Sunday, September 22, 2019

Jewish Mindfulness Resources, for the Holy Days and Every Day



Image by s2dent from Pixabay




"Judaism is by nature a religion that encourages us to be mindful of what we do each day. When we eat, for example, and say a bracha (prayer), we are supposed to be mindful that the food we are eating is a gift and not something to be taken for granted."

Rabbi Dan Dorsch, "The Value of Mindfulness in Jewish Life"












by Catharine Hannay


With the new year and High Holy Days approaching, this seemed like a good time to do something I've been wanting to do for quite a while: put together a list of resources on Jewish approaches to mindfulness. 

My interest in secular mindfulness actually first came from reading the works of contemporary Buddhist teachers from Jewish backgrounds, including Jack Kornfield and Surya Das.

In the past couple of years, I've been learning about Jewish traditions that provide wonderful opportunities to practice various aspects of mindfulness. For example, 

  • Yom Kippur: focusing on forgiveness and compassion.
  • Sukkot: engaging the senses through the Arba Minimand reflecting on impermanence; and
  • Purim: thinking about our authentic selves and the masks we typically wear.
Here are a variety of articles and videos on integrating mindfulness with Jewish practices and teachings. I hope you find these resources useful, whether you're hoping to learn more about Jewish traditions or looking for ways to integrate your mindfulness practice with your faith. 



Reflections on Judaism and Mindfulness



Be. Here. Now. An Introduction to Jewish Mindfulness, by Dr. Benjamin Epstein for the Jerusalem Post. 
This is a reflection on the concept of yishuv hada’at by the author of Living in the Presence: A Jewish Mindfulness Guide for Everyday Life. 
Dr. Epstein also published a shorter version of this article, The Jewish Approach to Mindfulness Will Blow Your Mind, at JewintheCity.com


The Intersection of Mindfulness and Judaism, by Rabbi Brian Field at JudaismYourWay.org 
Rabbi Field explains how mindfulness connects to three core practices: Bracha, teshuvah and mitzvah(To read this article, scroll halfway down the page, past the announcement about their meditation group.)

On Mindfulness and Jewish Meditation, by Frumma Rosenberg-Gottlieb at Chabad.org
In this two-part series, Ms. Rosenberg-Gottlieb explores the physiological, emotional and spiritual benefits of achieving mindfulness and tranquility.

A Path of Wellness: Jewish Mindfulness Meditation, by Cantor Florence Friedman at ReformJudaism.org
Cantor Friedman explains that "in Jewish Mindfulness Meditation, Judaism is the yesod, the foundation, and mindfulness meditation is the derech, the path."





What Is Jewish Mindfulness? 
Rabbi Yael Levy of A Way In- Jewish Mindfulness Organization explains how a mindful approach to the Torah and the holy days can "guide our hearts and direct our intentions."
(3 minutes)






(2 minutes)
This is a video produced by Jewish kids for Jewish kids.






David Gottlieb discusses how a disastrous shabat dinner turned into an opportunity to practice mindfulness and compassion, integrating what he'd learned from Buddhist meditation and traditional Jewish meditation practices.
(16 minutes)





Mindful Approaches to the Holy Days



Of Sound Mindfulness: The Essence of Our Holy Days, by Rabbi Yael Levy at JewishExponent.com



Photo by Element5Digital on Unsplash





Hanukkah


Mindful Hanukkah with Kids, by Lori Lite at Stress Free Kids.com

Mindfulness Teachings for Hanukkah, by Rabbi Yael Levy at Mishkan.org






Passover

Mindfulness Practices for Every Step of the Seder, by Sarah Chandler at Haggadot.com

This Passover, Mindful Breathing Can Liberate and Renew Us, by Benjamin Shalva at Kveller.com








hamentashen image by xeno4ka from Pixabay





Purim

Embodied and Mindfulness Practices for Joy on Purim, by Rabbi Lavey Derby and Julie Emden at RitualWell.org

Take Off Your Mask, by Sara Debbie Gutfreund at Aish.com



Rosh Hashanah


Rosh Hashanah: A Jewish Mindful Holiday of Waking Up, by Adam Fogel at MindfulJudaism.com 



Sukkot





Yom Kippur

Infusing Repentance with Mindfulness and Self-Love, by Ketriellah Goldfeder at Aish.com

Yom Kippur: Solidarity, Compassion and Forgiveness, by Rabbi ShmuelRabinowitz for JPost.com

Yom Kippur: The Practice of Meditation and Atonement, by by Adam Fogel at MindfulJudaism.com



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related posts: 

Ronit Jinich discusses her experiences with mindfulness at synagogue and at Sukkot. (Scroll down to interview question #4.)

And there are many more resources on practicing and teaching mindfulness and compassion at 

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