Prayer & Thanksgiving: Contemplative Prayer

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Tau Malachi
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Prayer & Thanksgiving: Contemplative Prayer

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:59 am

Prayer & Thanksgiving: Contemplative Prayer

“Devote yourselves to prayer, and keep alert in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).

Prayer and meditation (hitbodedut), joined with gifted worship, are the very heart of the Life Divine; hence, a direct communion with Christ and God, and the tzaddikim and maggidim, or “saints and angels.” The entire purpose of a spiritual teacher and community is to support, encourage and facilitate our prayer life, for it is through prayer and meditation that we return to God, or unfold an actual self-realization in Christ. It is because of this that I’m often inclined to teach and write about prayer and meditation, and various ways of worship, for through this we draw nearer to the Holy One and may realize our innate unity with the One.

This teaching of St. Paul on the surface is obvious, for when he says “devote yourself to prayer” he is sharing that the spiritual life is all about prayer, or an active communion with God, and likewise he is sharing that if we wish to love the Lord and devote ourselves to the Lord, we do so through prayer. There is a twofold commandment concerning love, to love the Lord and to love your neighbor as yourself, and we love the Lord through prayer and meditation, and worship, and we love our neighbor through kindness and charity. Thus, prayer and charity fulfill the commandment to love, understanding that prayer includes meditation, and deep contemplation, along with worship.

When St. Paul says, “and keep alert in it with thanksgiving,” he provides a key to prolonged prayer, and the deepening of prayer, and with thanksgiving we may join praise; through praise and thanksgiving we cleave with our heart and soul to Christ and God, and we fill our mind with thoughts of God, and quite naturally in this we are uplifted, our heart opens to the Spirit of God and our consciousness expands, and we draw nearer to God, the Holy One of Being. Here, though, he does not use the word praise, but rather thanksgiving alone, and in so doing he points to a deeper mystical way of prayer, one that becomes deep contemplation of the Mysteries and God, and that may bring our soul into an experience of deep meditation through which the Spirit of God reveals Mysteries and we may experience moments of unification with Christ and God.

Here we may recall that before St. Paul encountered the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus he was the disciple of a noted mekubal of the day and was well versed in the Holy Scriptures, along with the Holy Kabbalah. Thus, in his writings, or teachings, whenever he speaks of deeper mysteries or spiritual practices, there is knowledge of the contemplative and meditative Kabbalah in them; hence, while giving simple, open instruction to the outer assembly, he is always giving instruction to initiates of the inner circle, those who have knowledge of the inner, mystical tradition – Kabbalah.

Thus, when St. Paul speaks of thanksgiving, but does not speak of praise, he is pointing to a way of deep contemplation in prayer through knowledge of the Scriptures and Kabbalah. You see, if you have knowledge of the Scriptures, and the works and wonders God has done that are recounted in them, and joined with this you have knowledge of the Holy Sefirot in them, and the Works of Creation and Works of the Chariot revealed in them, then when you pray, and when you “keep alert in it with thanksgiving,” your thanksgiving becomes rehearsing, contemplating, the Holy Sefirot and their correspondences, or their divine actions in the Works of Creation and the Works of the Chariot. When thanksgiving is engaged in this way in prayer, you cleave with your mind and heart, and your soul, to the Holy Sefirot, or to the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ, and you may experience nearness to the World of the Sefirot, and even unification with the Sefirot through Divine Grace. This naturally can lead to the experience of revelations of the Holy Sefirot, or Divine Attributes, and mysteries of the Works of Creation and Works of the Chariot – greater revelations of the Living Word and Wisdom of God. In this way, thanksgiving in prayer becomes deep contemplation of the Mysteries of Creation and God, and may venture into deep meditation in which the Spirit of God and angels revealed deeper mysteries of heaven, salvation and so on.

