Spring Tai-Chi in Military Park

Wednesdays, May 16 – June 20
5:30 to 6:30pm
Meditation Lawn in Military Park (just north of/next to park office)

A six-week series (weather permitting) of tai-chi and qi-gong taught by visiting teacher with NCMC, Shaka Georges, for his second summer with us. Gentle, healing, and easy-to-learn movement practice. No need to register, come as you can.

A free community service program held in conjunction with Military Park Partnership Summer Programs.

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CULTIVATING INSIGHT & INSTINCT: A Daylong Retreat

OPTIONAL DAY-LONG OR PART-DAY PARTICIPATION (morning or afternoon session)

Sunday, May 20, 2018
10:00am to 4:00pm
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave.
(absolutely no walk-ins/no calls please)

Meditation teachers Ib’nallah S. Kazi and Cornelia Santschi will lead this donation-based NCMC program.  (Bios on Leadership Page of website.)

This retreat will help the community to understand the need to cultivate the insight, instincts, and focus needed to navigate the growing uncertainty and instability manifesting in our world. You will take home meditation tools that will help you to reconnect to the inner guidance previously lost in the incessant noise of modern society.

Included will be guided meditations, qigong and yoga movement, an art as meditation session, a visual presentation, and discussion. NCMC instructors J. Javier Cruz and Jennifer Becher will provide assistance. The program is intended to be appropriate for beginners through experienced meditators. A seasonal vegan Medicine Meal will be prepared by Arelis Hernandez, a Newark urban farmer-meditator.

If the weather is nice we plan to spend much of the day in the spring breeze of the adjoining outdoor courtyard! It will be a unique opportunity to experience the setting of a state-of-the-art LEED-certified green building. The venue is an easy and direct .6 mile/11 minute walk from Newark Penn Station. Wheel-chair access.

Please, absolutely no Walk-Ins and no Phone Calls to the Early Learning Center. Call NCMC at 862-227-3288 with inquiries or by email at info@newarkmeditation.org. For more information about Newark Center for Meditative Culture go to the website at http://www.newarkmeditation.org.

Registration Required on Eventbrite at:
https://ncmc-there-is-a-season-retreat.eventbrite.com
Suggested donation is $20 by PayPal/Credit Card when you register or Cash or PayPal/Credit Card at Door.

A donation-based program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.


 


Part 3: Curative Meditation Medicine now available to Members on the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook

FACEBOOK STUDY GROUP:
Meditation Medicine 4-Part Lesson with Kazi —
Free Introductory Series
Tuesday Evenings Beginning April 3, 10, 17, 24*
7:00pm EST | 4:00pm PST
*Access to recorded sessions if you can’t join us live.

This 4-part lesson is exclusive to Meditation Medicine Study Group Members and will be held on Tuesday evenings, April 3rd, April 10th, April 17th, and April 24th. The lessons include live web talks, pre-recorded guided meditations, discussion, consultation, and some home assignments. For more details, you can go to the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook with Master Teacher Kazi of The Spirit-Centered Life.

To join in on the Course: Become a Member of the Meditation Medicine Study Group

A free introductory program of The Spirit-Centered Life held in conjunction with NCMC.


Part 2: Preventative Meditation Medicine now available to Members on the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook

Part 2_Preventative Medicine_MM.pngFACEBOOK STUDY GROUP:
Meditation Medicine 4-Part Lesson with Kazi —
Free Introductory Series
Tuesday Evenings Beginning April 3, 10, 17, 24*
7:00pm EST | 4:00pm PST
*Access to recorded sessions if you can’t join us live.

This 4-part lesson is exclusive to Meditation Medicine Study Group Members and will be held on Tuesday evenings, April 3rd, April 10th, April 17th, and April 24th. The lessons will include live web talks, pre-recorded guided meditations, discussion, consultation, and some home assignments. For more details, you can go to the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook with Master Teacher Kazi of The Spirit-Centered Life.

To join in on the Course: Become a Member of the Meditation Medicine Study Group

A free introductory program of The Spirit-Centered Life held in conjunction with NCMC.


Part 1: Meditation is Medicine now available to Members on the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 4.07.39 PM.pngYou can still get your first dose of PART 1: Meditation is Medicine with Kazi of The Spirit-Centered Life, a study group held in conjunction with Newark Center for Meditative Culture. It’s easy, just become a member with your kindred spirits at the Meditation Medicine Study Group to access recorded talks, videos, discussion forum, and consultations with Kazi.
Click here to check out the orientation video.

 


DOWNTOWN: Mindful Meditation Workshop In Four Parts

downtown-meditation_event.pngSundays, April 15, April 22, April 29, and May 6
Starts at 10:30am
I’m So Yoga Newark, 1186 Raymond Boulevard

A peaceful way to start your Sundays. Learn and practice the basics of meditation and mindfulness. It’s a workshop appropriate for simply the curious, beginners, and intermediate meditators. Experienced? You’re welcome to come and brush up with a group. Instructors Andrea Lee and Kamilah Crawley of Newark Center for Meditative Culture will co-teach the classes. Come for all four sessions or come as you can, though we recommend a commitment to attending all four workshops to benefit yourself the most. Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org with any questions.

ISYN Fee: $10 per session.
Registration/Payment at https://goo.gl/RkQMfp

An I’m So Yoga Newark fee-based sponsor program held in conjunction with NCMC.
An ISYN fee-based sponsor program held in conjunction with NCMC.


IRONBOUND: Spring Meditation Classes Begin for English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Groups

Ironbound_event.pngHispanohablante — Clases de meditación y atención plena para principiantes
Serie de 8 clases
Miércoles, 4 de abril – 23 de mayo
5:30 a 6:30pm
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave. (no walk-ins)

Aprenda prácticas básicas de meditación y atención plena con Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) que pueden ayudarlo a reducir el estrés en su vida y darle más tranquilidad. Estas clases básicas de meditación y mindfulness son impartidas por NCMC profesor, Javier Cruz. Las clases incluyen meditación guiada, estiramientos de yoga ligero, caminar atentamente, charlas con el maestro y preguntas y respuestas. A los estudiantes se les asignan tareas opcionales de atención domiciliaria fáciles y opcionales. Lo mejor es asistir a la serie completa, pero ven lo que puedas. Sin embargo, no hay walk-ins. DEBE registrar su nombre, email, y ciudad una vez antes de asistir. Registrarse en info@newarkmeditation.org.

Un programa de servicio comunitario gratuito con NCMC patrocinado por Ironbound Community Corporation.


Spring Session — Meditation & Mindfulness Classes
Series of 10 Classes
Wednesdays, April 4 – June 6
6:45 to 7:45pm
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave. (no walk-ins)

This spring session of 10 classes with Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) will have a focus on loving-kindness (metta) meditation practice. These continuing meditation and mindfulness classes are taught by NCMC teacher, Javier Cruz with assistance by Jennifer Becher also of NCMC. The classes include guided meditation, light yoga stretches, mindful walking, teacher talk, and Q&A. We’ll enjoy one class with an Art as Meditation Workshop. Students are given easy, optional home-mindfulness assignments. Parents/guardians are welcome to bring teens. It’s best to attend the entire series, but come as you can. However, there are no walk-ins. You MUST register your name, email, and city one time before attending. Register at info@newarkmeditation.org.

A free community service program with NCMC sponsored by the Ironbound Community Corporation. •

 

 



Meditation Medicine 4-Week Study Group with Kazi: Free Introductory Series

Join us for a free four-part lesson online in simple to apply instruction in the physical, functional and mental mechanics of meditation practice:
Recorded Meditations | Live Talks | Discussion Forum | Consultation

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Tuesday Evenings Beginning April 3rd
7:00 pm EST | 4:00 pm PST
(24 hours to access LIVE sessions if you can’t join us live.)

Held in conjunction with Newark Center for Meditative Culture, this 4 part lesson is exclusive to Meditation Medicine Study Group Members and will be held on Tuesday evenings, April 3rd, April 10th, April 17th, and April 24th. The lessons will include live web talks, pre-recorded guided meditations, discussion, consultation, and some home assignments.

To Register:
Become a member of the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook with Master Teacher Kazi of The Spirit-Centered Life.

JOIN THE STUDY GROUP

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE THE LIVE SESSIONS, STUDENTS WILL HAVE 24 HOURS TO VIEW THE RECORDED SESSION.

Course Description:
As the practice of meditation becomes more mainstream with each day, the opportunity to begin a meditation practice often remains stymied by a lack of time, energy or just a lack of knowledge on how and where to begin. It is our wish that this series of teachings contributes to removing these obstacles to your meditation practice.

