C. SMALL-FACE CENTERED MEDITATION ROUTINE - ELABORATE VERSION
The previous section described an example of a simple routine of practice.
The mantric meditation that was described is THE core Small Face-centered
practice of the Mystical Qabalah. It is quite powerful in and of itself,
and has proven quite effective. There is no particular mandate to engage
in a more complicated routine, and the power of ones practice is not
a function of its complexity. However, as stated earlier, the Mystical Qabalah
has the flexibility that allows each person to customize and evolve a routine
of practices, within certain parameters. So, by way of example, this section
presents a more elaborate process.
In a more elaborate routine of practices, as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, before all else, mentally praise the Lord and give thanks for another day of embodied human life and the grace of being on the path of spiritual awakening. If you have been sleeping with a partner, silently acknowledge their inherent divinity as the Lord YHVH or Queen Shekhinah, respectively. Attend to any calls of nature, and then make ablution, washing your hands and face, and if you wish, your feet. After making ablution, proceed to your dedicated room or spot where you have your shrine. At the doorway, touch the fingers of your right hand to your lips, then to the mezuzah on the doorpost, and then to your heart. Bow to the shrine and then enter. Go to the altar and kneel down before your shrine, briefly casting your gaze successively upon all the objects there, and finally upon the image of the Name YHVH in the Tzimtzum against the blue Light of the Endless.
The next step is to make prostration. Before people walk, they crawl; first on their bellies, then on their hands and knees. Long before that, the fetal position is experienced in the womb. Prostration blends postures that are deeply embedded in human consciousness. Placing the forehead to the Earth is a primordial act of reverence, unification, and extinction. The religious act of prostration is found in some form in virtually all faiths. As practiced in Islam for instance, prostration (Ar. sujud) is a central component in the ritual of prayer (Ar. salat) that is performed five times every day. Buddhists are well known for performing long series of continuous prostrations in the course of making pilgrimage to a holy site, or when circumambulating such a site. Devout Hindus are often seen prostrating before shrines and in taking the dust of their Gurus feet. Christian priests and nuns make prostration in the form of the Cross, with arms stretched out to the sides.
Prostration beautifully portrays the drama of individuated consciousness alternatively manifesting and becoming extinct. In the alternating manifestation and extinction of individual consciousness, we can see perfectly reflected the macrocosmic manifestation and dissolution of the One-Small-Face-Universe. Prostration is practiced in all the worlds mystical traditions as an act of reverence, remembrance, and humility. Perform your acts of prostration with a focused intention, dwelling upon the act of extinction in the Mysterious Unknown at the Roots of All Things as you place your forehead to the ground, and the act of manifestation of the Small Face universe as you rise back up.
Next, light the candle while intoning the Sabbath blessing:
Baruch atah Yod Heh Vav Heh Elohenu Melech haOlam,
Asher kiddeshanu buhmitzvotav vitzivanu luhhadlich ner shel Shabat.
Lighting a candle with this blessing is appropriate because, for a Mystical
Qabalist, there are no regular days of the week, and every day is Shabat.
Then, take some incense, stand up before your shrine, and seal the six directions with the permutations of the Name YHV. This practice is derived from the thirteenth verse of the first chapter of the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation):
Three letters from the simple ones (Yod, Heh, Vav) ;
He sealed Air through three and set them into His great Name YHV and sealed through them six extremities:
Five: He sealed (Sefirah) Height and He turned upward and sealed it with YHV;
Six: He sealed Abyss and He turned downward and sealed it with YVH;
Seven: He sealed East and He turned forward and sealed it with HYV;
Eight: He sealed West and He turned backward and sealed it with HVY;
Nine: He sealed South and He turned right and sealed it with VYH;
Ten: He sealed North and He turned left and sealed it with VHY.
