Classes and Events

For the next foreseeable future, we are offering classes online only.

 

Tal Orot Programs for the Coming Shmittah Year 5782

The goal of our Tal Orot series this Shmittah year is to take our meditation practice to a transformative level and integrate it deeply and effectively into our daily lives. In our sessions we will devote more time to rigorous meditation with detailed guidance, and our learning will delve deeply into the exploration of consciousness in kabbalistic, hasidic and Jewish philosophical sources, to provide insight for our meditation practice.

Our Fall series was devoted to the practice of Devekut, constant awareness of God that comes to permeate all our actions, speech and thoughts at every moment. The challenge of Devekut is that God cannot be an object of thought – so how do you maintain steady awareness in a way that does not involve objectifying thought? We practiced Jewish meditation methods that open up different modes of consciousness that give us access to a real, enduring relationship with God.

The theme of our winter series is Kavanah, focused mental intent. The ability to direct attention effectively in prayer, in learning and in meditation is a key element of Jewish spiritual development. The kabbalistic tradition has developed a number of meditation methods, some readily accessible and some quite rigorous, designed to strengthen and refine Kavanah. We will study several of these methods and incorporate them into our daily practice, adding a skill set that can be valuable in many aspects of our lives.

For the spring series, we will examine how meditation requires ethical behavior. Meditation is not an end in itself but a means towards more authentic, enlightened life. Its real fruit is greater ethical consciousness. Ideally, our meditation practice should help us be more sensitive in our relationships, more aware of the consequences of our actions, words and thoughts, more thoughtful of others and the world at-large. The Torah tells us that human beings have been placed in this world “to serve it and protect it (Gen. 2:15),” and meditation can be helpful towards this responsibility. Our spring session will be devoted towards meditation practice and Torah learning focused on enhancing our ethical consciousness, with sources from the talmudic, Jewish philosophic, kabbalistic and hassidic traditions. To sign up for this series, please fill out this Google form.

One last thing–we are offering these courses for members of Tal Orot only! If you have not become a member (free for those who sign up for classes), please go to this link. Once you are approved, I can send you more information about classes.