As an example, if as we give thanks to God for the self-offering of Adonai Yeshua and the revelation of the Risen Messiah, and the imparting of the Holy Light and Spirit of God through the appearance of the Messiah, so in giving thanks we can venture into mysteries of Gevurah, Hesed and Tiferet, for the mysteries of the crucifixion correspond with knowledge of Gevurah, and the mysteries of the resurrection correspond with knowledge of Hesed, and the Light Transmission corresponds with Tiferet. If we understand that the actual imparting, or manifestation, of the Light Transmission corresponds with Yesod and Malkut, then corresponding knowledge of the mysteries of the unification of Yesod and Malkut might also be included in our thanksgiving. In this we might very well enter into mysteries of the complete surrender, or submission, of the Messiah to El Elyon, knowledge of Hod, and mysteries of the complete dominion, or victory, of the Risen Messiah, knowledge of Netzach. As we give thanks in this way, contemplating the Mysteries of Creation and God in this way, new insights and illuminations naturally dawn, new revelations naturally transpire through the Spirit of God and the angels.

As another example, giving thanks for, and contemplating, the same mysteries of the Holy Gospel, alternatively we could venture into a contemplation of the full power of the 144 Names of God that is gifted to us in the Risen Messiah, and how these Holy Names are the power of salvation, or liberation, in the Risen Messiah. There are, in truth, many different layers of contemplation within and behind such events in the Scriptures.

Here I can share an open secret concerning giving thanks in this way. As we know, the Holy Sefirot are within and behind all that transpires, and as such they are within and behind what transpires in the reality of our experience and our lives. Thus, this way of thanksgiving is not isolate to thanksgiving for the works and wonders of God recounted in the Holy Scriptures, but also the works and wonders God is doing in our own lives, and the lives of others around us, and throughout the world. In this way we may become aware of the spiritual power of the Sefirot, or Divine Attributes, here and now in our own lives, and so invoke greater influxes of their spiritual powers.

Thus, while giving thanks for the outermost manifestations of God’s presence and power, so we can look into the inner and metaphysical dimensions of what has transpired, and what is transpiring, giving thanks for the deeper revelations, or knowledge, understanding and wisdom, of the Mysteries and God. This is a very joyful and powerful way of mystical prayer, and in this way we do keep alert, or awaken our soul, in prayer.

In closing we can also share that “thanksgiving” on every level corresponds with the teaching of cultivating joy, for it is through the cultivation of joy that the Holy Shekinah rests upon us, and the Holy Spirit moves with, in and through us, and we are able to commune with our God, and experience revelation (Kabbalah).

O Holy One, we give all praise and thanks to You, and we bless Your Holy Name, and we pray that we might abide in communion with You this day, abiding in holy remembrance of Your Shekinah with us in mind, heart and body. Amen.

Peace be with you, and God bless you this day!
Tau Malachi
Sophia Fellowship
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Mark Daniel
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Re: Prayer & Thanksgiving: Contemplative Prayer

#2 Postby Mark Daniel » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:56 pm

"Come let us sing to God, let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us sing to Him joyously in song. For God is a great God and a great King over all gods" (Psalms 95:1-3).

These keys to hitbodedut are very precious! I give thanks to Tau Malachi, and to our beloved brother and wise teacher Paul for this offering.

I notice that the Greek word translated as thanksgiving here is eucharistia, which is the same word we derive eucharist from (our Wedding Feast). This has opened the way for a few insights that are bearing good fruit in my own practice-life that I would like to share this morning.

There is a nuance in Tau's writing that caught my attention about the relationship between thanksgiving and a good spiritual education. As I hear it, through a spiritual education our joyous thanksgiving can emerge as a rehearsing of certain truths that can work to deepen and sustain our hitbodedut, and open the way for deeper mysteries to be revealed. I feel Wedding Feast offers various important opportunities to rehearse and rejoice in truths that I am finding to be integral to directing and sustaining hitbodedut.

