Question: What can a person do if he is constantly distracted by strange thoughts and cannot concentrate while reading The Zohar?
Answer: A person should try to live with the states we read about. This is called “wanting to know what one studies,” which means to connect to the material and to attain it. Knowledge means connection.
It doesn’t matter what we study, whether it’s “round and straight vessels (Igulim and Yosher) ” or “midnight when the violin of David plays,” when we read a certain article we should want to be in the same state the Kabbalists speak about. We should identify with what we read, and feel it. It’s as if a friend is telling you about his life and you really want to understand him and to share his feelings by absorbing his words in order to reach his feelings through them. Through the words you can reach the inner impression and share the same feelings.
This is what we need to feel when we read. So it turns out that we develop the habit that allows us to penetrate the Kabbalistic text the moment we hear it and we can immediately penetrate it, as if jumping into water. The Torah is water, Hassadim. Once we are in the water, we begin to activate all our senses by clarifying what is going on. It’s as if we are in a sea trying to look around, to feel the atmosphere, and to understand the situation.
It becomes a habit: The moment I hear the words of the Torah, I immediately enter the Light, the water, and try to understand what is going on there. It’s as if I enter a dark room or dark water in which I can see nothing. Then it’s very important for me to understand what is happening; it’s a habit that we should develop with regard to the Torah.
If I actually implement this approach, I will always be searching, expecting that this state will influence me now and be revealed to me. The state will be revealed because it did not exist and then it suddenly appears. It already exists, but I can’t see it or identify it yet. When I change internally, the state will be revealed. There is no revelation that is external to me but only internal. A new sense awakens in me and then I reveal it.
A person should constantly expect this, especially during the lesson. It says: “It would be good to pray the whole day,” but at least, it’s necessary to turn every lesson into a prayer.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/29/13, The Zohar