This series of lessons includes:

• Four live web talks on meditative practice, method, challenges, resources, etc. (recorded versions available for 24 hours, if you are unable to attend LIVE)
• Four pre-recorded guided meditations that you can download and play at your convenience.
• Question and Answer on the material covered in the course via the group forum.
• Optional twenty-minute consultation with Kazi concerning your meditation experiences, insights, challenges, etc. via email, phone, or skype.
• A group of kindred spirits to share your meditation medicine journey with.

Registration available only once you have become a member of the Meditation Medicine Study Group.

JOIN THE STUDY GROUP


About the Teacher
Ib’nallah S. Kazi (Kazi) is a Las Vegas-based spiritual wellness coach, medicine movement, and meditation teacher. He places an emphasis on wellness and personal development through his own program, presently known as The Spirit-Centered Life. Kazi has had a committed meditation practice for over 30 years and applies many disciplines. This includes Taoist, Sufi and Ancestral Meditation Medicine. Kazi has built a diverse education and training. His adolescent rites of passage began in 1974 when he became a Five Percenter, a splinter group from the Nation of Islam. Kazi has trained in and developed his internal martial medicine skills, teaching both Tai Chi Chuan and Yara Mba. He was the co-founder of the Harriet Tubman Hiking Society established in 1988 to immerse the African-American community back into nature. He integrated fitness training and massage becoming certified as a Health-Fitness Trainer and as a Massage Therapist that included Royal Thai Medical Massage. He also became a certified Intrinisic Coach. Kazi was until 2017 based in Newark NJ for 13 years where he remains on the Board of Directors of Newark Center for Meditative Culture, serving as the Spiritual Director and Lead Teacher. See Kazi’s full bio on the NCMC Website under Leadership.


Letting Go and Loving

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A Special Loving-kindness Meditation Class on Valentine’s Day
(with “Heart of Wisdom” Valentine Art Session)
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
6:00 to 7:30pm
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave., Newark
(no walk-ins)

(Traducción en español a continuación.)

How do we let go of those we love, but at the same time love them? How do we learn to give our love more open-mindedly, with less judgement? How do we turn passionate love into compassionate love?

Join Newark Center for Meditative Culture for this special valentine meditation class with teacher J. Javier Cruz. He will guide us in the practice of loving-kindness (metta), an important meditation discipline to develop a finer, more infinite love for self, family, friends, enemies, and ultimately for all beings. The Karaniya Metta Sutta describes it beautifully:

Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded.

This loving-kindness practice can soften the heart to not want to feel anger or hate any more — seeing how it not only hurts others, but it hurts ourselves.

We will also enjoy a Heart of Wisdom valentine art session to further express our intrinsic selflessness and love!

This class will be in english with spanish translation as necessary. You must sign up to attend this class at info@newarkmeditation.org (unless you are registered already for the bilingual classes).

Sponsored by Ironbound Community Corporation.

May all beings be happy!


Dejar Ir y Amar

Una clase especial de meditación de bondad amorosa en el día de San Valentín
(con “Heart of Wisdom” Valentine Art Session)
Miércoles, 14 de febrero de 2018
6:00 a 7:30 p.m.
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave., Newark
(sin visitas)

¿Cómo dejamos ir a los que amamos, pero al mismo tiempo los amamos? ¿Cómo aprendemos a dar a nuestro amor una mente más abierta, con menos juicio? ¿Cómo convertimos el amor apasionado en amor compasivo?

Únase al Newark Center for Meditative Culture para esta clase especial de meditación de San Valentín con el maestro J. Javier Cruz. Él nos guiará en la práctica de la bondad amorosa (metta), una importante disciplina de meditación para desarrollar un amor más fino e infinito por uno mismo, la familia, los amigos, los enemigos y, en última instancia, por todos los seres. El Karaniya Metta Sutta lo describe bellamente:

Incluso cuando una madre protege con su vida
Su hijo, su único hijo,
Entonces con un corazón sin límites
Debería uno apreciar a todos los seres vivos;
Irradiando bondad en todo el mundo:
Dispersándose hacia los cielos,
Y hacia abajo a las profundidades;
Hacia afuera y sin límites.

Esta práctica de bondad amorosa puede ablandar el corazón para no querer sentir rabia u odio, ya que no solo lastima a los demás, sino que también nos lastima.

¡También disfrutaremos de una sesión de arte de San Valentín de Heart of Wisdom para expresar aún más nuestro desinterés y amor intrínsecos!

Esta clase será en inglés con traducción al español según sea necesario. Debe inscribirse para asistir a esta clase en info@newarkmeditation.org (a menos que ya esté registrado para las clases bilingües).

Patrocinado por Ironbound Community Corporation.

¡Que todos los seres sean felices!

 


Taking Root in Black History Month

“What is firmly rooted cannot be pulled out.”
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

By Ib’nallah S. Kazi

During Black History Month, we retrace our historical steps. We learn where we came from and how it is we came to find ourselves in the present situation. Thus, when we reach a crossroad (a decisive moment in life or history) we are better equipped to navigate in a way that brings us closer to our destination.

When this happens it can be helpful to retrace your steps. Turn around and walk back along the path until you see a trail marker, a unique tree or boulder that you recognize having seen on the “right path” before you zoned out.

When hiking the trail of life, do we sometimes look up from the ground and find that we have been walking in circles? It’s very easy to get lost in thought during a long walk in the wilderness.

Trees never get lost on their journey from earth to sky. Because they are firmly rooted in the earth, the winds are unable to alter their destination.

Meditators firmly rooted in their breath recover quickly from thoughts that pull them away from their center.

Humans rooted in the lessons of history are not distracted by fake news or turned around by fear mongering. They seek guidance in the wisdom of their ancestors and strength from the righteousness and inevitable victory of their struggle.


Relaxing into Clarity: A Daylong Meditation & Mindfulness Retreat on February 25th

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Optional Part-Day Participation

Sunday, February 25, 2018
10:00am to 4:00pm
Venue: Index Art Center, 237 Washington St., Newark, NJ 07102

ALL MUST REGISTER! Go to registration form.

Spend the day with Newark Center for Meditative Culture relaxing into your body and mind to cultivate clarity, taught by guest meditation and dharma teachers Rebecca Li and Shaka Georges. Optional part-day participation (morning or afternoon session). Retreatants will receive guidance in sitting, walking, and moving meditation. The afternoon session will also include art/written word workshop on the Art of Seeing. This donation-based day retreat is appropriate for beginners to advanced meditators, aged 18 and older*. Vegetarian lunch included.

PROGRAM SCHEDULE
• MORNING (9:30-9:45 Arrival/Check-in)
10:00-12:25 Morning Workshop
• LUNCH (12:10 Arrival/Check-in)
12:25-1:25
• AFTERNOON (1:10 Arrival/Check-in)
1:30-4:00 Afternoon Workshop

SUGGESTED DONATION
$20 Adult/$10 Student, but donate what fits into your budget.
Tax-deductible donations through PayPal/Credit Card when you register or Cash-at-Door. Donations go to gift teachers and to help cover rent and other expenses for this event. Donations are much needed and appreciated. Consider donating even if you can’t attend!

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Consider volunteering as your donation to attend OR volunteer AND attend! Or you can just volunteer and not attend! We need help with class set-up, buffet set-up, check-in desk, lunch service/clean-up, time-keeping and announcing, break-down, and vegetarian food donations. Please let us know when you fill out the registration form if you would like to volunteer in any of these ways and we’ll get back to you!

SUPPORT THE EVENT
Can’t attend but would like to help support this event? We always need help gifting the teachers and for venue rental and other event expenses.
Make tax-deductible donations through PayPal/Credit Card: paypal.me/NCMCevents
We also greatly appreciate NCMC friends who want to volunteer at the retreat, but not attend. Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org.

*If you feel that it’s important or necessary that your child/youth attend with you and you are able to mind and be responsible for your child/youth (aged 8 -17) during the retreat, you are welcome to submit one child when you register. They should be able to sit still and silent for extended periods.


ABOUT THE TEACHERS:

Rebecca Li, a Dharma heir in the lineage of the Chan Master Sheng Yen, started practicing meditation in 1995. She began her teacher’s training with Master Sheng Yen in 1999 to become a Dharma and meditation instructor. Later on, she trained with Simon Child to lead intensive retreats and received full Dharma transmission in 2016. Currently, she teaches meditation and Dharma classes, gives public lectures and leads retreats at Dharma Drum centers, university meditation groups and Dharma practice groups in the northeast. Her talks and writings can be found at www.rebeccali.org. Rebecca Li is also a professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at The College of New Jersey.

