Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Question & Answer With Rabbi Ozer Bergman - Making Room For Hashem's Thoughts

(Picture courtesy of

A Simple Jew asks:

In your book "Where Earth and Heaven Kiss" you wrote about a simple meditation one can do whereby one temporarily empties his thoughts and makes room for Hashem's thoughts to enter his brain. How have you found that this meditation has been beneficial to you?

Rabbi Ozer Bergman answers:

This, like many eitzot of Rebbe Nachman -- and of all tzaddikim, really -- is a matter of reaction time. That is, too often there is a gap between the onset of "danger" and the realization that it has begun!

By "danger" I mean:

[a] the pressures that one may be feeling that are pushing him/her to a bad psychological place (anger, frustration or worse);

[b] the lure, sometimes blatant, sometimes subtle, that has us losing self-control to some desire or temptation that Hashem has warned us is to our detriment (e.g., smoking crack, eating a cheeseburger, bitul Torah). As my reaction time has improved, the practice of emptying my mind and re-filling it with Hashem's has saved me often.

I started attempting this practice/eitzah about four years ago. I do it when I realize I need it, and once in a while, usually on Shabbos Kodesh. It is from Sichot HaRan #279 can be found in "Where Earth and Heaven Kiss" on page 230-231. (See also Likutey Halakhot, Netilat Yedayim Shacharit 4:3 [end].)


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