Overview of our Newark IntraCity Park Hike

Capturing the Spirit of Autumn

It was a spectacular day on Saturday, November 10th for a hike through a 5.5 mile stretch of Newark NJ. The weather was a bit chilly, sunny, and breezy so we were bundled up. This was Newark Center for Meditative Culture’s first such program, though we have done shorter nature walks and hikes through Branch Brook Park and South Mountain Reservation. This particular hike was held in cooperation with Hikeolution and The Spirit Centered Life.

It was also a day of renewal for one of our urban hikers as this was the way she was spending her birthday – and we shared in her renewal.

We started off with a prayer for guidance and protection by co-leader Kazi, spiritual director of NCMC, forming a circle around a large tree near the northern corner of Lincoln Park.

Walking north on Broad Street for a while, we then entered Military Park, the base for NCMC’s warm season outdoor meditation and tai-chi. Here we picked up a few more hikers. We again made a circle. This time on the Great Lawn where Kazi lead us in a graceful flowing tai-chi movement called Wave Hands Like Clouds.

We continued along Broad to Washington Park studying the monuments. A nice surprise participant to our hike was Suzanne Joblonski of Newark Centric City. She gave us an informal and informative tour of the landmarks and background of Newark along the way. We also had two members of the Appalacian Mountain Club join us too — one from NYC and the other all the way from Philly!

We learned from co-leader Keyana Jones that we were following the yellow-blazed Lenape Trail of the Lenni-Lenape, indigenous people of this area. She pointed out a marked tree on James Street and we were to continue on this trail through Branch Brook Park. Her associate, Leslie Arthur, described how this trail is 34 miles long. Newark and Millburn are at either end, the trail bowing all the way north just into Passaic County.

We continued to make our way, our hike zig-zagging back and forth along concrete and grass, crossing over Route 280 to Branch Brook Park. Following along the blazed trail, we stopped along the way to reflect on the lakes and absorb the colors of the berries in purples, reds, oranges, and golds.

Our “great ascent” was to climb the some 25 steps up to a large meadow. Here we practiced a qi-gong standing meditation that Kazi called The Mother, an energy harvesting form that in just a few minutes of practice, the group felt results.

Almost there, we sauntered a little while longer close to the cherry blossom groves and crossed over into Belleville at 5.47 miles. Retracing our steps back a little way into Newark, we ended our beautiful and peace-filled urban nature hike.

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Change-Makers: Fall Back into Self-Care Day Retreat with Meditation, Movement & Medicine for the Season

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Sunday, November 11, 2018
10:00am to 3:00pm
ICC Early Learning Center
1 New York Avenue, 2nd Floor
Newark, NJ 07105

Ideal for healthcare workers, social workers, activists, community organizers, teachers, students, radical artists, and other change-makers. We work so hard to improve the lives of others. Now enjoy a relaxing, intentional day for yourself.

Join us to learn season-specific techniques and tools for self-care: stress resilience, immunity boosting, health promotion, and methods to boost your creativity and mental sharpness.

Taught by Ib’nallah S. Kazi (Kazi), spiritual director of Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC). Kemetic Yoga Session with Jillian Majuta-Faulks is in the morning. Drum Circle to be led by Akua Ishangi is in afternoon. (See their bios at registration site.)

Youths aged 8-17 can attend if the guardian can manage them. Venue has wheelchair and elevator access.

Cost
Adults: Suggested Donation $30
Kids: Free

Registration on Eventbrite Required
No Walk-ins!

About Lunch
All attendees are asked to participate in lunch as it is integral to the workshop (unless you are fasting). Menu will include vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and gluten free vegan food. You can brown bag it if you have unique food allergies or specific food requirements.

Volunteers Needed!
If you’d like to help before, during, or after the program please let us know when you register. Or, if a family member would prefer to volunteer rather than participate, that’s okay too!

Important Contact Information
Please no phone calls to the venue. Call NCMC at 862-227-3288 with inquiries or preferably by email at info@newarkmeditation.org.

REGISTER NOW!


Change of Season — Change of Body, Mind, and Spirit

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To all things there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…

— Ecclesiastes 3

 

Hippocrates, in teaching the doctors of his day, said, “Consider the seasons of the year and what each of them produces.” When you respect the seasons you will respect your body, mind, and spirit and their needs.

Based on chinese medicine the fall is the season of the element of metal and lung and the lungs are associated with sadness and grief. We move from the external, expansive nature of summer to the internal, contracting nature of fall.

What does this have to do with meditation?

Through specific meditation and mindfulness skills — stationary, movement, eating, sound, and all our sense organs — we can learn season-specific techniques and tools for self-care: stress resilience, immunity boosting, health promotion, and methods to boost your creativity and mental sharpness.

