Mindfulness Practices


Hello. Thank you for your good work here, providing insight for so many.

I am currently in an outpatient program for my mental health– in recovery Baruch Hashem. In the program we occasionally have groups on mindfulness. While most modern mindfulness I believe is free from the false-deities or idols of its roots, I still have chosen to step out from these groups and sat outside during the mindfulness out of concern that these practices still find their sources in things like Zen, Vipassanā and other eastern meditative practices.

As a baal teshuvah who was involved with some of these practices before returning to Judaism through the help of Hashem via the wisdom of Hasidism, I have left these paths behind and generally tried to steer clear of them. That being said, some of the staff working with me on my treatment have expressed concern that I have been stepping out of many groups and therefore not maximizing my important treatment. Furthermore, one of my supports has suggested me a respected website for online therapy and mental health support.

The website also has options for mindfulness practices– am I allowed to make use of the majority of the website while steering clear of these elements? And for my outpatient treatment, am I allowed to be present in groups on mindfulness, but perhaps doing my own Jewish Meditations during these sessions? I know this is a delicate subject and a complex one given that mindfulness practices may vary based on a particular path or therapeutic system. That being said, I appreciate any help and look forward to your response.



  1. I emailed an expert in the various aspects of Avodah Zarah, including mindfulness, and this is what he wrote back:

    “I don’t see a problem with practicing mindfulness. Rav Yoel Schwartz ruled that if something is logical, makes sense without resorting to anything metaphysical, then one may do it even if its practitioners attribute metaphysical ideas or use avodah zarah sources.”

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. This is a fascinating answer and I truly appreciate you taking the time and even going to far as to reaching out to an especially well informed individual.
    I will also add that the answer itself seems to cover the primary areas of concern very well, to which I must express my gratitude as this area of halacha is especially important. While I don’t have any specific intention of integrating a particular non-jewish-rooted mindfulness practice into my daily life (so that I can leave myself plenty of room available for implementing a deep Kavanah and Jewish meditation!) I do know that some Rabbi’s have done great work in bringing forth mindfulness-like meditative practices based in Torah wisdom that may prove very beneficial. It is certainly something to look into. Regardless, I am indeed relieved to know that I can at the very least feel okay being present for these exercises particularly when they are being geared toward mental health and healing. Once again, keep up the great work– and with even more strength and wisdom to gain and share in a way that will be pleasing to Hashem.

  3. Amen! My you be blessed with a Refuah Shelaymah Bimheirah.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team