The Institute offers a small menu of retreats for people who are interested in a taste of our programs. These retreats are intended to introduce our practices and teachings in hopes that participants might be interested in exploring other programs for spiritual practice, either through the Institute or in their local communities.
These Thursday – Sunday retreats are open to everyone. The program is built around our core practices of mindfulness meditation, song-filled prayer, exploration of traditional texts and yoga. Attention is also given to the direct experience of silence and the beauty of nature. The participants can taste the joy and community warmth of shared Shabbat celebration and they often report creating meaningful and lasting friendships with others in attendance.
Each retreat explores a theme relevant to the cultivation of Jewish spiritual life, such as gratitude, loving perception and wonder. Institute staff is joined by guest faculty to offer guidance and teaching according to the theme and there is also opportunity for one-on-one meetings with the staff.
Generally, these biannual retreats are held in California in January and in New England in July.
The Institute offers two kinds of silent retreats for anyone who wishes to delve deeply into Jewish mindfulness meditation. The first is a biannual silent Shabbaton. Institute staff provides instruction for sitting, walking and eating meditation. Participants have the opportunity to celebrate a contemplative Shabbat with joyful (and silent) meals and Shabbat services. There is also opportunity for participants to meet one-on-one with faculty for individualized instruction.
We also offer periodic five day long silent retreats. These retreats feature Institute faculty and other outstanding teachers from the Jewish mindfulness meditation world. Participants receive instructions and have long and structured periods for in-depth practice. As in the silent Shabbatonim, participants have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with faculty for individualized instruction.