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The Elat Chayyim Meditation Retreat

Dec 20, 2015 - Dec 27, 2015

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

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You are invited to join us on a supported journey to greater understanding and intimacy with life itself.

with Rabbi Jay Michaelson, Beth Resnick-Folk, Rabbi Naomi Mara Hyman, and Shir Yaakov Feit

Months later i am still accessing the deep peace i experienced on this retreat. I experienced total rejewvination  — the reset button was activated fully!
—Ken Ross
 
 

The teachers are so awesome. Beth’s vulnerability, Shir Yaakov’s tenderness, Jay’s humor, Naomi’s realness. All so sweet and wonderful. I really appreciate them!
—Kathy Hennis
 
 

Experience the transformative power of a supported, silent meditation retreat.

Insight meditation – the practice of quieting the mind to directly observe the basic facts of our human existence – has had a major impact on Jewish spirituality for over thirty years. Blending practices from Buddhist traditions with those of Judaism has deeply enriched the lives of countless individuals, congregations, and communities. In particular, insight meditation can bring about greater peace of mind, compassion, and open-heartedness, even in difficult times. Joining this powerful practice with prayer, ritual, and mystical teachings, allows for a dynamic cross-pollination and a soulful, deep, and fulfilling spiritual journey.

This is a weeklong silent meditation retreat: an opportunity to slow down, to live simply, and to explore the fullness of your own being. Each day will include several hours of formal sitting and walking practice, contemplative morning davvenen (chanted prayers) in a Jewish Renewal style, yoga, and instructional periods, and small group sessions, with opportunities to ask questions and receive personalized support.

Led for the second year by Shir Yaakov Feit, Naomi Mara Hyman, Jay Michaelson, and Beth Resnick-Folk, the retreat includes nightly talks by the teachers drawing from Jewish, Buddhist, and other contemplative traditions, nourished by psychology, neurobiology, and social justice. Talks and teachings will support participants to navigate the range of their experience on retreat. Still maintaining the silence of the retreat, we will celebrate Shabbat joyously together, with Kabbalat Shabbat and Saturday morning davennen, including a Torah service led by Rabbi Phyllis Berman.
For beginners, this retreat is an excellent opportunity to explore meditation in a supportive, warm, and non-judgmental environment. Although spending a week in silence can seem intimidating, the Elat Chayyim community is warm and welcoming, the food is delicious, and the natural beauty of the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center provides inspiration and comfort. And for more advanced practitioners, Beth, Jay, Shir Yaakov, and Naomi are committed to the principle that meditation practice can deepen and develop in profound ways, and this retreat is designed to help you take the next steps that are right for you.

Insight meditation – the practice of quieting the mind to directly observe the basic facts of our human existence – has for over thirty years made a major impact on Jewish spirituality. Blending practices from Buddhist traditions with those of Judaism has deeply enriched the lives of countless individuals, congregations, and communities. Mindfulness meditation can bring about greater peace of mind, compassion, and open-heartedness, even in difficult times.

Joined with Jewish practice, it can lead to a deepening of spiritual life and even profound awakening to the Ein Sof, the Infinite.

This is a weeklong silent meditation retreat – an opportunity to slow down, to live simply, and to explore the fullness of your own being. Each day will include several hours of formal sitting and walking practice, contemplative morning davenning (chanted prayers) in a Jewish Renewal style, group interviews, yoga, and instructional periods with opportunities to ask questions.

Nightly talks by the teachers will draw from Jewish contemplative traditions and Dharma teachings, both ancient and contemporary, and will focus on supporting participants to navigate the range of their experience on retreat. Still maintaining the silence of the retreat, we will celebrate Shabbat joyously together, with Kabbalat Shabbat and Saturday morning davenning, including a Torah service led by Rabbi Phyllis Berman.

For beginners, this retreat is an excellent opportunity to explore meditation in a supportive, warm, and non-judgmental environment.

Although spending a week in silence can seem intimidating, the Elat Chayyim community is warm and welcoming, the food is delicious, and the natural beauty of the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center provides inspiration and comfort. For more advanced practitioners, Beth, Jay, and Naomi are committed to the principle that meditation practice can deepen and develop in profound ways, and this retreat is designed to help you take the next steps that are right for you.

