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Is Mindful Meditation Finally Going to Become Jewish?

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Around 1992 I took up both yoga and also mindful meditation a la Jon Kabat-Zinn. I wrote the post below 8/28/09 ending with the question/suggestion that we bring mindfulness into our shuls and schools.

Five years later, Jews are noticing mindful meditation because it saves money, according to the Forward, “Why Jews Should Tune In to the Mindfulness Revolution. It’s Not Just ‘Hippie Stuff’ — Meditation Can Save Billions.”

Here’s what I said about my practices in 1992 in Minnesota, and a link to a 2009 Times article.

Our club, Northwest Racket and Swim in St. Louis Park, had a wonderful yoga program. Our favorite instructor was Bonnie West, who led a totally Americanized yoga class. She’d crack jokes and talk about current events and get all of us to go to our limits.

At our HMO they decided to offer a free course in mindful meditation as an experiment. We were right there to take up the offer. We did yoga and meditation for several years and let it taper off when we moved back East.

Why did we stop? We actually didn’t. We integrated mindfulness into our everyday life to a large degree. But that is a whole other story.

Anyway we were quite pleased to read in the NY Times, in 2007, about the acceptance of the practice in mainstream schools.

Wouldn’t it be a great thing to offer instruction in mindfulness in our shuls and synagogues too?

In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind by Patricia Leigh Brown

Visit The Talmudic Blog.

See also: Jewish Meditation by Jeremy Rosen.

About the Author: Tzvee Zahavy is a triathlon swimmer, a competitive golfer, a prolific author of books on Judaism, a prize-winning professor with a PhD from Brown University, a compassionate rabbi with semicha from Yeshiva University, and a fun guy.


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