Morning Jewish Meditation
Meditators make the world a better place
Why Meditate Every Morning?
Meditating in the morning sets the tone for the day.
While a daily mindfulness practice helps us awaken in body-mind and enhance our capacity for presence, Hashkata meditation, the technique at the heart of “Morning Jewish Meditation”, adds another dimension.
Beyond mere quieting (Hashkata is Hebrew for ‘quieting’), this Hasidic Contemplative work helps us grow on two levels: spiritual and ethical.
From a spiritual perspective, it is an invitation to connect to our true selves and to meet the Divine from within.
And from an ethical perspective, it helps us better our character traits and live from a place of deep truth and respect.
But in truth, the two are entangled, the spiritual aspect of connecting to our true selves helps us nurture Divine character traits, and actively serve as a positive agent in our environment- a sort of a “vessel” for the Source of Life.
Through Hashkata, we find a direct path to refine our awareness (rather than being constantly pulled by our thoughts), and develop our character by embodying Divine qualities such as generosity, kindness and humility.
Meditating in the morning can change the day for you and everyone you interact with. Do it every day, and you can change your life and the life of everyone around you.
How Does MJM Work?
We start at the beginning of each month but you can join us anytime.
Our core weekly gathering is a 75-minute session on Sundays combining Hasidic meditation, a Mussar (ethical discipline) teaching, and interactive discussions.
It is the bedrock of our journey, helping you kick off the week with a comprehensive plenary workshop designed to support and enrich your practice.
Throughout the week, to support your daily practice, MJM offers two live weekday sessions: 20-minute morning guided meditations on Tuesday and Thursday, as well as two recorded meditations -one for weekdays (Monday & Wednesday) and another one on Friday, a weekly cheshbon nefesh (soul inquiry) in preparation for Shabbat.
To accommodate as many schedules and time zones as possible, the live sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays are held for three different groups:
American East Coast
American West Coast
We meet at three different times successively throughout the day at the same time for each time zone: 7:30 am Central European Time, 7:30 am EST, and then 7:30 am PST.
This means if you couldn’t make it to your regular sit, you can always join one of the other time zones.
While MJM currently serves Jews in Israel, Europe, and the Americas, we are aware of the need to include communities in Australia and Asia as well.
We are actively exploring options for expansion in these regions and welcome your input and interest in starting a Morning Jewish Meditation group in an Asian time zone.
Everyone Can Join
Joining our group is accessible to all through an open participation model (Terumah, voluntary contribution), offering a range of options to suit individual financial situations.
These options include a supportive rate of $104/month, a regular rate of $78/month, and a scholarship rate set at $26/month.
We understand that financial circumstances can vary, and we are committed to ensuring that anyone interested in joining our community can do so.
If needed please do not hesitate to get in touch for further scholarship options.
Our community is inclusive and welcomes both beginners and experienced meditators. Regardless of your level of meditation practice, you'll find a nurturing environment to explore and deepen your spiritual practice.
To enhance accessibility and flexibility, recordings of all sessions are provided, allowing you to practice on your own time.
The Meditation Practice
Our Morning Jewish Meditation practice draws from the wisdom of Jewish sages spanning over two millennia, from the teachings of the early twentieth century piaseczno Rebbe to the timeless teachings of the medieval sages Maimonides and his son the Raavam, back to the ancient wisdom of the sages of the Mishnah from the 1st and 2nd centuries.
Central to our practice is the technique of the piaseczno rebbe known as Hashkata, which invites us to cleanse our souls from the layers of our ego, come closer to the Divine and improve our character traits. We do so through a structured four part process:
Contemplating our thoughts
Connecting to a guiding verse mentioning the character trait we wish to refine
Repeating words of intention to nurture the seeds of change within
Chanting a nigun (melody) to a powerful psalm (86.11), thereby infusing our efforts with profound harmony and purpose.
This introspective journey is focused on cultivating essential character traits such as kindness, generosity, trust or humility—core virtues in the Jewish spiritual path.
Each month, we dedicate ourselves to the exploration of one specific character trait, allowing us to embody these divine qualities more fully and contribute to making our world a better place.
How is this different from Jewish Mindfulness?
Our Jewish Meditation practice differs significantly from traditional mindfulness.
While mindfulness centers primarily on cultivating presence and self-awareness, our practice goes beyond that by focusing on a profound connection to the Divine (the Source of Life).
We emphasize "Tikkun Midot" (literally healing our character traits) which translates into “ethical refinement’, as a fundamental prerequisite for connecting to the divine.
In our practice, we seek to bring awareness not only to the present moment but to the divinity inherent in all living things.
From Tikun Midot to Tikkun Olam
Connecting to the Source of Life is a core aspect of our practice. It involves consciously choosing to become vessels (kelim) through which divine qualities (midot), such as compassion, generosity, and kindness, can flow into the world.
This is why in this Jewish meditation practice, connecting to God and the work of Tikkun Midot (refining our character traits) become one.
For that purpose, our spiritual journey is deeply rooted in the ethical teachings of the Jewish tradition
In addition to the Hasidic Practice of the piaseczno rebbe, we draw inspiration from foundational texts such as "Ha Maspik Le'Ovdei Hashem," "Mesilat Yesharim", and "Pirke Avot", which have laid the groundwork for the Mussar movement.
Each Sunday, we engage with sources from these ancient texts, delving not just into intellectual understanding but focusing on how to practically integrate them into our everyday lives.
Our goal is to embody these ethical principles and translate them into meaningful actions, ultimately contributing to making a better world (the Kabbalistic concept of healing the world, Tikkun Olam): a world imbued with compassion and kindness.
And it can start with each of us today.