Last Thursday night, I was privileged to participate in the Mirror Reflections workshop for teens, and the focus of the evening, was discussion about, and exercising of, a very special tool… The Power of Visualization.
Visualization is more than just closing your eyes and picturing something. You stop and focus; you picture your movements; you imagine, on a deep level, what you will sense if you perform the imagined action. This visualization enwraps your mind, stimulates your senses, and affects your feelings. This tool, of visualization (also referred to as meditation), is even utilized by psychologists, to assist and uplift, and motivate their patients.
Kabbalah is a unique pillar of the Lag ba’Omer holiday. Lag ba’Omer, is the yartzeit (Yiddish for the anniversary of a passing) of the renowned sage and mystic, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. On this day, before his passing, he bestowed upon the world a ground-breaking gift: The Holy Zohar. A Divine masterpiece of Kabbalah. A treasury of Torah secrets that had never before been revealed to the world.
Kabbalah teaches, that everything that exists, is united by their essence, all derived from One True Source: Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Some mistakenly believe the misconception that the Holy and Divine, and our material, secular world, are two separate existences. This is not so. We always strive to attain kedusha, and it is said that Hashem desires to dwell in our world. G-d’s life-force sustains all beings and existences, not just plant, animal, and human, but truly, everything– a hat, a rock, an idea. Hashem invests His essence in every single thing, If He didn’t do this, every single thing as we know it would cease to exist. G-d’s energy is what keeps everything in existence.
Hashem, from His deepest essence, to His powers and ’emotions’ (or attributes) that emanate from it, that we know as the Sefiros, are present in every existence as sparks. Sparks of G-dly light, and Divine energy and inspiration. We can’t physically observe these sparks, but we can perceive them in a deeper way.
Visualization is a very profound method, to help us perceive the Divine. Take visualization of a piece of fruit, for example. Picture the fruit in great detail, focus, and sense the smell, taste, feel. Say the blessing, and bring G-d into the picture. Reflect upon the beauty and holiness of the piece of fruit, and give Hashem a partnership in your action with your bracha. Feel and envision… you can now almost see the spark. The spark of G-d. Not a virtually visible flash or glimmer, but a spiritual one.
Practice this great power of visualization, and you will hone your sensitivity to truly sensing Him in all your life, and the tiny, faint spark will grow and grow, until it is like a large and thriving fire. This is one idea of what Lag ba’Omer bonfires symbolize. We must strengthen ourselves to visualize G-d in even the smallest and seemingly insignificant aspects of our lives, to carefully pick up the sparks, until they gather into a raging flame. Hashem, and awareness of His presence, will then burn passionately and profoundly and clearly for us.
Mothers, or maternal mentors, are key in teaching us this incredible tool. They help us to visualize our futures, forge our paths, and achieve our goals. They teach us to see Hashem in all of our lives. They kindle our passions, and nurture our fires, to pursue our dreams and do what is right. They keep those flames burning with life, and guide us in maintaining strong belief and recognition of Hashem throughout our days, and while we visualize, connecting to soul, self, and essence.
Thank you mothers. Thank you for tending our fires. We respect you greatly, and love you so much.