The Kabbalistic Tree of Life is a visual representation of the levels of Creation, a process in which the One Being moves from Nothing to Everything. The movement from Everything back to Nothing is a representation of the stages of spiritual awakening.
The Sefer Yetzirah, or Book of Formation, appearing around the fourth century, first identified the 10 levels of awareness. They were represented by 10 concentric circles until the 11th century when they began to appear in the "tree" form that we use now.
The Tree can represent energies within the human body as well as within the cosmic Whole, and makes it possible to identify relationships among the 10 levels. It is helpful to remember that the right side of the Tree represents unformed energies; the left side provides form, and the central pillar represents various levels of identity.
In the second week, Gevurah is honored as the center of all possible feelings. Our feelings bring value and discrimination to the energy expressed at Chesed. Each feeling is a particular container for emotional energy, limiting that energy and, at the same time, allowing it to be known. Gevurah, which means strength, encourages us to attend not only to the forms of our feelings, but also to the universal energy that all feelings contain.
A meditative Focus Phrase for the week at Gevurah: I awaken to a new reverence for all the feelings I experience.
This is an excerpt from Rabbi Falcon's "Journey of Awakening: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tree of Life." Follow the Omer liveblog for more.