Newark Center for Meditative Culture Awarded a $70,000 Grant from the Kataly Foundation

The funds will go toward the general operations of NCMC’s downtown Newark space and for freelance staff

NEWARK, NJ (July 27, 2022) – The Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC), a nonprofit that offers diverse, mindfulness programs to the greater Newark area, announced today that it was awarded a $70,000 grant from the Kataly Foundation, an organization that moves resources to support the economic, political, and cultural power of Black, Indigenous, and all communities of color. Specifically, the grant was disbursed by The Kataly Mindfulness and Healing Justice Program (MHJP), which supports community-based mindfulness programs, teacher trainings, and restorative practice retreats led by and for BIPOC communities. The grant will be distributed in two parts with NCMC having already received $30,000 this year and $40,000 to be disbursed in the next grant cycle in 2023.

NCMC’s mission is to provide a safe space for local area residents to gather to learn and practice methods of meditation, mindfulness, self-care, and self-healing. This grant will permit NCMC to increase the capacity for its meditation classes, healing workshops, mindful movement sessions, and other programs it offers. The funding will be used to operate NCMC’s brick-and-mortar space located in downtown Newark and to hire freelance contractors to support volunteer staff. This is the second grant that NCMC receives from MHJP. The first grant awarded in 2021 was to fund NCMC’s BIPOC Mindfulness Retreat in Nature that was held successfully in June of 2022 with 28 participants attending the three-day program.

“We are very grateful for the generous support of the Kataly Foundation,” said Ib’nallah S. Kazi, Spiritual Director of the Newark Center for Meditative Culture. “The Kataly Mindfulness and Healing Justice grant will directly impact local residents and will help us educate them about mindfulness and meditation techniques that will positively impact their lives.”

For more information about NCMC’s programs please visit https://newarkmeditation.org and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and information on upcoming events.

About Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC)
Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) is a New Jersey 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides transformative programs to the Greater Newark Area and beyond. NCMC aims to be an inclusive community center that provides connection, empowerment, and resources for all people who seek a purposeful, conscientious lifestyle within a spiritual context. NCMC’s mission is to provide a safe space where like-minded people can gather to learn and practice methods of meditation, mindfulness, self-care, and self-healing and to become intentionally engaged together as changemakers within our multicultural and diverse population.

For more information about NCMC, please visit ​​https://newarkmeditation.org/.

PRESS CONTACT:
Sodelba Alfaro
email: pr@newarkmeditation.org


 


Thrive at Five Party for NCMC’s 5th Anniversary to be held on Saturday, July 16th

Join us for a body, mind, spirit celebration!
Creative expressive fun for adults and kids!

Newark Center for Meditative Culture invites you, your family, and friends to attend our 5th Anniversary Celebration THRIVE PARTY and OPEN HOUSE on Saturday, July 16th from 12pm to 4pm. It will be held both OUTSIDE in our Rector St. Parking Lot and INSIDE in The Medicine Room at our center on the 2nd floor at 2 Park Place.

We’d like this to be a giving event, so we will be holding a Food Drive as part of the party to help those in need to nurture the BODY! You are welcome to bring non-perishable canned or dry foods (a 5 count for our 5 years if you like!). We’ll build a Food Pyramid on site during the party with the goods before they go to the designated charity to help the hungry.

In harmony with the MIND we will be offering mini sessions in reiki, kids mindful movement, yoga, taichi and meditation. Free self-care self-aware handouts included.

In the SPIRIT of our ancestors we will make circles of drums and peace chalk art in the parking lot.

If you would like to help make this event a success, please contact us about volunteering your time and talents! We also have space for a few vendors. Inquire with Keyana Jones at keyana@newarkmeditation.org.

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 transfor programs to the Greater Newark community.

 



BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH

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.

Transportation
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.

Meals
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.

Restrictions
• 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.


Wednesdays 7pm EST ONLINE in April: SELF-AWARENESS SELF-CARE SELF-HEALING — Power Tools for BIPOC Strategists, Activists, and Supporters

FREE ONLINE PROGRAM:

Link to sign-up: https://ncmc-bipoc-power.eventbrite.com

Co-facilitators: Kazi & JJavier Cruz | Dates: Wednesdays, April 6, 13, 20 & 27 | Time: 7:00pm to 8:00pm EST | Cost: FREE | Age: Adults 18 years and older | Guidelines: You must be a Person of Color or identify as such to attend. You must be active in a movement. You can attend from any location in the world. | Platform: Zoom |

The ongoing grassroots movement for freedom, justice, and equality waged by peoples of color (POC; BIPOC) in the Americas has for the most part been carried forward on the shoulders of a few — fighting unselfishly and relentlessly for the rights of the many.

As rewarding as the occasional victories may be, the day-to-day struggle can be filled with stressors that often lead to compromised physical and mental health issues such as depression, misplaced anger, anxiety, burnout, addiction, domestic strife, and a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

Join us for four weeks of discussion, engagement, and sharing solutions for keeping the movers of our movements mentally healthy, physically strong, and conscientiously clear.

