“One of the life messages I took from the retreat was to notice, instead of being judgmental, during meditation – and during life as well.”

— Lay retreat participant, Winter 2012

Weekly Meditations

 

Practice in community can be the foundation for establishing or deepening your meditation practice. It gives a reliable space and time to help build routine, a group of people who can serve as a resource when you are struggling, and an opportunity to recenter and settle yourself in connection with other seekers.

Starting July 26, 2017, the Institute is offering freeweekly online group meditation. These online sessions will be held on Wednesdays, from 12:30 – 1:15pm Eastern Time. These sessions are open to everyone, with no registration required (though you can sign up to receive weekly reminders on Wednesday mornings). Live meditations are limited to the first 100 people who sign into the room, but all sessions will be recorded for anyone to download and listen to whenever they’d like.

Click Here to open the meditation room (room opens 15 minutes before each session).

Click here to download a calendar reminder (.ics).

Past weekly sessions, available for download or streaming:

  • July 26, 2017 – Parashat Devarim (Video) (Audio)
    Preparing for Tisha B’Av, “You have dwelt too long at this mountain.”
    With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • August 2, 2017 – Parashat Va’etchanan (Video) (Audio)
    Post Tisha B’Av, exploring “aliveness” and experiencing a “length of days.”
    With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • August 16, 2017 – Parashat Re’eh (Video) (Audio)
    This very day you have a choice; listening leads to blessing.
    With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • August 23, 2017 – Parashat Shoftim (Video)(Audio)
    Pursuing truth is a foundation of our practice, practicing with truth during this season of Elul.
    With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • August 30, 2017 – Parashat Ki Teitze (Video)(Audio)
    Our practice can help us train in how we are engage in the “battles” of life, but also in a Shabbat-like orientation towards our experience. Based on the Sefat Emet on Ki Teitze.  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • September 6, 2017 – Parashat Ki Tavo (Video)(Audio)
    In meditation, we can experience an element of teshuvah as “entering into the land flowing with milk and honey.”  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • September 13, 2017 – Parshiyot Nitzavim/Vayeilech (Video)(Audio)
    Teshuvah is to be found through intimacy with our experience.
    With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • September 20, 2017 – Rosh HaShana (Video)(Audio)
    A guided practice exploring the three main parts of the Rosh HaShana Mussaf service (Malchuyot, Zichronot, Shofarot).  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • September 27, 2017 – Yom Kippur (Video)(Audio)
    A Yom Kippur practice connected to phrase “…so that we can desist from the oppression that is within our own hands.”  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • October 4, 2017 – Pre-Sukkot (Video)(Audio)(Sourcesheet)
    A practice for the time in between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, based on teachings of Rabbi Alan Lew, z’l.  How to practice joy in the midst of impermanence?  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • October 11, 2017 – Hoshannah Rabbah/ Sukkot (Video)(Audio)
    As we finish the Season of Awe, we connect back to essential qualities of the season through our meditation practice.  We primarily look at a passage from Kohelet and it’s use during the Yom Kippur Ne’ila service as a model for our practice.  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • October 18, 2017 – Parashat Noach (Video)(Audio)
    Our meditation practice can be understood to be like Noah’s ark.  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • October 25, 2017 – Parashat Lech L’cha (Video)(Audio)
    Wherever you go, you are going to your root source. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • November 1, 2017 – Parashat Vayera (Video)(Audio)
    A note in each pocket.  Teaching with Rabbi Sam Feinsmith.
  • November 8, 2017 – Parashat Chayei Sarah (Video)(Audio)
    Where did Isaac go after the Akeidah to heal?  He sat in a place of “Be’er L’chai Roi“– with Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • November 15, 2017 – Parashat Toldot (Video)(Audio)
    Our practice can be like Isaac (see Gen. 26:11)– a well of living water in a place of spaciousness.  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • Please note: due to technical difficulties, our meditation sessions on November 22 and November 29 were not recorded.  Apologies!
  • December 6, 2017 – Parashat Yayeshev (Video)(Audio)
    With Rabbi Jonathan Slater
  • December 13, 2017 – Parashat Miketz (Video)(Audio)
    With Rabbi Nancy Flam
  • December 20, 2017 – Hanukkah (Video)(Audio)
    A meditation on and with the lights of the Hanukkah candles.  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • December 27, 2017 – Parashat Vayechi (Video)(Audio)
    At the end of the Gregorian calendar year– and at the end of the book of Genesis, we reflect on how we can access a sense of “aliveness.” With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • January 3, 2018 – Parashat Shemot (Video)(Audio)
    We look at Moses’s encounter at the Burning Bush as a model of the spiritual encounter. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • January 10, 2018 – Parashat Vaera (Video)(Audio)
