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!

 

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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.


IRONBOUND: Free Fall Meditation Class Series in The Wellness Room

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Thursdays, 5:30-7:00pm
ICC Family Success Center
The Wellness Room
317 Elm Street
Newark, NJ

In these on-going weekly meditation classes with NCMC instructor J. Javier Cruz and assistant Jennifer Becher you will learn basic meditation and how to apply mindfulness in daily life to live with more ease, more joy, and less stress. Sessions include meditation, light yoga stretches, readings, and discussion. Translations to Spanish and Portuguese as needed.

Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org if you would like to attend. No walk-ins.

A free community service program of NCMC in cooperation with Ironbound Community Corporation.


SAVE THE DATE! Free Newark IntraCity Park Hike with Kazi and Keyana

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SAVE THE DATE!

Join us for our first hike through Newark — mindfulness in urban nature — walking softly with co-leaders Ib’nallah S. Kazi and Keyana Jones. It will go through several city parks. Details to come, but plans are to start in the morning and go into the afternoon.

A free NCMC program in cooperation with The Spirit-Centered Life and Hikeolution.


A great start for our Fall Session of Free Meditation Classes in the Ironbound

New Location, New Time, New Day!

 Thursdays, September 13 – November 15 | 5:30-7:00pm | ICC Family Success Center, The Wellness Room, 317 Elm Street, Newark, NJ

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Above: On September 20th, we had three english-speaking students and one spanish-only and our meditation circle was ready to go. Mindful moments of students practicing walking and sitting meditation. But wait, where’s the men? Donde esta los hombres?! Oh, he’s taking the picture!

In these on-going weekly meditation classes with NCMC instructor J. Javier Cruz and assistant Jennifer Becher you will learn basic meditation and how to apply mindfulness in daily life to live with more ease, more joy, and less stress. Sessions include meditation, light yoga stretches, readings, and discussion. You are welcome to join in at any time. Translations to Spanish and Portuguese as needed.

Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org for more information.

A free community service program of NCMC in cooperation with Ironbound Community Corporation.

 


REVIEW: NCMC People of Color Retreat with Bhante Kaboggoza Buddharakkhita

We wanted to share a few glowing comments and lessons learned through our people of color retreat that we held on Sunday, September 9th. The retreat packed a variety of methods in exploring how to cultivate wisdom and compassion to heal our community.

Naturally, Bhante took the lead in meditation and dharma talks, but he graciously stepped aside for some of our local instructors and presenters to share — An42158409_2317797014968138_1219361414565593088_o.jpgdrea led a yoga session, Kamilah led the dyads, Javier gave a dharma talk, Mesha did a reading, and Ihsaan emceed. Bhante also presented a 7-minute video of compassion in action showing his center’s local humanitarian projects in Uganda that will warm your heart — including constructing water bores, peace school for children, a women’s empowerment project, and an orphanage.

Attendee Jillian Faulks-Majuta of Majuta Wellness, especially was grateful for the discussion on how to cultivate compassion and wisdom and thought it was right on time for her. Here’s what she says she took away: 1) Start with ME. Be more compassionate with myself as I continue on this journey.; 2) Think of compassion as I continue to mother my youth and other living beings/things along my path.; 3) Practice, practice, practice as the wisdom will come as I continue to grow. Well said!

A few days later, she added that after the retreat she has been more mindful, especially with her children, doing 2 minute meditations before bed each night and even a little before school in the morning.

After attending our day-long, Mia Sikes, director of a meditation and yoga studio in Los Angeles posted, “I love Bhante! Filled my toolbox with teachings that a sista can work with!” She had plans to then attend a 6-week retreat that he would be co-teaching in Massachusetts that started last week.

We received a text (sign of the time) from Bhante saying that it was a “wonderful retreat” and “Bravo!” We’re so glad to hear that from the teacher!

We are as always grateful for the delicious fresh vegan meal catered as dana by Arelis Hernandez, farmer/founder of Rabbit Hole Farm. During the weekend, Kevin Porter, director of the Farm, attended to Bhante’s needs and served him at the retreat. The couple hosted him at their residence for the weekend.

Much thanks goes to our retreat volunteers Mary, Jennifer, Elvis, Venus, and David who quietly and efficiently got the job done before, during, and after the retreat and for the generous and patient support given to us by the Ironbound Community Corporation, especially that of Mayra Ramirez, COO there.

It was an exceptional weekend that began with the Farm Program on Saturday morning and the Book-Signing Event for his two books that evening. Planting Dhamma Seeds, Bhante’s spiritual journey, and Sowing Seeds of Peace, a meditation manual, are the first books published by NCMC. They were published in association with Uganda Buddhist Centre and though they were not the first editions, they are the first editions to be published in the United States! They can be purchased through Amazon at the links above. We hope to have Kindle versions available as well.

We feel very blessed that Bhante took the time to teach and spend the weekend with us during his busy U.S. teaching schedule.


Weathering Our Mind Storms

By Marcie Barth

As we watch the weather storms Tropical Storm Isaac, Hurricane Helene, and the incredibly threatening Hurricane Florence, we can use the parallels of our mind storms.

If we’re mindful-and-aware, these mind storms clue us in to their coming. When we catch ourselves in the middle of a mind storm we realize we weren’t attentive to the warning signs. These signs usually come in the small voice of self-talk, either mental or verbalized, that is negative or irrational. On the other hand, we need to be kind to ourselves, even amused at some of our sillier mind storms.

A humorous example comes from an excerpt of a book by meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein where she describes The Broccoli Phenomenon that occurs at retreats. She based it on the many meditators who become agitated at being served ubiquitous and often unappreciated broccoli and their ensuing mind quotes such as, “When I get home, I’m sending them a collection of good cookbooks!”, “If they are determined to serve so much broccoli, they could at least cook it separately, as a side dish!”, and “I guess I’ll put the stew over the rice and pick out the broccoli. I hope they don’t do this to me again!”.

She continues: “Days pass, meals pass, and between bouts of culinary criticism that temporarily cause mind storms, you continue to develop composure. Sitting, walking, breathing, stepping — hour by hour, gradually, while you are busy concentrating, your mind smooths itself out.”

With mind storms, we can choose to distract our minds with positive thoughts until it calms down or we can choose to watch the mind storms objectively from a mental distance, watching them come and go. We use right effort to not react by feeding them more energy caused by habitual negative thinking, impulsive reactions, and even liking them as your act.

Similarly, different people choose different ways to prepare for weather storms. Some leave the area while others stay in the area, safeguard their belongings, hunker down in a shelter, and watch and wait. Each of us approach our storms based on our conditions and relative perceptions.

Given the right conditions a mind storm thunders in and takes over before you know it. When it clouds your whole mind it can sometimes be hard to get out of. Both the cause of the mind state and the mind state itself have become unrecognizable. But, we can develop many mindfulness and meditation skills to get out of them and prevent them from gaining strength.

Given the right conditions a weather storm thunders in. We may not seem to be able to do much about them, but perhaps we can help as much as we can to gradually weaken their effects through our consumer habits, climate change advocacy, praying for those in danger, and making repairs.

Hurricane Photo Credit: NOAA/NWS/Facebook.


Marcie Barth is chairperson and co-founder of Newark Center for Meditative Culture currently teaching there and at Centro La Paz in Puerto Rico where she resides.