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Hitbodedut is the practice of self-seclusion, isolation with HaShem. During Hitbodedut one communes directly with HaShem in one's own words. It is not time to recite beautiful rote prayers or poetry nor even to study Torah. Instead, we come before HaShem as we are, out of sincere hearts, in our own words, in our native language, and we plead for His mercy and instruction, for His forgiveness and direction, for His loving kindnesses. At times we may scream, or whisper, clap our hands, dance, kneel, bow, lie prostrate before Him, sob or exalt all in His presence as sons and daughters communing with our Father. Just like a child speaking with an understanding and loving parent.Pray with great strength, putting all your power into the words of your prayers.
You must force yourself to pray. Some people say that a person should not force himself to pray, but the opposite is true. You must force yourself to put all your strength into your prayers.
True devotion is to bind the thought to the word, focusing your mind on the words of the prayers by listening and paying careful attention to what you are saying. This way your inner power will enter your prayers automatically.
All your inner power waits for the moment when it is drawn into words of holiness. When you focus your thoughts on what you are saying, this power rushes forth into the words. Simply pay attention to the words and your inner power will enter your prayers without your having to force it -- Sichot Haran #66
Our sages (such as Rebbe Nachman of Breslov) recommend that we spend at least one hour a day in this sort of prayer. If not an hour, do what you can. "A little is also good" as Rebbe Nachman assures us. The important thing is to invest time with our Heavenly Parent each and every day.
Rebbe Nachman of blessed memory was a great master of Hitbodedut. Through his teachings we can enter into the presence of HaShem, increase our faith (emuna) and draw ever closer to Him. Hitbodedut is one of the secrets to living a truly spiritual, meaningful, and happy life.Prayer helps for everything. Even if a person is unable to study Torah, he will be able to do so if he prays for it. Everything good can be attained through prayer: Torah, devotion, holiness... everything good in all the worlds! Amen -- Likutey Moharan II, 111
Hitbodedut is not hard. You don't need to speak Hebrew, memorize a lot prayers, you don't need a degree in religion... you don't even need to be Jewish! All you need is the desire to draw closer to our Creator. This practice will bless you and thereby bless others!Never insist on anything in your prayers. Ask for what you want as a request. If God grants it, He will grant it. And if not, then not!Clapping one's hands in prayer is an effective way to increase the intensity one brings to Hitbodedut (personal prayer). In this video we discover some of Rebbe Nachman's secrets to successful prayer. We also enjoy the beautiful music of Ani Kodesh ("You are Holy") from the awesome Israeli film Ushpizin:
Regardless of what you need - livelihood, children or anything else - it is forbidden to insist stubbornly that God should fulfil exactly what you are asking for, because this is like taking something by force: it is a kind of robbery. Just pray and entreat God for kindness and mercy -- Likutey Moharan I, 20; 196
Watch a wonderful video on Hitbodedut HERE.
Be Still and KNOW HaShem -- Tehillah - Psalm 46:11 (46:10).