Answer: “Practical Kabbalah” is when you act in practice and not just inside of yourself. However, inner work is also called practical Kabbalah, when you create an intention, adhesion (Zivug), and reception of Light for the sake of bestowal. It’s when you don’t just read about it in a book, but attain the instrument of bestowal called “a screen” and can use it to perform practical actions.
You have matter which you have to work on. And this work is only possible with the help of a screen. You receive a screen by virtue of the Light that reforms. All of this is called practical Kabbalah. There are no other practical actions besides giving matter the form of bestowal. The will to enjoy has to acquire the intention for the sake of bestowal. This is the only action operating in the world.
Besides the science of Kabbalah, nothing can bring this about because this science talks about how the general system operates and how we have to operate inside of it. If I take this entire science and start realizing it, this is called “practical Kabbalah.”
It’s similar to how there is theoretical physics and practical, applied physics. In the theoretical part of it, you can think about things and you may understand them or not, but then you come to the practical realization where you stage all kinds of experiments, study and measure things, and check whether they’re one way or another. It’s similar to children who play in order to grow, and once they become adults, they perform these actions correctly in real life. This is what the scientific experiment is intended for.
The actual practice is already the realization of the scientific achievements in life. And the same thing is true in the science of Kabbalah. If you study in order to realize it in practice, that means you are already at the threshold of practical Kabbalah, even though it might take you a lot more time to acquire a screen and start carrying out these actions. Still, according to your direction and goal, you are already considered to be dealing with practical Kabbalah.
The only practical action that exists in reality is adhesion with the Light (Zivug de Hakaa), the degree of equivalence of form that we attain.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 8/16/11, “The Nation”