WEEKLONG SPECIAL RETREAT
June 19 - 26, 2016
"Silence and Transformation: A 7-Day Silent Meditation Retreat"
Teachers: Rabbi David Cooper, Shoshana Cooper, Eliezer Sobel, Naomi Hyman and Beth Resnick
St. Francis Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Once again, this coming summer, Rabbi David, his wife Shoshana, Eliezer Sobel, along with new teachers who assisted last year, Naomi Hyman and Beth Resnick, will be offering a week-long, silent meditation retreat for beginning and advanced practitioners who seek to deepen their contemplative practice.
This years retreat again will be held at the St. Francis Center for Renewal in Bethlehem, PA, a lovely retreat center, which provides a more intimate setting for a smaller group of attendees.
Meals will be vegetarian, but not kosher. David, Shoshana and Eliezer have been offering this retreat format for over a dozen years in different parts of the world, and have dramatically influenced the development of Jewish Meditation in the USA.
(To register, send $200 check or use Pay Pal)
Single and Double private rooms, (shared bath) are available: $650 double, $950 single. A $200 deposit (non-refundable after May 15th), is required to hold a space. (Check the Let's Shop button on the homepage of this website for easy payment via Pay Pal)
If mailing a check, send to: David Cooper, P.O. Box 672, Pleasant Hill, TN 38578. If sending a check, verify via email when the check is in mail.
Donations: The fees shown above cover room and board. We do not charge fixed tuitions at our retreats; however we do request a "free will" offering of any amount at the end of each retreat.
To learn more about our retreats please read what follows:
Background Information About Weeklong Silent Retreats
A weeklong silent retreat is one of the essential and most important practices for any spiritual aspirant. Each spiritual discipline and many teachers have unique practices, schedules, relationships between the teachers and students along with other nuances of the training. The retreats offered by the Coopers have their own flavor.
On our retreats, the silence we emphasize has two important qualities: 1) it is "friendly," that is to say we do not have to cut ourselves off from other retreatants—a smile or small gesture may be used as long as there is no demand for reciprocation, and 2) the focus of our silence is on "inner" rather than outer plane.
So in our “silence,” we actually chant and sing together every morning. In some instruction periods, questions or comments are invited from the audience. Retreatants have opportunities to engage teachers, either one-on-one or in small groups. All this is considered part of the silence of social conversation.
Therefore, in our silence we are committed not engage one another on a social level. We do not have mundane conversations. We do not greet one another verbally. Why is this so important? The answer is that something happens deep within each of us when we maintain an outer silence as described. An inner silence for practitioners on our retreats arises after a few days. It is a spaciousness that makes itself known on a very deep level. We experience an ease that is uniquely satisfying and deeply content on some kind of soul level that is inexplicable. We begin to feel profoundly connected with others around us, even though we are not speaking. And we begin to experience a fascinating integration with our surroundings, nature, life.
It is true that initially, for the first few days, the experience may feel a bit strange. We are social beings. But we are also very adaptable and soon we begin to realize the extraordinary wonder of the possibility of a moment-to-moment connection with what is happening right now--the magic and mystery of the unfolding NOW. When this happens, the silence becomes a precious gift. Indeed, on our retreats, after the third or fourth day, retreatants love the silence so much they want it to last as long as possible.
About the Teachers
Rabbi David Cooper is the author of many books, including The Handbook of Jewish Meditation Practices, God is a Verb and Ecstatic Kabbalah. He has also published a number of audio-sets, including Songs of Prayer and Silence, which he co-produced with his wife, Shoshana Cooper. Rabbi Cooper has led workshops and retreats in the US, Israel, Holland, Poland, New Zealand and Australia. His teachings offer a Jewish perspective that is complemented by the wisdom of other schools including Sufism, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism.
Shoshana Cooper is an artist, Tea Ceremony teacher, meditation instructor, composer and former nursing instructor. Shoshana has become a leader in the growing popularity of Jewish Meditation. She and her husband David taught at the Jewish Renewal Kallah for twelve years and they lived in the Old City of Jerusalem for the previous eight years. Together they produced the CD Songs of Prayer and Silence.
Eliezer Sobel is a certified teacher of the 5 Rhythms™, which he offers as part of the biannual meditation retreats with David and Shoshana Cooper. He is a musician and the author of Wild Heart Dancing, The 99th Monkey and Minyan: Ten Jewish Men in a World that is Heartbroken, winner of the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel.
Beth Resnick-Folk began searching for truth and peace of mind in her early teenage years. She probed the depths of western philosophy, romantic relationship, art and creativity, and world religion, to finally discover, at age 21, that everything is profoundly okay and that nothing is separate. Over the past 14 years, she has practiced extensively with world-class spiritual teachers, including Rabbi David and Shoshana Cooper, Adyashanti, and various teachers at Insight Meditation Society. In 2005, she was asked to teach by her long-time mentor, Shoshana Cooper. Beth works primarily with students 1-on-1 over Skype and leads in-person and virtual programs with her husband, meditation teacher, Kenneth Folk. She sincerely believes in the radical power of these practices to help people suffer less and find peace in their lives