Finally, there are as many spiritual practices as there are spiritual practitioners. We welcome those with traditional Jewish observance, no Jewish observance, and those entirely new to Judaism; those with serious Dharma practice and those with no interest in Buddhism; and those of all ages, gender/sexual, racial/ethnic, and religious/cultural identities. We have found that meditation enriches all of these expressions of our spiritual and personal diversity.

For the last two decades, Rabbi David Cooper and Shoshana Cooper have been pioneers of this movement. Now, they have passed the leadership of this retreat to their teaching successors, Rabbi Jay Michaelson, Beth Resnick-Folk, and Rabbi Naomi Mara Hyman. Together with Shir Yaakov Feit, whose music has enriched the Jewish world for over a decade, they are humbled and grateful to be continuing the “Cooper Retreat” format each winter at Elat Chayyim.

Jay Michaelson
Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson is the author of five books, including Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment (North Atlantic, 2013) and Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism (Shambhala, 2009). He has been included on the Forward 50 list of influential American Jews and The Advocate’s list of leading LGBT religious leaders. Dr. Michaelson holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a B.A. from Columbia, as well as nondenominational rabbinic ordination from Rabbi David Cooper. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Brown University. Jay has taught contemplative practice at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Omega, Kripalu, and New York Insight, and was designated by Rabbi Cooper to be his successor in his popular Jewish meditation retreats. Jay’s contemplative journey includes twenty years as a student and teacher of Kabbalah and twelve years in the dharma, including several long-term retreats in the United States and Nepal.
 

Beth Resnick-Folk
Beth Resnick-Folk

is a spiritual teacher and psychotherapist. She began actively searching for truth and peace of mind in her early teenage years, to finally discover, at age 21, that everything is profoundly okay and that nothing is separate. Since that time, Beth’s aim has been to live fully from the truth realized. She has practiced extensively with world-class spiritual teachers, including Rabbi David and Shoshana Cooper, Adyashanti, and various teachers at Insight Meditation Society. She is also a passionate student and practitioner of Hakomi, a mindfulness and somatic-based form of psychotherapy.

Beth works primarily with students 1-on-1 over Skype, integrating spiritual practice and deep emotional work. She has co-led virtual and in-person programs with her husband, meditation pioneer, Kenneth Folk. She also teaches with Rabbi David and Shoshana Cooper and is Shoshana Cooper’s teaching successor. Beth offers an integrative contemplative approach and sincerely believes in the radical power of these practices to help people suffer less and come to greater authenticity, wholeness, and freedom.

 

Rabbi Naomi Mara Hyman
Rabbi Naomi Mara Hyman draws on teachings both ancient and modern to guide her students in spiritual practices that awaken the soul, including sacred text study, meditation, ritual and prayer. Rabbi Naomi was ordained by Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2003. She also received a private contemplative ordination from Rabbi David Cooper in recognition of both her rabbinic studies and intensive meditation training under his guidance. She is the editor of Biblical Women in the Midrash: A Sourcebook (Jason Aronson, 1997) and co-editor of Trees, Earth and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology (Jewish Publication Society, 1999). rabbinaomihyman.com 
 

shir-yaakov
Shir Yaakov Feit is a teacher, singer, composer, designer, producer, “aba” (Dad) and graduate of DLTI 7. He serves both Romemu and ALEPH as Creative Director and is well known as a stage artist and liturgist performing with The Epichorus and Darshan. Working in both Jewish and multi-faith contexts, Shir Yaakov weaves a tapestry of Kabbalistic wisdom, contemporary songwriting and deep personal spirituality to offer a spiritual cultural Judaism that is contemporary, alive, and innovative. He has recorded and released four albums of original music. shiryaakov.com
 

 

This is the 2014 retreat schedule, a preview of the general structure of the retreat for 2015.

