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Meditation Retreat - Embracing Darkness, Shining Our Light

Chanukah, translated as “dedication”, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a period of desecration and tragedy. Celebrated during the darkest month of the year, Chanukah calls us to bring our awareness and compassionate light to the places in our lives that have been left unattended and uncared for. 

Join Makai on a collective journey of rededication where we will seek to cultivate greater attention, care, and acceptance of our inner world.

Throughout the day, we will immerse ourselves in several modalities including sitting meditation, walking meditation, gentle movement, mindful eating, Q and A, and writing practice. This content of this course will pull both from sources originating from Buddhist and Jewish tradition.

We will conclude the retreat by lighting candles together to bring in the first night of Chanukah. 

A portion of this retreat, will be held in silence. Please make sure to read all the guidelines below to make sure you will be able to follow them. 

What to bring:
-A journal or notebook
-Writing utensil

-Meditation cushion, bench, etc. (we will have chairs)
-Water bottle

If you have any questions about registration, food, or logistics please contact Liz at 
For questions about the retreat program please contact Makai at

Silence guidelines
We ask all participants attending this retreat to observe “noble silence”—to refrain from communicating and conversing with co-meditator– during meditation periods.  Additionally, we ask that you refrain from any cross-talk (i.e. responding to what someone else says or asks) during Q and A times. However, there will be opportunities to have dyadic conversations related to the course content and larger group shares.. Having these guidelines are meant to create a sacred container where concentration can be harnessed and distractions minimized. 

Technology Guidelines
Please refrain from any technology use during the retreat, including during lunch and break periods. If there is a pressing issue you have to tend to we ask you walk down the hall to make a call/text, but we encourage you to take care of such obligations before the retreat if possible. 

Attending the Full Day
We ask that participants attend the entire retreat. Arriving late and leaving early can be a distraction to other participants and can also be unsupportive in what is being practiced and learned on this retreat. We also ask that you please do your best to arrive during the arrival period.

Use of Scented Products
Please refrain from wearing any perfumes/colognes or strongly scented body lotions/hair products. We want to make sure that our space is as accessible to everyone and the use of such products can be distracting, especially while meditating. 

Audio Agreement
The talks, instructions, and Q & A sections of this course will be recorded using audio only. The material will be sent in and reviewed by staff through the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program for Makai to complete his program requirements.

I voluntarily agree to participate in the activities being provided by Makai Dorfman and Beth El Synagogue. I understand that if for any reason I am unable to or think it unwise to engage in any activity being suggested by teacher/program, I am under no obligation to engage in such activity nor will I hold teacher/program, or its respective agents (i.e., directors, officers, employees, independent contractors, service providers and any third parties acting on its behalf), liable for any damage, injury or harm sustained from choosing to engage in any activity. I recognize that there is a risk in participating in this Intro to Mindfulness Meditation Course. I personally and fully assume responsibility for this risk. Please note: This training does involve gentle physical activity and if there are concerns, please inform us, in writing, of your concerns and consult a physician before engaging in these activities. 

I waive and release any and all claims to any damages I may have against Makai Dorfman and Beth El Synagogue, arising out of the Intro to Mindfulness Meditation Course and Beth El Synagogue, in the training classes in which I am applying to participate, for any and all injuries sustained during classes, whether or not damage or injury is sustained through negligence. I further waive and release any claim to damages I may have against Makai Dorfman, and Beth El Synagogue, as to any and all injuries sustained on their property or in any public location whether or not damage or injury is sustained through negligence. 
I hereby consent to photography and video recordings of my person, during the training session, for singular use. 

I further consent to the reproduction and/or authorization by Makai Dorfman to reproduce and use said photographs and video/audio recordings, for use in all domestic and foreign markets. 
I hereby release Makai Dorfman and Beth El Synagogue, any of its associated or affiliated companies, their directors, officers, agents, employees and customers, and appointed advertising agencies, their directors, officers, agents and employees from all claims of every kind on account of such use. 
Tue, November 29 2022 5 Kislev 5783