?
I asked this question to someone who is well versed in the mystical aspects of the Torah. He told me...Continue right here.
With Blessings Always,
Dr. Zev Ballen