This practice is inspired by the Shema prayer — a prayer of unity and connection, sandwiched on both sides with love in the traditional liturgy. Shema translates to “listen” or “hear” and the practice begins with chanting the Shema together then uses a classic nature connection tool called sound mapping. We hope this practice helps to create a feeling of calm, relaxation, harmony, and expansion in a time when too often we are feeling isolated, anxious, and disconnected.
Seat or floor space for sitting;
You’ll be invited to chant the Shema together, one breath for each word, then you’ll be guided in a listening meditation to create a Shema “soundmap”
To create a soundmap: Create a mental map of the sounds you hear: what are they, which direction are they coming from, how far away are they?
Begin by directing your listening focus straight in front of you, then behind, to each side, up, down, etc;
Make space for your awareness to extend globally, 360 degrees, in all directions as you continue to listen;
This practice is adapted from Mitsui Collective’s Omer Wellness Series — a daily 7-minute opportunity for introspection and intentional focus on caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment in this incredibly challenging time. The Shema Soundmap is adapted from pedagogy of the Teva Learning Center, which has drawn from many sources of wisdom and inspiration in Jewish tradition.
Yoshi Silverstein is Founder & Executive Director of Mitsui Collective, a new startup building resilient community through embodied Jewish practice and multiracial justice. Previously, Yoshi was Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon. Yoshi has spent much of the past decade developing his work in movement, experience design, and embodied practice through learning with Ido Portal, ApeCo Movement School, and Movement Brooklyn; and as a coach at Bushwick CrossFit in Brooklyn. He is a 2nd degree blackbelt in Lotus Kajukenbo, an avid telemark skier and former alpine ski racer, and nature enthusiast with a masters degree in landscape architecture from the University of Maryland. As a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew, Yoshi is an active leader, advocate, and educator in the Jews of Color community. He lives in the Cleveland, OH, area with his wife, daughter, and pup.