We can also develop insight into the constantly changing, impermanent nature of our bodies and minds and learn to let go. In fact the energy of the lungs is related to “letting go” — first remembering our breath, using our breath, relaxing our breath — then becoming aware and allowing the elements and nourishment to inform us.

The northeast Autumn with it’s cool temperatures and warmly-colored leaves is a good time to:

• eat hot foods
• eat gourd foods
• supplement with mullein
• get to bed early
• sweat in a sauna
• socialize locally.

Learn more on Sunday, November 11, 2018, when we hold a workshop Fall Back into Self-Care: Meditation, Movement, and Medicine for the Season. This 5-hour workshop is kid friendly for those youths who might like to practice with us.


Book Store Meditation with NCMC

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Book Store Meditation Class
Monday, October 22, 2018
6:00 to 7:00pm
Rutgers University B&N Book Store
42 Halsey Street, Newark NJ

Learn the basics of meditation and mindfulness and how it can reduce stress — from school, peer, and parent pressure for students to the ups-and-downs of daily living that most of us experience. To be instructed by Jennifer Becher of NCMC. A program appropriate for both students and the general public.

A free community service program of NCMC in cooperation with Rutgers University B&N Book Store.


Help Grow Meditation in Newark NJ

Can you help us to spread the much-needed Practice of Meditation in Newark, NJ with Newark Center for Meditative Culture?


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Donate Now on GoFundMe


Over the past six years, NCMC has presented close to 300 life changing, health promoting, and self-empowering programs within the context of the socially engaged, multi-cultural, and diverse population of the Greater Newark Area.

Programs included:

16 Seasonal Full-Day Meditation Retreats (including 3 People of Color Retreats)

10 First Sunday Art and Meditation Workshops

Over 200 Meditation Workshops  (of which over 30 bi-lingual workshops offered)

2 Ten-Week Basic Meditation Courses

26 Dharma Movie/Meditation Sessions

2 Online Meditation Medicine Courses

16 Tai Chi/Qi Gong Classes

2 Open Mind Film Festivals

12 Nature Walks and Hikes

1 Deep Ecology Training Workshop

Publishing of 2 Books: Buddhist Dharma Book and Meditation Manual.

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Our Mission

Having established ourselves as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2017 and having previously engaged since 2012 as a community initiative, we now need to meet some formative and developmental needs in order to advance our Mission, which is:

To be a safe place where like-minded people can gather in order to practice the fundamental meditation methods of tranquility, insight, healing, and loving-kindness (metta), and to become engaged together in conscientious, compassionate, and contemplative activities as a group and in the local community.

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How do we work?

NCMC is a volunteer-run organization with a strong commitment to openness and inclusion. We do this in two ways:

Diversity/Expansiveness: We offer both general programs and pin-pointed programs for specific affinity groups of people and  surrounding issues. For example, our People of Color retreats especially are intended to provide an affinity group for individuals who daily confront the effects of oppression and racism, and who therefore may initially choose to avoid mixed programs.

Inclusiveness: All of our programs are offered as donation-based no-fee or free to the participant. We base this system on the practice of dana or generosity, which is inherent to many spiritual traditions. Your donations will allow us to continue to provide life enhancing programs to the entire community regardless of their present economic circumstances.

NCMC is committed to community engagement and compassionate activism and to educating the community about meditation and its benefits. We have collaborated  with or facilitated meditation classes and programs for several organizations including:

Artisan Collective – Barat Foundation – Bateman & Associates – Greater Newark Tennis & Education – Hikeolution – I’m So Yoga Newark – Ironbound Community Corporation – Newark LGBTQ Center – Newark Museum – Newark Yoga Movement – NJPAC – Rabbit Hole Farm – Sis & Bro Foundation.

In the educational sector, we have provided our services to:

Rutgers Law School – Rutgers Bookstore – Louise A. Spencer Community School – Technology High School.

We have also engaged in area compassionate activism through participation in walks, marches, and activities such as:

Million March NYC – Buddhist Global Relief NYC Walk to Feed the Hungry – 300.org People’s Climate March – Clean Energy Walk Phila. (w/NJ group) – Buddhist Council Meditate NYC & Peace Lantern Festival.

NCMC has also worked closely with generous venue providers over the years including:

Index Art Center – City Without Walls Gallery – Seed Gallery – Military Park Partnership – Ironbound Community Corporation (current).

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What are our immediate needs?

Our current fundraising goal of $5,000 is a portion of our 2019 budget of $12,000. The focus of this initial campaign is to raise the finances needed to begin the new year with a strong organizational infrastructure.  Our “must haves” include:

Accounting
– Bookkeeper $16-20 per hour at 1 hr a week approx for yr.
$1000
– Accountant for tax return and quarterly filings for yr.
$1500
– QuickBooks Pro
$220

Office Supplies
– Post Office Box (yearly)
$60
– Domain Name Renewal (yearly)
$20

Student and Teacher Advancement
– MBSR fundamentals teacher training online: 1 student
$600

Full-Day Retreat
– Rent
$250
– Staff
$135
– Event Liability Insurance
$130
– Miscellaneous Expenses
$85

Total
APPROX $5,00032315866_1539522368207624_r.jpegWhat do we hope to do in the near future?

