KABBALISTIC MEDITATION FOR BUILDING SELF CONFIDENCE
There are four sacred and mighty beings called Hayyoth [life forces] who hold up the firmament. They sing "Holy, holy, holy, is Adonoy Tzevaot (the Lord of Hosts), the whole world is full of Its glory" (Isaiah 6:3). They turn to the south and say "holy", they turn to the north and say "holy", they turn to the east and say "holy", they turn to the west and say "blessed".
Zohar Bereshit 71b
The Kabbalah offers an image of creation in the form of four worlds: atzilut, beriah, yetzirah, and assiyah. Atzilut is the world of spirituality, beriah is the world of the intellect, yetzirah is the world of emotions and speech and assiyah is the world of physicality. There are many metaphors dealing with these four worlds and basic kabbalistic techniques to reflect upon various events and people from the perspective of the four worlds. The following four world meditation is designed to build self confidence.
(It is sometimes best to work with a partner, with one guiding the other, whose eyes are closed, through this meditations at a slow, comfortable pace.)
1. Sit quietly, observing the breath rising and falling in the chest or the stomach. Don't be concerned when other thoughts arise when you are sitting quietly. Just allow them to come and go as you continuously bring your consciousness to the physical experience of the rising and falling of the chest or stomach on the breath. Do this for five minutes.
2. Visualize yourself, your physical being, your physical strengths and weaknesses. How you are built. Are you tall? Are you short? Are you thin? Are you chubby? Are you strong? Notice when doing this the tone of the inner voice. Are you objectively evaluating yourself, or is there a subjective, judgmental, self-critical tone? As the purpose of this particular meditation is simply to be objective, please be careful not to enter into a judgmental state of mind. Simply be objective in noticing your physical strengths or weaknesses. What is this body of yours best designed to do; what are some things it cannot do so well?
3. Next, analyze yourself on the emotional level. Emotionally, for what are you well suited and what would be difficult assignments for you? Again, view yourself objectively, as if you were someone else applying for a position and you had to report on this person's emotional makeup. How do you deal with stress, frustration, anxiety, love, friendship, authority, and so forth?
4. Now move up to the level of the intellect. What is your mind good for, and in what are you less competent intellectually-from your own objective perspective? Report to yourself on your intellectual strengths and weaknesses. (Again, be careful not to fall into the trap of being selfcritical or selfjudgmental. The purpose of this exercise is not to feel bad or uncomfortable about who we are, but simply to evaluate our inherent skills and abilities) In which situations does your intellect serve you well, and where is it lacking?
5. Now we are going to take a little journey, back in time. Pretend and imagine that you are able to enter into the higher soul levels. What was your soul before you were born? This may be difficult to visualize so simply pretend that whatever you experience are souls and not people.
6. Imagine that your soul and others are seated at a large table. All of these souls are in some way related to you: your parents, your brothers, your sisters, your lovers, your friends. You are all seated at this table before any of you were born and you are discussing what it is you need to do that requires joining a body in the world. We all need to do something, fix something, or accomplish something. You may not be able to articulate this completely, but you know that you have made a commitment to join a particular physical body, to have relationships with these other souls, to accomplish some fixing in yourself and in the world.
7. Now return into your present body and once again reflect on your physical structure, your emotional make up and your intellectual capacity. Look at all these things now in terms of the idea that you have inherent attributes that are precisely what your soul needs in order to accomplish exactly what it is supposed to do in this world. Say to yourself, "I have exactly what I need."
8. Now, consider would it would mean if there were no mistakes whatsoever in your choice of physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. Assume that your soul chose this body you are in. You have been given exactly what you need in terms of your physical, emotional, and intellectual strengths; and you have exactly what you need in terms of your family relations. Everything you have is precisely what you need to make the repair of your soul and of the world; this is something that was determined before you were born. Please contemplate this for a few minutes.
9. When you are ready, allow your imagination to relax. Come back to the experience of observing your chest rising and falling on the breath. Notice if there is any tension in your arms and hands, in your head, neck, and jaw. Relax for a couple of moments, and when you are ready, end this meditation.
The four worlds meditation is designed to help us realize that everything in our lives operates harmoniously with the higher realms, that all our characteristics are integrated in the unified wholeness of who we are. We have exactly what we need to perform the task that we are here to do, whatever it may be. This is an empowering meditation, strongly suggesting that our lives are not accidental, our relationships with friends and family are not random. Moreover, we realize that everything we have and every event we experience is a gift, once we gain an understanding of the cosmic perspective.