Bear in mind that in prayer you proceed from chamber to chamber. When an alien thought comes [to your mind] you are expelled, because you are judged in every chamber whether you are worthy to enter. 1

Thus if you are not praying with hitlahavut (ardor; fervor), 2 start to pray intensely. When you pray with hitlahavut, consider the nature of the [alien] thought: 3 if it relates to evil love, such as sensuous lust, bring it to its [ultimate] source which is the love of God. 4

There are only seven types of thought. They correspond to the “seven days of creation.” 5 Each [of these] has an erev (evening) and a boker (morning). 6 Erev is an expression of ta'aruvot (mixture), i.e., having an alien thought; and boker is an expression of bikur (visit), i.e., visiting God. 7 The [seven types of thought] are then “love of God” and “love of sin;” “fear of God” and “bad fear” such as hatred; “[good] glorification” of glorifying God and “bad [glorification]” of self-glorification; and likewise with nitzu'ach (endurance; victory), hodayah (acknowledgment; thanksgiving; praise), yessodot (foundations)-ii.e., the sense of bonding. 8 Each of these [seven] is compounded of ten [aspects]. 9 With every bad thought one gives vitality, Heaven forbid, to the “seven nations.” 10

Midrash Hane’elam (Zohar I:86b) thus states: [When God created] the world, it was wavering to and fro. The Holy One, blessed is He, then said that Abraham-i.e., the attribute of love 11-will come forth into the world. But there will also be the issue of Ishmael, i.e., [the attribute of] “bad love.” 12 A thought of “bad love,” therefore, gives vitality to Ishmael and the nine [aspects] that go with him. There is also Isaac, i.e., the attribute of “[good] fear;” and [correspondingly] Esau [the attribute of] “bad fear,” i.e., murder. A thought of “bad fear,” therefore, gives vitality to Esau and the nine [aspects] that go with him, Heaven forbid.

Thus if you happen to think of a “bad love,” 13 say to yourself: “What have I done? I have taken a part of the World of Thought 14 and brought it to a place of filth!” This will effect that you be subdued and come to the [level] of dust, thus bringing the thought to the attribute of ayin (naught). 15 Then you will come to the World of Love by reminding yourself: “If I love this object, as, for example, a woman, who is but a ‘putrid drop,’ 16 how much more should I love God!” 17

Likewise, when you hear words of jest which cause you to be mirthful, think that it is but a part of the World of Love. Also, when you see or eat something that gives you pleasure, think that it is but a part of the World of Delight. Thus take heed not to crudify that delight, and “then you will find pleasure al (lit.: over) God” (Isaiah 58:14), i.e., beyond [the level of the Divine] Name [Havayah; the Tetragrammaton], as it were. 18 Your whole being, therefore, should be directed to that pleasure in context of it being part of the World of Delight. Thus you may sit and eat here, yet be in the World of Delight. The pleasure that you caused yourself, therefore, will bring delight unto God in all worlds.

Likewise, when you see something of which you are afraid, 19 say to yourself: “Why should I be afraid of this? It is but a human like myself-let alone if it is but an animal or beast! As the awesome God, blessed be He, is vested in that being [enabling it to exist], how much more should I fear [God] Himself!” 20

The same applies to glorification. 21 When people praise you, or you sense pride in the midst of prayer, or people exalt you for your concentrated study, bring yourself to a sense of awe-i.e., shame-before God.

In context of nitzuach, 22 overcome that trait or have your understanding lead you to a sense of “Divine victory.” Do the same with the aspect of hodayah; 23 and also with “bonding,” 24 i.e., to be bound up with God alone.