• establish more weekly and monthly group meditations and study groups
• reestablish our monthly First Sunday meditation and creative journaling
• establish a weekly Sunday meditation group
• develop a training program for student leaders for groups
• provide opportunities for our students to deepen their practice at longer residential retreats
• provide opportunities for our students to advance to teachers
• secure funding to be able to afford rent for a steady place to hold group sessions
• secure funding for a director or part-time directors
• secure funding to support free programming (as our teachers need to be gifted and expenses covered)
• establish a community of practice that includes volunteers practicing generosity who love meditation or being around meditators and understanding our purpose.

So you can see, we need your help in funding!

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Can we take a little more of your valuable time to relate some student stories to help you understand the need for NCMC?

(Please note that these stories are paraphrased from memory.)

STORY 1:
One young lone meditator came to us once and scuffled shyly into the art center where we were holding our meditation session. He said “I can’t believe I’m in here, I never thought I’d be in a place like this.” He also said he had imagined how nice it would be to meditate outdoors in a park — and his dream came true! We sit in the park in the summer!

= Exposure, safe place, non-judgement.

STORY 2:
At one of our recent People of Color Retreats, one student described how wonderful it was to “meditate with people who look like me” as she was used to having to go to meditation centers that were mainly populated by white folk.

= Diversity, like-minded, like-color, multi-color, comfort.

STORY 3:
Another woman pops in and sits with us only when she is sometimes available on Wednesday evenings. Her comment though, “I love knowing that you are here doing this every week even though I most often can’t make it.”

= The more group sessions we can hold, the more opportunities for people to show up.

STORY 4:
Three seasoned public school staff members in Newark have come regularly and felt the positive results of continual practice. They’ve asked us mature questions about how to relieve their stress as they watch their students in difficulty and are immersed themselves in co-worker conflicts. One found results in walking meditation, another in sitting meditation, and another more in the continual probing that her new mindfulness brings.

= De-stressing techniques to help through work-related stress.

STORY 5:
A young sensitive woman studying online to be a reiki master, having gone back and forth and back and forth through her childhood between here and Uruguay, lacks confidence in both her languages. She stated from the heart, “My passion is to become a meditation teacher.”

= Helping to build confidence and support potential meditation and mindfulness teachers.

We hope that these stories give you an idea of some of the reasons we think the development of a meditative culture in the Greater Newark Area is as vital and important a cause as we do. Do take the time to look at our website to get to know us even better at www.newarkmeditation.org.

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32315866_1539534773600605_r1.jpegCan you please share our story with your network of like-minded mind-loving friends who might support this cause?

Thank you again for your time. We hope you will consider donating now to help our work to get to the next level and  blossom.

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Peace and love,

Andrea, Cornelia, Javier, Jennifer, Ihsaan, Kamilah, Kazi, Marcie
About the NCMC Board Members

www.newarkmeditation.org
info@newarkmeditation.org


Donate Now on GoFundMe

#GrowMeditationNewarkNJ


 


Mujeres de Meditación: Una Primera Clase Exitosa

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El 2 de octubre, J. Javier Cruz, profesor del Centro de Cultura Meditativa de Newark, impartió un Taller de Salud Mental y Meditación para algunos miembros del personal de Ironbound Community Corporation. Alrededor de 13 mujeres trabajadoras que hablaban solo español asistieron. La mayoría sintió que no podían durar más de media hora, pero duraron todo el taller y se quedaron incluso más tiempo. ¡Parece que entendieron los beneficios inmediatos y querían más! Por supuesto, no fue solo la práctica de la meditación, hubo una charla del profesor, una discusión y preguntas y respuestas. ¡Solo mira esas poderosas y conscientes mujeres de meditación!


On October 2nd, J. Javier Cruz, a teacher with Newark Center for Meditative Culture, taught a Mental Health and Meditation Workshop for some staff members at Ironbound Community Corporation. Around 13 women coworkers who spoke spanish-only attended. Most felt they couldn’t last for more than a half hour but they lasted for the entire workshop and stayed even longer. It seems they understood the immediate benefits and wanted more! Of course it wasn’t just meditation practice — there was a teacher talk, discussion, and Q&A. Just look at those powerful, mindful women of meditation!

 


MILITARY PARK: Free Fall Tai-Chi in the Park

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Wednesdays, Sep. 12 – Oct. 17
5:30 to 6:30pm
Meditation Lawn in Military Park

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 of NCMC in cooperation with Military Park Partnership Summer Programs.