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 busy. Many of us who consider ourselves Jewish find 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 has been disrupted.
What we now call mindfulness is an adaptation of techniques collected primarily from Buddhism. Even outside of their religious context, mindfulness techniques help millions of people around the world to increase their conscious understanding of themselves and of the people and world around them.
Mindfulness and Jewish spiritual practice are highly compatible. The secular nature of mindfulness practice makes mindfulness 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 gentleness, compassion and loving-kindness.
Judaism, like the eastern religions, has a rich history of mysticism and of using meditation to assist in spiritual development and enhance consciousness. We see this, for example, 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 deprived us of much of this wisdom and most of our teachers, but many texts and practices still remain. HaMakom integrates 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 that we discover them, as if new.