Jewish Meditation Resources We Love

Meditation is recognized in many cultures as a powerful tool for self-reflection and healing. Jewish wisdom, too, has cultivated its own unique approach to meditation.

We can understand the essence of Jewish meditation through a powerful visual from the Torah. When Joseph’s brothers turned against him, the Torah says, “They took him and threw him into a pit; the pit was empty—there was no water in it” (Genesis 37:24). 

The Rabbis of the Gemara asked an important question: “Since it says, ‘The pit was empty,’ don’t we know that there was no water in it? What then is added by the phrase ‘there was no water in it’?” They tried to answer their own question by reading between the lines. Their contemplation brought forth this vision: “There was no water, but there were snakes and scorpions in it” (Talmud, Shabbat 22a).

This image is a powerful symbol at the core of Jewish meditation. Whereas other spiritual disciplines aim to empty the mind, Jewish meditation masters view our faculties as open vessels. Without care, our mind and heart can become empty of the life-nourishing waters of goodness and spirituality. When that happens, the “snakes and scorpions” of our minds (fears, jealousy, hatred) can move in.

Emptying the mind is an important step, but not the end goal of our practice.

Instead, the Jewish approach is to fill the vessels of the mind and heart with Divinity, Oneness, and Sacredness. Many Jewish meditation techniques are anchored to a focal point, such as a Hebrew letter, a wisdom concept, a psalm (line of sacred poetry), a name of the Divine, or an uplifting image.

Through meditation, we cultivate the soul-trait of menukhat ha-nefesh — calmness of the soul. This deep calm allows us to approach each encounter with trust, relaxing into the arms of our loving Creator.

If you’re interested in Jewish Meditation and want to invite ease, calm, and divine connection into your day, here are some resources we love. 

1.Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice for Real Life by Alan Lew

This book by Rabbi Alan Lew is an accessible, warm read for anyone searching for an authentic connection with the Divine.

2.Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan

This classic work on the history and philosophy of Jewish Meditation includes step-by-step instruction on Jewish mantra, visualization, and deep contemplation. Rabbi Kaplan touches on the depth of integral prayers such as the Amidah and the Shema.

3. Breathing and Quieting the Mind by Rav Dovber Pinson

Both deeply esoteric and highly practical, this is one of our all-time favorite Jewish meditation books. With guided practices at the end of each chapter, Rav Pinson brings lofty concepts from Kabbalah into practical breath techniques.

4. It’s All the Same to Me: A Torah Guide to Inner Peace and Love of Life by Moshe Gersht

This short and sweet book offers the Jewish approach to equanimity, known in Kabbalah as hishtavut. Moshe Gersht teaches how to live a life of “sameness,” becoming level-headed and balanced through meditation, prayer, and contemplation.

5. The Secret Art of Talking to God: 30 Day Creative Prayer Journal of Jewish Meditation by Rae Shagalow

This book is crafted by female artist Rae Shagalov, whose beautiful work presents both guided meditations and creative practices. Her 30-day inward journey helps you to deepen your connection with your soul and build a loving, intimate relationship with the Divine..

6.  Psalms (Tehillim) 

Reciting psalms offers a natural meditation! These psalms (known in Hebrew as tehillim) are attributed to King David, an ancient ruler of Israel. Through his emotional poetry, you can feel his heart pouring out with each word. It’s no wonder the Tzemach Tzedek, the third Rebbe (spiritual leader) of the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement, once said, “If you only knew the power that lies in the verses of tehillim and their effect in the celestial heights, you would recite them all the time.” 

7. Eye to the Infinite: A Guide to Jewish Meditation by Aharon Rubin 

Aharon Rubin offers a practical guide to Jewish meditation, from beginner meditations to advanced visualization techniques. Some of our favorites include angel meditations, four-elements meditations, and meditations connected to specific festivals throughout Jewish time. 

8. At The Well's Ahava Meditation Bundle.

For those who prefer to learn about Jewish meditation through guided audio practice, At The Well has created a set of meditation journeys inspired by the grounding force of love (in Hebrew, ahava). Led by Jenna Zadaka, At The Well’s Jewish Education Director, these ten-minute meditations center on the heart and help you fill your inner well of divine peace.

Jewish Meditation Resources We Love
At The Well
At The Well

We're here to support your journey to wholeness throughout every stage of your life. At The Well is spreading the word about Jewish rituals that can help you connect more deeply — to yourself, to your body, and to community.

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