    One of the key metaphors of the Exodus narrative is that of “hardened hearts.”  In this session we will explore how we might practice with our hearts as they harden and soften.  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • January 17, 2018 – Parashat Bo (Video)(Audio)
    Teaching with Margot Andersen on hardening and purifying hearts.
  •  January 24, 2018 – Parashat Beshalach (Video)(Audio)
    Mindfulness practice and teaching based on the story and metaphor of the manna in the wilderness–an exploration of being with our experience, right now, with the sense of “this is enough.”  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • January 31, 2018 – Tu Bishvat and Parashat Yitro (Video)(Audio)
    To honor the confluence of Tu Bishvat (the New Year for Trees) and our weekly Torah portion, Yitro, we reflect upon the “Torah of the Trees”– and practice in a way that is informed by this Torah. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • February 7, 2018 – Parashat Mishpatim (Video)(Audio)
    A mindfulness meditation inspired by sources on the color blue–techelet and livnat ha-sapir– and how blue is evocative of spaciousness.  With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • February 14, 2018 – Parashat Terumah (Video) (Audio)
    A teaching and practice on the inner and outer as one. With Rabbi Jonathan Slater.
  • February 21, 2018 – Shabbat Zachor (Video)(Audio)
    Our practice can help us cultivate an experience of safety and deep rest (menuchah) as a balance to the pervasive experience of feeling unsafe. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • February 28, 2018 – Ta’anit Esther/ Purim (Video)(Audio)
    The world described in Megillat Esther (and our own world) can be experienced as unpredictable, chaotic and even violent. How might our practice be a loving, helpful response to this reality?  We will take our inspiration from Esther and her fast. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • March 7, 2018 -Parashat Vayekhel-Pekudei (Video)(Audio)
    with Rabbi Jonathan Slater.
  • March 14, 2018 – Parashat HaChodesh (Video) (Audio).  What does it mean to eat (or live) b’chipazon (in haste– see Exod. 12:11).  This session is an exploration of how we might train in developing a sense of poise in the midst of movement. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • March 21, 2018 – Parashat Tzav/ Shabbat HaGadol (Video)(Audio)(“Keeping Quiet” poem). There are different kinds of regularity in our practice. We can be priest-like emphasizing daily regularity. And, we can also access a seasonally directed sensibility in our practice. “Today you go free in the month of spring.” (Ex. 13:4). With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • March 28, 2018 – Pesach (Video)(Audio). Sitting with the “lamb”, the symbol of that which oppresses us, with the help of matzah mind and the courage to work with bitterness (Pesach, matzah and marror). With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • April 4, 2018 – Pesach (Video)(Audio).  As the axe-handle comes from the forest it chops down, so too Moses was the ideal person to confront Pharaoh. In our practice, we can explore how we create our own suffering in a similar way.  With Rabbi Jonathan Slater.
  • April 11, 2018 – Parashat Shmini (Video)(Audio). We can practice in the spirit of the inauguration of the Mishkan (and the eighth day/Shmini) by generating our own light of awareness. This light can support our capacity for distinguishing between things in our lives for the sake of increasing holiness. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • April 18, 2018 – Yom HZikaron/ Parshiyot Tazria-Metzorah (Video) (Audio) “Looking upon leads to remembrance. Remembrance leads to action”, teaches the Talmud (Menachot 43b). In our practice, we can train in these capacities. The remembrance today (4/18/18) is in the spirit of Yom HaZikaron, and it is integrated with the close witnessing of the priest, as we read in this week’s double portion, Tazria-Metzorah. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • April 25, 2018 – Parshiyot Acharei Mot- Kedoshim (Video)(Audio)(Text)  “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18) is easier said than done. In this session, we draw upon a teaching of the Mei HaShiloach on this verse, for the sake of cultivating an orientation and experience of love. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • May 2, 2018 – Parashat Emor (Video)(Audio). Today is the 32nd day of the Omer. Practicing in the spirit of this day in the counting of the Omer: netzach sh’b’hod: endurance/perseverance and humility/splendor. With Rabbi Marc Margolius.
