God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness and Embodied Spiritual Practice

God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness and Embodied Spiritual Practice

by Jay Michaelson
     
 

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Your body is the place where heaven and earth meet.

The greatest spiritual achievement is not transcending the body but joining body and spirit together. But to do this, you must break through assumptions that draw boundaries around the Infinite and wake up to the body as the site of holiness itself.

This groundbreaking book is the first

Overview

Your body is the place where heaven and earth meet.

The greatest spiritual achievement is not transcending the body but joining body and spirit together. But to do this, you must break through assumptions that draw boundaries around the Infinite and wake up to the body as the site of holiness itself.

This groundbreaking book is the first comprehensive treatment of the body in Jewish spiritual practice and an essential guide to the sacred. With meditation practices, physical exercises, visualizations and sacred text, you will learn how to experience the presence of the Divine in, and through, your body. And by cultivating an embodied spiritual practice, you will transform everyday activities—eating, walking, breathing, washing—into moments of deep spiritual realization, uniting sacred and sensual, mystical and mundane.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With the gentle authority of a good yoga master, Michaelson, chief editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, offers not so much a mind/body lesson in Kabbalah as a map to a mindful, spiritually rich lifestyle. Having "chosen to emphasize those aspects of the Jewish and world wisdom that treat the body as a sacred site for contemplative practice," he uses a combination of simple meditations, prayers, Talmudic excerpts and wisdom from historic rabbis to guide those seeking to embrace the "God in your body." While most journeys begin with a single step, this one begins with a single breath. Throughout, he reminds us that "a practice is done `no matter what' not for strictness's sake, but so it can be a prism which casts light upon the mind" whether that practice be one of breathing, eating, walking or even using the bathroom. Yet, the calls to practice are balanced with a fascinating cache of tidbits. For example, the Amidah, or Standing Prayer, is sometimes called "The Eighteen," referring to the 18 blessings within it that are believed to correspond to the body's 18 vertebrae. This book belongs as much on a shelf with other meditative, mind/body titles as it does among Judaica. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"The best text ever composed on the Jewish way to integrate our spiritual paths with our physical bodies. Clear, concise and beautifully written. Highly recommended."
Rabbi David A. Cooper, author, God Is a Verb

"A work of genius…. Recasts Jewish observance and daily living as spiritual practices that act as bridges between our physical and spiritual worlds. Should be read by every rabbi—by every Jew—in America."
Rabbi Eliezer Diamond, chair, Department of Talmud and Rabbinics, The Jewish Theological Seminary; author, Holy Men and Hunger Artists: Fasting and Asceticism in Rabbinic Culture

“Amazing … authoritative and sweetly accessible. Presents every aspect of our physical lives as yet another opportunity to experience such closeness to the Divine that blessing becomes spontaneous. The ordinary becomes miraculous.”
Sylvia Boorstein, author, That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist

“Will transform the old, body-aching asceticism into an altar for healthy, robust and life-affirming worship. Brings Hasidic wisdom to contemporary life.”
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, coauthor, First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit: Reb Zalman’s Guide to Recapturing the Intimacy & Ecstasy in Your Relationship with God

“The simplicity of being fully present in the body and the depth of Judaic spiritual tradition find a beautiful companionship in this book.”
Sharon Salzberg, author, Lovingkindness

“A must read for anyone seeking an integrative, contemplative approach to Judaism. Masterfully weaves many strands of mystical theology into a practical, user-friendly manual that helps one celebrate and develop awareness of the Divine in the most 'mundane’ activities in our lives.”
Rabbi David Ingber, founder, Kehilat Romemu, New York

“A brilliant exploration of modern and traditional practices that reconnect us to Judaism’s celebration of the human body. Teaches deep appreciation of the sacredness of even the most mundane aspects of life.”
Steven A. Rapp, author, Aleph-Bet Yoga: Embodying the Hebrew Letters for Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

“Thoughtful, contemplative, and insightful. You will be intellectually stimulated and emotionally awakened.”
Rabbi Dovber Pinson, author, Meditation and Judaism: Exploring the Jewish Meditative Paths

“Fuses the heart with the head, the soul with the body…. Full of wisdom, insight and practical exercises; it reflects and transmits a deep, personal spirituality from a fresh and important new voice.”
Rabbi Niles Elliot Goldstein, author, Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for Renewing an Ancient Faith

“An innovative yet timeless way to understand and live Jewish practice. Should be required reading for the religious leaders who have kept us 'in our heads’ and not in our bodies—but also useful for beginners and seekers of an embodied religious life. Whether you are a contemplative or an ecstatic, a practically minded sort or a mystic, you’ll find something here that will enhance your way of being.”
Rabbi Jill Hammer, author, The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580234979
Publisher:
Longhill Partners
Publication date:
08/18/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Jay Michaelson has taught Kabbalah, mindfulness, and embodied spiritual practice at Yale University, City College, Elat Chayyim, the Skirball Center, and the Wexner Summer Institute, among other institutions. Chief editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, he is a regular contributor to the Forward, the Jerusalem Post, Slate and other publications. He holds a JD from Yale and an MA in religious studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is currently a doctoral candidate.

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