Light the incense. Facing East (i.e. front), look upward. Point the incense above the head and circle its tip. Intone the Hebrew letters YOD HEH VAV while visualizing them as letters of fire. Continue to point and circle the incense in successive directions, and invoke and visualize their respective sequences of letters:
Below/Down - YOD VAV HEH; then,
East/Front -HEH YOD VAV, then
West/Behind - HEH VAV YOD;
South/Right -VAV YOD HEH, then
North/Left - VAV HEH YOD.
Having sealed the six directions, once again kneel before the shrine and
make a flower offering. Hold the flower between your thumb and forefinger
in front of your thoracic center, with your left hand palm up cupped beneath
it. Make a final prostration, rise, and go to your meditation seat. After
sitting down, settle into an appropriate posture and wrap yourself in your
prayer shawl. Chant the Divine Names from the Sefer HaShmoth.
Then, perform the breathing practice described earlier for a short while
to further calm the mind and relax the body. At this point, if you have
an embodied teacher, focus on their image for a short while and the NameYHVH
ablaze in their heart.
If you do not have an embodied teacher, you could similarly focus on the image of one of the Hebrew patriarchs (or matriarchs), or on any Messiah, saint or spiritual master for whom you feel an affinity. You may then wish to use one or more of the ancillary visualizations. The ancillary visualization, which may or may not be accompanied by the repetition of the root mantra, is followed by the commencement of the silent repetition of the primary root mantra Ani Yod Heh Vav Heh as described above. When you have completed the silent chanting of Ani Yod Heh Vav Heh, silently or audibly chant the ShemAyn ten times,
Shem Ayn Yisroel Yod Heh Vav Heh Elohenu Yod Heh Vav Heh EchaD
Upon the final repetition of the ShemAyn, draw out the last syllable of Echad and let it turn into OD (pronounced ood, lit. Eternity, synonym for Ayn). Sit still for a short while and soak in the energy of your meditation. Finish the seated session with a prayer, offering the fruits of your efforts at the Lords feet. Your prayer might be something like:
O Dear One, beloved of my soul, my all in all, my very own,
Please accept this meditation and the fruits therefrom as a sincere offering of love and devotion.
Thou art my life, and I gratefully surrender it at thy feet.
Thou art my provider and my protector, Thou art my guide and my healer.
I humbly pray that I may become worthy of Thy grace and useful in service to Thy purposes.
Gracious One, do not let me live this life spiritually in vain.
Please fill this heart and mind with pure love, unconditional devotion, renunciation of the fruits of all work, vigilant remembrance, and whole-hearted surrender.
Awaken this soul to its divinity, and the divinity of all beings, and grant that it not remain deluded by Thy world-bewitching play of illusion.
And when this life runs its course, let there be nothing left of me but Thee, as my last breath carries Thy most holy Name.
Beloved Lord YHVH, dear Mother Shekhinah, please accept every worthy thought, word, and deed of this day as a humble offering of love and devotion, and please forgive me for all that are not.
Ay-men (anagram for El Melech Ne-ehman lit. El Faithful King)
Having completed your prayer, unwrap the prayer shawl, stand up and walk
up to your shrine. Kneel down and make a final prostration. Rise from the
prostration and gaze upon the image of the Name YHVH in the Tzimtzum
for a while. Rise up, bow, and walk backwards several steps from the shrine.
Turn and proceed to the door. At the doorway, take one final look at the
image and bow. Touch the fingers of your right hand to your lips, then to
the mezuzah on the doorpost, and then to your heart. Turn and walk
away and begin your day. Again, try if possible not to engage in trivial
conversation or frenetic activity for a while after you leave the shrine
This more elaborate set of practices has been framed within the context of a morning ritual. You could ostensibly repeat the same ritual at night before retiring, or with modifications according to personal taste. The range from the most simple routine to the elaborate gives the reader a blueprint of possibilities rather than a mandate for cookie cutter replication. It is important to maintain a consistent schedule of practice and, at the very least, to engage in regular repetition of the root mantra and a modicum of selfless service.