Beyond Idols, Towards Freedom
A HaMakom Mindfulness Retreat
Rabbi Sheila Weinberg
Dr Mira Niculescu
Saturday evening, 4 December - Sunday 5 December 2021
We’re delighted to be able to offer online participation in this Chanukah retreat, which is also taking place as a residential weekend. Online participation will begin from 5pm UK time on Saturday 4 December, and continue until the end of the residential retreat, at 4pm UK time on Sunday 5 December.
There will be a special orientation session at the beginning of the online retreat, and after that you will be connected with the in-person event via Zoom. You are invited to participate in the way that works for you: this might be immersing fully into the programme, or joining for those parts that you are able to, and exploring how it is to weave the spirit of retreat into the rest of your life.
Together we will explore how the practice of mindfulness meditation gives us insight into the nature of our experience and our minds, and helps us to cultivate what is beautiful for ourselves and for others. Instruction in meditation will help guide all participants into the sacred space of the retreat process. There will be teachings, Q&A sessions, chanting and small group meetings. Mika Hadar will also be offering Subtle Yoga on Sunday morning (see https://www.subtleyoga.co.uk/). There will be space and time for davening, for those that wish to.
Here is a preview of what we’ll be exploring:
Being on retreat during Chanukah, where we remember the resistance of the Maccabees to the idols of Antiochus, invites us to reflect: what are our own idols? What are we worshipping through our habits of thought and speech and action? How aligned are these patterns with whatever it is that we truly wish to dedicate ourselves to? How can we inquire here, and perhaps rededicate, without collapsing into self-judgment and self-criticism? This Chanukah, we will invite the light of awareness to expand as we support each other in a container of collective compassion, care and sacred aspiration.
We welcome people of all ages, of all faiths or none, beginners or experienced practitioners or anything in between.
Meditation retreats can be beautiful and powerful journeys of healing and transformation. However, due to the intensity of the experience, they are not necessarily safe and appropriate for everyone at all times. We therefore ask potential participants to be aware of the following: If you have suffered an episode of mania in the last six months this retreat is not safe and appropriate for you. Please do join us on retreat when there has been more than six months since your last episode of mania. If you have ever received a diagnosis of psychosis, intensive meditation retreat is not safe and appropriate for you.
If you have a history of trauma or serious mental health challenges, retreat may be appropriate and beneficial for you. It is important that you are in touch with us in advance so that we can ensure this retreat will be supportive for you. We want to make retreat as welcoming as possible, and we look forward to hearing from you.