Jewish Meditation in Time and Space

Jewish Meditation in Time and Space

The most fundamental teaching in Judaism is that the Creator is infinite.

And when He created the world, He created it in such a way that the inhabitants would have the free will to choose to either connect with him or not to. Like any relationship, a relationship with the Creator is one in which both parties choose to connect with each other.

But can an infinite being create another being which has this free will? By creating human beings with the subjective perception that they are separate individuals, living in a finite world full of differentiated objects.

In other words, the true reality is that the Creator’s infinite oneness permeates all and unifies all into one infinite source, which is often figuratively compared to an infinite light.

As human beings however, we were given a mind that distills that “white light” into all sorts of different colors, like a prism; resulting in constant distinctions: “I am me, you are you, this is a chair, God is over there”.

There is no spoon

This perception of reality is fundamentally flawed and inaccurate, part of a built-in mechanism that allows for human free will. There are times when we are able to rise above this limitation, like when we take drugs, meditate intensely, or have a stroke.

This last examples is described in fascinating detail in the following  TED talk, where Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor describes how her left brain shut down as a result of a stroke, leaving her without the ability to differentiate between her arm and the wall (at minute 8:00) – and feeling at peace with the entire universe (14:00).  

[youtube id=”UyyjU8fzEYU” align=”center” parameters=”t=8m”]

 As human beings, this limitation was built into our finite experience in order to allow us to exercise our free will; our goal is to rise above the limitations of our mind to connect to the Infinite Oneness that is at the root of all reality.

Behind the mask

Jewish mysticism teaches that the Creator created layer upon layer of physicality in order to mask His true Oneness – imagine a human being putting on multiple eyeglasses, each one with a different effect to further mask the true nature of his surroundings.

However, not all elements of the illusion were created equal.

We are taught that there are points in time throughout the year, and physical locations throughout earth, where one can experience a greater sensation and connection with the Oneness of the creator.

Different times of year and different location contain different spiritual potentials for growth – for example:

  • Passover is traditionally a time where it is easier to achieve spiritual freedom
  • Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is a time when it is easier to redefine your purpose in life
  • The Land of Israel is considered a land where “The eyes of the Lord your God towards from the beginning of the year to the end”, in other words, a place where spirituality can be felt more tangibly.
  • More specifically, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is traditionally the holiest spot in the world, the connection point between earth and the higher spiritual realms. 

Thus, the Jewish holidays do not just mark rote events that occurred thousands of years ago, rather, they indicate a spiritual potential that is inherently present at that time of year. Similarly, different earthly locations are not just nostalgic touch points, they carry within them deep spiritual significance.

Tapping in 

With the help of meditation, it is possible to tap more deeply into the power inherent in every moment in time and in every place on earth. As an example, below is a meditation that will help you experience the spiritual power invested in the western wall.

It was taken from a live experiment we ran where random strangers experienced one of our guided meditations for the first time in their lives, with overwhelming success. I hope this meditation has the same effect on you (you can watch the full video here).


In this section, we learned:

  • That the experience of differentiation and finiteness of our physical existence is part of an illusion created to allow for our free will.
  • This illusory “mask” is not created equal, there are times and places where it is easier or harder to spiritually connect to the creator.
  • Jewish meditation allows us to fully experience the power inherent in these opportunities.

The ideas in this section are a bit complex and abstract, feel free to email me with any questions you may have. Next week, we will explore another facet of meditation, perception and memories. 

Previous topics in this series:

  1. What is meditation?
  2. What makes meditation Jewish