Hineni Jewish Mindfulness and Meditation Weekend
December 1 - December 3
Ohavi Zedek in partnership with UVM Hillel, is excited to invite you to our inaugural Hineini* Jewish Mindfulness and Meditation Weekend.
The program is designed for Jewish, Jewish-adjacent, and curious individuals from any background. No prior religious or mindfulness knowledge is required. Our offerings include meditative practice sessions, group meals and participation in Shabbat and rituals. Participants are welcome to attend as many or few components as they would like.
The program takes place at Ohavi Zedek’s campus, inside the synagogue’s sanctuaries, and weather permitting, in OZ’s yurt and wooded trails.
* Hineini means “I Am Here” in Hebrew. It is a Biblical reference and is the word spoken in one of our meditations group’s mindfulness chants.
The weekend program is led by our visiting facilitator, Carrie Watkins (she/her), who will guide participants through this weekend long journey. Our steering committee includes Judy Danzig (she/her), Lindsay Foreman (they/them), Justin Reidy (he/him), Rabbi Aaron Philmus (he/him) and Matt Vogel (he/him).
The Jewish people are in the midst of a very challenging time. That is manifesting on a global scale, and it is also showing up within each of us, in similar and different ways.
Join Hineini to ground in practical tools and frameworks from the world of Jewish Meditation.
Throughout a weekend of prayer and study and practice, we will learn how to support our nervous systems in moving from fear-based reacting to open-hearted responding and open up our spiritual capacities to show up in the world with an open heart, a clear mind, and wise action.
About Carrie Watkins
Carrie is a practitioner, organizer, and teacher of Jewish Meditation. A third year Rabbinical Student at Hebrew College, Community Manager for Or HaLev: Jewish Spirituality and Meditation, and Rabbinic Intern for the Boston Synagogue, Carrie has been teaching meditation and mindfulness for startups, on silent retreats, for teenagers on backcountry trips, from her living room, and from other peoples’ living rooms, for the last 7 years. A systems thinker with a Master in City Planning from MIT, Carrie is attentive to the ways meditation and mindfulness can bring healing both our own internal systems and to the communal, societal, and ecological systems of which we’re a part.
Schedule (Please note, revised as of 11/26/23):
Friday December 1, 2023
- Evening Service and Weekend Kickoff – 6-7 pm – During OZ’s Shabbat Service, which marks the start of our weekend program, Carrie will frame the weekend and provide an overview of the concepts of Jewish mindfulness. Rabbi Aaron and Carrie will co-lead a service infused with mindfulness principles.
- Friday Dinner – 7-8 pm – Dinner will be open and offered to all after services. Attending the service is not required to attend the meal.
- Friday Evening Meditation Sit – 8:15 – 8:45 pm – 30 Minute Grounding and Centering Meditation led by Carrie
Saturday December 2, 2023
- Saturday Shabbat Morning Service 9:15 – 11:30 am- Rabbi Aaron and OZ’s ritual team will lead our traditional Shabbat morning services infused with elements of Jewish mindfulness practice. Carrie will provide an intention teaching during the service.
- Saturday Lunch 11:45 am – 12:45 pm – Lunch will be open to all. Attending services is not required to join the lunch.
- Saturday Afternoon Meditation 3:30 – 4:15 pm – The Piaseczno Rebbe’s Hashkata (Quieting) Practice:
- Hevruta (2 or 3 person) study and group discussion on a letter written by a student of the Piecezno Rebbe, Rabbi Kalonomus Kalman Shapira, a Chassidic Rebbe from Piasecno, Poland and then the Warsaw Ghetto. This letter relates a spiritual meditation practice taught to the author by the Piaseczno Rebbe himself, called the Quieting Practice.
- Saturday Afternoon Practice 4:30 – 5:15 pm – Practicing the Quieting Practice:
- Together, we’ll try out the practice taught by the Rebbe – a combination of concentration meditation, chanting, mantra, and visualization.
- Saturday Evening Mindful and Musical Havdalah 5:30 – 6:00 pm
Sunday December 3, 2023 (Also the same days as the Limmud Vermont Day of Learning)
- Sunday Youth Session – 10:30 – 11 am – Carrie will lead a meditative session for youth age 5 to 13 and their adults. We will explore how emotions work, breathing and other elements of mindfulness relevant to this age group. This session is open to all, including families of OZ’s Hebrew School and Jewish Journey programs.
- Sunday Adult Session – 11: 05 – 11:45 am – Three techniques for bringing meditation into your daily life
- Overview of the basics of how our nervous systems respond to cues of stress and cues of safety and how we can recognize those states within ourselves
- Practice three distinct meditation techniques that can support us in these times of intensity and in our day-to-day lives
- This session will also be available on Zoom.
- Noon – Limmud Lunch (an additional lunch fee will be requested for this catered lunch)
- Afternoon – Limmud Vermont Day of Learning Programs.
Leading up to the program, OZ is offering meditation sessions (details here); and we plan to continue to offer them through the winter.
Who Should Attend?
This weekend program is open to individuals of all backgrounds, whether you’re new to meditation, a seasoned practitioner, or seeking to deepen your spirituality. This program is open to people of any religious belief.
Register to secure your place and be a part of this meaningful experience. The program is free, with an optional donation appreciated.
We offer the following suggested contribution levels to participate in some or all of the weekend programs described above.
- Members / Students: $18 to $180 for the weekend
- Non-Members $54 to $360 for the weekend
- Nobody will be turned away due to lack of funds