Like many things we do regularly, as monotonous as they might appear, there is always a purpose. We choose good purposes and bad purposes. To develop mindfulness and meditation can open your eyes to what is truly in front of you and help you to make good choices. It is proven to reduce stress and bring more focus to your mind. Done in community it expands to our ever-evolving culture and can result in a more collective peace of mind. You might even tie your shoes more skillfully, and as if for the first time.
Weekly Meditation & Mindful Movement | Tuesdays, 6:30 to 7:45pm | 2 Park Place, Newark, NJ | Donation-based, Youths free. | Translations in Español and Português available. Family friendly. | There will be no class on Nov. 26th.
In the afternoon of October 10th on World Mental Health Day, NCMC provided a meditation workshop for Audible in Newark. Facilitating this program for about 20 employees were Javier Cruz and Andrea Lee of NCMC. Javier provided guided meditation in mindfulness of body, breath, and mental states, while Andrea made the program introduction and led the mindful movement session.
The coordinator at Audible mentioned that the workshop was well received and that the employees attending were excited about an opportunity to de-stress, clear their minds, and practice mindfulness. We appreciate the second opportunity that this Newark-based corporation gave us to help bring mindfulness and develop happiness in the workplace.
10-Week Fall Series: Thursdays, Sep. 12 thru Nov. 14. An after-work meditation and mindful movement group. Starts Thursday evening 5:30-7:00pm. Free fall session meditation and mindful movement classes led by J. Javier Cruz. Practice meditation and mindfulness to integrate less stress, and more love and peace into your daily life. Feel free coming late if necessary! Family friendly. Held at 317 Elm St. Newark NJ. Sesión de otoño de 10 semanas: jueves 12 de septiembre al 14 de noviembre. Un grupo de meditación y movimiento consciente después del trabajo. Comienza el jueves por la noche de 5:30 a 7:00 p.m. Sesión de caída libre del clases de meditación y movimiento consciente dirigidas por J. Javier Cruz. Practica la meditación y la atención plena para integrar menos estrés, y mas amor y paz en tu vida diaria. ¡Siéntete libre de llegar tarde si es necesario! Familia amable. Held at 317 Elm St. Newark NJ. | A free program of NCMC in cooperation with Ironbound Community Corporation Family Success Center.
Join us for another free six-week series of Tai-Chi Classes using the Yang short form and qi-gong exercises with Shaka Georges, visiting teacher with NCMC. Gentle, healing, and easy-to-learn movement practice. No registration required, join as you can. Weather permitting on the Meditation Lawn on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30pm, Sep 11 through Oct 16. | A free program of NCMC in cooperation with Military Park Partnership.
Join us in September for another free six-week series of Tai-Chi Classes using the Yang short form and qi-gong exercises with Shaka Georges, visiting teacher with NCMC. Gentle, healing, and easy-to-learn movement practice. No registration required, join as you can. (Shaka’s class will also run for 6 weeks in the fall.) Weather permitting on the Meditation Lawn on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30pm, Sep 11 through Oct 16. | A free program of NCMC held in cooperation with Military Park Partnership.
WATCH NOW: An interview with Abe Gruswitz of Our Community on the cooperative housing movement and it’s benefits for our environment.
These Deep Ecology II interviews with guest presenters, experts in their fields, are hosted by Ib’nallah S. Kazi throughout August 2019 and will be posted on NCMCs YouTube channel and other social media. This is a continuing program based on our Deep Ecology I lectures in 2017.
If you like the content of this video please consider making a small contribution to NCMC to help sustain our programming. Peace and love.
A free program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture in conjunction with The Spirit Centered Life.
Suggested donations: $20 adult, students 18 or older $15, pre-arranged volunteers* $10, youths 12-17 free.
We live our lives embodied, yet can find ourselves so caught up in thought that we forget this simple truth. The human mind and body are intimately interconnected yet so often we ignore their communication. Awakening to the body from the inside through mindful awareness can greatly increase our capacity to be present with kindness for all aspects of life. In this half-day insight retreat we will explore this first foundation of mindfulness through an interweaving of guided sitting meditation, movement practices, talks and dialogue. This semi-silent retreat is appropriate for all regardless of previous meditation experience. Refreshments will be served. | A donation-based program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.
We need a few volunteers to help us with set-up and break-down, check-in desk, refreshment service/clean-up, etc. Contact the retreat coordinator for the program, Jennifer Becher at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply as a volunteer before registering for this program.
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.
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.
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: www.fiveseasonsmedicine.com