ELAT CHAYYIM MEDITATION RETREAT

Dec. 21-28, 2014

SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, Dec. 22th3:00-5:00 PM                 Arrival & Registration

5:30 Dinner

7:30 Opening program and Chanukah candle lighting

8:45-9:00 Walk/Stretch

9:00-9:30 Sitting Meditation

MONDAY – THURSDAY

6:00-6:45   Early Sit

6:45 WAKE-UP BELLS

7:15-8:00 Yoga or Sit

8:00-8:40               Breakfast

8:40-10:00 Davennen’

10:00-10:15 Walk

10:15-11:00 Sit

11:00-11:45                    Walk or Group Interviews (if necessary; otherwise, just PM)

11:45-12:45     Sit with Practice Instructions

a. Concentration and insight practice (Jay)

  b. Open awareness and insight practice (Beth)

12:45-1:30 PM Lunch

1:30-2:15 Sit

2:15-3:00 Walk

3:00-3:45          Sit    [Monday only: Beth’s class]

3:45-4:30          Walk or Group Interviews

4:30-5:30 Yoga or Sit/Contemplation

5:30-6:30 Dinner and Walk/Stretch

6:30-7:15 Sit

7:15-7:45 Walk

7:45-8:45 Teaching and Chanukah candle-lighting

8:45-9:00 Walk/Stretch

9:00-9:30 Sit

Elat Chayyim Meditation Retreat 2014 – Weekend Schedule

Friday, Dec 27

Follow the weekly schedule from wake-up until 4:30 PM

4:30-5:00 Preparation for Shabbat

5:00-5:45 Kabbalat Shabbat Service

5:45-6:30 Dinner  (in silence)

6:30-7:15 Sit

7:15-7:45 Walk

7:45-8:45 Teaching

9:00-9:30 Sit

Shabbat, Dec 28

6:00-6:45   Early Sit

6:45 WAKE-UP BELLS

7:15-8:00 Yoga or Sit

8:00-8:40               Breakfast

8:40-11:00 Davennen’ and Torah Service

11:00-11:45 Walk

11:45-12:30 Sit

12:30-1:30 PM Lunch (including Kiddush & Motzi)

1:30-2:15 Sit

2:15-3:00 Walk

3:00-3:45          Sit

3:45-4:30          Walk

4:30-5:30 Yoga or Contemplation

5:30-6:15 Dinner

6:15-6:45 Havdalah

6:45-7:30 Re-emergence into Speech Exercise

7:30-8:00 Walk

8:00-8:45 Teaching

8:45-9:00 Walk/Stretch

9:00-9:30 Sit

Sunday, Dec 29

6:00-6:45   Early Sit

6:45 WAKE-UP BELLS

7:00-7:55 Yoga (Beige Yurt) or Sit

8:00-8:40               Breakfast

8:40-9:00 Pack out of rooms

9:00-10:00 Davennen

10:00-10:30 Walk

10:30-12:00 Closing Circle

12:00     Lunch




register now

Retreat fees – including lodging and homemade kosher farm-to-table meals – begin at $525 per person. Donations for teachers will be collected at the conclusion of the retreat.

Click the “register now” button above for information, room rates, and to register online.

Online registration is for full credit card payments only. If you would like to pay in installments, pay by check, or apply approved financial aid, please call 860.824.5991 x0. Please review our lodging options and rates prior to calling. You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered and made a payment online or by phone. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours of registering, please call us at 860.824.5991 x0.

If you’re new to Isabella Freedman, click here for information about where we’re located, arrival and departure times, what to bring, etc.

We strive to make our programs affordable to everyone.

Click here for information about Financial Aid. »
Hazon is committed to making our Transformative Experiences financially accessible to as many people as possible. We believe that participation in these kinds of events are a core feature of a healthy and sustainable Jewish community in the 21st century. Please note that in our efforts to provide access to our events, we must balance our ability to meet individual requests with our ability to spread our resources among as many participants as possible. You can help support us in this endeavor by considering your request carefully. Financial aid is awarded on a rolling basis. Applications must be received at least two weeks prior to the start date of the event. Please submit your financial aid application prior to registering. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar at registrar@hazon.org or (860) 824-5991 x0.

 

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