About Jay Michaelson

Jay Michaelson is a columnist for the ForwardZeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture (which he co-founded in 2002), and Reality Sandwich magazines, and the executive director of Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture & Spirituality.  He recently returned (in February 2009) from five months of silent meditation retreat in Massachusetts and Nepal.  Jay is the author of God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice (2007), Another Word for Sky: Poems (2008), and Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism (2009). A recent visiting professor at Boston University Law School, Jay has taught at Yale University, City College, Elat Chayyim, the Wexner Summer Institute, and many other institutions. Jay holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hebrew University, where he currently is pursuing his Ph.D., as well as a J.D. from Yale and B.A. from Columbia.

A Jewish Perspective on the Jhanas, Part One

By January 29, 2009

  The jhanas are states of heightened concentration that have been cultivated by Hindus and Buddhists for just under three thousand years. They are altered states, full of bliss and, I would say, holiness, and they play a central role … Read More

Is Life But a Dream?

By December 22, 2008

God is true.  The universe is a dream. -Vivekananda Row,row, row your boat Gently down the stream. Merrily,merrily, merrily, merrily Life is but a dream. -Anonymous 1.         Doubt For many of us, when we hear of nonduality, the idea that … Read More

Why Ramakrishna Matters

By November 28, 2008

Ramakrishna (1836-1886) was the Baal Shem Tov of Advaita Vedanta, the foremost nondual tradition of Hinduism.  He was a highly influential religious innovator, but one who did not write down or systematize his teachings; what we possess today are the … Read More

Spirituality as Satanism

By November 24, 2008

Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the … Read More

Against Integration

By August 4, 2008

We're told the spiritual path is all about integration. Without integrating spiritual insights into our daily lives, even the greatest of peak experiences is just a form of getting high, a narcissistic thrill that's enjoyable, potentially powerful, but ultimately valueless … Read More

The Israeli-American Prime Minister Bids Farewell

By July 30, 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has never been known to take the high road. Even when he was starting out, as a young Likud MK, he was known to be fierce, ambitious, and not above a good fight. He won … Read More

Monogamy And Monotheism

By June 30, 2008

  I so want to be in love To believe monotheistically in you, that you are my tender, most tender love and give to you my sense of wonder — worlds captured in words – Abraham Joshua Heschel, "Youngest Desire" … Read More

Are There Any Jews in Narnia?

By June 23, 2008

I'm used to trusting movies. The film industry is mostly made up of Jewish liberals, and so when I go see a film, I trust — often with a note of boredom — that what I'm going to see has … Read More