Sorry I haven’t posted to Seeking Simcha in a few months…I fell.
Things were going well for me during my journey towards simcha (Jewish happiness). I was losing weight, meditating and working towards Shalom Bayit (greater peace at home).
But then I started getting stressed and very busy at my high-tech job, triggering a pattern of dysfunctional eating (something I have struggled with in the past). I began binging at restaurants and eating until I literally felt sick.
Continue reading I Fell…
One of my big challenges for this year is to be more patient with my children.
One of my kids is a wonderful boy with a sweet streak, but he is also extremely energetic and impulsive. I start every day striving to be patient, but too often I get frustrated with his behavior and start nagging/punishing.
Continue reading #MeditationMonday – Hebrew Meditation for Patience
Today, the second intermediary day of Pesach (Passover), hundreds of Kohanim (Jews descended from Moses’ brother Aaron, who was the head of the priestly class) and thousands of Jews in Israel went to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem for the traditional Birkat Kohanim (the priestly blessing).
This blessing features powerful words that can be experienced as a deep meditation. Shrouded in their tallitot (the ritual prayer shawl), the Kohanim recite the following words to the onlookers:
Continue reading #MeditationMonday – The Priestly Meditation
One of the major benefits of meditation is the inner peace it cultivates. In Hebrew, the words “Shalom” (peace) and “Shalem” (whole) share the same root. It is impossible to achieve a state of wholeness/completeness in your life without inner peace.
Here is a meditation practice I have been experimenting with recently to increase my feelings of tranquility and peace.
Continue reading #MeditationMonday – Shalom Meditation
An elderly American woman approaches two monks in the Far East and asks to be taken to their spiritual guru. They explain that it will take five days of climbing a steep mountain to reach him and because he’s so exalted, she will only be allowed to say six words in the guru’s presence. The woman agrees. When they finally reach the guru, the monks are surprised to hear her exclaim, “David, come down from here immediately!”
Continue reading 5 Types of Jewish Meditation
The positive psychology movement has identified meditation as a key technique for increasing happiness and feelings of tranquility. But observant Jews don’t meditate, do they?
There are some excellent books and articles written by Rabbis and Jews about the traditional approach to simcha (Jewish joy). Most of them, unfortunately, ignore meditation as a tool for centering oneself and becoming happier. This seems to be part of a larger trend of marginalizing meditation, a practice that was once widespread among Jews.
Continue reading Jewish Meditation: an Oxymoron?
After deciding to start my current search for simcha (Jewish joy) on Hoshana Rabbah, one of the first things I did that morning was immerse myself in one of the local mikvehs. Hoshana Rabbah is the day when the judgment process that has started on Rosh HaShana is sealed, and I wanted to feel spiritually pure.
Continue reading A Happiness Visualization for the Mikveh
The Shabbos Project (@ShabbosProject_) is a wonderful idea that is sure to increase simcha (happiness) worldwide. This weekend (the first day of the new month of Cheshvan/October 24-25) Jews in more than 212 cities and 33 countries will experience the joy of observing and celebrating Shabbat (or “Shabbos”). As a Jew who keeps Shabbat on a weekly basis with his family, I’ll try to explain why Shabbat never fails to put a smile on my face.
So, why does Shabbat = simcha?
Continue reading 5 Reasons Why Shabbat = Simcha (Happiness)