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Meditation: An Escape from the World?

The "knock" on meditation is that it's escapist.

From time to time one may hear meditation characterized as escapist: that it’s a way for self-involved people to retreat from the world and its problems; to turn the focus back onto the self and to cultivate feelings of personal well-being.

The teachers I have studied with and/or read deeply challenge that assumption. The “goal” of meditation - if one can use that word in this context – as I have received it from my teachers, is the deepening of awareness and thereby of compassion, for the self and thereby for all living beings.

This Friday night, Nov. 4, we will be one of 200 synagogues across the United States participating in American Jewish World Service’s Global Hunger Shabbat. I will be extending the teaching I shared with my community on Yom Kippur about the impact of climate change on food resources, and about specific actions that we can take today to alleviate suffering.

Whether you are a member of our synagogue or not; whether you consider yourself Jewish or not; I hope that you will be with us. Our Global Hunger Shabbat service begins at Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:15 p.m. and runs until about 8:30 p.m. We’re at 219 Bedford R. in Pleasantville. Please invite your friends and neighbors.

And then come back Saturday morning at 9 a.m., when we will sit in silent meditation again; developing our capacity for awareness; expanding our compassion for the world.

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Save The Date: Rabbi Mark is teaching “An Introduction to Jewish Meditation” at the 2nd Annual WBR/WJC “Night of Jewish Learning” in New Rochelle, Saturday, November 12. For information check the WJC website. 

Rabbi Mark Sameth is the spiritual leader of Joyful Judaism: Pleasantville Community Synagogue an inclusive progressive synagogue–with members from twenty towns, villages and cities all across Westchester. Read The New York Times  article. Weekly meditation at the synagogue every Saturday morning at 9 am is open to the public. Everyone is welcome and warmly invited.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

gail burlakoff November 04, 2011 at 11:58 AM
I wish there were an "Email" option for this, as I'd really like to send it to a couple of friends. Unfortunately, all I see is the "Print" option. Is there any way to change this?
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) November 04, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Gail, That's a great request, and I will pass it on right away to our tech people.
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) November 19, 2011 at 06:17 PM
Gail, here's the "Email" option there to the left of "Print."

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