Breathwork, Meditation, and Kabbalah: A Path to Expanded Consciousness

The spiritual experience is associated with the Sephira of Chokhmah, which translates as the divine emanation of wisdom, and it is achieved through breathwork and meditation

The Sephira of Chokhmah is the state of consciousness where we think beyond words, where we can see the bigger picture inf life, and the paradigm of holiness.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get to this state and in this video, we will learn exactly how to get there. So grab a seat and some tea, because this is probably the most important lecture you will see on this topic.

In Kohelet (Ecclesiastes 7:23), King Solomon writes:

כׇל־זֹ֖ה נִסִּ֣יתִי בַֽחכְמָ֑ה אָמַ֣רְתִּי אֶחְכָּ֔מָה וְהִ֖יא רְחוֹקָ֥ה מִמֶּֽנִּי׃

Translation: All this I tried [to perceive] wisdom, I told myself [I shall become] wise, but it is far from me.

From here we learn that this state of consciousness of wisdom is like a sun that keeps moving further away as we go deeper inside ourselves.

Yet, we also find many verses that teach that Chokhmah enlivens a person like the one in the same book that reads

וְיִתְרוֹן דַּעַת הַחָכְמָה תְּחַיֶּה בְעָלֶיהָ

Which translates as “The advantage of knowing wisdom is that it enlivens a person”.

Another verse also teaches that

חכמת אדם תאיר פניו

The wisdom of a person illuminates his face. Keep this in mind.

Holiness and the state of Chokhmah

According to the Zohar, every time we find the root קדש (Kodesh, holiness) in a word, this is a reference to the Sephira of Chokhmah. There are many instances when we find this root such as when mentioning the prayer of Kedusha, Kaddish, when a man marries a woman through Kiddushin, Kodesh which are holy foods or objects, the Kiddush which we recite on Shabbat and Yom Tov, Mikdash the tabernacle, and so on. All these terms have at their root the letters קדש which, again, is associated with wisdom.

There’s a very simple reason for it: holiness is a function of separation (you can write this down), and that means that wisdom is private to those who experience it. It is personal and simply impossible to teach. What we are teaching comes from the Sephira of Binah, which translates as understanding.

But Chokhmah is visualizing all the parts of an idea together and that is something that cannot be transferred. The difference between Chokhmah and Binah has been explained in a previous video already, you can check it out later.

So, how do we get to this state?

Meditation and breathwork

Meditation is an ancient practice with roots stretching across many cultures and spiritual traditions around the world, and has been revered for its powerful impact on the mind, body, and spirit. Even science acknowledges that, so we know it’s real.

I keep telling my students that the ancient Jewish sages and prophets were all master meditators, and this allowed them to probe the deepest secrets of Kabbalah and also perform all their awesome miracles.

Through meditation, we are able to expand our consciousness and reach deeper, more powerful parts of our soul. Other cultures in the East have similar stories of celestial immortals, gurus and sorcerers who could also do great feats and Judaism does recognize their power. Whether it’s rooted on Torah or not, that’s a whole other issue.

So let’s stick to what the Kabbalists have taught us.

As I mentioned, meditation is by far the single most powerful practice to help you reach this expanded state of consciousness, particularly silent meditation during which, as the name suggests, you silence your mind.

When you sit, simply try to cease all the chatter in your mind and become an observer. Observe your thoughts, and observe yourself observing these thoughts. If a thought arises, just let it fly away gently.

breathwork and meditation

Now, this can be difficult and uncomfortable at first, but the benefits are immense. I recommend you start with 5 minutes in the morning and if you can, 5 minutes in the evening before going to bed as well.

This exercise can be done while walking, reading and also helps increase your base awareness, which is crucial to have the spiritual experience. It will take some time until you can really start thinking in Chokhmah but don’t give up because the benefits are cumulative.

You can also use the box breathing using the numerical value of the name YHVH, which is 26 divided as follows: Breath and count to 10, then hold for a count of 5, then slowly exhale at the count of 6 and hold it again for the count of 5.

Make sure that you won’t be disturbed and try to forget about everything else. This is a vital part of the divine service, and Rabbi Chaim Vital teaches in Shaarei Kedusha that in order to elevate oneself, a person needs to enjoy being alone, with himself.

If you are not meditating now and increasing your awareness, you are missing out on a huge part of your soul and the experience of living.

If you are enjoying this video, please do us a favor and subscribe so we can spread the light of Kabbalah around. We have many new videos coming up and I appreciate the help. Seriously, you are doing a huge favor to us and others.

Now, the basis for meditation is breathwork. There’s a reason for this, and that is because breath (Ruach) is spiritual power. No, seriously, listen to this. If you get this right, then you are taking a huge step toward self-fulfillment.

When you breathe, if you have the right intent, you are actually bringing energy inside of you. You can, for example, imagine yourself drawing in blue light and energizing yourself.

Just as (God) breathed life into Adam HaRishon (the first man), so too we breathe life into ourselves by filling our bodies with air. Breathing is a serious business because we are actively drawing down Mokhin which is divine consciousness through breath if we put our awareness to it.

And the proper way to breath is by gently expanding the lower part of your abdomen as you draw air in. Try to move your chest as least as possible. This is called the “normal breathing”, and it is used to balance your body, your mind and also draw in energy.

If you want a burst of energy, you can use reverse breathing, which, as the name implies, you lift your chest instead as you inhale while contracting the perineum. But this is a more advanced technique that we won’t be exploring now.

Unfortunately, the majority of people nowadays have very shallow breathing due to work, stress, disease, conditioning, and many other issues.

If we want to improve our energy circulation, we must restore breathing to its proper place and that starts with awareness, which is a form of “light meditation” in its own right.

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So now we have all the pieces of the puzzle. But in order to start putting them together we need awareness.

Awareness is the Sephira of Da’at, which literally means knowledge. But the truth is it serves a variety of functions. When are become aware, you are focused on the present, we are in Da’at.

If you pause and think a little, there are no problems in the present moment. Zero. Any issues that trouble us are either remnants of the past or projections into the future. Things that have no bearing in the present and have absolutely no use. Think about it, how much worry have we had about the future about things that never come to pass?

How many things that we were already supposed to have let go that still haunts us and prevents us from going forward?

Let’s do a little exercise: Pause for a moment and take a deep breath.

Think about your body and life. Think about how you have food, a house, a functioning body, many sources of joy, and so on. Everyone has something to be thankful for.

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When we fully immerse ourselves in the present moment, we connect to the presence of God that rejuvenates us. In the present moment, all problems dissolve.

The inspiration and creativity that often get lost in the chaos of our thoughts return to us in this state. Being in the present moment allows us to free up the energy that we often waste worrying about the past or future.

This awareness is a very powerful state, and it is the beginning of real wisdom and true change.

If we use this energy to expand our minds, then we are coming closer and closer to the epiphany, the experience, and the guidance that we seek in life. That one moment that we all seek which will light a path for us, and everything will make sense. The pain will dissolve and we will heal.

This is the beginning of wisdom and we will explore it more in the coming videos.

Thank you for watching, please remember to subscribe and share, and wish you a great journey.

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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