The Institute for Jewish Spirituality presents Awareness in Action

New Six-Week Online Course | October 15 – December 1

As is well known, mindfulness meditation originated in Buddhist contemplative traditions over 2,500 years ago. Since then, the theory and practices of mindfulness have evolved in many ways, first within Asian religious traditions, and later in Western spiritual and secular contexts. Today, practitioners of Jewish mindfulness take a wide range of approaches to the Buddhist roots of mindfulness: some practice mindfulness entirely within a Jewish context, some embrace aspects of both Buddhist and Jewish traditions, and many are just perplexed by Buddhist terms, values, and social contexts with which they are unfamiliar.

The Institute for Jewish Spirituality invites you to learn with journalist, scholar, and meditation teacher Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson in a six-week online course, A Guide to Buddhism for the Perplexed Jewish Meditator. Through text study and discussion, we’ll learn about the teachings of Buddhism that have influenced contemporary mindfulness, and explore their original contexts. Which goals, methods, and worldviews are similar to Jewish mindfulness, and which diverge? How might we wisely navigate the process of integration? All questions, backgrounds, doubts, and curiosities are welcome – our aim is to enrich whatever Jewish, BuJu, or other forms of mindfulness and meditation you practice.

The course includes six live weekly practice sessions led by Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson. These sessions will run on Tuesdays from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET on the following dates: October 17, 24, 31; November 14, 21, 28.

Teaching portions of live sessions will be recorded and available for all participants.

A Guide to Buddhism for the Perplexed Jewish Meditator

Meet your instructor:

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson is a journalist, scholar, and meditation teacher. In the meditation world, Jay is on the leadership team of the New York Insight Meditation Society, having previously worked at Ten Percent Happier for four years. He co-leads the Adamah Jewish meditation retreat and teaches jhana in a Theravadan Buddhist tradition. In the journalism world, Jay is a commentator on CNN and a columnist for the Daily Beast, and worked as an LGBTQ activist for ten years. He holds a PhD in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University, a JD from Yale, and nondenominational rabbinic ordination. His books include Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism and The Heresy of Jacob Frank: From Jewish Messianism to Esoteric Myth, which won the 2023 National Jewish Book Award for scholarship.

About the Institute for Jewish Spirituality

Since 1999, IJS has been a leader in teaching traditional and contemporary Jewish spiritual practices that cultivate mindfulness so that each of us might act with enriched wisdom, clarity, and compassion. These practices, grounded in Jewish values and thought, enable participants to develop important skills while strengthening leadership capacities, deepening their inner lives, and connecting more meaningfully with others, Judaism, and the sacred.