June 2018
Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
Finding Curiosity
Sometimes hitlamdut , cultivating a lens of openness and curiosity, is simple and inspiring. It is reawakening a childlike wonder that brings joy and gratitude and a sense of belonging to this life.

That is not my experience these days. These days I am keenly aware of the voice inside that says, "We've seen this before and we know how it is going to unfold." This voice looks back at history, at other times and countries, noticing patterns and predicting the future. It is rooted in the fear born of the real trauma of past generations. It is also rooted in the knowing that these things do indeed happen to other people in other places; why shouldn't they happen to us, too? Childlike wonder seems impossibly naive and perhaps even foolish.

And yet.

Practices in this Letter
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
Rabbis Lisa Goldstein and David Jaffe
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg
Rabbi Marc Margolius
"Don't Know": Guided Meditation for Hitlamdut
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell
Hitlamdut  is about orienting ourselves towards our lives and experience with the sense that there is always something to learn in this moment. A challenge to this is that we often find it difficult to break out of our habitual ways of seeing and relating to what we encounter. This practice of cultivating an orientation of "don't know" can help us be open to receiving the Torah of this moment.

Hitlamdut: Integrated Study
Rabbis Lisa Goldstein and David Jaffe
Everything is new.
We can learn from everything, even the unpleasant.
We are always in learning mode.

From our teachers:

"בן זומא אומר איזהו חכם, הלומד מכל אדם שנא' מכל מלמדי השכלתי"
.(ד' אבות א')

Ben Zoma says: Who is wise? One who learns from every person, as it says, “From all my students, I have gained wisdom.” (Mishnah Avot 4:1)

Sheila Weinberg
Hitlamdut from a Mindfulness Perspective
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg
In middot practice there are many opportunities for reflection in journaling and conversation. This is of value in building trust and support and harvesting the wisdom that grows as we practice. However, the practice of cultivating middot occurs in the moment, and is based on one’s ability to cultivate awareness and a relaxed and accepting attitude toward what is present right now.  

Hitlamdut : Cultivating Non-Judgmental Awareness of the Truth of this Moment
Rabbi Marc Margolius
Hitlamdut is cultivating non-judgmental curiosity about what is true about our experience. It is a stance towards life which expands our inherently limited perspective, revealing blind spots created by own unconscious assumptions, preconceptions and judgments. Hitlamdut is analogous to what in mindfulness practice is called investigation or beginner’s mind. 

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