Word of Light: Meditations on the Shema

Sh'ma Israel: Journey of Light

Sit quietly. Relax. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. As you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in waves of healing energy. Feel these waves flow through your entire body. Feel this energy embrace your soul force and your spirit. As you exhale, envision any negative energy – any pain, tension, stress, fatigue – being released from your body, carried away on the soft wind of your breath. With every breath, feel the narrow places within you opening, expanding, becoming filled with waves of deep relaxation and healing energy. Feel this happening in your feet, legs, hips, hands, arms, shoulders, abdomen, spine, chest, neck, head, face.

Envision the word “Sh'ma” like notes on a music scale. See and feel each letter vibrate. Hear the sound of each letter whispering to you, singing to you. Feel that this whisper, this song comes from deep within you. Hear your voice softly chanting each letter slowly. Now see and sense the letters lifting from the music scale. See each letter lift from the page. See the letters grow bigger and bigger. See how they form a vertical column. Now see yourself reach out and touch these letters and as you do, the word begins to float upward. See yourself floating upward with the word, like a kite. See where it takes you. Feel the vibrations of word as it is chanted from a voice outside you and a voice within you. Feel the sacredness of your journey.

Hold on to these images as you now become aware once more of your breath and the boundaries of your body. As you take a few deep breaths, become aware of the gentle rise and fall of your chest. Become aware once more of your presence in this room. Then – whenever you are ready – slowly, gently – open your eyes.

Sh'ma Israel: Body of Light

Sit quietly. Relax. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. As you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in waves of healing energy. Feel these waves flow through your entire body. Feel this energy embrace your soul force and your spirit. As you exhale, envision any negative energy – any pain, tension, stress, fatigue – being released from your body, carried away on the soft wind of your breath. With every breath, feel the narrow places within you opening, expanding, becoming filled with waves of deep relaxation and healing energy. Feel this happening in your feet, legs, hips, hands, arms, shoulders, abdomen, spine, chest, neck, head, face.

Envision the Hebrew word “Sh'ma” written vertically. See it as a column of pure light, like a candle flame. Now envision this word of light touching you, wrapping around you like tallit.

Now envision the shin wrapping around your head, forming a menorah of light. Feel the light energy from the shin flowing into the pores of the skin of your head and face. Feel the light flowing into the orifices of your face – your mouth, your ears, your your nostrils, your eyes. Now see the light entering deeper into your head. See how the light enters the neurons, the cells of your brain. See how the energy from the shin becomes one with the energy from these neurons. See how the light flows from the neurons in your brain to the neurons of your spinal cord, and along the pathways of the nerve cells throughout your body. Envision this network of cells and pathways as an intricate matrix of energy. Feel the warmth it brings to you.

Now see the mem wrapping around your chest, your abdomen, your spine – the core of your body. See how it holds your core – your heart and lungs – in a cradle of glowing light. See, sense, and feel this light penetrate your heart. Feel this light pulsate with every beat of your heart. See this light flow from your heart to your bloodstream. Feel this light flow from your bloodstream to all the cells of your body. Feel this light move in and out of your lungs with every breath you take. Feel how it brings light and oxygen from your lungs to every cell of your body.

Now see, sense, and feel the ayin envelop your limbs. See how the ayin sends out tendrils of light that gently touch your hands, your feet, your arms, your legs. Feel this light penetrate your bones, giving you strength. Feel this light penetrate your muscles, tendons, ligaments, giving you movement.

And now see how all these glowing letters of light surround you and hold you. See the light from the sh'ma flow over you and through you like a waterfall. And, as you see yourself as a body of light energy within this greater light, you hear the word “sh'ma” whisper through your soul. You are at one with this word of light.

Hold on to these images as you now become aware once more of your breath and the boundaries of your body. As you take a few deep breaths, become aware of the gentle rise and fall of your chest. Become aware once more of your presence in this room. Then – whenever you are ready – slowly, gently – open your eyes.

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