Discovering Jewish Meditation: Instruction & Guidance for Learning an Ancient Spiritual Practice

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9781580230674: Discovering Jewish Meditation: Instruction & Guidance for Learning an Ancient Spiritual Practice

A breakthrough “how to meditate” guide!

A supportive and wise guide that is an absolute must for anyone who wants to learn Jewish meditation or improve their practice. Nan Fink Gefen teaches you how to meditate on your own, and starts you on the path to a deeper connection with the Divine and to greater insight about your own life. Whatever your level of understanding, she gives you the tools and support you need to discover the transformative power of meditation.

This most comprehensive introduction to a time-honored spiritual practice:

  • Answers commonly asked questions about the nature and history of Jewish meditation, and examines how it differs from other meditative practices
  • Shows beginners how to start their practice, including where and how to do it
  • Gives step by step instructions for meditations that are at the core of Jewish meditative practice
  • Explains the challenges and rewards of a Jewish meditative practice

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About the Author:

Nan Fink Gefen, PhD, is a teacher of Jewish meditation, a writer and an editor. She has taught Jewish meditation to hundreds of students around the country. For six years, she directed a program to train Jewish meditation teachers at Chochmat HaLev, a center of Jewish meditation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She is a contributor to Meditation from the Heart of Judaism: Today's Teachers Share Their Practices, Techniques, and Faith (Jewish Lights), and author of Stranger in the Midst: A Memoir of Spiritual Discovery (Basic Books). She cofounded Tikkun magazine in 1985, and she is the cofounding editor of Persimmon Tree: An Online Magazine of the Arts.

From Publishers Weekly:

Gefen, cofounder of Tikkun magazine and codirector of Chochmat HaLev, a Jewish meditation center in Berkeley, Calif., declares that although we may think that meditation belongs to the Buddhists, it is authentically Jewish. Indeed, Gefen finds references to meditation in Genesis (when Jacob spent time alone before his reconciliation with Esau, for example) and the Psalms. By the Middle Ages, Jewish mediation had "gone underground," though it was practiced by some Kabbalists and later claimed by the Hasidim. But readers don't need to become black-hatted mystics to take advantage of the tradition: this book encourages Jews of all persuasions to give meditation a shot. Gefen maintains a strict view of what is, and is not, meditation. In prayer, the goal is to communicate directly with God, whereas meditation attempts "to move into a spiritually open state, and then we experience whatever is there. This may include directly sensing God's presence. Or, it may not." Gefen teaches 13 basic meditations, from the Hineni meditation to a thankfulness meditation. This book is a worthwhile addition to the Jewish library, but it will never replace Aryeh Kaplan's Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide (reprinted in 1995) as the essential reading on the subject. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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