Jewish tradition offers two perspectives on the human condition. On the one hand, we are made in the divine image and endowed with a soul that is perfect, eternal, and holy. No matter what transpires in our lives, the soul, or neshama, remains pure, whole and unblemished. Yet, at the same time, each of us must work to fix those parts of our character/personality that need refinement, or tikkun. To fully realize our divine nature and fulfill the mitzvah to be holy (You shall be holy Lev 19:2), we must fully align our words, deeds and thoughts with our divine essence. This inner transformational work, known as tikkun middot, supports our efforts towards tikkun olam, healing and mending the world.
Tikkun Middot, a spiritual practice shared by Jewish mystics and mussar masters alike, involves the intentional cultivation of positive character traits (middot) such as Patience, Equanimity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity, Gratitude and Joy. In middot practice we grow and strengthen these positive traits through focused study and spiritual practice. When brought into balance, the middot enable us to fully realize our potential for wholeness. Here at Chochmat Halev we incorporate the practice of Mindfulness (bringing sustained, non-judgmental attention to our experience) into our focus on the middot. The synergy of these combined practices offers a unique pathway for deepening self-awareness, building resilience and increasing happiness and a sense of wellbeing.
Begun in Sept. 2014, Chochmat HaLev has been featuring the practice of Tikkun Middot in a number of community settings. We are excited to share this journey toward wholeness with the Chochmat community, and hope that you will join us in this transformative practice.
The Institute of Jewish Spirituality has a special website devoted to Tikkun Middot (mussar), with lots of resources. http://tikkunmiddotproject.wikispaces.com/
Continue to check out our website for updates, new classes, more information, and resources!