Rabbi Debra’s guided meditations and exercises are tools for enhancing your ritual experience and adding meaning to your spiritual practice.
Shabbat Candlelighting Meditation
Rabbi Debra explains and guides you through the tradition of bringing in the hands three times, as part of Shabbat candlelighting. Using imagery and guided reflection, she helps you explore the spiritual opportunities of this special moment in the Jewish week. Both traditional, inherited practices and new, probing questions help to create an approach and structure that truly “bring in” the Sabbath.
Meditations & Writing Exercises on Repentance (Viddui/Ashamnu)
These brief guided meditations and companion writing exercises provide a structure for cheshbon hanefesh (accounting of the soul). The meditations explore each word in the Ashamu prayer, plus the key words of forgiveness in the Ve'al Chet prayer. Written and geared for High Holiday preparation, these exercises are useful throughout the year to delve into the meaning and practice of repentance.
ELUL SHABBAT MEDITATIONS - Parshat themes for each of the month's shabbatot:
Parshat Shoftim: Justice
Parshat Ki Teytzey: Peace
Parshat Ki Tavi: Creation
Parshat Netzavim: Gaining Perspective
Chai Elul Meditations
A twelve day process to review the past twelve months.
Meditations and Writing Exercises on Reb Nachman's "Rules" for Joy
These meditations and writing exercises are based on quotations from Reb Nachaman of Bratslav, who notoriously suffered from terrible depression, on the subject of joy. I call them Reb Nachman’s “Rules for Joy” because these were rules to live by for Reb Nachman and his followers. If there are people who constantly live in a state of joy, they have no need for such instructions. For the rest of us, this wisdom is indispensable.
Questions for Meditation on Gratitude
These questions are prompts for your own reflection. They can also be shared and discussed around the Thanksgiving Holiday table, or to express gratitude on Sukkot, Shabbat, or other joyous occasions.
Gratitude and Thanksgiving Practices
These spiritual exercises cultivate gratitude. The practices are admittedly concrete, even pedestrian. Giving thanks is magical and rewarding. Therefore, the exercises don’t need to be. They just need to spur gratitude, and then the upward spiral of appreciation and blessing will provide all the inspiration you will need. Consider sharing some of these exercises around your Thanksgiving or sabbath table.
Hanukah Essay and Meditations
What are the miracles of Hanukah, and how can we experience and transmit them today? Imagining the aftermath of the ancient Temple's rededication, Rabbi Debra Orenstein helps connect us to the lives and values of our ancestors. This essay, followed by meditations for each day of Hanukah, enhances the Festival of Lights and all the miracles we are blessed with.
Hanukah Candle Lighting Meditations
These meditations were prepared for the year of “Thanksgivukkah,” when the first day of Hanukah coincides with Thanksgiving. For that reason, and because gratitude is always a virtue, I chose to approach healing the environment from a perspective of thanksgiving for what has been given and entrusted to us, rather than out of the all-too-common motivation of fear for the future.
Tu Bishvat Meditations
Six meditations by Rabbi Debra relating to the themes of this holiday, the New Year of trees: Mindfulness in Nature, Reclaiming Miracles and Messages, a solo walking meditation, an eating meditation, a partnered meditation, and a special guided meditation that can be done alone or with a partner.