Many are surprised to learn that Judaism is a path of spiritual awakening, rich with the transformational teachings and practices that produced the Kabbalists and non-dual Hassidic masters. Even for those who know about Judaism's spiritual richness intellectually, the core technologies often remain inaccessible. Integral Jewish Meditation brings to life the transformational power of Judaism in a direct and experiential way.
IJM is a new synthesis of the best traditional modalities, brought together into a simple practice that's easy to learn, yet radical in its effectiveness. It includes chanting, focused intention, contemplation of sacred text, body movement, visualization, and silent, present moment awareness.
IJM is not about dogmas, beliefs, ideas or principles; it's a practice that leads to the inner freedom of waking up to what is, in this moment.
Have you ever searched and searched for something, and when you finally found it, it was completely different from what you had expected?
That's what happened to me.
Starting around the age of twelve, I read everything I could about Kabbalah and Jewish meditation, searching for something spiritual that I felt was missing. I thought I was looking for some ultimate answer or prophetic vision.
But when I was eighteen years old, my world was blown open by a surprisingly simple awakening experience- I felt completely free from all negativity- all my pain, fears, desires and complaints- completely gone, and in their place there was this deep reservoir of light and love that I never knew existed.
But, it didn't last.
When the experience faded after a few weeks, I became even more of a seeker, searching for the profound simplicity of that experience within the complex jungle of Judaism. At first, nothing seemed to work. No matter how much I learned and practiced, nothing brought me closer to the inner freedom I had tasted... until I discovered one simple secret:
Presence (otherwise known as present moment awareness, or mindfulness).
Of course, I had already heard about mindfulness from Transcendental Meditation, Zen, Yoga, Ram Dass, and many other places. But it wasn't until I started applying the power of presence to Judaism that everything began to change. The "flower of consciousness" I had sought for so long finally began to blossom in a lasting way, transforming my life completely.
IJM is the fruit of what I learned in my years of exploring what works, both for myself and my students, and now I offer it to you. Its purpose is not merely to teach intellectual ideas, but to really transform your relationship with Reality. It's rooted in the Jewish teachings and practices of Kabbalah, Hassidism, and Musar, but you don't need to have any previous background in Judaism to benefit from it. In fact, it's sometimes better not to have any background, because then you don't carry around with you all the baggage and conditioning! But either way, my aim is to make these teachings accessible to all, regardless of background.
Brian Yosef Schachter-Brooks is a Jewish spiritual teacher and musician. He teaches courses and retreats on the transformative practices of Judaism through music and meditation. He received s'micha (ordination) as Minister of Sacred Music from Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi z"l (Reverend/Menatzeiakh- 2013), Spiritual Teacher from Rabbi SaraLeya Schley and Shaykh Ibrahim Baba Farajaje (2013), certification as a Jewish Meditation Teacher (Moreh L’hitbodedut- Dr. Avram Davis and Nan Fink Gefen, 2004) and holds a Bachelor in Music from the Eastman School of Music (1991). He lives in Tucson, Arizona with with wife Lisa and two children.