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  • Writer's pictureZerach Moshe Fedder

Down the Staircase ...

One common guided imagery and NLP technique used in many Healing modalities to help to create a meditative state of consciousness for a client, is to request that the client imagine going down a staircase of 5 to 20 steps, each step bringing them deeper into themselves.

When I first started providing my clients with processes sometimes new clients would ask:

Why do we not imagine that we are going up a staircase? Why down? Wouldn't it be better to imagine ourselves going up?

I never had a clear answer to this question until I was recently reminded of the following known Midrash ...


The Midrash explains one of the ten miracles that occurred on the Temple Mount during the time that the Bet HaMikdash stood.

During the times of our festival pilgrimages, masses of worshippers would be present on the Temple Mount. They would be standing in a packed crowd, so packed that often their feet would not even touch the ground. But when the time came for bowing and laying down flat on the pavement, everyone had plenty of room! They were able to bow without pushing and shoving. Miraculously a space of four amot (about 2 feet) formed between each person!

The summary saying in Hebrew is a lot shorter ... "עומדים צפופים ומשתחוים רווחים" if you wish to look up the source.

One amazing insight into this midrash is that when a person is "standing", i.e., awake and full of pride, he is in a very crowded place indeed! But when we bow down and humble ourselves before G-d, or lower ourselves into a meditative state, suddenly there is plenty of room ...

Thus imagining yourself going down a staircase into your deeper self, in the light of this midrash about the Bet HaMikdash, becomes quite the appropriate metaphor for going into a deeper state of consciousness.

The state of "standing", being fully awake and full of ego is a very crowded and packed place. But when you travel down the staircase into a state of meditation, you humble yourself before G-d and enter a state of "bowing down before G-d". There at the bottom of the stairs, you will find that plenty of room in expansive consciousness ...

Perhaps this is what is meant by the expression, expanding your consciousness?

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