In the breaking of bread and pouring of wine I remember the self offering that has been made for me. I remember the sacrifice Yeshua made for my awakening, to quicken my way upon the path to liberation. I remember the lifetimes of work that Holy teachers (and all dedicated spiritual aspirants) have spent lifting this life-wave. I remember that their revelation and writings are supporting and nourishing my spiritual life. I remember also God's continual Self-offering of love and force that guides and empowers every aspect of my life and my awakening. I remember how precious this human life is, where I have been offered without reservation absolutely everything I need to awaken to myself in God. We have wise teachers and teachings, we have a fiery and loving community, we have the gift of human minds and hearts, and Praise God we have all the challenges we need! We have a sanctuary of Grace that has been established where the way unfolds like lightning crashes. We are in truth being worked on by Grace on all sides!

But I also remember that it is up to me to make use of this grand offering. I remember that everyday single day is so precious. Every moment an opportunity to meet the Beloved. I remember as well that I too am asked to make this self-offering for the sake and upliftment of all. Here again a spiritual education reminds me that my efforts are of the utmost importance! That what I do, say and think today will not only sculpt my mind and heart in the days to come, but will provoke and invoke various changes whether for good or ill in our shared experience. The contemporary Christian hermit Father Lazarus said in an interview, ‘if you want to ensure you pray daily, and with great ardency, pray with the knowledge that your prayers today uphold the entire world’, at which point he laughs and adds, ‘because they do’. I remember that my own self-offering, enacted deeply in hitbodedut, is for the sake of all those I love, for all those who I meet in this life, for all those beings seen and unseen.

For me it is this joyous remembrance of what I am continually receiving, and what I am called to and empowered to give, that makes coming to my prayer-mat daily (and continuously) not only an honor but a delight! Sustained and progressive depth in meditation comes swiftly when I remember the precious opportunity I have to dive into this moment.


May our joyous thanksgiving draw us deeply into the Heart of the Beloved.

Mark Daniel-

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Re: Prayer & Thanksgiving: Contemplative Prayer

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:11 pm

Grace and peace to you in Hayyah Yeshua, the Risen Messiah!

Yes, indeed, the holy feast of bread and wine is a called the wedding feast, and also the feast of thanksgiving, and considered in connection with the teaching that has been given, so in the holy feast of bread and wine we rejoice in the Living Presence of the Lord, aware of the unification of the Shekinah of Messiah with us, and we contemplate deep mysteries of the Gospel, mysteries of the crucifixion and resurrection, and the ascension, unification and enthronement of the Messiah with the Holy One, the Infinite and Eternal.

There is something more to be said of study and contemplation, and having kavvanot, points of focus, contemplation, in prayer, and in the offering of praise and thanksgiving. As I’ve written elsewhere, prayer corresponds with nefesh, the uplifting of nefesh to God (El, Elohim); hence prayer with faith and devotion, and passionate cleaving with nefesh, the vital soul. If we have a good spiritual education, though, if we engage in regular study and contemplation of the Holy Scriptures and Kabbalah - the Mysteries, then along with our nefesh we can pray with our ruach, our intelligence, and nefesh and ruach are harmonized and united as we pray. If and when there is devekut-cleaving and kavvanah-conscious intention in prayer, and ruach and nefesh are united, then the influence of neshamah may enter, and something of neshamah may be in our prayers, and in our offering of praise and thanksgiving.

This inclusion of ruach, and opening to the influence of our holy neshamah - our greater divine nature, divine intelligence, is why the mekubalim in the Zohar teach that study and contemplation of the Holy Torah [and Gospel], is superior to prayer, for it corresponds with ruach, which is superior to nefesh, and likewise it informs and educates prayer, and elevates our prayers so that they have greater power in heaven.

Listen and hear, and understand! When nefesh and ruach are unified in prayer, and in the offering of praise and thanksgiving, and something of the radiance of neshamah is in our prayers, ornamenting and crowning them, as it were, then truly we “have the ear of heaven,” God and the angels, and our prayers and invocations will be swiftly answered; what is spoken will come to pass - Amen! Praise God!

