Prayer or Meditation?

A woman came to Reb Yerachmiel and said, “I have been studying with a Buddhist teacher who has given me clear instructions as to how to meditate.   I find it very helpful.  I told this to my rabbi, and he got angry with me, claiming I am abandoning my faith.  He said I should cease my meditation and learn to pray.  Rebbe, what do you think I should do?”
  Reb Yerachmiel replied, “Your rabbi is half right.  You should learn to pray.  And what should you pray?   Just this: Dear God, grant me the courage to stick with my meditation.”  

Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, The Teaching and Practice of Reb Yerachmiel Ben Yisrael, included in Meditation from the Heart of Judaism: Today’s Teachers Share Their Practices, Techniques, and Faith, edited by Avram Davis, Jewish Lights Publishing (1997). 

Shavua tov, jen  ğŸ˜„

2 thoughts on “Prayer or Meditation?

  1. Indeed, when we weave our prayers into meditations and our meditations becomes prayers we are beginning to “get” it on a Jewish level. Thanks for sharing the story from Rabbi Rami Shapiro.

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