Lisa Goldstein

Lisa Goldstein, Executive Director. Prior to joining the Institute, she spent 15 years as Executive Director of Hillel of San Diego where she garnered local and national recognition for her devotion to students and her leadership. She has been a service learning group leader for the American Jewish World Service and as a Mandel Jerusalem Fellow in 2009-2010, she designed a new methodology for combining local justice work and contemplative practice within a Jewish framework.

Executive Director’s Blog – Notes from Lisa’s Desk

Setting an Intention

Lisa Goldstein

Contrary to many assumptions, spiritual practice is not in fact easy. There are so many reasons – truly compelling reasons – to get up from the cushion, to close the prayerbook, to break the pose, to cancel the meeting with my hevruta (study partner). And yet, the really hard part of spiritual work begins when we transition from the centering stillness of our practice to the busy, confusing, distracting realities of everyday life. But of course, that is where spirituality especially counts: in how we treat both beloveds and strangers, in how we make the thousands of decisions, big and small, day to day. At its heart the practice of paying attention moment to moment is preparation for wise and compassionate action in the world.

This blog is intended to be reflections on trying to live a mindful life in the bustling, vital craziness of New York City. I will share my ideas, explorations and experiences in hopes that you will find them helpful in your own practice and your own life.

And I welcome your thoughts and experiences as well. Since I first had the privilege of joining the Institute for Jewish Spirituality world ten years ago as part of the second rabbinic cohort, one of the biggest surprises and greatest blessings was finding a whole community of fellow travelers. I expect to learn much from you as we all move through this miraculous complex gift of life.