He [the Faithful Shepherd/Moses] opened the discussion with the verse: "and you shall make a table of acacia wood." (Ex. 25:23) Come and see: those present at the King's feast behaved properly to show they were members of the King's table. [We should behave likewise at a Shabbat Meal.]
...those present at the King's feast behaved properly...
There are ten things one must do at the meal: First is the hand washing
[which repels the kelipot from the hands with the power of the waters of kindness]; second is the preparation of the two Shabbat challah loaves; third is to eat three meals [on Shabbat] and to increase holiness from that of a weekday; fourth is to light a candle on the table, as was explained that a table should be to the north side, and the candle on the south,1 and one must recline, as was explained, that if people were reclining, one blesses for everyone.

The fifth is (saying the Kiddush: "Thus the heavens and the earth...)...were finished (in Hebrew, 'vayechulu')..." (Gen. 2:1) on a cup (of wine). The sixth is to speak words of Torah at the table. The seventh is to extend the meal so as to allow the poor to come to the table. The eighth is washing the hands with Mayim Acharonim / water. The ninth is the blessing after the meal. The tenth is the cup [of wine] for the Blessing (after the Meal). It is necessary to repeat and to prepare them in accordance with the holy meaning, for she [malchut], is comprised of ten sefirot. G‑d's table is from the side of gevura. Hence, the sages have explained that the table should face the north.

(In greater detail, the Zohar continues:)
The first
[of the ten things] is the washing of the hands, as was said earlier: the most important of the Sages washes first to remove the attached impurity [from the kelipot] from his hands for the sake of saying a blessing.2 The second [of the ten things] is to break bread over two loaves of bread on Shabbat, which are alluded to in the Two Tablets of the Torah [which were each 6 handbreadths square, hinting to the 12 loaves of bread needed on the table for each meal] that were given on Shabbat as a pair.

'May my lot be with those who eat three meals on Shabbat'...

The third is to eat three meals on Shabbat [corresponding to the 3 Forefathers who characterized chesed (Abraham) gevura (Isaac) and tiferet (Jacob)] as was explained by the Sages of the Mishnah, that one of them said: 'May my lot be with those who eat three meals on Shabbat', which complete the seven blessings in the [Shabbat] Amidah prayer by bringing them to a total of ten [corresponding to the ten sefirot]. The secret of delight (in Hebrew, "oneg", spelled Ayin Nun Gimel) is: "and a river/Nahar went out of Eden/Aden to water that garden/Gan." (Gen. 2:10) Whoever can but does not observe them, for him the "delight/oneg" turns into "a plague/nega" [spelled with the same letters arranged differently] of tzara'at [various skin diseases (usually and incorrectly translated as "leprosy") that can render a person spiritually impure].

The fourth is to light the table with a lamp [i.e. candles], as was decreed by ancient Sages the Shulchan/Table is in the north, the Menorah (literally "lamp") is in the south, for G‑d's table needs to be that way. (Menachot 86B)

The fifth is the wine cup of 'vayechulu'. The numerical value of 'kos/cup' is that of Elokim, 86
[relating to malchut]. 'Vayechulu' has the numerical value of 72, which includes the holy Bride [malchut, for malchut receives on Shabbat the light of chesed (gematria 72)]. The cup [malchut] is filled with the wine of the Torah [related to tiferet] needs to bear testimony to the act of Creation [by reciting the portion "vayechulu"].

The sixth is to have words of Torah at one's table, because of what the Sages of the Mishnah decreed about 'three who ate on the same table yet have not spoken on it words of Torah...
[it is as if they have eaten upon the altars of the dead.'3] (Avot 3:4) The secret meaning of this is that they have decreed that the table is to the north [the side of gevura, to the left] and that the Torah was given from the right side [as the verse says: "from His right hand was a fiery Law for them" (Deut. 33:2) right being the side of chesed, thus one must learn Torah at the table] in order to join the right, which is mercy, with the left, which is judgment. The Torah is Yud and Hei and Vav and Hei, from the right , and the table is Adon-ai from the left, and one needs to join them. Since the table is to the left, the Sages of the Mishnah (Pesachim 118a) have explained that a person's sustenance is as difficult to obtain as the splitting of the Red Sea. Therefore, a Torah scholar needs to invite one with whom he will study Torah , so that they will be "Two who sit engaged in Torah, that the Shechinah dwells between them." (Avot 3:3)
Whoever stays long at the table will have his days and years extended.
The seventh is to stay a long time at the table for the sake of the poor
[that they may come and eat with him]. Whoever stays long at the table will have his days and years extended. For that reason it is stated: "charity delivers from death." (Prov. 10:2) Since a poor man is like a dead man, whom he revives – so too G‑d revives him.

The eighth is the Mayim Acharonim [cleansing water after eating] that was instituted due to the salt of Sodom [i.e. the kelipa on ones' table] that is blinding to the [wisdom of the] eyes [and Mayim Acharonim drives it away.]

The secret of this is in the verse: "You shall therefore sanctify yourself…" (Lev. 26:2) which refers to the washing of hands before the meal. (Continuing the verse:) "…And you shall be holy…" refers to fingerbowl water"; …For I am holy…" refers to fragrant ointment.

The ninth is the cup of blessing. As has been explained by the Sages of the Mishnah, (Berachot 51a) ten things were said about this cup of blessing, which are: decorating, wrapping, washing, rinsing, uncooked wine
[also referring to not mixed with water], having a full cup, receiving it with both hands and holding it with the right, raising it from the surface a handbreadth, looking at it, and sending it to the members of his household. Now we have only four, which are washing, rinsing, uncooked/not mixed wine, and having a full cup. Some say the wine should be taken unmixed from the cask. Some say that unmixed wine means the cup should be whole [i.e. filled].

The tenth is the blessing after the meal. It was explained by the Sages (Berachot 48b) that when three people eat together they must
[bless over] a cup [called malchut; the 3 blessings of Grace after Meals correspond to the 3 Forefathers]. The secret meaning of this is that they are as the verse states: "your love as a bride (in Hebrew, "kelulotayich", which can also be understood as "your ‘kol/everything')" (Jeremiah 2:2) referring to the forefathers, [regarding whom it is written "and G‑d blessed Abraham] with everything (in Hebrew, 'bakol')," (Gen.24:1) ["and I (Isaac) ate] of everything (in Hebrew, 'mikol')," (Gen. 27:33) ["because I (Jacob) have] everything." (Gen. 33:11) (in Hebrew, "kol"); we should not speak at length about it.

BeRahamim LeHayyim:

Hang in there, Shabbes is a'comin'! Parashat Eikev has a long Zohar section which details the various rectifications of the Shabbat table. Lighting candles, saying kiddush, washing hands, blessing on 2 complete loaves of challah bread, saying words of Torah at the table, rinsing fingers with water before Grace After Meals, saying it on a cup of wine when there are 3 men who ate. Those familiar with Shabbat rituals have seen this hundreds to thousands of times.

Above is the inner meaning of these customs that have the level of mitzvot. It is probably worth printing out and inserting in your table prayer book.
...the sod level and its contemplations help one to connect to a whole different level of living...
Why? Because the sod level and its contemplations help one to connect to a whole different level of living, beyond "what you see is what you get." As we are blessed with an extra Shabbat soul, to stimulate it and to feed it with such intentions is wise and meritorious. By reading these Zohar readings with great inspiration, one can open to the flow and healing of all the worlds.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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