In the fall of 2011, I was invited to record a series of meditation for an online program that was to span 40 days, or a little bit under 6 weeks. Though the idea of applying the teachings of Kabbalah to a meditation series had been with me for a long time, this program gave me the impetus to finally manifest what had always been a dream of mine. This two-CD set is the result of this long-unfolding work, the product of many years of my studying the principles of Kabbalah and of practicing meditation from the Jewish tradition as well as from many others the world over.
$23.75 (2-CD Set)
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We find in Torah and, subsequently, in Kabbalah, five expressions to describe what the English simply calls "soul." In our day and age we might call these five "levels" of soul, five states of consciousness. These five levels of soul are--in the Kabbalistic vision--nested one within the other, like concentric circles.
I have synthesized, here, a six-stage meditation practice based on the principles of Kabbalah that aims at dissolving our identification with these concentric circles starting with the outer layer and working our way in. Ultimately, what one discovers at the center is one's own True Identity, the Face of the One that is every one.
What is offered in these CDs is grounded in the work of Jewish mystics and Kabbalah, and is a reflection of the different spiritual paths that have influenced me through the years. Though I would like to claim originality, the practices reflected in these two CDs are but a collection of different teachings and influences put together in what is designed to be a coherent meditation practice. My personal practice of Jewish meditation has only been enriched by these encounters with other ways. Yet second to none, the millennia-old mystical path of Kabbalah has offered the world a powerful set of practices that Kabbalists have shared in every generation. They are the core of this CD set.
Though there are five levels of soul in Kabbalah, this is a six-stage meditation practice. The first stage, which forms the base of our practice, is only indirectly connected to the levels of soul; it is a critical breathing and relaxation exercise that will infuse the rest of our meditations. For each of the six stages I offer a few words of introduction that place the practice in its Kabbalistic context. Following this introduction is the guided meditation itself which lasts about 15 minutes and is to be listened to daily. Each stage builds upon the other, so you are strongly encouraged to follow them in the order they were designed. I recommend that you dedicate at least a week to practicing each stage.
After the first week of the breathing and relaxation meditation practice, I would like to suggest that you use the recordings as follows:
I would also recommend that you download both CDs to your computer, I Pod, or smart phone and select the two tracks you need for that specific session in advance of beginning your practice. Each meditation session from "week two" forward should, therefore, be a 30 minute session. If you are new to meditation, 30 minutes after just a few days might seem overwhelming. Which is why I recommend that you take your time and, at first, simply practice the breathing and relaxation meditation on track 2, until you feel comfortable meditating for 30 minutes. This is not pass-or-fail, nor is it about reaching any kind of goal. This is about entering a life-long goal-less practice that holds the potential of transforming you from the inside out. So if it takes a few weeks for you to be able to sit for 30 minutes, so be it.
With a Modern Orthodox, Sephardic background, Rabbi Olivier has been a student of Torah and of the Jewish way for most of his life. He lived in Israel for close to 10 years, where he studied in Jerusalem with many teachers of the Jewish spiritual path, both in Yeshivas and scholarly circles.
Rabbi Olivier is a teacher of non-dual Judaism, anchored in Jewish tradition. He approaches Torah as a paradigm for spiritual awakening and a lens for exploring one's Jewish identity. He fosters a Jewish spiritual practice which includes guided and silent meditations, mystical chant, ecstatic music, song & dance. He is an integrally informed teacher who promotes a Jewish spirituality supportive of an integration of mind, body and spirit, awakening for each individual practitioner, expressing in community, and manifesting in our world.
Receiving a B.A. and a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College in Newton, MA, Rabbi Olivier was ordained as a Rabbi in 2009. He is now the Rabbi of Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue in Seattle where he lives with his wife, Amy and their children Amalya and Lior. Rabbi Olivier is available to officiate at Jewish and interfaith, opposite or same-sex marriages, funeral and memorial services or any other life-cycle event and also provides spiritual guidance to those in need by appointment.
Souls' Journey: Meditation and Kabbalah (2-CD Set)