The Boulder JCC will be hosting a Mindful Morning from 9:00 to 11:00 am on Friday, June 3rd. This in-person event will offer opportunities for silent sitting meditation, walking meditation, learning, and connecting with community in an inviting outdoor setting. All are welcome — those with established meditation practices and those who are new to mindfulness, or just Jewish-meditation curious. For those who are unable to attend in person, there will be a Zoom option for the 9 to 9:30 a.m. portion of the event.
Facilitators for the Mindful Morning will be Lori and Monte Dube, and Suzanne Weiss, all regular leaders of the Boulder JCC’s daily mediation sit. Lori and Monte are Institute for Jewish Spirituality-certified Jewish Mindfulness Meditation teachers, and Suzanne Weiss is a certified yoga and meditation instructor.
If you are wondering how mindfulness and meditation can benefit your life, here are some of what participants of the Boulder JCC’s daily morning meditation sit have to say about their experience with the practice.
Morning meditation through the Boulder JCC has been a steady source of comfort, community and insight for me over the challenges that the past several years have presented. The group has become close-knit yet is always eager to welcome newcomers as well as folks who drop in occasionally. I highly recommend trying it out if you have the availability between 9 and 9:30am M-F. Many people stay away because they think “I’m not good at meditating,”to which I reply, if you can spend 18 minutes in quiet reflection, even if your mind wanders constantly (as it does for us all!), then you are a meditator!
Mindfulness meditation has taught me to be more centered. I feel stronger, more focused, and better able to respond to stress as well as to appreciate everyday pleasures. I am grateful for the shared wisdom that a group provides, whether focused on Jewish teaching or more generally, and I am thankful for the friendship and support among people who gather regularly to explore life together.
Meditation has offered a linkage with others during the social isolation of a good part these past two years. Meditation has protected a time to focus on myself rather than the many tasks and responsibilities in my life. So many suggested themes have resonated and launched me into reflection and growth.
Each morning no matter how I wake up feeling when I join our close group I feel soothed. The meditation group offers quiet and reflection. I’ve learned so much more about myself and with the mindfulness practice I am learning to worry less.
As much as I have looked forward to adding a Jewish spin on meditation to my morning rituals during the pandemic, I equally—or maybe even more—look forward to seeing the faces of people I sit with, people who have become dear to me. Several have lost parents—or grandchildren or aunts and uncles or brothers and sisters–since we starting gathering; others have been ill or have undergone intense medical crises. Some are saying Kaddish, many are saying a healing prayer for the world or for individuals whom they love. I have grown to love these faces I’ve only seen on Zoom and to ache for their losses and their illnesses and their loved ones. I celebrate their joys and triumphs. I sit in silence with these people, most of whom I have never met. In silence we sit, and in gratitude for the way we hold each other up every morning, for the wise teachings and courage, for the open hearts.
These days of meditation allow me to experience the varied ways we approach meditation. Also to discover the nuances in that experience. All within a sense of community.
At this very moment I’m sitting quietly outside feeling the wind on my face, hearing the sounds of the birds and the stream, seeing the new leaves on the Aspens, smelling the new blooms on the stems of the lilacs bushes, and tuning into my body which is filled with peace and calm and a warm, flowing energy. Meditation has blessed me with the ability to be aware and present in my life and to be open to all that is set before me.