Our guiding principle is that Judaism is a source of great wisdom which we can use to transform ourselves, our communities, our world and our relationship with our creator.
Many modern Jews struggle to access this wisdom. Our lives are so busy and many of us who do consider ourselves Jewish find any interaction with Judaism outside of the main lifecycle events uncomfortable or lacking in meaning and purpose. We suggest that this is because the spark of connection between the rituals of our practice and the deep wisdom of our faith have been broken.
What we now call mindfulness is an adaptation of techniques collected primarily from Buddhism. Stripped of its religious context, mindfulness techniques aid millions of people around the world increase their conscious understanding of their own selves and of the people and world around them.
Mindfulness and Jewish spiritual practice are highly compatible. The secular nature of mindfulness practise makes mindfulness very attractive in many areas of Jewish life.
Many Jewish people desire to have a richer, deeper and more personal relationship with their own Judaism. Mindfulness, which teaches us to attend to each moment alone, without distraction, can help us to achieve these goals with a gentleness, compassion and loving-kindness.
Judaism, like the eastern religions, has a rich history of mysticism and of using meditation to assist us in our spiritual development and enhance our levels of consciousness. We can see this in the biblical books of the Prophets, in medieval texts which became the foundation of Kabbalah, and in the Hasidism of Eastern Europe. The Holocaust has deprived us of much of this wisdom and most of our teachers, but many texts and practices remain with us. HaMakom applies many modern mindfulness techniques that, to some degree, help us recover what we have lost.
For many of us, these are surprising new dimensions to our Judaism. Even though they have always been there, it is only when we mindfully attend to them that we discover them, as if they were new.