Finding Joy in Impermanence:
Meditative Reflections on Ecclesiastes
From Jewish and Buddhist Perspectives
with Rabbi David Zaslow & Alexa Singer-Telles, LMFT
Saturday, October 7th, 10 am to 1 PM
Sukkot is the Jewish festival held each Fall for eight days to celebrate the gratitude for the autumn harvest and the temporary nature of life. On this festival a sukkah is erected in gardens and at synagogues. It is an outdoor hut with roofing material made from the trimmings of plants and trees left over from the harvest to represents the physical embodiment of the temporary bodies we inhabit.
Bringing together the wisdom of King Solomon’s Book of Ecclesiastes along with its meaning through a Buddhist lens, Rabbi David Zaslow and Dharma Teacher Alexa Singer-Telles will offer a morning of chanting, study, meditation, and sharing to help participants find greater joy in our lives woven amidst loss, and to better understand the words “to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.”
The event will take place outside in the sukkah at the Havurah Synagogue, 185 North Mountain Av. in Ashland on Saturday, October 7 from 10 AM – 1 PM followed by a brown bag vegetarian luncheon. Sliding scale $12–$26. To Register call Kim at 541-488-7716
Participants will practice together by looking deeply into the nature of impermanence through sitting and walking meditation and contemplation of the life experiences of each participant. Co-teacher Alexa Singer-Telles says, “Especially as we age, the possibility of living mindfully can expand our simple, every day experiences. We take time to slow down, sit out in nature, and enjoy the sounds of life. Thich Nhat Hanh taught ‘We must nourish our insight into impermanence so that we may live more deeply, suffer less, and find peace and joy in each precious moment.’”
Alexa Singer-Telles is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a dharma teacher in the lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh. She lives in Redding where she co-founded and practices with the River Oak Sangha, founded in 1991. She is a long time friend of the Havurah Synagogue, and has led teachings and meditations in Ashland during the High Holy Days for the past 22 years. Rabbi David says, “she is able to weave the metaphoric beauty of Jewish traditions with the practicality of Buddhist teachings to deepen understanding and develop mindfulness skills for every day life.”
Rabbi David Zaslow has been the spiritual leader of the Havurah since 1996. He is the author of many books including “Reimagining Exodus: A Story of Freedom.” He is known for his interfaith work and sees that the meeting of Judaism and Buddhism is especially obvious during the Fall festival of Sukkot which celebrates a period of time where gratitude meets impermanence.
Tradition teaches that King Soloman wrote three books during his lifetime. As a young man he wrote The Song of Songs celebrating love, springtime, and youth. As a middle aged man the King is said to have written and collected the wisdom teachings we find in the Book of Proverbs. As an elder he wondered what the meaning of his life was all about and wrote this profound book called Ecclesiastes which searches for the meaning of life where everything good seems so impermanent and fleeting. Rabbi David will be teaching from the Book of Ecclesiastes to help participants find a more permanent state of joy amidst the ever-changing realities that everyone faces.