I have just re-issued three albums of music based on the Sacred Names Letter Sequences:
Eternity and Presence (Based on the Names Havayah and Adnut)
The Eightfold Moment, based on the eight letter Havayah/Adnut sequence.
"Rashbi's Cave" based on the traditional tune for the Liturgical Poem "Bar Yohai."
One day, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe some people are just interested in the music without commentary. To my mind, the music won't mean much without the explanations, but then again, who am I to force the unwilling to read texts they aren't interested in?
So, in the event that you find my texts daunting, I put up all the links to the latest versions of my Sacred Name Kabbalah Meditation Music right at the top of the page. If you want to know what the sounds mean...well by all means, scroll down to the texts and continue reading!
My First Attempts at Kabbalah Sacred Names Meditation Music
Music is intrinsic to Jewish Meditation. This has been so since the time of the Prophets, and it continues so until the present day. All Jewish forms of contemplation that I know (including Talmud study!) are accompanied by some kind of singing or melody. The traditional literature is replete with descriptions and explanations of the power of music.
This musical construction is designed to assist you in meditating on the Divine Name A/D/N/Y (Alef Dalet Nun Yod…usually referred to as the The Name Adnut) This name also serves as the pronounceable substitute for The Name Havaya (Y/H/V/H) which is never spoken aloud in traditional Jewish Practice.
As in the meditation on The Name Havaya, I began with the tonal alphabet, and found a three note unit to correspond to each of the four letters. These notes form a sequence of twelve tones in an ascending pattern. I played them on a nylon string guitar. In addition to this pattern, I chose two other sound forms to go along with “tonal letters” which I felt more or less harmonized with them. The first is a “Sawing” or “Grinding” base sound, which rises through four levels. The second is a whirling flute sound that also rises through four levels. As in the previous meditation on Havayah, I intended for the string notes to stand for the harmonizing center structure of the Divine Name which unifies diverse levels of experience in ways understandable on some level to the human mind. The Name Adnut is very much present in the processes and dynamics of this world, expressing the Divine attributes of Judgment and delineation and well as power and redemption. The musical progressions in this construction came out with a significantly different kind of feeling to them; darker, more mysterious grounded in nature yet rising to liberation.
I meant for the sawing and grinding sounds to represent the aspect of the divine process which cuts out and proportions life and existence for every being as well as that process which cuts through the layers of illusion to release the sparks of holiness that exist in this world. This is not always a pretty sound. The flute sound is meant to symbolize the joy of nature, flight, liberation and inclusion in the divine light. These notes are played on a very simple bamboo flute. Once again the string tones are the underlying unifying structure of these processes.
To use this construction for meditation, you should familiarize yourself with the four letters Alef Dalet Nun Yod. At the outset of the construction you will hear the four letters represented by the different kinds of tones. When you hear the twelve tones, you should bear in mind that each short sequence of three tones corresponds to one of the four letters and you should let your attention play over the four letters in their proper order.
As the construction progresses, each one of the sound forms will be played over and against itself in a permutation pattern. You should still try to keep your attention on the letters, one by one, in keeping with the tone unit that is presented foremost at that moment. However, hopefully, you will also develop a sense of the letters interpenetrating each other.
After the three basic sounds are permutated, new patterns will emerge where all three of the sound textures (Sawing, flute and Strings) will blend with each other. At this stage the point is no longer to visualize the letters precisely, but to let them flow and to realize how all aspects, processes and dynamics are actually one reality flowing from the unity of Hashem.
Towards the end of the construction, a new theme is presented, that of the “Pele Elyon” or the “Sublime Wonder” This is one of the meanings of the letter Aleph at the beginning of The Name Adnut. Deep within the divine processes is a wonderful transforming moment that cannot be grasped logically. In that moment of wonder but the lowest of the low can become one with the highest of the high. This is (of course) related to the theme of repentance and to the personality of King David of whom scripture states: “The stone which the builders despised has become the capstone!”