Link to sign-up: https://ncmc-bipoc-power.eventbrite.com

A free BIPOC program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture, a New Jersey 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


New! Free Brick City Mindfulness Handbook

Free 24 page, full-color e-Handbook for all online and limited quantity paper Handbooks for qualifying Newark organizations and groups to distribute and use.

Our intent in creating this handbook was to benefit individuals and families new to the practice of meditation and mindfulness. It will introduce you to the basic concepts, practices, tools, and tips to gently guide you as you explore, experiment and evaluate the role of meditation in your life. See what works for you — what fits your situation (time, location, access, etc.) Includes Family Mindfulness practices.

Both during and after the pandemic we feel that the content especially will be supportive to Newark families and constituents who are stressed and might learn some basic practice tools from the Handbook. Even learning one simple thing from it might make all the difference to them.

The Handbook in either format can be used as content for learning at a beginner’s study group, discussion group, or workshop, but it is simple enough for self-learning as well.


Free e-Handbook
Available now to anyone, anywhere.

For your convenience the handbook is downloadable and printable. (Once you’ve read the handbook, please take our survey by using the link on the last page.)
READ OR DOWNLOAD NOW.


Free Paper Handbook
For qualifying Newark organizations and groups.

We have a limited quantity of printed handbooks for you to order and share within your staff and communities. It’s a great basic learning tool — with or without guidance! Each handbook comes with a two-sided flyer that you can insert or use with your constituents as you prefer. It’s a simple Mental Health Quick Guide that lists basic contact information to city and local mental health services and NCMC practice links.
LEARN MORE.


 


Basic Reiki Workshops on Saturdays Nov. 13th and Dec. 18th at 1:30pm EST

These workshops are an opportunity to intentionally gather, share, and ask questions on Reiki and to receive a Reiki healing experience.

Hybrid Attendance: Choose In-Person (limited distanced seating) or Online

REGISTER NOW

Guest Teacher Veronica Guevaras-Lovgren

Workshop 1: Intro to Reiki and Healing Experience | Sat. Nov. 13th | 1:30 to 2:30pm EST | Participants will learn what Reiki is, its benefits, and receive a Reiki healing experience. Reiki is an energetic healing technique that promotes overall well-being and peace.  

Workshop 2: History of Reiki and Healing Experience | Sat. Dec. 18th | 1:30 to 2:30pm EST | Participants will learn the history of Reiki, current research on Reiki’s efficacy, and receive a Reiki healing experience. Learn about those who developed the system of Reiki we practice today, and about the research being done to support Reiki’s effectiveness as an integrative therapy that supports mind-body-spirit wellness. 

While some students might be seated for the experience, most prefer to lie down. Note that there will be no direct contact or closeness during the experience in order to maintain our social distancing. Dress comfortably and in layers for sitting and a little mindful movement. If you wish, bring/prepare a yoga mat, blanket, and water. Feel free to have paper and pen available to document your experience. If attending in-person, yoga mats and blankets will be provided.

These are stand-alone workshops so you can choose to attend just one or both.

Covid Protocols For IN-PERSON attendance, Covid-19 Vaccination Card or proof of a current negative Covid-19 Test is required to enter each workshop. Masks are required and sanitizing of hands at entry. Limit 10 students seated a range of 4 to 6 feet apart. An Air Purifier will be turned on before and during class. | For ONLINE attendance: There are no restrictions.

Facility Concerns: The Center is on the second floor unfortunately with no elevator or wheelchair access.

REGISTER NOW

••••••••••••••••

Teacher Bio-note

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.

••••••••••••••••

A donation-based program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture, a New Jersey 501c3 non-profit organization.


Giving Freely: Dana, an earnest appeal

Greetings NCMC friends,

In the spiritual and meditation domains, giving and generosity (also known as an ancient term of dana, pronounced daa·nuh) is considered a practice — even an art — that can be finely tuned and developed, partly through discipline, partly as maturing compassion.

At NCMC, as a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of you, our community, to support us through various channels — especially through monetary donations and service (time and energy). We in turn provide teachings and activities, free and donation-based, that we feel the Newark community is responsive to, appreciative of, and benefits from.

Right now, with a new opening of NCMC close upon us in a larger space and excitedly implementing and planning important projects through our first grant awards, our committed volunteers are at full capacity in their service with NCMC. We are reaching out to you to help and be a part of our team, be it through donations or service.

Larger donations might provide the funding we need to hire professionals for special projects that need to be done. Smaller donations can help to keep our bottom line secure.

Service as a volunteer is currently needed for:
1. Providing content for and integrating social media.
2. Hands-on help in the new Center with cleaning and preparing for upcoming programs.
3. Hands-on help at upcoming events (Sun Aug 29 and Sun Sep 19).
4. Optimizing and configuring our website (IT person).

Do you have spare time that you can commit either to a project or as an ongoing volunteer? Is there some other service you can offer that we may not have listed? Please let us know, we may need it!

Contact us by email to discuss potential volunteer service at info@newarkmeditation.org.