  • May 9, 2018 – Parashat B’har (Video)(Audio)(Text English)(Text Hebrew) Teaching and practice based on Sefer Baal Shem Tov on the parasha. Feeling shabbat in our “earthiness”/body. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • May 16, 2018 – Shavuot (Video)(Audio) “Torah is like rain” taught the Baal Shem Tov– whatever seeds are present will grow. In our practice we can actively cultivate particular qualities, like chesed, that we hope to grow. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • May 23, 2018 – Parashat Naso (Video)(Audio) Wholeness is the vessel that contains blessing. Teaching and practice inspired by the Baal Shem Tov on the Priestly Blessing. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • May 30, 2018 – Parashat B’ha’alotcha (Video)(Audio) Working with cravings and desire is part of our earthy, human nature. The Baal Shem Tov taught about the importance of working with cravings and coming into an experience of wisdom. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • June 6, 2018 – Parashat Sh’lach L’cha (Video)(Audio)  How do we bring Torah into our practice and not just think about it? The biblical story of the scouts speak to the dynamic of how we practice and how we inform our experience with Torah as opposed to merely contemplating it. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • June 13, 2018 – Parashat Korach (Video)(Audio)(Text) The haftara for this week from 1 Samuel uses language that is essential to our practice: what is effective and truly helpful as we cultivate the qualities we hope to make manifest? With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • June 20, 2018 – Parashat Hukkat- Sorry, this session was not recorded.
  • June 27, 2018 – Parashat Balak (Video) (Audio) Before blessing, Bilaam “lifts up his face towards the wilderness”– in this session, we practice cultivating a broad perspective and view for the sake of re-contextualizing the challenges of daily life. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • July 4, 2018- Parashat Pinchas (Video)(Audio) “Bring a lamb in the morning and evening”– our meditation practice can be an opportunity to bring our highest values into each moment. We practice today with Freedom and Responsibility in the spirit of July 4th. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • July 11, 2018 – Parshiyot Mattot-Masei (Video)(Audio)(Poem) “These were the travels of the Israelites…”(Num.33:1). We practice with the complex dynamic of being present and (relatively) still in the midst of a life of continual movement. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • July 18, 2018 – Parashat Devarim (Video)(Audio) Practicing in the month of Menachem Av, a time of the comforting parent.  With Rabbi Jenny Solomon.
  • July 25, 2018 – Parashat Va’etchanan (Video)(Audio) On this first of 7 weeks of comfort post Tisha B’av, our practice will draw inspiration from this week’s Torah Portion, Va’etchanan— practicing witnessing in the present tense, informed by a “memory of illumination.” With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • August 1, 2018 – Parashat Ekev (Video)(Audio)  We don’t need to remember the things we are not likely to forget. In this week’s parasha, there is the reminder of the episode of the Golden Calf. Why might it be spiritually important to remember this and how might our practice make this remembrance manifest? With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • August 8, 2018 – Parashat Re’eh (Video)(Audio) The Sefat Emet teaches that in every day a choice is renewed for us. In our practice this week, we focus on choosing, moment by moment, to orient ourselves towards our lived experience with blessing and generosity. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • August 15, 2018 – Elul, Parashat Shoftim (Video)(Audio) In the month of Elul, our practice is done at an Eit Ratzon/ a time of Divine favor, in other words, a propitious time. We practice in this spirit, training in inclining ourselves towards our lived experience with confidence and with generosity. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • August 22, 2018 Elul, Parashat Ki Teitse – (Video)(Audio) In our practice of emet, we must assume that we have blindspots. Our practice can help us be with whatever arises, helping to reveal that which is hidden. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • August 29, 2018 Elul, Parashat Ki Tavo- (Video)(Audio)(PDF of Achot Ketana)(Link to video of piyut) A teaching on the flow between little mind and big mind based on the piyut (liturgical poem) Achot Ketana. Click here to read the Mindful Torah Marc mentioned on Ki Tavo. With Rabbi Marc Margolius.
  • September 5, 2018 Elul, Parashat Nitzavim (Video)(Audio). In the context of facing the truth of mortality, our practice can help us remove the coverings over our hearts so that we may truly live. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • September 12, 2018 Ten Days of Teshuvah (Video)(Audio)(PDF download) We can engage in teshuva/ returning/ recalibration through fear or love. In our practice today we emphasize turning from love. As we prepare for Yom Kippur, and all the knocking on our chests, we endeavor to receive this as a gentle knocking, “I am asleep but my heart is awake– my beloved comes knocking [saying]: ‘Open to Me.'” With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
  • September 26, 2018 Sukkot (Video)(Audio). Sukkot is a time of acknowledging that reality is marked by contradictory, complex truths. And yet— we affirm that this is a time for resting joyfully (b’simcha) with the harvest that is, and for actively reaching out to grab the goodness, joy and fruitfulness of life. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.
  • October 3, 2018 Parashat Bereishit (Video)(Audio). A key term in the creation narrative contains the root b-d-l /-ב–ד–ל, which means separation, discernment and distinction . In our meditation it is essential that we cultivate our capacity for discernment as an essential function of our humanity.
  • October 10, 2018 Parashat Noach (Video)(Audio). Noah’s ark is a powerful metaphor for our practice. In this session we explore key ways in which it is helpful and important to understand our practice as being like entering an ark. With Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell.