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About Jewish Meditation

Why meditate?
Meditating helps us to connect to our deepest source of being. It helps us slow down and become attuned to ourselves, the world around us, and the divine. It is healing and, although not always easy, it can be deeply nourishing and relaxing.

Do I need to be Jewish?
No – you definitely do not need to be Jewish to attend BHA sits or any classes or events. We are a completely inclusive community. Our teachings will come from Jewish sources, and the majority of the teachers we invite will come from within the Jewish meditation world, but we will also have other spiritual disciplines represented and welcomed.

What if I tried meditating in the past, and it didn’t work?
This is a very common question, and it seems that there is a misconception about what meditation is and what it means for it to “work.” So, let’s start there. Meditation means to concentrate on one thing. Pretty simple, right? If you’ve ever done it, you’d answer “NO!” It’s actually difficult to settle your mind and bring your attention back again and again and again to your object of concentration. However, each time you bring your attention back (to your breath, a particular thought, prayer, etc), it’s working. The more you practice this, the easier it gets.

Sometimes simply “showing up” is enough. Cultivating a practice of awareness is exactly that- a practice. We practice being patient, understanding, and compassionate with ourselves and others. We keep practicing. We shine lights of awareness on patterns and relationships; over time, things shift. We evolve, patterns that we wished we could break somehow disappear. That’s how you can tell your meditation practice is working. It’s subtle, but it’s profound, and it requires effort and some amount of patience and stubbornness. Ultimately, though, it’s pretty much guaranteed to positively transform your life.

Do I need to know Hebrew?
Absolutely not. Whenever we incorporate Hebrew prayers or texts, we will always have clear translations and transliteration so that non-Hebrew speakers can follow along and fully understand what is being studied.

When are sits? Where are you located?
Sits are generally on Saturday afternoons and you can see our full contemplative practice calendar here. BHA is located at 331 Verplanck Avenue, Beacon, NY. Our driveway is next to a row of townhouses, and most people enter through our kitchen door. A map is available here.

How can I find out more?
The best way to find out more is to sign up for our newsletter, and be sure to click the box for interest in Jewish Meditation. If you have any questions, please be in touch with Rabbi Brent Spodek.

 

We are grateful to our friends at the Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality for some of the resources on this page.

Sat, July 20 2019 17 Tammuz 5779