Shaka Georges began his martial arts practice at the age of 9 years old. He immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti in 1975, and ever since then has studied various forms of martial arts including Wing Chun, White Crane Kung Fu Capoeira, and Tai Chi Long and Short Forms. He is a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner from the Mahamudra Lineage and has been meditating for over 10 years. He has also been a fitness coach and instructor in Newark. Shaka is a certified tai chi and qi gong teacher practicing in Montclair and Harrison NJ (see Discovering The Healer Within Facebook page) and is a mathematics high school teacher in West Orange.


ALL MUST REGISTER! Go to registration form.

 


One Brick at a Time

Brick Laying-01.png

The beginning of a new year has become the traditional time to evaluate our lives. So let’s do it! And let’s use a brick as our multi-purpose metaphor.

As a starting point, we’ll take this well-known quote by actor Will Smith: “You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall.”  There’s a lot of wisdom in these words, but let’s examine brick laying more closely as it applies to our meditative and spiritual perspectives.

First of all, who are we?

When we reflect on who or what we are, we might imagine that we are a person carrying 5 piles of bricks on our shoulders. These bricks might represent the five aggregates in buddhist psychology —  form, feeling, perception, fabrication, and consciousness. We hold tight to these constantly changing piles of bricks trying to keep these activities from changing.

We can let these aggregates/bricks weigh us down. So why not instead of carrying piles of bricks on our shoulders, we take them off and lay them along the ground and simply observe and adjust them.

Why am I where I am today?

Let’s go back to the brick wall. Some of us may need to dismantle our wall and start a radical new wall. Others might just have one brick to start with. Others of us may have already built a beautiful brick wall, basking in our glory, only to see ourselves like Humpty Dumpty, falling, out of our carelessness or mistakes. Or, we might be building around others who are effecting us with their rubble, their taller walls, or poorly made walls. Then it’s vital to practice non-judgement and patience as we build our own.

Or, we may have fallen from no apparent reason at all to us! That’s just how it appears sometimes. Humpty Dumpty couldn’t be put together again when he fell off his brick wall. However, we can find that there always is a way to start over — again and again and again — but  under different conditions and possibly with different aims in building our new “biggest, baddest, greatest wall”.

Then what direction should we take?

Now that we’ve laid our aggregate bricks on the ground, we can use these bricks rather than have them use us, to construct a beautiful pathway. For example, we might see the pathway we construct as the buddhist eightfold path: upright view, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. When we apply our concentration and mindfulness through the practice of meditation, it can have good effect on the other bricks on the path.

Is this a perfect “yellow brick road”? Not quite, there will be bumps and road blocks along the way, but the sense of well-being and inner happiness that continue to develop will be worth the practice of these meditative life skills. Once you have a committed practice you can broaden your road and even jump on and off the pavement to move skillfully through many modes of life situations.

How can we merge spirituality with success?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to go first or be the best, provided that our intention is to help pave the way for others along the way! We can help make others’ paths more easy — we can give them a little mortar or offer a brick.

There’s a quote attributed to the Sufi sage Rumi: “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” But then, why do some of us not get what we work hard for and want? We can’t all be great hip-hop artists or brain surgeons, but our passion for music might manifest in a different way in our work or at home. Our ability to be deft with our hands and make quick decisions might not manifest as becoming a surgeon, but instead as a wonderful conscientious activist homemaker.

So what about inner happiness?

Let’s start building with the brick of breath. Breath is form. We take one breath at a time, aware of the moment, aware also of our body, which is also form — with perhaps a little smile on our face — and be happy, that’s all. Be happy with ourselves as we are.  Oprah Winfrey is quoted as saying, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Perhaps we can each become a BRICK HOUSE of Inner Happiness! Happy new year! Peace.


Meditación y Atención Plena en el Ironbound: Clases bilingües para principiantes | Meditation & Mindfulness in the Ironbound: Bilingual Classes for Beginners

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Miércoles, 24 de Enero al 28 de Marzo, 6:00 to 7:30pm

NCMC comenzaren una serie de tres meses de invierno de clases de meditación para principiantes para personas que hablan inglés y español* que viven en Newark y el área de Newark. Será impartido por J. Javier Cruz con otros instructores de NCMC. Esta serie será patrocinada por Ironbound Community Corporation. Será apropiado para adultos mayores de 18 años. *Aunque las clases no se pueden traducir en portugués, proporcionaremos folletos trilingües.
Esta serie de clases tiene la intención de proporcionar un espacio seguro para aprender y practicar la meditación y la atención plena que pueden aumentar la felicidad y disminuir el estrés. Al hacerlo, un grupo bi o trilingüe de ideas afines puede desarrollarse para apoyar la práctica de los demás. Todos son bienvenidos, aunque como está destinado a la comunidad latino / hispana de Newark, necesitaremos reservar la mayoría de los espacios para esta comunidad. Detalles de registro próximos.


Wednesdays, January 24 to March 28, 6:00 to 7:30pm

NCMC will begin a Winter 3-month series of beginner’s meditation classes for spanish and english speaking* people living in Newark and Newark area. It will be taught by J. Javier Cruz with other NCMC instructors. This series will be sponsored by Ironbound Community Corporation. The classes will be appropriate for adults ages 18 and older. *Though classes can’t be translated in portuguese, we will provide trilingual handouts.
This series of classes is intended to provide a safe space to learn and practice meditation and mindfulness that can increase happiness and decrease stress. In doing so, a like-minded bi- or tri- lingual group can develop to support each other’s practice. All are welcome, though as it is intended for the latino/hispanic community in Newark, we will need to reserve the majority of spaces for this community. Registration details forthcoming.



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A Beautiful Wintry Mix is Forecast!

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1. THE REMIX

Changes to Board of Directors

Over the first several years of our existence as an informal initiative, Arelís Hernandez and Keven Porter have quietly and consistently supported our mission. Arelís supported us with with her abundant energy and clear decision-making, knowledge of community organizing, skills with youth, and of course, her delicious cooking. Keven has been instrumental in introducing us throughout the community, promoting us, and as he puts it “sits for us”!
At the end of this year they will be leaving us as founding members of our formal non-profit that was established earlier this year. They plan to commit their energy further to Rabbit Hole Farm. We will miss them dearly, but they will always be with us in spirit and we hope to still collaborate at times. We are excited to have two new in-coming board members starting in 2018, J. Javier Cruz and Jennifer Becher. We welcome them into our “mix”!

2. LINGUAL MIX

English-Spanish Beginner’s Meditation and Mindfulness Series to Begin in the Ironbound!

Starting in late January NCMC will begin the winter 3-month series of beginner’s meditation classes for spanish and english speaking* people living in Newark and Newark area. It will be taught by J. Javier Cruz with other NCMC instructors. This series will be sponsored by Ironbound Community Corporation. It is planned for Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:30pm and will be appropriate for adults ages 18 and older. *Though classes can’t be translated in portuguese, we will provide trilingual handouts.
This series of classes is intended to provide a safe space to learn and practice meditation and mindfulness that can increase happiness and decrease stress. In doing so, a like-minded bi- or tri- lingual group can develop to support each other’s practice. All are welcome, though as it is intended for the latino/hispanic community in Newark, we will need to reserve the majority of spaces for this community. Registration details forthcoming. Free to public, donations welcome.
Please note, as this is late-breaking news, we apologize not to have provided this article in spanish translation! We intend to do so in the future.

3. MIND-MATTER MIX

Save the Date for the Full-Day Retreat taught by Rebecca Li with Shaka Georges

On February 25th at Index Art Center, NCMC will hold it’s yearly winter full-day retreat (optional part-day). We anticipate a cooperative, creative fusion of mind(s) and matter(s). There will be sessions of meditation, movement meditation, art, teacher talks, and Q&A. This donation-based day retreat is appropriate for beginners to advanced meditators, aged 18 and older. Registration required. Details will be forthcoming.


It’s Time to Play…“Where’s. My. Mind?!”

A Free Game for Kids to Adults

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Start Tonight or When Your Mind is Ready!
During the holiday busy-ness, our minds scatter, our minds digress, our minds stress! But also, our minds can go overboard with joy and giddiness that result in post-holiday mind crashes. So let’s play (drum roll) Where’s. My. Mind? — a 24-hour “game” that you can play by yourself or with family or friends for one day a week or 24/7. It brings you back to the present and can make you laugh, be bemused, slightly embarrassed, self-respecting, or yes, even insightful at what thought was interrupted by your mindfulness bell. It’s a great learning tool to bring you back into the present and keep you there longer. Here’s how it works:

Back to the Breath
Set your reminder/alarm for on-the-hour including your wake-up time, but excluding hours within your sleeping period. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the :08, :30, or :49 or whatever chosen minute, just make it consistent. For example, if you play one day a week you might start with Wednesday at 7pm*, end at 10pm when you go to sleep, and start back up with your wake up time on Thursday and every on-the-hour through 10pm to end the game. When the alarm goes off, set your timer for a minute or so or continue without a timer. Note what you are doing, then quickly go to the mind and observe where it is and sit with it for a minute or two. Then, reel your mind back in if it’s gone elsewhere, back to the breath, and what’s at hand.

