We are living in a unique period of history when all our routines are different – a situation which can be used for our growth and development or could result in fear and confusion.
A Jewish meditation practice can give you the tools you need to open up your heart/mind – bringing wisdom, and cultivating the qualities of compassion and kindness to this period we are living in, and to each moment as it is now, and with what will come. Learning to pay sustained loving attention to your own experience and the feelings arising in the present moment is the key.
Please join us for a 3½ day Jewish meditation retreat online with Zoom. We have done a number of online retreats over the past four months and the online-while-at-home experience has been both lovely and effective.
This retreat is designed to show experientially how a regular Jewish meditation practice can help cultivate awareness in all aspects of daily life. Being at home will provide an opportunity to integrate the practice experience with life at home, creating a model for using contemplative practice to remind us of the possibility of bringing our awareness to every moment of our lives.
We will have a full day schedule, which we have found to be valuable in sustaining and deepening the practice. Participants will have the opportunity to enhance their skills in a range of meditative techniques. These include concentration techniques, contemplative prayer chants, mindfulness/heartfulness meditation, yoga and qi gong, the path of blessing, and practices that cultivate joy. Together, all our practices also can open us to a sense of the Divine Presence in all that Is.
The teachers will be offering the opportunity to experience practices which thousands of people have found transformative and life enhancing. You will learn practices that result in greater clarity and wisdom, open the heart of compassion and lead to greater happiness.
Standard Rate: £60.00
Supported Rate: £25.00 – The Supported Rate is available without question to all who cannot afford the Standard Rate.
Sponsor Rate: £95.00 – The Sponsor Rate is an invitation to help keep HaMakom accessible to all by paying a higher rate, and thereby enabling those who would not otherwise be able, to come on the retreat by paying a subsidised rate. On behalf of those that you help we are extremely grateful for your generosity.
The Retreat fees go solely towards HaMakom’s ongoing operating expenses and do not include any payment to Rabbi Jeff or Rabbi Joanna for leading our retreat and their teachings. In the Jewish tradition of Generosity/Chesed, the teachings are offered freely by Rabbi Jeff & Rabbi Joanna. At the end of the retreat, you will have the opportunity to make a donation to the teachers who have guided your retreat and to offer financial support to HaMakom.
If you cannot afford the Supported Rate please contact Rabbi Danny at: firstname.lastname@example.org – we endeavour to ensure that no one is unable to attend our retreats due to their financial circumstances.
The retreat will be led by Rabbi Jeff Roth and Rabbi Joanna Katz. They are recognised as world leaders in this field and together they pioneered and helped create the Jewish mindfulness meditation movement. They also built the first Jewish Meditation Retreat Centre in the modern world – Elat Chayyim (https://elatchayyim.org/).
They will be assisted by HaMakom faculty members Rabbi Danny Newman, Bev Cohen & Gidon Fineman (https://hamakom.community/our-team/)
Daily Yoga and Qi Gong will be led by HaMakom faculty members Mika Hadar and Dr Matthew Rosen Marsh.
Rabbi Jeff Roth
Rabbi Jeff Roth, D.Min., M.S.W. is the founder and Director of The Awakened Heart Project for Contemplative Judaism. He has led over 200 meditation retreats over the last 20 years. He was the co-founder of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center, where he served as Executive Director and Spiritual Director for 13 years. He is the author of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life and Me, Myself and God. He was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as well as by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Roth served for eight tears as the Executive Director of B’nai Or which became P’nai Or before its transformation into Aleph. He lives with his partner Rabbi Joanna Katz in the Hudson River Valley.
Jeff currently runs the Awakened Heart Project. For more information, please see: https://www.awakenedheartproject.org/
Rabbi Joanna Katz
Rabbi Joanna Katz is a long time student of the western vipassana teachings. More recently she has been a immersed in certain zen and Tibetan lineages. She teaches Jewish meditation and mindfulness with an emphasis on daily life practice and connecting to the heart of compassion that resides within each of us. She is a board certified chaplain and an ACPE certified pastoral educator. She lives in the Hudson River valley where she continues to be inspired by the natural world and respond to the global call for justice for all beings. “
The Benefits of Jewish Mindfulness Meditation
(from: The Institute for Jewish Spirituality)
We are dedicated to introducing this practice into the Jewish world for several reasons:
- to enliven and enhance Jewish prayer, celebration, ritual and community;
- to be part of working for the betterment of our fragile and vulnerable planet; and
- to recognize the true and deep sources of happiness in a world filled with seductive, competing and ultimately unsatisfying short-term fixes.
How can Mindfulness Meditation Help?
Mindfulness meditation is training the mind. Just as we go to the gym to make our bodies stronger and more flexible, so mind training helps make our minds more spacious, perceptive and most of all free.
We train our capacity to pay attention by turning our attention, like a flashlight, on our own minds. This helps us see more clearly the nature of our own minds. We become aware of the patterns and habits that run our lives but have not been previously visible.
We begin to realize that these patterns and habits may serve our goals, desires, and purposes – but often they do not. We start to realize that there actually is a “pause button” built into our system. This pause button can be activated when we become triggered by an event outside ourselves and are tempted to act in reactive, patterned and unskilful ways.
The “pause button” wakes us up, creates a space in our mind where we can ask the question: ”What is the skilful, wholesome, wise, goal oriented action I need to take in this moment?” “What are my choices here?” The development of this capacity for inner freedom is why we train in mindfulness. This can be profoundly useful in our lives, especially in our relationships, and in any task we undertake to realize our dreams or express our creativity.
By cultivating attention, we are also able to feel more satisfied with each moment of our experience.
We learn to rest in this moment as it unfolds.
We learn to bring our awareness to the flow of energy in the body which is the very miracle of our aliveness. We learn to be more receptive to the fullness of each moment, rather than resisting what has already occurred or projecting what is not yet here. We learn to notice the arising and passing of all experience, recognizing how short and precious this life is.
We learn to treasure each day for the miracle it is. This is itself a source of happiness. According to modern neuroscience, the mind is a dynamic flow of experiences rather than a fixed state. When we experience this for ourselves, we feel less isolated, less caught in judgment and adversity, and more open to the mystery and majesty of this very life.
Unfortunately and with our apologies, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel next week’s online Meditation Intensive.
For a number of reasons, we do not have enough participants to make the event viable.
We are very grateful for your support and hope to run a retreat with Rabbi Jeff at some point in the future.
Here are a couple of options that might be of interest:
1. Bev Cohen, one of our faculty members, will be offering some meditation sittings and instructions next week when we would have been on retreat together. If you would be interested to join, please email her by the end of this week and she will give the details. Her email address is: email@example.com
2. Jeff is leading an online retreat with some outstanding teachers (Sylvia Boorstein and Norman Fischer) at the end of August. See here for details: https://www.awakenedheartproject.org/retreats/cultivating-an-awakened-heart-2020