Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Stumbling over Stepping Stones

Recently I tried to move on to meditations related to the start of chapter 2 from Sefer Yetzirah, the Book of Creation. The meditations in chapter 1 are mainly focused on getting an experiential knowledge of the ten Sefirot Beli-Mah, by oscillating from rational to psychic intuitive mind and directed meditation on the infinite nature of the Sefirot. Chapter 1 also has basic letter meditations as mentioned in previous posts.

The next exercise in Chapter 2 is to start combining letters. Aleph with Bet, Aleph with Gimmel and then all the other letters. Bet with Gimmel, Bet with Dalet and then all the following letters. Gimmel with Dalet, Gimmel with Heh and then all the following letters.

The first time that I tried this was an abysmal failure. I did not get past the first line of Aleph combinations. Then when I tried the next night it was even worse. It felt a bit like… well like either running through an unfamiliar garden and missing all the stepping stones. Instead I landed in the brambles every time. It also felt a bit like trying to do a new dance involving more complex moving between dance partners and getting it all very, very wrong.

The worst bit was that I felt as if some of the letters did not like me. It may sound a bit childish and kindergarten thinking, but I definitely felt some resistance. Since I like to twist myself in to impossible pretzels whenever there is even a slight failure in my attempts at magic - I chose a different approach. This involved going through the letter combinations as fast as I possibly could to get used to “running around the garden stepping stones”.

Photo source; Stepping Stone Hospice

At first it was really hard and almost felt like learning to walk again. Some letters stubbornly refused to play along and I literally stumbled over pronouncing them time and again. But within a few days of walking and meditating it was starting to come together and even becoming fun. It reminded me of dancing at a wedding and twirling from one dance partner (letter) to the next.

Although I’ve still not progressed very far with the letter combination meditations from Chapter 2 of Sefer Yetzirah – I have continued with the simple letter meditation from Chapter 1. The curious thing is that now my voice has a ringing quality that it did not have before. Almost like I’m inside a giant bell-jar with all of my surroundings vibrating.

What does that mean? I have no idea… however I’m looking forward to finding out where this journey takes me. What have been your experiences of meditating on the 231 gates or Hebrew letter combination exercises in general?