Silence is a fence facilitating wisdom • סיג לחכמה שתיקה
- Pirke Avot 3:17
Enriching Life through Mindful Jewish Living
The Center for Jewish Mindfulness supports the contemporary and timeless practice of Jewish mindfulness in Chicago. Through our direct experience of Jewish wisdom, we strengthen our capacity to live with awareness, generosity and compassion. The integration of mindfulness with the study of Jewish sources helps make the riches of Jewish tradition relevant and meaningful in our day-to-day lives.
The CJM is dedicated to supporting the growth of Jewish Mindfulness Practice in the Chicagoland Jewish community. Mindfulness is a way of directly relating to, and working with, our lived experience as human beings: how we act, think and feel. When we are mindful, our awareness is flush with the ever-unfolding present moment. Over time, this awareness leads to an increased capacity for staying aware, awake and responsive. We develop this facility for mindfulness during periods of meditation– however, the ultimate practice of mindfulness occurs in our everyday lives.
Mindfulness itself is not a practice that is specific to any religious tradition. Rather, mindfulness is a human capacity. At the CJM, we integrate the powerful techniques of mindfulness with the profound intellectual, ethical, and spiritual sensibilities of Jewish tradition. This approach, which we call Torah and Mindfulness, facilitates a lived Judaism that is grounding and inspiring, while spurring us to grow ethically. We believe that Jewish Mindfulness must open us up to others and eventuate in engaged action.
In order to facilitate this type of community engagement, the CJM runs regular Jewish Mindfulness Meditation groups that meet in different parts of the Chicago area. Additionally, we bring Jewish Mindfulness Practice into established Jewish organizations such as synagogues and schools through educational programming. Please check our calendar for up to date information on upcoming programs.
Rabbi Akiva taught, “Silence is a fence for wisdom”(Pirke Avot 3:17). At the Center for Jewish Mindfulness, we experience directly how silence supports and facilitates wisdom. Jewish Mindfulness Practice helps us look honestly at the complex reality of our lives in an ever changing world. This honest looking enables us to grow wiser as we gain greater insight into the patterns and dynamics of mind and heart. From that place of wisdom, we move to the culmination of our practice: compassionate, responsive, and effective action in the world.
ראיה מביאה לידי זכירה
זכירה מביאה לידי עשיה
Looking upon leads to mindful remembrance. Mindful remembrance leads to action.
-B. Talmud, Menachot 43b