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Advanced Players who are good at body-mind scans might like to try out observing your chi (energy) cycle, that according to Chinese traditional medicine system, occurs every two hours and is related to different organs, mental qualities, and mind states. Check out the chart below. To start to get into your natural beat again you can go to Understanding the 24-Hour Chi Cycle —or— Meet the Chinese Body Clock: Is This Why You’re Waking Up at Night?.

Where’s. My. Mind? is a great game — fun and enlightening for the whole family! Have your kids or friends text you after their reminders go off to find out where their mind is and tell them where yours was (well, er, perhaps sometimes not!). It could be a precious gift to you all!

*You can join the group NCMC Sit Home Soul Group on www.insighttimer.com or use your own App and get into the game on Wednesday nights from your home.

Chinese Body Clock image credit: http://www.fiveseasonsmedicine.com

Super Moon Sunday — Sensitize, Synchronize, Salutate!

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If the forecast holds out, we’ll be able to observe the Super Moon, the biggest brightest full moon of the year, on December 3 that is followed a day later by the lunar perigee —the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit.

There are many myths regarding the power of the full moon. Perhaps there is something to it rather than to dismiss it as superstition as it’s power is acknowledged in many ancient cultures. Modern science tends to debunk it, but what if with a sensitized, subtle mind, we explore it through meditation?

We’ve found a few online meditations for you to explore over the next four days approaching the Super Moon Sunday:

For those of you who want to approach it as a medicinal, healing meditation you might try this Healing Moon Meditation that mainly requires moon gazing and just letting it happen. It is said you can chanelize the moon energy with Moon Salutation asanas designed specifically for this. Keep it light and within your range. For all you goddesses out there, you might like to try this Wild Power: Full Moon Meditation to tap into your divine feminine power. Or perhaps Shamanic Astral Projection flute music can bring out your essence during your moon gazing.

 


REFLECTION: An Empty Bowl on Our Table

empty blue bowl.jpgMost of us here in the States will have some sort of Thanksgiving celebration or special meal tomorrow, but then again, many will not. Many of us love the day, but many dread it. There are so many reasons for both these extremes — loving families, dysfunctional families, lack of family, delicious food, tryptophan stasis, politics, displaced guests, misplaced historical truths — the list goes on.

One solution to keeping peace, inner or expressed, on this holiday is to bring an empty bowl to the table. What we mean here is to try to bring an empty mind that’s freed from assumptions, bias, preconceptions, and judgement. It’s a mind that can flex at the table and create harmony through, well, a sort of appropriation. Meaning, that we might put ourselves in others’ shoes, feeling compassion for what we might see as ignorance on political matters, stinginess in portions, or obnoxious personalities. Instead, we might see the stress in their faces!

How might we do this? By being in mindfulness as much as we can with an empty mind and a determinedly pleasant attitude. It doesn’t hurt either to consciously appreciate an actual empty bowl placed in front of us, to reflect on the great grace that we have daily to be able to feed ourselves and others.


Image: Yuan Period Jun Bowl; Wikimedia Common; Public Domain

Suggested Holiday Practices for Thanks Giving

inner smile.pngAs our Group Meditations are temporarily postponed, let’s meditate together from our respective homes even though we’re apart. We start at 7:00pm. Choose a 15-20 minute guided meditation or we’ve suggested some. Or practice silently. You can end your session then or continue on with mindful stretches, readings, chants — whatever works for you! We use the free app at www.insighttimer.com as our meditation timer and for some guided meditations. You can find us under Groups at “NCMC Sit Home Soul Group.” If you prefer though, use a different timer. Below we’ve shared some nice teachings that we found online that you might use:

Meditate: Taoist Inner Smile Meditation | David James Lees | 20m | Guided meditation.

Listen: Attitude of Gratitude | Mooji | 9m | Short talk.

Read: The Connection Between the Spirit of Gratitude and Mindfulness | Jack Kornfield | 10m +- | Interview article.

Eat: Simple Mindfulness: Mindful Eating | Thich Nhat Hanh | 6m | Short talk.

Give: Giving is part of our practice. There are plenty of local groups who are helping to feed and shelter. Just 1 dollar or 1 hour can make a positive difference to a neighbor’s sustenance — and — our own minds.


Review: A Sunday Full of Truth and Healing

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Meditation IS Medicine
On Sunday, November 12th, Teacher Kazi opened the People of Color Retreat with a presentation on the meaning and background of Ancestral Meditation Medicine and what it means for us culturally and connectively today. Throughout the day he gently and masterfully guided us in meditation medicine through modes of sitting, standing, walking, and qigong.

That Darn Dukkha!
Andrea Lee and J. Javier Cruz both gave Dharma (truth) talks that clearly explained the meaning of the Sanskrit/Pali word dukkha, an ancient spiritual word that is hard to define. It can mean both mental and physical suffering, stress, and agitation — subtle and extreme — that we cause ourselves and others. They then used their personal disciplines to help us find the ability to let go and open our hearts and minds (note that a single Chinese character means both heart and mind). Javier taught the method of metta (loving-kindness) meditation, while Andrea used yoga discipline to allow us to radiate love out.

Art Forms as Meditation
We all seem to have joy and/or self-discovery in this session whenever we do it — expressing ourselves through drawing or written word — then explaining to our soul group (sangha for the day) how the art manifested and reflecting on its meaning.

Prosody and Performance
Presenters Mesha Allen and Muta Morton both expressed beautifully. Mesha read a powerful original essay in a voice like a hug and Muta instructed in a unique blend of modulating verbal performance and khemetic yoga postures. He chose those that he finds especially healing and we did too!

Cha-cha-cha-chant
To end the program, Kazi led us in his own variation of a chant that he heard in the film Baraka. It was first a slow “Cha. Cha. Cha. Cha.,” then a very quick-paced “chachachachachachachachacha,” going back and forth between the slow and fast. In a sense, he was using the chant as a healing form somewhat like hormesis activity. Kazi also suggested that we also try his Vowel Chant using the ancient aspiration sounds of the vowels a-e-i-o-u. It can be found on the free www.insighttimer.com App under “Meditation Medicine Chant 1”.

Divine Dishing and Doling
We had a delicious vegan meal provided by Arelis Hernandez and Keven Porter of Rabbit Hole Farm. Mary Arthars assisted with lovely side dishes and logistical support. Thank you to Jennifer Becher and Bruno Mendoza for volunteering with registration and venue set-up. We were also pleased to have a 10-year-old who came with his mother who minded him thoughtfully through the day. He joined in on most everything and seemed to learn quickly. We’re grateful to Index Art Center for the venue and director Lowell Craig for his patience and time.

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Choosing to Nurture or Neglect Our Minds

We have a choice to neglect or nurture our minds. To nurture our minds takes a little discipline — the practice of meditation and mindfulness can help to etch good qualities and impartiality into our minds through positive reinforcement and developing intimacy with ourselves. We begin to see the connections between our brain, mind, heart, body, and spirit.

The hard fact is, that to neglect our minds means that we might also be neglecting or even harming others. How often do we see the domino effect that our negative habits and actions can have on those close to us and our community, let alone those of other cultures? This certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t also play with abandonment, but we also then can use our mind skills to get back on track!

Once we’ve established a nurturing mtryptic-01.pngind for ourselves, we might even then extend our efforts to nurture the minds and help heal others. This is where compassion begins and becomes action. Putting ourselves in others shoes we can acknowledge and identify with their pain, unhappiness, and injustices and take good radical action.

Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) is currently offering three gems of opportunities to plant seeds of positive power and nurture our minds.

On Wednesday, October 25th, by special invitation, Bhante Buddharakkhita of Uganda will give a presentation, dhamma talk, and guided meditation, Planting Dhamma Seeds in Uganda and Nurturing Our Minds from 6:30pm to 9:00pm at City Without Walls. Concurrently, Ib’nallah S. Kazi will lead a Facebook Live meditation, Self-Healing Medicine, the last in a series of four starting at 7:00pm. Kazi’s meditation will also be broadcast at City Without Walls Gallery at 6 Crawford Street in Newark NJ for all attending there. Portions of Bhante Buddharakkhita’s program will be on Facebook Live starting at 7:30 pm.

Then on Sunday, November 12th we will be holding a full-day retreat, People of Color & Allies Full-Day Retreat: Our Return to Ancestral Meditation Medicine, taught by Kazi with assistance by J. Javier Cruz and Andrea Lee. The retreat will be held at Index Art Center at 237 Washington Street in Newark NJ and will run from 10:00am to 5pm. Participants can choose whether they attend full-day or part-day (morning or afternoon session).

