Beyond Idols, Towards Freedom
A HaMakom Mindfulness Retreat
Rabbi Sheila Weinberg
Dr Mira Niculescu
Friday 3 December - Sunday 5 December 2021
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.
Join us for a unique weekend dedicated to the practice of Jewish mindfulness meditation, and an experience of the Jewish path to wellbeing, wisdom & awakening. The retreat will be led by HaMakom faculty members Rabbi Sheila Weinberg, one of the founders and pioneers of the Jewish Mindfulness Movement, and Dr Mira Niculescu. For details of the faculty see: https://hamakom.community/our-team/.
Update: Rabbi Sheila will now be joining us virtually from the United States, teaching twice on motzei Shabbat/Saturday afternoon & evening, and once more on Sunday. Dr Mira Niculescu will lead the retreat in person.
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. Daily instruction in meditation will help guide all participants, from beginners to advanced practitioners, into the sacred space of the retreat process. There will be daily talks and teachings, Q&A sessions, chanting and small group meetings.
Throughout the retreat we will maintain social silence (see the “Social Silence” tab above for an explanation of this). The retreat will also offer the option of daily periods of Subtle Yoga led by Mika Hadar (see https://www.subtleyoga.co.uk/). There will be space and time for davening, for those that wish to. We welcome people of all ages, of all faiths or none, beginners or experienced practitioners or anything in between.
Our venue is: St. Cassian’s Centre, Wallingtons Road, Kintbury, Berkshire RG17 9SR
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.