When our soul is harmonized and unified in this way the Holy Shekinah, Holy Spirit, merges with us and take up our prayers; if and when the Holy Spirit enters into her full divine action as she takes up our prayers, then it may become as God praying to God, the invocation and manifestation of Abundant Mercy, Supernal Grace.

If this is enacted by sisters and brothers gathering for a wedding feast, a feast of thanksgiving, and they are untied in one heart and mind, knit together in the bonds of the love of the Messiah and Holy One, so among them there will be a greater manifestation of the Holy Shekinah, Holy Spirit, and that time and place - their gathering, will be Makom - Dwelling Place. Remember, “Where two or more gather in my name…”, and likewise, “if two or more agree on anything…”, so it is in the celebration of the wedding feast, certainly so!

I will share an open secret that my beloved Tzaddik, Tau Elijah, taught, blessed be his name and memory. If twelve gather together in prayer in this way, and all indeed have prayers of neshamah - radiance of neshamah in their prayers, whatever they envision and utter together will come to pass as envisioned, as uttered, in that very instant yesh me-ain, “something from nothing.” Truly so, for when twelve are gathered in prayer in this way, having prayers of neshamah and the Holy Spirit, the twelve powers of the twelve saviors may come into them, fullness of the Human One of Light - the Messiah.

Such prayers, though, assume the evolution of a strong interior life through daily study and contemplation, prayer and meditation, joined with good works.

It is true, according to the Holy Kabbalah, the world is sustained by the spiritual works of the Tzaddikim of each generation, their running and returning in contemplation, and prayer and meditation; as long as there are ten Tzaddikim in the world, or some say twelve, so the world is preserved and will endure - and it is given to us to pray as though we are among these great Tzaddikim of our generation, with full zeal as though the fate of entire world depends upon our prayers!

Celebrating the wedding feast, the feast of thanksgiving, it’s good to consider and practice this, certainly so!

On this Eve of Shabbat may those who desire it gaze and catch a glimpse of the Eternal Shabbat! Amen.

Shabbat Shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Elder Gideon
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Loves

#4 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:02 pm

Shabbat Shalom, Tau Malachi:

This inclusion of ruach, and opening to the influence of our holy neshamah - our greater divine nature, divine intelligence, is why the mekubalim in the Zohar teach that study and contemplation of the Holy Torah [and Gospel], is superior to prayer, for it corresponds with ruach, which is superior to nefesh, and likewise it informs and educates prayer, and elevates our prayers so that they have greater power in heaven.


You'd earlier reminded us that nefesh corresponds with prayer and ruach with study and contemplation. This teaching has already been established. What's new in my hearing is how the emotional health and well-being of nefesh and ruach are what gauge the influence of neshamah. I likewise imagine devekut-devotion functioning in the nefesh, just as kavvanah-intention being a function of ruach. Where these are in balance and harmony, then the influence of neshamah may enter, and something of neshamah may be in our prayers, and in our offering of praise and thanksgiving. This is most significant, for this is how the officiant embodies even a moment of the deep memory of Do this in remembrance of me. This is the Light Tranmission of the Wedding Feast.

Weddings connote deep love and intimacy, freshness and potential. I wished to ask how the love of nefesh contrasts with the love of ruach? If study is exalted above prayer, ruach guiding nefesh, what more may be said of love expressed by nefesh compared with love expressed by ruach? What characterizes love in prayer and love in study? To have some knowledge of this will surely empower our devekut and kavvanah approaching and entering the Wedding Feast.

Gratefully,

Elder Gideon

Tau Malachi
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Re: Prayer & Thanksgiving: Contemplative Prayer

#5 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:02 pm

Grace and peace to you in Yeshua Messiah!