These programs are donation-based so that NCMC can generously gift the teachers to support their work. Please contact us by email with any questions at info@newarkmeditation.org.


People of Color & Allies Retreat: Our Return to Ancestral Meditation Medicine

Teacher: Ib’nallah S. Kazi
Instructors: J. Javier Cruz & Andrea Lee
Presenters: Mesha Allen & Muta Morton

Sunday, November 12 | 10:00am to 5:00pm EST (Optional Part-day participation)
Index Art Center, 237 Washington St. | 2nd Floor, Stairs Only
Donation-based fee: $20 suggested/$15 student | Vegan Lunch Included
Limited seating 30 students. Register Now with Eventbrite!

TO BE FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED.

This full day (optional part day) retreat will include sessions in meditation, medicine movement, yoga, spoken word, and other disciplines. We will explore the spiritual, ethical, and practical applications of the self-knowing, self-healing, and self-transformative arts of the indigenous, enslaved, colonized and immigrant Americans. The resurgence of interest in the meditative arts in the People of Color communities in the 21st century is missing an imporPoster_POC Ancestral Retreat_2017.pngtant link. And that link connects us to the genetic continuity revealing the secrets to our “surthrival” in the face of the already mounting challenges to our safety, inheritance, and very humanity. Through immersion with People of Color at this retreat, White Allies can deepen their understanding and support. A white ally is a person of white-skin or who is white-person-identified of unearned privilege who engages in anti-racism work while practicing principles of cultural humility. Our ancestors have left us a diverse tool chest of systems, practices, and wisdom insights to meet the challenge of “this time”. Let’s reconnect the link.

This program is appropriate for non-meditators, beginners, through advanced meditators of any discipline. You must register to attend. You are welcome to attend part-day for the morning or afternoon session, but maximum benefit is gained by attending the entire retreat. Register Now with Eventbrite!

BIO-NOTES:

Ib’nallah S. Kazi (Kazi) is a Las Vegas-based spiritual wellness coach, medicine movement, and meditation teacher. He places an emphasis on wellness and personal development through his own program, presently known as The Spirit-Centered Life. Kazi has had a committed meditation practice for over 30 years and applies many disciplines. This includes Taoist, Sufi and Ancestral Meditation Medicine. Kazi has built a diverse education and training. His adolescent rites of passage began in 1974 when he became a Five Percenter, a splinter group from the Nation of Islam. Kazi has trained in and developed his internal martial medicine skills, teaching both Tai Chi Chuan and Yara Mba. He was the co-founder of the Harriet Tubman Hiking Society established in 1988 to immerse the African-American community back into nature. He integrated fitness training and massage becoming certified as a Health-Fitness Trainer and as a Massage Therapist that included Royal Thai Medical Massage. He also became a certified Intrinisic Coach. Kazi was until 2017 based in Newark NJ for 13 years where he remains on the Board of Directors of Newark Center for Meditative Culture, serving as a Spiritual Advisor and Lead Teacher. See Kazi’s full bio.

J. Javier Cruz was born and raised in Florida, Puerto Rico, but has lived in the Greater Newark NJ area for decades, hence he is bilingual, speaking his native Spanish and English. He currently resides in Harrison, NJ and works as a stationary engineer at a plant in Newark. Though Javier has had a committed meditation practice for over 10 years, he was introduced to meditation 17 years ago while in the NA 12-Step Recovery Program. He is a Buddhist practitioner with residential retreat experience and has studied with Insight Teacher Dennis Maurer who teaches at IMCNJ then under the guidance of Narayan. Javier’s main practice is loving-kindness (metta), using it in his daily life along with developing it methodically as a meditation discipline. Having seen and experienced much suffering and troubles in his family, meditation, especially metta, has been key to his well-being and stability. In his spare time he volunteers for a hospice. His priority is his family and he spends much time and attention on his children, grandchildren, and girlfriend.

Saraswati Andrea Lee is a senior disciple of Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Spiritual Head and Founder of Yoga Life Society. Under his direction she is completing seminary training to become a Yoga Life Minister in 2018. She is a certified Yoga instructor and performs Kirtan with Mirabai Catherine Moon. She is a Preschool Assistant Teacher at Montclair Cooperative School in her hometown of Montclair, NJ. Andrea serves as the Treasurer of NCMC where she presents on meditation and mindfulness and instructs yoga and chanting sessions for retreats.

Mesha Allen is a graduate of Ramapo College. She is passionate about improving the well-being of her community and aspires to open her own wellness center before she’s 30. She is the founder of Newark Integrative Enrichment Society and co-founder and trustee of New African Liberty Organization. She lives in Newark and advocates for people suffering with chronic pain and Fibromyalgia.

Muta Morton is an aspiring yogi, artist and gardener who believes everyone has a right to live a happy meaningful life. He grew up moving from foster home to foster home, struggling with depression, homelessness and being emotionally and financially deprived since age ten. Now at 26, Muta searches to find the big picture, using ancient wisdom and truths to guide him through what was meant to be a free planet for people to live together as one, but instead has become a power, money and blood hungry planet. He believes we can change and make the world a better place. He believes that the design of most on the planet right now is to use and abuse people, propagating a planet of hate that would ultimately self destruct. Muta feels that by going deep inside ourselves together we can actually sustain this planet and make it a better place for generations to come.


Dropping Mechanics for Dynamics and Healing on the Way

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Many of us know Tai Chi (supreme ultimate) is a healing form of exercise often done by seniors. Others might know it as a precursor to the more extreme martial arts. It can be practiced in both these ways. But with Tai Chi and Qi Gong (life energy cultivation) we can also practice in the spirit — not being asleep on our feet. Tai Chi works through the body along with the breath, the aspiration that connects us to ourselves, others, and all nature. So many of us neglect our bodies and in turn this effects our mind and spirit.

With Tai Chi we can turn off the mechanics and get into dynamic moments connecting to the rhythm and flow of life. When we begin to awaken qi, with practice, it allows our natural life force to become unblocked and clear, thus promoting physical and mental well-being.

Tai Chi can also be a Way (Dao) to higher levels of consciousness and awareness — of being in the present moment. It can bring playfulness and childlike perception back into our hearts. In this more open state of the mind and body, we can become more receptive to personal growth and change without being on the defensive.

“Supple, breathing gently, you become reborn.
Clearing your vision, you become clear.”
— Lao Tzu


Dipping Our Toes Into the Lawn of Mindfulness

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Whether through movement or stillness, we can practice mindfulness and meditation. Our four standard postures of meditation are sitting, standing, walking, and lying down (we love that one!), but all the postures in between are potential experiences of present-moment awareness. Whatever position or transition we’re in — kneeling, slouching, crouching, jumping, skipping, dancing — we can be in that moment. And at this moment we’re practicing on the lawn in the green grass at Military Park. See you there! Shoes allowed, but it’s also a joy to mindfully tickle our toes in the grass!

Wednesday, August 23 and 30
Basic Meditation with Cornelia
7:00pm to 8:00pm
Military Park, Meditation Area
Free
There’s still two chances to join in on this beginner’s series taught by meditation teacher and neuro-psychologist Cornelia Santschi and assisted by peer-leader Kamilah Crawley. You will learn the basics of mindfulness and meditation in urban nature. You’re welcome to bring your children.

Regularly on Wednesdays
Weekly Meditation Group
7:00pm to 8:30pm
Military Park and City Without Walls
Donation-based
We’ll be sitting in Military Park with the Basic Meditation class tonight and August 30th (till 8pm). Then we will move back to our regular venue at City Without Walls on September 6th. Short sessions of meditation, movement, discussion, and reading. Join us for some mid-week peace-of-mind.

Wednesdays, September 6 – October 11
Tai-Chi with Shaka
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Military Park, Meditation Area
Free
Join recurring NCMC teacher Shaka Georges for a series of tai-chi and qi-gong classes in the park (weather permitting). There’s no registration and each class is stand-alone so join in any time. Get into the flow — gentle, interesting, and artful movement for wellness, healing, and energy.


Why Meditate Together?

Though meditation is essentially an individual practice, the effect of doing it with a like-minded group of friends can make the meditation more profound personally and socially. Too, in discussing meditation practice with new meditators, we have found that many people attempting meditation at home alone without any guidance or limited online guidance, often conform their meditation to their own predispositions and ambitions.

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People often tell us they try to meditate at home but get too distracted by thoughts — desires, worries and regrets. We say, working with distraction is the practice! Some say that they tend to fall asleep, feeling dull or drowsy. We say, no excuse, there’s wake up solutions for this. Others doubt their ability or the practice itself. This often is due to isolation — being in a supportive community and learning useful techniques can help with this too. Others might fear the anger they see rising up. We say, observe it, let it come, and let it go! And even learn to reposit that unhealthy anger to healthy moral indignation and action.

