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Endlessness

In Kabbalah the furthest reaches of our concept of the Divine is represented by the EIN SOF.

EIN SOF means "Without End" or "Endlessness." It is that which is beyond all things, it is the no-thing-ness out of which all things continually arise and dissolve back into; it is the quantum void or zero point field at the heart of every particle of matter, out of which all matter continually arises and dissolves back into; it is the giant black holes in the furthest reaches of the universe, continually giving birth to planets and stars and then swallowing them up again.

EIN SOF is also that which precedes thought (machshavah) and even the nothingness (ayin) out of which thought arises. (Cooper, p.67)

EIN SOF is the totality of all that is and all that is not; it is all being and all non-being; it is nothing and it is everything. It is the Divine void out of which all creation continuously arises and into which all creation ultimately returns.

Meditation on the EIN SOF is the practice of transcending our mental, emotional and perceptual boundaries and returning to the Source of Creation, the endlessness that is at the heart of our essential nature. (Fisdel, p.96)


Meditation on Nothingness

1. Sit in a comfortable upright position and relax;
2. Focus on the breath for a few moments;
3. Then bring your awareness to your pulse, listening for its beat in your body;
4. Then bring your awareness to any sensations in your body and be present to them without trying to judge or change them;
5. Then bring your awareness to any feelings you are holding and be present to them without trying to judge or change them;
6. Then bring your awareness to your thoughts and be present to them without trying to judge or change them;
7. Then bring your awareness to the space between your thoughts and imagine the space expanding into silence;
8. Enter into the silence, the emptiness, the nothingness;
9. Sense your being-ness beyond thought, feeling and perception. Sense your nearness to the Divine. Sense the nothingness deep within you;
10. Be with the nothingness for as long as you can;
11. When you are ready to return, bring your awareness back to your thoughts, then to your feelings, then to any physical sensations, then to your pulse, then to your breath;
12. Take four slow deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.


EIN SOF Mantra and Mandala Meditation

1. Sit in a comfortable upright position;
2. Take four slow deep breaths;
3. Focus your eyes on the center point of the EIN SOF Mandala above;
4. Take slow gentle breaths while silently repeating EIN (eye'n) on the exhalations and SOF (so'f) on the inhalations;
5. After ten breaths and silent EIN SOF repetitions, close your eyes and focus on the after image of the mandala, continuing the silent repetitions until the after image fades into nothingness;
6. Be with the nothingness for as long as you can;
7. When you are ready to return, bring your awareness back to your breath and take four slow deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.


References

Rabbi David A. Cooper. God is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism. New York: Riverhead Books, 1997.

Rabbi Steven A. Fisdel. The Practice of Kabbalah: Meditation in Judaism. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1996.

Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi (Warren Kenton). Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1979.

 


 

Index
Welcome
Introduction
In Beginning
In The Beginning
Before The Beginning
Endlessness
Eternal Light
Darkness
The Divine Orchard
The Awakening Self
The Divine Name
Season of Liberation
The Ten Lessons
Kabbalah Q&A

 

Comments

 

Mark,

This is good; the visual image is a beautiful center of focus. What are the words written over it, and the words written within the circles? Thanks for posting it.
Ruth

Posted by: Ruth

 

Ruth,

I also find this visual image a beautiful center of focus. It is a visual representation of the process of creation: "From EIN SOF OR, the Endless Light that surrounds the void, there emanated a beam of light which penetrated from the periphery towards the center. This, the KAV or beam of Divine Will (represented by the vertical line cutting through the top half of the mandala image), manifested in 10 distinct stages of emanation." (Halevi, p. 5)

In the top part of the image the Hebrew words (from right to left in large print) EIN, EIN, SOF are the label for the surrounding space which is the dimension of Nothingness (EIN) and Endlessness (EIN SOF).

The Hebrew words radiating inward along the rings (from top left of center) are the labels for the outer ring of Eternal Light (EIN SOF OR) and the emanating waves of the 10 Divine attributes (Sefiot) of KETER (Crown), CHOKHMAH (Wisdom), BINAH (Understanding), CHESED (Mercy), GEVURAH (Justice), TIFERET (Beauty), NEZAH (Victory), HOD (Glory), YESOD (Foundation) and MALKHUT (Kingdom).

The Hebrew word for SEFIROT is imprinted in the outer ring at the bottom center of the mandala.

While the Sefirot are normally depicted as a vertical tree (The Tree of Life), I believe this image gives a clearer representation of the emanation process through which these attributes are continuously unfolding.

Also, if you count the outer edge and center point of the mandala, and the two edges of each Sefirah, you will discover 22 points which correspond to the 22 sounds/vibrations/pathways of creation, represented by the 22 letters of the Hebrew Aleph-bet.

As one gazes at this image the elements subliminally blend into the four worlds (or levels) of creation, stimulating a reawakening of the consciousness of creation: Emanation emerges out of EIN EIN SOF; Creation extends out of EIN SOF OR; Formation unfolds through the ten SEFIROT; and Manifestation arises out of the 22 vibrations.

In gratitude for the gift of your response.

Mark

Posted by: markallankaplan

 

Thanks for this reply. . .my sense is that one doesn't need to know consciously the meanings of these words in order for the figure to act upon the psyche. . .but I do have a curious streak which likes to know what I'm looking at! R

Posted by: Ruth

 

You're welcome, Ruth. It is believed that this image and others like it do act upon the psyche without us needing to know its meaning consciously. For myself, I too have a curious streak that likes to know what I am looking at and I find that understanding the meaning can both heighten my experience (if I use it for contemplation) or hinder it (if the meaning becomes a limiting construct in my mind).

In gratitude,

Mark

Posted by: markallankaplan

 

 
 

 

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