The “Pele Elyon” theme is introduced by four chords played on the guitar in ten strokes. These chords came to mind spontaneously, and are not related to the tonal alphabet. But they do reflect, I think, overall redemptive character and feeling which emerged from the music. Along with these chords, I set down a new base theme and a new flute theme, which come together with each other and combine in various ways until the end of the construction.
As you hear the interpenetrating sounds of the Pele Elyon theme you should sense yourself rising from the very depths to the greatest heights through the wonder of Divine grace which sweetens all judgments, releases all fallen beings, and calls everything back to essential reality.
May you be enriched! Happy listening!
The updated Adnut Meditation can be found here:
Older versions are here http://archive.org/details/NewAdnutMeditation
In Lurianic practice, Meditations are usually called “Yihudim” or “Unifications.”
The assumption is that to fully bring the divine presence into you life, it is not only necessary to cleave to the Divine Names by visualizing them individually, but it is also necessary to “Unify” the Divine Names. Since each Divine Name has a certain constellations of associated meanings, unifying the names with each other serves as a way of accessing the essential Divine unity. Furthermore the near paradoxical union of opposites brings about new revelations of the Divine presence, just as in any dialectic, the greater truth emerges from the tension and union of contradictory understandings.
The most commonly practiced unification (performed by many thousands of ordinary people some of whom don’t even know they doing it) is the unification of the Names Havayah and Adnut, i.e.Y/H/V/H and A/D/N/Y. You do this simply by focusing on the combination of the letters of the two names like this:
Yod Alef Hey Dalet Vav Nun Hey Yod
The point in doing this meditation is to break through the separate meanings that each Divine Name has to the human mind, and get at the unity and truth that is both names as one. The meaning you seek here is greater than the realm of human meaning. What you find is Hashem’s gift to you.
As is previous Meditation Tonal Constructions I began with the tonal alphabet, this time formulating an 8 part sequence. That sequence is a set of 8 guitar strums, three tone clusters or four tone clusters. The names are played separately once and then in combination. Letters are played and strummed in various ways.
To give some distance between each letter sequence, I added other tones. After some experimenting I set upon five kinds of "Pause Tones" that separate one repetition of a name sequence and the next. Each of the "Pause Tones" corresponds to an aspect of the Sefirot Tree:
1. Base vocal tone corresponds to Keter
2. Metallic bell like tone corresponds to Hochmah
3. Shofar (ram's horn...and that's what it really is) corresponds to Bina
4. Higher pitched vocal tone corresponds to Tiferet (including all the six sefirot)
5. Flute corresponds to Malchut.
The choice of these tones is based on traditional symbolism.
In part 1 of the Havayah/Adnut meditation music sequence each Divine Name or eight letter sequence (Y/A/H/D/V/N/H/Y) is proceeded by one of the Pause tones, each sounding in the order listed above.
In Part 2 of the Havayah/Adnut meditation music sequence the pause tones are interspersed between pairs of the eight letter sequence like this: Pause Tone Y/A Pause Tone H/D Pause Tone V/N Pause Tone H/Y Pause Tone. The Malchut Pause Tone (Flute) blends back into the Keter Pause Tone (Base Vocal)
When considering the eight letter Divine Name Sequence it becomes immediately clear that the Name Havayah leads the sequence. The first letter YOD of Havayah is the first letter of the sequence, the first Letter ALEPH of Adnut is the second letter of the sequence, and so forth... until each letter of the two names has appeared in its turn. But one might just as well have taken the first Letter of Adnut as the lead letter and patterned the sequence that way. This would result in the sequence A/Y/D/H/N/V/Y/H.
This second sequence is equally valid and utilized in meditation. The distinction between the two sequences is that the first (Y/A/H/D/V/N/H/Y) refers to the Or Yashar, the "Direct Light" which descends from Ein Sof to effect the unification of the Divine Names, while the second sequence (A/Y/D/H/N/V/Y/H) referrs to the Or Hozer, the returning light that rises from this world upwards to Ein Sof and which effects the unification in a different pattern. In the typical synagogue setting the first sequence would be contemplated while responding amen to the Cantor's chanting of the Amida Prayer, while the second would be contemplated while responding amen to the recitation of the Kaddish.
