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Ecstatic Kabbalah Hardcover – 31 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 97 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True Inc; Har/Com edition (31 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591793440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591793441
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.7 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Rabbi David A. Cooper has been called one of today's leading teachers of Jewish meditation.He is an active student of the world's great spiritual traditions and is the author of many books, including Entering the Sacred Mountain (Bell Tower), The Heart of Stillness (Bell Tower), Silence, Simplicity, and Solitude (Bell Tower), and Renewing Your Soul (HarperSanFrancisco). His most recent book, God Is a Verb; Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism (Riverhead/Putnam), has been highly acclaimed and was nominated for the National Jewish Book Award. Cooper and his wife, Shoshana, lead Jewish meditation retreats nationwide throughout the year. They reside at the Heart of Stillness Hermitage in the Colorado mountains near Boulder. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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KABBALAH HAS LONG been perceived as a secret teaching available only to an elite group of people. Read the first page
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
The aim of this learning programme is personal spiritual development for bringing the learner closer to the Divine. It consists of a guide book and CD; the emphasis is on teaching through experience rather than written words. The author makes it clear that following a spiritual path is a way of life rather than a goal to be achieved. The 'Ecstasy' of the title refers to vocal, breathing & visualization techniques with the potential of raising one's everyday consciousness to a higher level. Refining one's nature includes cultivating empathy, forgiveness and tenderness. In chapter two he explains the intention of these practices to promote serenity, clarity and peace of mind; this chapter also illumines concepts like the Tree of Life, the Sefirot, the Chakras & meditative exercises. The background to Track One of the CD: Meditation on Harmony, is provided here. This chant consists of five vowel sounds, each of which is associated with a specific chakra.

The great mystic Abraham Abulafia lived in 13th century Spain, the country that was home to amongst others the great philosopher of reason Maimonides and Solomon ibn Gabirol who wrote such sublime devotional poetry. Abulafia, who was nearly forgotten until Gershom Scholem rescued his work from obscurity, developed a specific system of contemplative practice based on Hebrew letters, words & sounds.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
A Very Fine 'How-To' of Real Kabbalah 30 Sept. 2005
By Mark J. O'Leary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have sat several meditation retreats with the author, so I came to this book having already encountered many of these techniques and ideas in a practical setting. While there is no substitute for person-to-person instruction, you can get pretty close with this book/CD.

A warning: if you are looking for the sort of pseudo-Kabbalah being peddled by Rav Berg and the Kabbalah Center, this book is not for you. There is no bottled water here, no red threads or other magical nonsense, nothing to appeal to the Madonna-wannabes. Real Kabbalah is invisible on the outside. There are no fashion statements or other ready-to-wear "spiritual materialist" baloney.

Real Kabbalah is all about quieting down the constant internal monologue so that we can learn to see the Divine in all Its manifestations. Once you get tired of the pop-culture distortions so prevalent today, take off that silly red thread, dump the bottled water onto the begonias, and crack this book. Sit on a chair (or a zafu if you prefer), and try these meditations. You'll gain more self-awareness and God-awareness from one hour of clear mindedness than from a hundred thousand miles of red string.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Ecstatic Kabbalah is the Practice of Kabbalah 14 Feb. 2006
By Cheryl Glover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not only provocative but it is evocative. What good is just reading about Kabbalah without practicing Kabbalah? Rabbi Cooper gives us a way of meditating, a way of connecting. Beginners will find delight in this book and CD. More advanced students will find the sublime. I highly recommend this CD. I meditate to this nightly.

The only thing missing for advanced students was the Hebrew translation. The English and the transliteration is there for the most part but I would have liked to have the Hebrew without searching for it in my own Hebrew prayer books. After the first few times I did not want to hear the instructions again, so I fast forward to the actual meditations. It would have been nice if the talking were separated from the chanting. Other than that-- enjoy!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Simple & effective devotional practices 1 May 2009
By Peter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The aim of this learning programme is personal spiritual development for bringing the learner closer to the Divine. It consists of a guide book and CD; the emphasis is on teaching through experience rather than written words. The author makes it clear that following a spiritual path is a way of life rather than a goal to be achieved. The 'Ecstasy' of the title refers to vocal, breathing & visualization techniques with the potential of raising one's everyday consciousness to a higher level. Refining one's nature includes cultivating empathy, forgiveness and tenderness. In chapter two he explains the intention of these practices to promote serenity, clarity and peace of mind; this chapter also illumines concepts like the Tree of Life, the Sefirot, the Chakras & meditative exercises. The background to Track One of the CD: Meditation on Harmony, is provided here. This chant consists of five vowel sounds, each of which is associated with a specific chakra.

The great mystic Abraham Abulafia lived in 13th century Spain, the country that was home to amongst others the great philosopher of reason Maimonides and Solomon ibn Gabirol who wrote such sublime devotional poetry. Abulafia, who was nearly forgotten until Gershom Scholem rescued his work from obscurity, developed a specific system of contemplative practice based on Hebrew letters, words & sounds. Chapter three concludes with a fascinating look at the structure or levels of the soul and the function of the Pure Soul Mantra (Neshama) which is Track Two. The next chapter provides an overview of Abulafia's contemplative practices with detailed exposition on certain sounds & their associated head movements as well as the Shiviti Chant.

The concept of 'boundlessness' underlies the Names of the Divine which Rabbi Cooper explores in great detail. These include 'El' and its many variations & combinations, the Tetragrammaton, the Shekhina and all the others that are found in the Talmud. The chant of Ahavat Olam, a mantra celebrating love without measure, is elucidated. Invoking the Presence is achieved by breathing & visualization practices as demonstrated on Track Seven. In chapter eight, the author deals with the concept of expanded consciousness as reflected in the Magic Mirror Exercise and the Shema (Track Nine). The Shema is analyzed with reference to its individual sounds, its meaning of unity & its purpose of emphasizing oneness.

The final chapter investigates the thirteen attributes of the Divine; it includes discussions of the terms 'tzaddik' (righteous) & 'tikkun' (restoration) and the work of Moses Cordovero. The Appendix provides further information on vocal & silent chanting and the various permutations of Abulafia's sound & breath practices. Illustrations of the Tree of Life, the top 5 Chakras on the human body, the levels of the soul, the aforementioned head movements & the letter Aleph enhance the text; the book concludes with a short note and bibliography of works by the author. The ten tracks on the CD are: Meditation on harmony/Elohai neshama/Abulafia basic chants/Abulafia doublets/Shiviti/Ahavat olam/Y-W meditation/Magic mirror exercise/Shema/The thirteen attributes.

I highly recommend Ecstatic Kabbalah for its clarity, accessibility and the particular issues it addresses. A similar helpful combination of book & CD in the Sanskrit tradition is Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand. Two thought-provoking works on music therapy & sound healing include Sacred Sounds by Ted Andrews and Healing Sounds by Jonathan Goldman whose albums Chakra Chants, Ultimate Om and Holy Harmony are masterpieces of sacred healing sound.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Ecstatic Kabbalah 29 Sept. 2005
By Hermit189 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A clear exposition of the basics of the Tree of Life . The meditation on the CD are provocative and deepening. I recommend this book to anyone who desires a basic understandig of Kabbalistic principles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ecstatic Kabbala 27 Oct. 2013
By Terry L Gilpin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great inspirational book. This is for all those people that finally want to know the simple truth and to have a honest an good spiritual attitude.
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