This course addresses actual how-to techniques for cultivating mindfulness, based on traditional spiritual texts. Together, we will explore contemplative and meditative practices that bring the practitioner closer to their inner selves — the inner chamber within all of us, where the Divine Presence dwells.
Specifically, the curriculum focuses on cultivating two spiritual practices: breathing and quieting of the mind. Our guiding text will be Rav DovBer Pinson’s Breathing and Quieting of The Mind, part of his Jewish Meditation Series (IYYUN Publishing, 2014).
Like a wellspring bubbling forth, Rav Pinson shares beautiful and highly effective teachings from Hasidic masters. We shall explore these jewels of inspiration with R’ Pinson’s commentary.
To quote the author, “On the informational side, there are many books dedicated to exploring the underlying principles of Kabbalah and deeper dimensions of Torah. Few have chosen, however, to explore the actual experience of Kabbalah and spiritual practice; the transformational side…[we are] not merely interested in what the sages and Tzadikim taught, but rather, what they did.” (p.1)
Over the years, many students have asked me, “When do we learn techniques — methodologies that I can actually acquire and use in my spiritual practice?” My answer to this important question: “NOW!”
How does it work?
The course consists of eight recorded online sessions, of approximately 1.25 hours. Participants can watch and listen to the recordings at your own leisure.
Each class includes two essential components:
1) An exploration of several sections in Rav Dovber Pinson’s book, Breathing and Quieting The Mind (provided on the source sheet for each session).
2) A guided meditative practice utilizing the method studied in class. This nurtures and cultivates spiritual practice, as it brings theory to actual experience and actualizing the potential.
"Yiscah brings warmth and approachability to her teachings—along with a clear connection with the Divine and with the sacred spiritual texts that she shares. Whether one is a novice or more familiar with Jewish spirituality, you will find yourself welcome in the space she holds for everyone. One of my favorite impressions learning with Yiscah is how she approaches learning Torah as if one is recalling a dream from the night before, thus opening the door to a “lived“ experience amidst a text that can seem so distant from our own lives. As such, bring an open heart to her learning opportunities, and Yiscah will do her best to help you become inspired."
- Jordan Walker
"How amazing that over zoom Yiscah has been able to create a safe, intimate space for sharing our interior lives inspired by the Piaseczner Rebbe. Her modus operandi is very much aligned with the Piaseczner’s teachings - encouraging us to open ourselves intellectually, emotionally and spiritually to Torah.
Very often Yiscah expands the Piaseczner’s text with apt examples from her own personal experiences; encouraging us to do so as well. I have learned from Yiscah that speed in DAVENING without KAVANA may not serve our soul or spiritual longing to connect more deeply with the Divine. I have given myself permission through her gentle and sage guidance to focus on select phrases and big ideas that speak to me.
Each class is enlivened with deep emotional and intellectual learning along with some historical context. Yiscah has a listening heart and an open mind for all of our queries.
We are inspired by Yiscah and the Piaseczner Rebbe to make Torah our own, to expand ourselves, to interpret text with our own ideas and experiences and feel Torah in our everyday lives. Yiscah’s mantra (now mine as well) is to see yourself in the text and the text in you."
- Renee Wohl
"Yesterday was the final class given by Yiscah. It was a bittersweet experience. Bitter because it ended and sweet because aside from signaling a new beginning, I walked away with knowledge of who Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro, the Piaseczner Rebbe was, and his amazing teachings. I have come across his name before, but I had no idea of how important and revolutionary his thinking and beliefs were - teachings that can rival the most current eclectic disciplines. In addition, listening to Yiscah’s vast knowledge and delivery of the lectures, kept me looking forward to the weekly classes. Lastly, I liked and appreciate a lot, the time Yiscah allotted to questions and comments. Not many lecturers give their students such time and space. I am so glad I listened to her on Erev Shavuot because if not, I would have never learned about Yiscah and her courses."
- Jenny Katz
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