There are methods to skillfully work with all these seeming roadblocks to more inner peace and happiness. Like any other discipline it takes a regular practice, patience, commitment, and guidance by good teachers, instructors, and peers who can help keep us on track and inspire us.

Any group participation, however, will only be effective if the people who join it feel that they gain something either more or different than they experience at home. We have often heard from members of our group that sitting with us has advanced their individual practice, helping them in their home life and at work. Some of our meditation friends who are not often able to join us, report that they feel good just knowing that we gather together weekly. This all keeps us inspired.  *


Breathing In and Breathing Out in Brick City

It’s a simple task to breath in and out but to be mindful and present with it takes practice. And this practice can help make positive, effective, and even transformative changes to our lives. Breath is just one form of meditation that can make an impact — there are many objects of meditation — but the breath is a good place to start as it’s available at any given moment wherever you are in Brick City.

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A butterfly stops to mindfully breath on one of our meditation cushions at the start of one of NCMC’s summer meditation classes held in Military Park through August, each Wednesday evening at 7pm weather providing.


To help to understand just what mindfulness of breathing can do, here’s a clear description about mindfulness of breathing to contemplate. It’s from a book of essays titled The Issue at Hand by meditation teacher Gil Fronsdal:

Mindfulness of breathing can be a powerful ally in our lives. With steady awareness of our inhalations and exhalations, the breath can become an equanimous constant through the ups and downs of our daily life. By resting with and perhaps even enjoying the cycles of breathing, we are less likely to be caught up in the emotional and mental events that pass through us. Repeatedly returning to the breath can be a highly effective training in letting go of patterns of identification and holding that freeze the mind and heart.”

NCMC teacher Kazi, of The Spirit-Centered Life, notes that an important component of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness is breathing, and he advises people to pay attention to it. “Your breathing will often let you know what’s going on with your emotions.” he has stated. *


Mindfulness and Staying Woke

To meditate we need to practice mindfulness. And mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake — to stay woke — to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in each moment of our daily life. To be mindful is to be really alive, present and at one with yourself, those around you, and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we do the mundane such as wash the dishes, drive the car, or take a shower. More difficult is to stay in harmony when communicating and having dialog with other individuals or other communities.

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How can we merge meditative mindfulness with the meaning of staying woke in the African American community? By practicing deeper mindfulness we can stay woke and aware of the continuing concerns of social and racial justice, using mindfulness as a radical means to vigilance and heightened sensitivity in order to act honestly and appropriately.

The term “awake” in the meditation community has been used since ancient times and is usually reserved to mean a level of enlightenment that constitutes being truly awake, for example in Buddhist terms the Pali word “bodhi”. This takes continual practice in mind development but we can certainly develop and experience varying levels of being woke.

Mindfulness takes effort, but it is worth it. The more mindful we are, the more we can truly stay woke and alive — and the more positive changes we can make in ourselves and in others through our deepening understanding of our interconnections and their ramifications. *


NCMC Evening Farm Retreat: Insight Meditation with Light Yoga, Art as Meditation, and Agnihotra Sunset Air Purification to be held on July 22nd

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Register now on Eventbrite for NCMC’s unique outdoor farm retreat with program partner, Rabbit Hole Farm! There is limited participation of 20 for this so please do REGISTER only if you know you will attend. We don’t want to turn down anyone because of someone who doesn’t show. Thank you kindly.

Date: Saturday, July 22nd (Rain date: July 29th)
Time: 5:00 to 9:00pm
Venue: Rabbit Hole Farm, 34 Rose Terrace, Newark, NJ

To ease the students into the environment, there will first be a thoughtful Garden Tour of this urban farm that is abundant with vegetables, herbs, and art. This will be followed by a light Yoga session with Pamela Flagg to get the students’ energy flowing and harmonized. There’s no need to don yoga clothes or be experienced for this — you can simply wear loose pants if you prefer. A Vegan Medicine Meal will then be offered by Rabbit Hole founder/farmer Arelís Hernandez using food straight from the garden. A medicine meal is a light balanced supper meant to be eaten simply for sustenance and with care and appreciation. It is important to eat lightly at a meditation retreat.

A plein air Art as Meditation session with artist Malik Whitaker will continue the process of opening our minds, heightening our sensitivity, and developing calm. This will get the students prepared for the Insight Meditation period led by meditation teacher Cornelia Santschi. You need not have meditation experience as it will be appropriate for beginners to advanced. Insight Meditation is based on the ancient meditation practice of Vipassana, yet it is a practical and vital contemporary method of mindfulness of breath/body, feelings, thoughts, and phenomena that with development can bring more mental clarity, stability, and happiness. An urban outdoor farm will make for an interesting setting to explore our minds.

Then, Dr. Sankar Sastri of Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary will explain and perform a Sunset Air Purification called Agnihotra in Sanskrit. Agnihotra is a healing fire from the ancient science of Ayurveda that is done in combination with vibrational sounds and materials of specific qualities that is performed at sunrise or sunset. It is a process that is said to not only benefit the mind and body and a home, but to purify the outside atmosphere as well. The process is also used to nourish plant life by changing the cellular structure, thus enabling more nutrients to flow through fruits and vegetables. This is a very cool opportunity to learn a new-old technique!

To close the program, yogi Keven Porter, who is also the director of the Farm, will lead a Moon Salutation Yoga session and Metta Meditation (lovingkindness).

Register on Eventbrite at https://ncmc_eve_farm_retreat.eventbrite.com

Donation-based, suggested $10 cash-at-door or by credit card on Eventbrite.

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Basic Meditation Summer Series

Outdoor Classes in Military Park with Cornelia

Wednesdays, June 14th – August 16th, 7:00-8:00pm

Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) will hold this summer series of basic meditation and mindfulness classes as a partner in the Military Park summer programs. The series will be taught by meditation teacher and neuro-psychologist Cornelia Santschi and assisted by peer-leader Kamilah Crawley. Each class will stand alone, therefore you are welcome to just stop by for a class or two. But, to get the most benefit it’s best to attend all if not as many classes as you can! This is a FREE NCMC/Military Park program. IMPORTANT NOTE: We will NOT meet on Wednesday, July 5th. If it rains or weather is inclement, classes will be cancelled. You can check in for updates at the NCMC Facebook Page or subscribe to the NCMC Newsletter.

Schedule

Wed. June 14 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. June 21 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. June 28 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. July 5 (NO CLASS)
Wed. July 12 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. July 19 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. July 26 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. August 2 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. August 9 7:00-8:00pm
Wed. August 16 7:00-8:00pm

Location

The classes will be held in the Meditation Area in the northeast corner of Military Park just across the street from the Performing Arts Center and the Hotel.

About the Teacher

Cornelia Santschi has recently graduated from the Community Dharma Leader Program through Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society to become a meditation teacher. Cornelia is co-founder of NCMC where she also serves as a meditation teacher and liaison to the insight meditation community for NCMC. She has been a vipassana (insight) meditator and dedicated student of Buddhist psychology for over 15 years. She is the director of Neuro-psychology at the Institute for Neurology in NJ, and founder/director of Anatta World Health & Education Outreach, a grassroots non-profit that creates and supports medical and educational programs in developing countries.

For more information, contact NCMC at info@newarkmeditation.org.


First Newark MEDITATION SAMPLER on May 21st

A day of 20-minute sample sessions with twelve instructors stitching together:

MEDITATIONxYOGA xCHANTINGxKHEMETICxCAPOEIRAxDAOxINSIGHTx
STRESS RELEASExDRUMMINGxARTxDHARMA TALKxand LOVE

Sunday May 21, 10am to 4pm
City Without Walls, 6 Crawford Street, Newark, NJ

Stop by any time during the day or REGISTER to Choose Full-Day, Morning Session, or Afternoon Session Participation. Vegetarian Lunch Included.

REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE: https://ncmc_meditation_sampler.eventbrite.com

NCMC is excited to present our Meditation Sampler Retreat — integrating the disciplines through stitching together cycles of motion, stillness, and sound meditations! We have wonderful Newark area teachers and instructors of various disciplines sharing their practices. Here’s a chance for beginners to get different tastes of meditation and advanced to commune with us!

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We’ve got twelve presenters giving 15-20 minute sample sessions (in alphabetical order): Leslie Bangor/I’m So Yoga Newark, Marcie Barth*, Kamilah Crawley*, Shaka Georges/ Discovering the Healer Within, Jennifer Kohl/Lotus Yoga, Andrea Lee/Yoga Life Society, Muta Morton, Ihsaan Muhammad*, Amy Orrell/Newark Yoga Movement, Keven Porter*, Cornelia Santschi*, and artist Malik Whitaker. *NCMC teachers and presenters. (Bio-Notes below.)

