In Chabad there are three forms of hitbon'nut (contemplation, meditation):
(a.) Study-meditation: After mastering the concept thoroughly, one meditates on its profundity, until the intellectual element shines forth for him.
(b.) Meditation before davening: This is directed toward sensing the vitality of the concept learned, in contrast to sensing the intellectual element emphasized in study-meditation.
(c.) Meditation in davening: To sense the "G-dly element" in the concept learned.
These three are rungs on the ladder of sensitivity. It is only by G-d's kindness towards us that we may occasionally sense G-dhood spontaneously, without any avoda at all. This comes about by virtue of the quality of Ultimate Essential G-dhood1 within the soul. For avoda by one's own efforts, however, these three forms of meditation are essential.
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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To sense the "G-dly element" in the concept learned. These three are rungs on the ladder of sensitivity.
I believe there are a few more forms hisbon'nut takes on. The notion of cheshbon hanefesh is essentially a meditation for the purposes of self-examination and self-improvement.
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