The Meditation Music Sequences I have posted here are based upon both letter sequences. They are called "Havayah/Adnut Or Yashar parts 1 and 2" and "Havayah/Adnut Or Hozer Parts 1 and 2"
Here they are Meditation Music Sequences:
I intend that these Meditation Music Sequences upgrade the original Havayah Adnut sequences that I produced several years ago. I was never actually satisfied with the sound quality, even after I attempted a complete digital reworking of the tracks. At this point, now that I have produced tracks that are published professionally, I thought it would a good idea to use my lately found skills to re-do the Havayah/Adnut sequences starting from scratch.
However, I have not deleted my earlier attempts at creating this music.
the older version can still be found here:
A Meditation on the Thirteen
Divine attributes of Compassion
This construction was originally conceived as a follow up to the Havaya Meditation. It deals with the subject of the Thirteen "rectifications" of Keter, Divine Attributes which according to the Zohar, permeate the entire world Divine Names,(Atzilut) and filter down through all the worlds of existence (Briya, Yetzira and Asiya)
As often happens, a construction doesn't turn out quite the way you plan it. My first impulse was to shelve the construction, since I couldn't imagine someone meditating to it. However, after a few listens I began to think that if you are really open-minded...well maybe you could meditate to this.
The construction opens with thirteen tones, each with a certain stretchy, bending or sliding quality to them. The tones were made with a bottle neck on the guitar fret-board with a little vocalization for added complexity. Each tone forms a small sliding circle. The strange quality of the thirteen tones is supposed to reflect the idea that these sublime thirteen Divine attributes are forever calling out to every being to return to the creator and its own true inner nature, and that no matter how far one falls...a fall is also a kind of rising. As a result, reciting these thirteen Divine attributes form a core ritual of the Day of Atonement service.
To do the meditation, one would contemplate each of the Attributes in time with the 13 tones. Very soon, the 13 tones will go into a permutation mode. This sequence (when the tones combine with each other) is meant to symbolize the 13 Attributes of mercy extending through the entire world of Atzilut. I had meant for this to sound uplifting. Instead it came out very strange. But indeed, this might actually be appropriate, since these 13 Attributes include in themselves all the paradoxes and mysteries of our spiritual life. At first you should try to keep going over the 13 attributes in time with the shifts and changes in the construction. Hopefully as things go on, you will be left with the awareness of the thirteen attributes as streams of light threading them-selves through all reality.
In the next sequence, some vocals (taken from the Havaya meditation) are added to the mix.
After that, comes a sequence where the bell tones from the Havaya meditation have been added.
Lastly follows a sequence where some more up-beat guitar notes have been added.
These three sequences correspond to the 13 attributes extension through the worlds of Briya, Yetzirah and Assiya. The world of Assiya is more upbeat and resonant that the other sequences. This is because the world of Assiya is closest to normal human consciousness, and also because according to the strange logic of the 13 attributes, the farther away you fall, the closer you are to returning.
Here are the thirteen attributes:
(Revealed to Moshe on Mt Sinai. see Exodus ch. 34)
G-d (all powerful)
and full of grace
of face (ie patient)
great in kindness
carries (the burden of) wrongdoing
As for the Second Part, this was my attempt to have the 13 attributes of mercy confront the mystery of why the righteous suffer, a topic which holds the deepest paradox of faith, and which G-d told to Moshe that he would not comprehend ("for no one can see my face and live!") I though I was just going to play around with the sounds. But then I decided I might as well post that construction as well. It is very dark, turbulent and noisy, but I did try to give it an uplifting sort of ending.
However, I don't recommend trying to meditate to it.
To download or stream go to: http://www.archive.org/details/13StreamsOfLight