Naturally we think it’s more beneficial to join us for the entire retreat, but we’re offering the options to attend just for the Morning Session or Afternoon Session. A vegetarian lunch is included in between.

SCHEDULE (detailed chart below):
Morning Session: 10:00am-12:20pm
Lunch: 12:20pm-1:15pm
Afternoon Session: 1:15pm-4:00pm

REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE: https://ncmc_meditation_sampler.eventbrite.com

Donation-based program. CASH DONATIONS AT DOOR OR BY PAYPAL IF YOU REGISTER. Suggested donation $10-15.

NCMC programs are donation-based. We often give suggested fees but please donate whatever is in your budget. It helps us to gift the teachers who are giving valuable services and to cover venue rentals. Donations are the only way we can continue our programming. Please consider paying it forward!

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TEACHER/PRESENTER BIO-NOTES

Leslie Bangor Leslie’s journey began in 2014 after taking yoga classes in Newark she fell in love with yoga. Leslie began seeking information in the yoga industry and came across a yoga workshop at Earth Yoga NYC. Leslie then took the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training course there in 2015. By taking part in this training she learned there are various styles of yoga, multiple levels and a diversity in perspectives to teach from. Leslie teaches at a Vinyasa Hatha Beginners level class and is eager to learn more in her yoga journey. She enjoys being of service to others and teaching yoga is a great way for her to do so. Yoga has impacted Leslie in various ways — her memory has improved, she is more flexible, and is now stronger physically and mentally. Leslie runs I’m So Yoga Newark where she is the owner, operator and main Yoga Instructor. Her goal is to give people the opportunity to practice yoga regardless of their weight, race, or sex.

Marcie L. Barth began her inquiry into both sitting and moving meditation in 1998 with a focus on tai chi. In 2001 she committed her practice to sitting meditation (tranquility and insight) and the ongoing study of Buddhist philosophy and psychology. She served on the board of Flowering Lotus Meditation and Retreat Center in Mississippi. She is a founding board member of Buddhist Global Relief, a hunger relief organization established in 2008. Marcie is a co-founder of NCMC where she also develops programs and is a meditation instructor.

Kamilah Crawley is a Certified Health Education Specialist with broad experience in developing sex and health education workshops. Currently, Kamilah works for the Children’s Hospital of NJ at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center as a Program Coordinator. She provides pregnancy prevention counseling and develops health and wellness programs for their Youth Services Program at Barringer H.S. She received her B.S. from Temple University and her Master from Rutgers University, both in Public Health. Kamilah, a founding member of NCMC, is a meditation group peer-leader there and also makes community meditation and mindfulness presentations.

Shaka Georges began his martial arts practice at the age of 9 years old. He immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti in 1975, and ever since then has studied various forms of martial arts including Wing Chun, White Crane Kung Fu Capoeira, and Tai Chi Long and Short Forms. He is a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner from the Mahamudra Lineage and has been meditating for over 10 years. He has also been a fitness coach and instructor in Newark. Shaka is a certified tai chi and qi gong teacher practicing in Montclair NJ and is a mathematics high high school teacher in West Orange. You can find him online at Discovering The Healer Within.

Jennifer Kohl is a Newark-based yoga teacher at her studio, Lotus Yoga. She is the executive director of All Stars Project of New Jersey.

Andrea Lee is a founding member of Newark Center for Meditative Culture where she is a meditation and mindfulness presenter and instructs retreat yoga and chanting sessions. Living in Montclair, she is currently an Assistant Teacher at Montclair Cooperative School. She is a yoga instructor and performs in a chanting group. She is a student at Yoga Life Society.

Muta Morton is an aspiring yogi, artist and gardener who believes everyone has a right to live a happy meaningful life. He grew up moving from foster home to foster home, struggling with depression, homelessness and being emotionally and financially deprived since age ten. Now at 26, Muta searches to find the big picture, using ancient wisdom and truths to guide him through what was meant to be a free planet for people to live together as one, but instead has become a power, money and blood hungry planet. He believes we can change and make the world a better place. He believes that the design of most on the planet right now is to use and abuse people, propagating a planet of hate that would ultimately self destruct. Muta feels that by going deep inside ourselves together we can actually sustain this planet and make it a better place for generations to come.

Ihsaan R. Muhammad graduated from Rutgers Law School and has been until recently a practicing lawyer. Still retaining his law certification, he is now a branding and marketing communications consultant at his own company IHSAAN Marketing. Born and raised in Newark, he leads drum circles there and in the surrounding area. He is also active in a local yogic community. Ihsaan is a drum circle leader and mindfulness presenter with NCMC.

Amy Orrell has been involved in the wellness field for 20 years. Her path has led her to become a massage therapist, personal trainer, and most recently a yoga instructor in 2008. She has had the opportunity to work with a multitude of individuals from infants to the young at heart. Her focus is about helping each individual live their best life possible. Ultimately that is what led her to become a part of Newark Yoga Movement. She has functioned in a larger capacity with the organization in trying to cultivate community partnership to be able to provide important life skills to not just survive in life but to thrive and empower others toward live a peaceful life even in the midst of the storm.

Keven Porter has been a yoga instructor for several years after having studied at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai, India. He is also a children’s meditation course teacher in the vipassana tradition of S.N. Goenka. He has completed a study program on ayurvedic nutrition and yoga therapy at the School of Ayurveda and Panchkarma in Kerala, India. He is Director of Rabbit Hole Urban Farm in Newark. Keven also served as a board member of Eyes Like Mine in Newark where he instructed a Yoga for Your Eyes class. He is a licensed massage therapist. Keven and his wife are both committed yogis serving this community. Keven is a community liaison and sits for NCMC. 

Cornelia Santschi is currently studying in the Community Dharma Leader Program (CDL5) through Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society to become a meditation teacher. She serves as a meditation instructor and liaison to the insight meditation community for NCMC. She has been a vipassana (insight) meditator and dedicated student of Buddhist psychology for over 15 years. She is the director of Neuro-psychology at the Institute for Neurology in NJ, and founder/director of Anatta World Health & Education Outreach, a grassroots non-profit that creates and supports medical and educational programs in developing countries. Cornelia is a meditation teacher and insight community liaison for NCMC.

Malik Hardaway-Whitaker was born and raised in Newark, NJ. He studied advanced art while attending high school at St. Benedicts Prep and later at Rutgers University and the Art Institute of America, along with several artist programs and residencies. From his studies, he has translated his style and technique into a complete disciplinary form. He is also an accomplished muralist whose work can be seen on several buildings, churches and colleges throughout Essex County. Malik is most famous for his “Brick City Project”, a collection of bricks with painted scenes of Newark, which he’s displayed in many galleries and exhibitions around Newark, Jersey City and NYC. The trials and tribulations of living in the inner city has helped to shape Malik’s passion and appreciation for life. He seeks to pass on and inspire positive messages to his community and all who view his works. He currently is the owner of M-Print Art studios in Newark, where he continues to display his art. He is currently mentoring and teaching art to students with physical and mental disabilites and also facilitating workshops in the Newark public school system and charter schools. See The Art of Malik Whitaker.

Website: www.newarkmeditation.org

Contact: info@newarkmeditation.org


Earth Day Programs with NCMC

Deep Ecology Training Workshop
Saturday, April 22nd
10:00am–2:00pm at Rutgers University, Smith Hall, 101 Warren St., Room 242, Newark NJ

Flyer_Deep Ecology Workshop.pngThis workshop taught by Kazi and a panel of speakers is meant to be an intense immersion into DEEP ECOLOGY to make a comprehensive connection between our environmental issues and our world’s problems. Special guest speaker is Matt Gosser, current gallery director at NJIT, previously urban planner and architect who salvages and up-cycles. Other guest speakers are Abe Gruswitz expert in cooperative and communal living and Mesha Allen an urban wellness champion. Also presenting are Marcie Barth an NCMC co-founder and Kamilah Crawley a public health education specialist.
The diseases of civilization including racism, war, poverty, pollution, agri-business, depletion of resources, drought and famine — all stemming from root causes of greed and fear — have created a global ecological crisis, especially Climate Change. It’s a workshop that requires an open mind and heart and a willingness to explore not just practical solutions but to go deep in our ecological consciousness. The workshop will include some optional preparatory homework, questions for contemplation, practical applications, and simple daily mindfulness exercises. Follow-up resources will be included to help students go deeper on themes from the workshop. Lunch included.
REGISTER AT: http://goo.gl/fc6Znv

Kid & Teen GreenJean Workshop
Saturday, April 22nd
10:00am-2:00pm at Rabbit Hole Urban Farm, 36-38 Rose Terrace, Newark, NJ

Flyer_Kid Teen GreenJean Workshop.png

Kids and teens will learn how to work in an urban farm, mindful eating, conserving resources, making healthy snacks, and compassionate action! Younger youth will participate in hands-on activities and help us in the garden! Teens will engage in additional conversations about ecology and conservation. Teens will be asked to work along younger youth and will receive 4 community service hours for their participation. Teachers will be environmental educators Marissa Blodnik and Andrea Lee, and urban farmer Arelis Hernandez. GreenJean Party 2:00-2:30pm.
REGISTER AT: http://goo.gl/hXFAVj

Closing “Greening Self” Reception
Saturday, April 22nd
2:30-3:30pm at Rabbit Hole Urban Farm, 36-38 Rose Terrace, Newark, NJ
We invite you, your friends, and family to join NCMC for a farm gathering with our host, Keven Porter, director and co-founder of Rabbit Hole. We’ll view inspirational art and GreenJean projects, sample natural green juices and teas, and enjoy refreshments. (Farm Open House starts at 9am so you can also stop by any time.)

