By Stephen E. Lipken
A special presentation, “Mindfulness and Meditation: How to Lead a Stress-free and Meaningful Life” was led by Rabbi Dr. Laibl Wolf, Dean, Spiritgrow—The Josef Kryss Wholistic Center, Australia at the Pelham Country Club on November 2, hosted by Chabad of Pelham.
Rabbi Levi Groner of Chabad of Pelham, originally from Melbourne, Australia, introduced Rabbi Dr. Wolf to a generous group of participants, stating that Wolf gives insights into the eternal wisdom of the Torah, infused with modern Psychology.
“After the Holidays, we read the Torah story of Abraham and Sarah, who you could say were the first ones to practice Mindfulness…They were able to live more meaningful lives themselves but also we know very famously that their tent didn’t have one but four openings, inviting people inside to share their wisdom and live stress-free…” Groner noted.
“Every single individual in this room is a gifted, unique re-incarnated soul, brought into this time and space because you have something to offer…The Divine Accountant doesn’t make mistakes,” Wolf began.
“We are living in a very different kind of world. In the majority of history we lived in an agriculturally based society. Life was simpler until the Industrial Revolution, the Technological and now the Media Revolution…We see radical changes that took many centuries. This must take some toll on the human mind…
“We use the term ‘mindfulness’ which originated from Jon Kabat Zinn, a University of Massachusetts Medical School professor who drew on Buddhists teachings. However,
it is not a Buddhist nor Jewish teaching but a human response that all of us possess.”
Dr. Wolf discussed the difference between Nishima, “breath” and Neshama (soul), outlining a meditative breathing exercise. “Close your eyes and put one hand on your chest; the other on your tummy. Breathe deeply. If your chest moves more than your stomach you are breathing shallowly. Feel your diaphragm move as you feel cool air flowing through your nose and warm air flowing out.
“There are two key words to promote your well-being, emunah, faith; the belief that anything that happens to you is for your current good, and bitachon, trust; the challenges you face now will have a positive outcome,” Wolf concluded.
For more information about Chabad of Pelham, visit chabadpelham.com