You may remember we once spoke about how Hitbodedut is a practice in Jewish spirituality that involves speaking to God in solitude and openness. It is a form of personal prayer and meditation that encourages individuals to connect with their inner selves and Hashem.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov famously said that Hitbodedut is the highest form of service of Hashemand many people do tend to associate it with BreslovChassidut. However, we also discussed how this practice dates way back and is even mentioned in the Zohar.
In this article, we will focus on a few fascinating Kabbalistic secrets that involve Hitbodedut to enhance your life!
Understanding the mind from a Kabbalistic perspective
The human mind is incredibly complex and powerful. Just like every Sephira contains an array of 10 Sephirot within it, the human mind is also arranged according to them. Hashem made it so each and every one of us could find the answers we need inside of us.
Kabbalah teaches that, just like Psychology, the human mind is divided into several layers, each with its own unique qualities and characteristics. At the surface level is the conscious mind, which processes information and makes decisions based on rational thinking. Below the conscious mind lies the subconscious, which is responsible for storing memories, emotions, and beliefs that influence our thoughts and behaviors. At the deepest level is the superconscious or "divine spark," which connects us to Hashem and who we truly are.
Through the practice of Hitbodedut, individuals can access the deeper recesses of the mind and rectify parts that are hidden. By engaging in intense self-reflection and introspection, one can become aware of the subconscious patterns and beliefs that may be holding them back or causing negative behavior. These patterns are often what is blocking our blessings from coming down to the physical world.
Through Hitbodedut, one can examine these negative traits, challenge them, and seek to replace them with more positive and empowering beliefs and attitudes. The Ba’al Shem Tov used to say that the speech that comes through Hitbodedut is a form of Ruach HaKodesh (divine spirit) that enclothes in a person. In a way, it’s like having Hashem as your psychologist!
We need to remember one very important Kabbalistic principle, which is that “the soul is consciousness”. Meaning, we can have a picture of how healthy our soul is by putting our attention in our consciousness. If we are feeling happy, hopeful, and filled we love, then we can say our soul is in a pretty good state.
Matei V’lo Matei
Having all that in mind (no pun intended), one of the most obscure and complex concepts in Kabbalah is that of Matei V’lo Matei. This is brought succinctly in the Zohar, but explained more in-depth in Etz Chaim in Etz Chayim. Essentially, Matei V'lo Matei can be translated as "[it is] found and [it is] not found" and refers to the process of rectification of the primordial Sephirot of the world of Akudim (“bound”). The first Sephira of Keter receives light from the “mouth of Adam Kadmon” and the light then retracts together with the Sephirah. Then the light goes to Keter and Chokhmah and then retracts again. This process goes in a spring-like fashion until all the Sephirot are rectified and returned to their source.
What this means for us is that the way to rectify ourselves through Hitbodedut is also using the process of Matei V’lo Matei. In talking to Hashem using our own words, we bring down light in this very same way,digging deeper in our unconscious (the soul) and uncovering spiritual treasures. As you may remember from the previous article, a person needs to be sensitive to receive the language of the soul, which is often non-verbal, but that gets better with practice.
This concept of Matei V’lo Matei also teaches that,while ultimate truth and knowledge are available to those who seek it, it is also infinitely complex and ultimately impossible to fully comprehend.
Doing Hitbodedut really is a wondrous thing.
In addition to accessing the deeper recesses of the mind, Hitbodedut can also help individuals tap into the superconscious or divine spark within. By connecting with the divine through prayer, meditation, and contemplation, one can experience a sense of unity and oneness with Hashem, the ultimate source of reality.
Through the practice of Hitbodedut, individuals can cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them, leading to a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment. This can lead to profound insights and revelations that can transform one's life and bring them closer to their highest potential.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov who popularized it teaches that the ideal time to do it is at night, because then a person is free from disturbances, and in the fields, because then “even the blades of grass grant him power to do Hitbodedut”.
Another incredibly important point he speaks about is that the practice of Hitbodedut is not just about speaking to hashem, but also about listening for Hisresponse. Through this practice, we can develop a deeper sense of intuition and gain a greater understanding of our own inner voice.
The Holy Ohr HaChaim (Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar) writes that a person must do Hitbodedut in order to find the “corners of his heart” that still need to be rectified. Hitbodedut is the only way to do it, because, contrary to regular prayer, it can reach a much deeper level in the human psyche, as we just saw.
The great Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, also known as the Ramchal, used to practice Hitbodedut a lot. He’d often seclude himself in a small room, away from distractions and worldly concerns, and engage in intense meditation to draw down RuachHaKodesh. After being in that state for some time, he’d quickly take a pen, and start writing his chiddushimrapidly and without letting go. In a way, he divested his mind from the mundane levels and opened himself to the higher levels of his soul to manifest.
All of these levels are accessible even to regular people like us, should we put our minds to it. I bless that you should find great blessings and salvations using Hitbodedut!
This article was written in the zechut of Atara Chen bat Dina Ilana may Hashem help her attain her hearts desires speedily!
In the merit of the study of this book - the book of the Zohar - the Jewish People will leave the Exile in a merciful manner. (parashat Naso, 124b)
Studying Kabbalah is a huge source of merit that can bring all sorts of salvation to a person’s life.
If you want to sponsor to have me study in-depth Kabbalah from the Arizal or the Rashash in your merit and receive its blessings, especially for sustenance, children and health ❤️