Unplugging + Mindfulness.
Shabbat, much like yoga or meditation for some, is an act of rebellion against a constantly moving world. Relinquishing control, being present, quieting the thoughts in our minds — these things are hard. But lighting the candles on Friday night can be a tool to meditate on gratitude; sharing challah with friends can be a tool to eat with awareness. There is no disconnect between the healing aspects of Shabbat and the restorative aspects of yoga and meditation.
A Mindful Shabbat
This guide was created to help deepen your Shabbat practice with new teachings, movement meditations, and ways of looking at Jewish ritual as a gift from our ancestors to mindfully pause, reflect, celebrate and nourish yourself and your community each and every week.
Being alone during this pandemic is life-saving work, and while most of us are not fortunate enough to be alone on a beautiful Meditteranean island, we can all encounter what philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel calls “an island in time” every week on Friday night.
Learn: OneTable Shabbat Meditations
Finding presence, quieting the thoughts in our minds, and transitioning seamlessly into Shabbat — these things are hard. But what can help us shift from constantly doing to simply being are Shabbat rituals infused with mindfulness-based meditations.
Learn: MJL Shabbat Meditations
Shabbat is a day of being, not doing. As interpreted by the rabbis, the day’s multitude of do’s and don’ts are essentially about not making anything, not destroying anything, and simply taking the world as we find it–for one day. The rest of the week, we Jews are exhorted to improve the world, better ourselves, and provide for our extended families in whatever roles in which we find ourselves. But this day: just be.
Listen: The Judaism Unbound Podcast
Tiffany Shlain talks about her “tech shabbat” and the impact that refraining from digital screen technology has on her life.
Read: 24/6 Life
In 24/6, internet pioneer and renowned filmmaker Tiffany Shlain explores how turning off screens one day a week can work wonders on your brain, body, and soul.
Drawn from the ancient ritual of Shabbat, living 24/6 can work for anyone from any background. With humor and wisdom, Shlain shares her story, offers lessons she has learned, and provides a blueprint for how to do it yourself. Along the way, she delves into the neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and history of a weekly day of rest across cultures, making the case for why we need to bring this ritual back.
Institute for Jewish Spirituality: Resources for Challenging Times
Jewish tradition offers rich, accessible, and time-tested resources to cope with moments like these. The Institute for Jewish Spirituality, which has pioneered the development and teaching of Jewish mindfulness practices for over 20 years, is here for you now. They are offering resources including daily online meditations, Jewish yoga classes, weekly Torah study, and a Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Starter Kit.
Or HaLev Virtual Resources
Or HaLev creates open, immersive and transformational Jewish meditation retreats around the world, offering a taste of Judaism as it can be – open, healing, and inspirational.
Mindful Breathing and Mindful Listening
There are two types of mindfulness practice that are so helpful and important that they deserve special mention: mindful breathing and mindful listening. Each method offers you a way to inhabit the present moment more fully and either can be the first step to a healthier life.