Natural, Spiritual, and Social Success in the New Un-Normal

A BIPOC Mindfulness Retreat

Now Open to all Non-Local Attendees as well as Greater Newark People!

June 17th-19th
(Friday evening thru Sunday lunchtime)
Register by June 10th

Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center
1184 County Route 11, Craryville, NY 12521.

Climate shifts, viral mutations, and social upheaval are proving to be a constant in our world.

Business and life as usual have become a test in adaptation, innovation, and relaxed uncertainty.

The setting of this retreat is a retired farm with beautifully groomed grounds including a waterfall, nature trails, labyrinth, peace prayer pole and organic garden. The weekend will be an introduction to the protocols, practices, mental maps, spiritual compass, and kindred relationships we will all need to survive and thrive during this ‘in-between time.’ Enjoy mindful movement, grounding, energy medicine, medicine walking, wilderness bathing, fire talk, sky gazing, silent nights, free time for meditation, personal rest, and more. No prior retreat experience necessary.

Retreat Facilitators
Ib’nallah Kazi, Leslie, Shaka Georges, Victoria Guevara-Lovgren, Kamilah Crawley, Ihsaan Muhammad, Andrea Lee, Travis Spencer, Javier Cruz
(See bios below.)


Fee Schedule

Accommodations: Cabins, dorms, campsites.

Fee for lodging attendees: $300/person (Includes room, meals, and retreat activities.

Fee for campsite attendees: $220/person (Includes camping ground, meals, and retreat activites. Must supply own camping gear.)

Scholarships are available: For those who cannot afford the fee, request a scholarship during Registration.

Whether attending the retreat in its entirety or not, the fee is the same. See Cancellation and Refund Policies below. Space is limited, so register soon. An attendee waiting list will be available.

You can choose to travel on your own by car or we will also be providing limited bus/van transportation for a fee of $20 per person (non-refundable), including for those with scholarships. Ride shares also may be available to split fuel and toll expenses.

Three simple vegetarian meals a day will be provided from dinner the first day through lunch of the last. If you want a snack between meals, or supplemental protein, you can bring a small quantity of packaged nonperishable food.

• Must be Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color.
• Must be 18 Years of age or older.
• Cabins are Not Handicap Accessible.

POLICIES AND GUIDELINES PAYMENT POLICY: Registration fee of $100 is due upon registration. Full amount can be paid upon registration as well. Full amount is required if registering on June 3, 2022, or later. Payment in full is due by June 10, 2022.

CANCELLATION POLICY: If you cancel your retreat at any time, the $100 registration fee is not refunded. If you cancel within 30 days of the retreat no refund will be given, but in an emergency, we may grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

COVID GUIDELINES: We will require proof of vaccination or negative test within 3 days of the retreat. It will be up to each individual to choose whether they want to wear a mask or not. Many activities will be outdoors, but attendees will be sharing spaces so we will need to respect each other’s choices.

Space is limited, so register soon.

Facilitator  Bio-Notes

Ib’nallah S. Kazi is a New York-based spiritual wilderness guide, born in Panama and raised in New York. He graduated from Adelphi University, in 1981 with a BA in Psychology. Following careers in human services, public education and public health in the New York City area, he then placed an emphasis on wellness and spiritual cultivation through his own program, presently known as Our Shaman Song. Along with his friend and hiking partner Sala Nolan, Kazi founded the Harriet Tubman Hiking Society in 1988 to expose the African-American community to the strengthening, healing and spiritually grounding benefits of immersion in nature. Kazi lived in Newark, NJ from 2004-2017. He is the Spiritual Director and Lead Meditation Medicine Teacher with Newark Center for Meditative Culture.

Leslie is the founder/lead instructor at I’m So Yoga in Newark NJ. She started her journey because she had been in and out of depression. At 13 she was diagnosed with scoliosis and after years of suffering from back pain she found yoga at the Newark YMCA. She went to classes about three times a week and after a month felt amazing as her back pain level went down. She created I’m So Yoga after she realized everyone should feel as good as herself with yoga.

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 (Discovering The Healer Within on Facebook) and is a mathematics high school teacher in West Orange.

Veronica Guevara-Lovgren is a Jivamukti yoga instructor and Level II Reiki practitioner. She has also received training in Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra through Ohana Rising Yoga School. Although Veronica always had an interest in yoga and Reiki, she did not always have the means to access the practice. This led Veronica to create Tres Ositos Yoga as a way to share healing modalities with those interested at no cost or by donation to fundraise for local nonprofits and organizations supporting human and non-human communities. Veronica is also the Assistant Dean of Arts and Humanities at Ocean County College.

Kamilah Crawley, MPH is a public health professional, mindfulness facilitator, and intrinsic health & well-being coach. She has over a decade of experience in planning and implementing evidence-based interventions, health education workshops, and trainings. Kamilah is an adjunct professor at Kean University and the founder of The MindfulWoman, LLC. The Mindful Woman, LLC centers on sharing mindfulness practices that support the cultivation of self-care, inner peace, and healing. Kamilah merges her professional knowledge in public health, her mindfulness practice, and training with her passion for cultural healing. Kamilah served as a founding board member of the Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC), in Newark, NJ and she is a visiting mindfulness presenter with the organization. Kamilah is currently a student in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP) by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.

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 Designs. Born and raised in the Vailsburg section of Newark, New Jersey, Ihsaan is a founding board member of Newark Center for Meditative Culture, which is a non-profit diverse urban meditation community serving The Greater Newark Area. He also happens to be a proud graduate of The Rutgers School of Law, Class of 2013. Ihsaan has practiced mantra meditation for over six years under the guidance of Reverend Jaganath Carrera of The Yoga Life Society, a practice that aids health and wellness.

Andrea Lee is a Preschool Assistant Teacher at Montclair Cooperative School in her hometown of Montclair, NJ. She is an intern organic farmer at Rabbit Hole Farm in Newark where she resides. She is a senior disciple of Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Spiritual Head and Founder of Yoga Life Society. She recently completed seminary training and was ordained a Yoga Life Minister. She performs Kirtan with Mirabai Catherine Moon and is a certified Yoga instructor.

Travis Spencer, MA is a licensed mental health therapist and mindfulness teacher/facilitator. Over the years he dedicated himself to serving Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) through counseling adults, teens, children, and families.  Travis is also a mental health coordinator for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (IBme) retreats in Virginia and in California which provide highly relational mindfulness programming for youth as well as the parents and professionals who support them. Travis also established several Mindful Teen Circles (MTC) programs throughout Washington, D.C that employ mindfulness to support the psychosocial development of teens. Additionally, Travis established The Institute of African American Mindfulness (IAAM). IAAM is a healing and wellness organization that supports the natural capacity of African Americans and Allies to live in an inclusive community devoted to Mindful Living.  Travis is a graduate of Trinity Washington University with a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

JJavier Cruz was born in Puerto Rico but has lived in the Greater Newark area for decades. He is bilingual, speaking Spanish and English. He was introduced to meditation in 1999 and has had a committed meditation practice for over 10 years. Through his practice he became a hospice volunteer and a Buddhist practitioner with residential retreat experience. He is a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher through (MMTCP) with Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach. He continues to study with his main teacher, Dennis Maurer, of IMCNJ, under the guidance of Narayan Liebenson. His main practice is lovingkindness. He is also a bilingual mindfulness and meditation instructor with Newark Center for Meditative Culture.

A program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture made possible through a grant from the Kataly Foundation. 

Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) is a New Jersey 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your tax-deductible donations make it possible for us to continue delivering life-changing programs to the Greater Newark community and beyond.

Space is limited, so register soon.