Donations by credit/debit card or PayPal can be made quickly through the top “Donate Here” button of our Linktree site or through the button below. Checks can be sent to us at Newark Center for Meditative Culture, PO Box 182, Newark, NJ 07101.

We appreciate your time in reading this.

In gratitude,
The NCMC Team


Third Saturdays: CREATIVITY AS A REMEDY — Free Basic Therapeutic Art, Meditation & Journaling Series

Six free stand-alone sessions for ages 10 through adults! Learn to use creativity as a tool to relax, reduce stress and get beyond the climate of fear. Self-exploration through movement, meditation, and color. Perfect for Individuals, Families, Groups — Children, Teens, Adults, and Seniors.

View RECORDED Sessions on YouTube any time: https://bit.ly/3xpNT3T
Uploaded a week or two after each live session.

Register for LIVE Sessions on Zoom: https://bit.ly/3yE5d6g
Scroll down for details.

Instructor Jewell Singletary
Dates Third Saturdays: Jun 19, Jul 17, Aug 21, Sep 18, Oct 16, Nov 20.
Time 10:00 to 10:30am EST
Level No experience necessary
Cost Free
Ages 10 years to adults and seniors
Location Live Online Zoom.

Participants are guided through gentle upper body tension release movements, meditations, and an interactive art activity. Every session ends with an open share and space for questions and comments. 


This free program is intended to support the mental health and well-being of families and individuals of Newark (and beyond) during this stressful covid period.

Supplies you’ll need: Notebook or paper, pencil or pen, and crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

Stand-alone classes: As each class is a specific topic, you can choose to come to as many as you like.

REGISTER ON ZOOM: https://bit.ly/3yE5d6g


TOPICS

Session 1 • June 19 • ANCESTRAL ART | Includes • Skull Shining Breath/Breath of Fire Meditation • Drawing hieroglyphics and adinkra symbols.  • Writing what each adinkra symbol means in your life. 

Session 2 • July 17 • SOUND & SHINE | Includes • Sound Bowl Meditation • Drawing sun rays with self at the center • Writing affirmations flowing outward from the center sun.

Session 3 • August 21 • LION’S BREATH | Includes • Lion’s Breath Meditation • Drawing your crown • Writing what you would like to have fill your crown with abundance in the next season.

Session 4 • September 19 • FLEXIBLE & FREE | Includes • Body Scan Meditation • Drawing a stack of birds • Writing what it means to have wings and be flexible and free.

Session 5 • October 17 • RELEASE & REPLACE | Includes • EFT Tapping | Drawing teacups with steam releasing • Writing what you want to release with the steam and what you want to fill your cup with instead.

Session 6 • November 21 • GROW IN GRATITUDE | Includes • Gratitude Meditation • Drawing floral/nature plant life • Writing what you are grateful for past, present, and future.

REGISTER ON ZOOM: https://bit.ly/3yE5d6g


BENEFITS

The top three benefits of creative practices are that they can increase resilience, lower stress, and improve mood and mental clarity.

Research shows a consistent meditation practice increases the “feel-good hormones” dopamine and neurotransmitters like serotonin. Over time, the prefrontal cortex portion of the brain thickens which contributes to retention of positive thoughts and deflection of negative ones, and the amygdala shrinks and eases our “fight, flight, freeze” stress response.

Writing, coloring and drawing activates a part of our brain called the RAS — this helps to strengthen our focus. Working with color helps to stimulate the limbic system portion of the brain which rules emotions, feelings and memories.


INSTRUCTOR BIO-NOTE

Jewell Singletary is a creative entrepreneur, educator, and multidisciplinary artist.  She specializes in performance and textile art as well as holistic wellness videos and digital documentary films. Through teaching and creating, Jewell inspires her community to utilize art, music, movement, and meditation as healing tools to achieve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. 


A free community service program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture made possible through a grant from the Victoria Foundation.

Newark Center for Meditative Culture 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.

Please donate if you are moved to do so.


Sunday, May 23 — Spring Urban HIKE: Iron & Brick meets FLOWER POWER

(Vaya al enlace de abajo para la traducción al español.)

A free guided hike in the Ironbound Section of Newark NJ. Bring your sunniest disposition (or the hike will make it sunny!), wear your most colorful or flowery clothes, and let’s breath in some outdoor air together and make new friends!

We’ll explore through body, mind, and spirit and walk, see, listen, touch, meditate, and exercise in green spaces and city sidewalks.

Perfect for Individuals, Families, Children, and Groups. Limited space so register soon! Well-behaved pets welcome to join!

When registering you can join the “NCMC Hikers” Group, create your Own Group, or go it alone!

Hike Leaders: Kazi and Les | Distance: 3 mi. (complete route) 1-2 mi. (short route) |Difficulty: Easy | Fee: Free | Age: For all ages who can walk the full or partial route (youths under 17 must be accompanied by adult) | Language: English with Spanish translation.

For Details and to Register go to ncmc-hike-caminata-ironbound.eventbrite.com.