We cannot acquire knowledge of God (Da’at Elohim) unless we acquire self-knowledge, and with self-knowledge, self-acceptance, so that we can be who we are, where we are, our inner and outer being aligned and harmonized, unified. This corresponds with the wellness, health, of nefesh and ruach, and it is through this that the influence of our neshamah enters and we are able to receive a full and true anointing with the Holy Light and Spirit, and so acquire knowledge of God, something of the knowledge and power of Tzaddik - a righteous one. Understand, with every soul that enters into Mochin Gadlut - the enlightenment experience, the essence and nature of Mochin Gadlut is the same, but the realization of Mochin Gadlut with each individual is unique and individual, and each will have their own unique Habad, and their own unique manifestation of the Shekinah of Messiah, the Light-presence and Light-power. Understanding this, you will understand that we need self-awareness, self-knowledge, and need to be who we are, who God made us to be, and enact those works that have been given to us by God, preordained for before we were born.

Remember, the inmost aspect of our soul - the holiest aspect, is yechidah, our divine spark, or rather, our unique essence; concerning the essence of neshamah, the inner essence of neshamah is yechidah and hayyah, our unique essence and living essence, and if we are to draw upon something of that then we must be who we are in ourselves and in God, being an authentic and unique individual, while aware of the Universal Oneness underlying and uniting all, the Holy One of Being.

Each individual has special works, and a special purpose, that only they can accomplish; it’s woven into who they are, and therefore to fulfill the will of God, the true intention and desire of the soul, a person must be who they are and, as Adonai Yeshua teaches, “let their light shine.”

This is an aspect of “do this in remembrance of me,” not just the remembrance of Yeshua, but rather the Messiah - the Anointing, and more so, the I Am, the indwelling Messiah in us; the bread and wine serving as an empowerment for us to accomplish our works and our purpose in this life. Here let us remember that the rite of ransom, the holy sacrifice, is not a vicarious affair to us, but rather we are called to actively participate in the rite of ransom, engaging in a complete self-offering through good works and charity, and this includes study and contemplation, prayer and meditation - the worship of God (El, Elohim) in spirit and truth.

A “wedding feast,” indeed a feast of love, and more so the fruition of love, the experience of union, oneness - merging with the Beloved; this is the other meaning of Da’at, union, as in “And Adam knew Havvah (Eve).” True knowledge of God comes through nearness and union, and on a spiritual level nearness comes through similitude, resemblance, or the generation of the image and likeness of the Messiah in us, which is the image and likeness of God; but with each of us there is a unique manifestation of the image and likeness of God.

Love implies true desire, and as is known there is nothing wrong with desire in itself, the root of desire is in Keter - the Supernal Crown; but there can be false, impure desires, and even evil desires, and to recognize and realize our true desires requires self-awareness, self-knowledge. If and when we become aware of our true desires - the desires of our heart and soul, then there is love, and this corresponds with the love of nefesh and ruach - the enacting of true intentions and desires in life, those that align with the will of the Supernal One (Ratzon Elyon).

To recognize and enact our true desires requires a spiritual education and self-knowledge, the cultivation of our human and divine intelligence (ruach). Thus, it is through nefesh, our vital soul, and ruach, our intelligence, joined that love dawns - awareness of our true desires, and the love of Yahweh Elohim and love of one another.

Nefesh corresponds with our lower vital, emotional being, and ordinary mind, ruach corresponds with our higher vital and with the higher mind opening to higher, more expanded states of mental consciousness. Needless to say, there is a greater manifestation of love with the realization of ruach; the love of nefesh tends to be personal, while the love of ruach ventures into the impersonal, and is more subtle and sublime.

Neshamah corresponds with the highest states of mental consciousness - cosmic consciousness and the overmind, and ventures into supernal or supramental states of consciousness; as perhaps you might surmise, the love of neshamah is as the love of God, unconditional love, and with it there is the corresponding knowledge of God - God Consciousness, or “seeing face to face,” “knowing as we have been known.”

These are a few thoughts I’m inclined to share.

Blessed be Your Name O Holy One! Amen.

Shalom Aleichem!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia


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