RSVPs are helpful if you can at: http://goo.gl/zKO2AI
NOTE: Those registering for the Deep Ecology Training Workshop can RSVP on that registration form.


NCMC to present Deep Ecology Month in April for the Greater Newark Area

A Radical Awakening for Deep Ecologists, EcoProtectors, EcoWarriors, EcoArtists, EcoHomeys, EcoCurious, GreenJeans, and of course, EcoYogis in the Greater Newark Area NJ. Let’s go deep!

It’s a first for NCMC — an entire month with one theme — that of urban nature, deep ecology, our ecological consciousness, and environmental issues. Programs will range for kids, teens, and adults. We’ll be planting seeds of understanding and hope, planting seeds of action, and maybe even planting some real seeds!

We want to uncover our True Nature so that we can wake up to think and act both radically and in equibalance with our ecological self, others, and our environment. We want to get down to the root of the problems, help uproot them, and plant new positive roots, especially in our children. This is so urgent in this time of Unrest and Climate Change.

These sensitized, educational, and mindfulness-based programs include a teen and family park clean-up, easy nature hikes, meditation sessions, ecoTalks, and a kids and teens farm workshop. Most important for adults will be the Deep Ecology Training Workshop to be taught by Kazi at Rutgers on Earth Day, April 22nd, that will make connections between environmental issues and world problems including racism, war, poverty, pollution, agri-business, to name a few.

Our collaborators and supporters for these programs include The Medicine Lifestyle, Hikeolution, and 4-H Youth Development Program of Essex/Hudson Counties at Rutgers. Program meals are to be catered by Rabbit Hole Urban Farm at 36-38 Rose Terrace, Newark NJ. We also greatly appreciate the use of classroom space at Rutgers University. These programs are free, though we do certainly welcome donations that help to gift the teachers and cover other program expenses.

Please take a look below and save some of these dates. Flyers for each program are also posted, so do scroll down all the way. We ask that you REGISTER for these programs using our online forms (preferred) or by email at info@newarkmeditation.org so that we can plan thoughtfully.

MARCH PRE-WAKE UP:

Teen EcoWarrior & EcoProtector Pond Cleanup & Activities
Sunday, March 26th
11:00am-1:00pm in Branch Brook Park
Communing with nature and community service is what this is all about. Activities will include tai-qi-gong with Kazi, Clark’s Pond bank clean-up with Arelís Hernandez, and we’ll end with a deepEco talk by Andrea Lee. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch together, weather providing. Kids and adults welcome too.
REGISTER AT: http://bit.ly/2lAIMIM

FIRST AWAKENINGS:

We’re starting April off with two simultaneous hikes — one for male and one for female teens through adult, living in the urban Greater Newark Area. It’s a challenge for city girls and boys to get out into nature to experience the freedom and soft fascinations that can help mature them into upright urban earth women and urban mountain men. Equally as hard is to maintain this subtler mindfulness as adults without continual excursions into nature. We’re including other sensitizing activities with the hikes in order to enhance the experience and so that participants can quickly internalize it. Both hikes will be approximately 2-miles and easy-level with some grades. Details and registration for both below:

From City Boys to Urban Mountain Men Hike & Activities
Sunday, April 2nd
Light Rain or Shine (Heavy rain date: April 9th)

10:00am–2:00pm in South Mountain Reservation, South Orange, NJ
For aged 14 through adult, biological or male identified. Hike will be led by experienced hiking guide and wellness-spiritual coach Kazi and co-led by hiking leader Leslie S. Arthur. Other activities include tai-qi-gong, a drum circle, lunch, and more.
REGISTER AT: http://bit.ly/2kuPHDi

From City Girls to Urban Earth Women Hike & Activities
Sunday, April 2nd
Light Rain or Shine (Heavy rain date: April 9th)
10:00am–2:00pm in South Mountain Reservation, South Orange, NJ
For aged 14 through adult, biological or female identified. It will be co-led by hiking guide Keyana M. Jones along with meditation teacher and avid trekker Cornelia Santschi. Other activities will include poetry with Mesha Allen, yoga with Arelís Hernandez, nature meditations, lunch, and more.
REGISTER AT: http://bit.ly/2lCig2n

WEDNESDAY AWAKENINGS:

Weekly NCMC Meditation Group with readings on The Four Great Elements
Wednesdays, April 5th 12th 19th 26th
7:00-8:30pm at City Without Walls, 6 Crawford Street, Newark NJ
This is our standard weekly meditation group, but for Deep Ecology Month our readings and discussions will focus on the four elements of earth, fire, water, and air — internal expressions, external environment, their causes and effects, and compassionate actions to take to create equilibrium. Instructor and peer-led.
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

EARTH DAY GREENINGS:

Kid & Teen GreenJean Workshop
Saturday, April 22nd
10:00am-2:00pm at Rabbit Hole Urban Farm, 36-38 Rose Terrace, Newark, NJ
Kids and teens will learn how to work in an urban farm, mindful eating, conserving resources, making healthy snacks, and compassionate action! Younger youth will participate in hands-on activities and help us in the garden! Teens will engage in additional conversations about ecology and conservation. Teens will be asked to work along younger youth and will receive 4 community service hours for their participation. Teachers will be environmental educators Marissa Blodnik and Andrea Lee, and urban farmer Arelis Hernandez. GreenJean Party 2:00-2:30pm.
REGISTER AT: http://goo.gl/hXFAVj

Deep Ecology Training Workshop
Saturday, April 22nd
10:00am–2:00pm at Rutgers University, Smith Hall, 101 Warren St., Room 242, Newark NJ
This workshop taught by Kazi is meant to be an intense immersion into DEEP ECOLOGY to make a comprehensive connection between our environmental issues and our world’s problems. Special guest speaker is Matt Gosser, current gallery director at NJIT, previously urban planner and architect who salvages and up-cycles. Other guest speakers are Abe Gruswitz expert in cooperative and communal living and Mesha Allen an urban wellness champion. Also presenting are Marcie Barth an NCMC co-founder and Kamilah Crawley a public health education specialist.
The diseases of civilization including racism, war, poverty, pollution, agri-business, depletion of resources, drought and famine — all stemming from root causes of greed and fear — have created a global ecological crisis, especially Climate Change. It’s a workshop that requires an open mind and heart and a willingness to explore not just practical solutions but to go deep in our ecological consciousness. The workshop will include some optional preparatory homework, questions for contemplation, practical applications, and simple daily mindfulness exercises. Follow-up resources will be included to help students go deeper on themes from the workshop. Lunch included.
REGISTER AT: http://goo.gl/fc6Znv

Closing Deep Ecology “Greening Self” Reception
Saturday, April 22nd
2:30-3:30pm at Rabbit Hole Urban Farm, 36-38 Rose Terrace, Newark, NJ
We invite you, your friends, and family to join NCMC for a farm gathering with our host, Keven Porter, director and co-founder of Rabbit Hole. We’ll view inspirational art and GreenJean projects, sample natural green juices and teas, and enjoy refreshments. (Farm Open House starts at 9am so you can also stop by any time.)
RSVPs are helpful if you can at: http://goo.gl/zKO2AI
NOTE: Those registering for the Deep Ecology Training Workshop can RSVP on that registration form.

POST DEEP ECOLOGY — INDIVIDUAL MASS AWAKENED ACTION:

D.C. People’s Climate Mobilization
Saturday, April 29th
All day compassionate activism, Washington D.C.
We encourage anyone who can to join this march on your own, with friends, or with your group. It’s a chance to walk the talk at what is to be a HUGE climate change march with 350.org and partners.

NCMC hopes that you or your youth will find one or two of these programs inspiring enough to attend!

 

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