Monday, June 2, 2014

Upcoming Sessions at Columbia, SC JCC, June 22

I will be conducting the following sessions at the JCC in Columbia, South Carolina on Sunday, June 22, 2014. For anyone coming from outside Columbia, as I will be, if you come in on Saturday, you are welcome to join me for dinner Saturday night. Just contact me to let me know. Please contact Laurie Slack if you are interested in attending.

Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014

Time: Session 1, 9 AM to 10:30 AM; Session 2, 1 PM to 2:30 PM

Location: Katie & Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center
306 Flora Drive
Columbia, SC 29224

Contact: Laurie Slack, Jewish Programs Director, 803-787-2023 x201; for reservations

Session 1: Yoga and Judaism Body-Breath-Mind-Spirit Practices

Yoga is most popularly known as a system of physical exercise developed in India to tone, balance and calm the body and internal organs. It is also part of a more comprehensive system designed to facilitate spiritual development through progressive steps of a journey from without to within. It leads from the body to the breath to the mind and ultimately to the spirit. Call and response chanting is also a spiritually beneficial practice within the yoga system channeling emotions in a uplifting direction.

Current day pioneers in Jewish spirituality are connecting Jewish mystical teachings and practices with traditional yoga practices. This session will begin with physical exercises, followed by breathing and relaxation exercises, followed by meditation, and ending with call and response chanting, intertwining mystical Jewish concepts and practices with yoga practices. Come find out and experience the prophetic posture and yoga-like meditation techniques described in Jewish sources.

Bring a yoga mat, a blanket or pillow for seated meditation (chairs will be provided for those who are not comfortable sitting on the floor). Anyone who wants to bring a drum to augment the chanting session is welcome.

It is recommended that participants come to the class on an empty stomach, or if you must eat, finish a light breakfast at least one hour before the start of the class session. Yoga and meditation ais best done on an empty stomach.

The session will last approximately 90 minutes, beginning at 9 AM and ending at 10:30 AM.

Session 2: Bereishit/Genesis – In the Beginning

World Without End, Eternity, Infinity, Time, Space, Manifestation, Creation. This presentation will focus on the opening verse of Genesis from the perspective of the mystical traditions of Judaism, India and the Western Esoteric Tradition and correlations that exist between these traditions.

Western spiritual traditions rooted in Hebrew Spirituality, tend to focus on a dualistic notion distinguishing a Creator and Creation; and Eastern spiritual traditions rooted in the spirituality of the Vedas, upon which yoga is based, tend to focus on an illusory/partial reality Manifestation arising from, but ultimately not distinct from, a unified substratum/full reality. The Western Esoteric Tradition, with roots in both Jewish and Vedic sources, synthesize aspects from both. Perhaps in the mystical aspects to these traditions, these distinctions begin to blur. And perhaps conceptions/accounts of Creation/Manifestation are not just descriptions of the workings of the external universe (macrocosm), but also of the internal universe that exists within each of us (microcosm). Included will be a mystical Jewish analysis and interpretation of the nuances of the Hebrew words in the opening verse of Genesis and its relationship to a common clause utilized at the beginning of most Hebrew blessings.

Genesis like you’ve never seen it before!

This session will last approximately 90 minutes from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM.

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges



Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.

What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!

DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”

“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta

“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible

Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest: