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Jewish Mindfulness Meditation - Chevruta Buddy

One way of keeping a practical commitment active is to partner with someone who has a similar aspiration to their own commitment.  This is called a ‘chevruta buddy.’  (from ‘Sadhana buddy’ where ‘sadhana’ means ‘spiritual practice.’)

A chevruta or study buddy is someone with whom you partner for a period of time with the intention to keep your attention on your commitment to practice.

Here are the basic steps:

1.  Find someone with whom you might partner.

2.  Decide on your aspiration for this period of time. 

3.  Determine what kind of support would work best for you.

A few clarifications:

1. Find someone with whom you might partner.

Your chevruta buddy doesn’t have to be a close friend.  Sometimes it’s a nice way to get to know someone or even amp up the accountability factor.

2.  Decide on your aspiration for this period of time.

Your aspiration doesn’t have to be limited to meditation.  Any life-enhancing practice can be your focus for the month.

You might like to explore ‘restraint with awareness:’

Perhaps you’d like to eliminate some foods from your diet and explore what that feels like.  Or cut out extraneous web-surfing for the month.  Or commit to not speaking about anyone unless they were present.  Drop a television show that really doesn’t do it for you anyway.  Eliminate or reduce some activity that you sense isn’t life-enhancing.

Or you might consciously add something:

Commit to a daily practice of a certain length.  Try a yoga or movement class.  Read a book on Jewish spirituality or practice.  Engage into a reasonable exercise regime.  Do a daily gratitude list.  Journal every day for a month.

It doesn’t really matter what you commit to.  The interesting thing is to see how the commitment shapes your experience.

3.  Determine what kind of support would work best for you.

This can be a lot of fun.  Some people schedule a weekly call, send a brief daily email with their successes and challenges, have a weekly get together to share what they’re noticing.

Make it fun.  Having someone with whom you can share the topic of commitment and change can be a wonderfully deepening experience.

If you decide to take a month-long practice of your own, look at every way you can help it be a success … 

If you would like to have a Chevruta Buddy:

Approach a potential Chevruta Buddy in person, by email, or phone, explain your intentions, and refer them to this page for their reference.  Allow them to decide on their own if the program fits their purposes and get back to you.  If it’s a go, decide together on timing, and how you’d like to set up your month with opening and closing meetings and check-in’s inbetween.  Launch your program.  If the program does not work for the potential buddy at this time, try your next choice of Chevruta Buddy.

For further inquiries, email mindfulness@orh.ca

 

Adapted from Jonathan Foust, www.jonathanfoust.com

Fri, January 18 2019 12 Sh'vat 5779