Latine Heritage Month Meditation (English & Espanol)

From September 15th to October 15th, we celebrate Latine Heritage Month. This month is an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and strides of the Latine community in all facets of life. I want to acknowledge that some might feel conflicted regarding identifying terms that situate our identities and cultures into a monolith. Umbrella terms like Hispanic, Latine, and other categorizations are well intended but should not imply a single label, identity, or experience. Our collective may descend from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Spain. Some of our relations are African, Asian, and Indigenous Peoples. We are a family with rich and vast identities and cultures that we express through our languages, food, art, entertainment, business, and society. We exist, live, love, and thrive in wholeness.

To honor Latine Heritage Month, I will share the concept of Sumak Kawsay, a Kichwa Ecuadorian term. Javier Cuestas-Caza (2022) describes Sumak Kawsay as part of Andean Philosophy or Andean Cosmovision, and it approximately translates to vida hermosa (beautiful life) or vida en armonía (life in harmony). Sumak Kawsay is an opportunity to be in “deep relationship with nature” and see yourself as part of everything around you (Cuestas-Caza, 2022). Sumak Kawsay centers community life and asks that we serve as caregivers of all within our world. Latine Heritage Month is a beautiful time to tune in and celebrate the communities we belong to. 

How do we do this? 

We can gather together and be in the everlasting love and exchange of the community. We can spend time in the beauty of our respective landscapes and fall deeply in love. Maybe take some time to practice walking meditation and experience how nature finds a way to exist everywhere through every being. It is also a time to pause, sit, meditate, and allow Pachamama to speak to and through us.

While this is an invitation to celebrate Latine Heritage Month, this is also an invitation to join the Newark Center for Meditative Culture community. Please join us this fall and throughout the year. We have so many incredible programs planned and a new space to bless with the gift of your presence.  

Enjoy the meditation offering included in this celebration of Latine Heritage Month by J. Javier Cruz. 


Cuestas-Caza, J. (2022). Sumak Kawsay is not Buen Vivir. Alternautas, 5(1). 

Mindfulness of Breathing

Written by J. Javier Cruz, Facilitated by Veronica Guevara-Lovgren

Before starting your meditation, find a friendly place where you feel comfortable, and imagine taking refuge in a heart full of lovingkindness. In the course of your life there is no moment MORE worthy of your full attention than the present moment. It is here where past experiences are relived, and desires for a better future are forged. Since living in the present is the main purpose of this meditation, it makes it an invaluable piece in our lives. That being said…….

Let’s start by assuming a posture that allows you to feel relaxed and alert.

Short pause 

Begin to gently close your eyes or soften your gaze.

Short pause 

The two main intentions of this meditation are, 1st, to bring your attention on a single breath at a time, and 2nd, to return your attention to the breath or the present moment as many times as necessary.


Silently repeat “I am right here, right now, in this body, present and attentive.”


Now shift your attention to your body. Where is the breath more predominant? 

Short pause

Breathe in softly to the count of 5, and exhale gently to the count of 5. Repeat this process several times and let the breath follow its natural rhythm. Now, we will let go of any control of the breath. 

Longer pause

You may notice the sensation of the breath as its passing through your nostrils, or maybe it’s the way your chest rises and falls with each breath. It could also be the sensation of how each inhalation fills your lungs, expanding the belly and how it contracts with each exhalation. 

Pause for a few breaths

Where is your mind right now? 

Short pause 

If you notice any distraction, whether it’s a thought or a sound, gently return your attention to your breathing.

Short pause

Become familiar with each breath, whether it is long, short, agitated or fine, and also notice its sensations, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. We are creating a personal, intimate and healthy relationship with our breathing and the present moment! 

Longer pause

As we approach the end of this meditation, let’s witness a few full cycles of breath from beginning to end. Noticing the beginning, middle and end of the in breath, and the beginning, middle and end of the out breath.

Short pause

Take a moment to congratulate yourself for taking the time to participate in your own spiritual path. 


In your own time, begin to shift your attention from the inner environment to the outer environment, gently opening your eyes, taking in all shapes, forms, texture and colors. Use the next few minutes to reflect on the experience of being mindful of your breathing, and remember that you can always take refuge in your breath. 

Atención Plena a la Respiración

Por J. Javier Cruz

Antes de comenzar tu meditación, busca un lugar donde te sientas cómodo. Imagina que vives en un corazón lleno de bondad amorosa. En el curso de tu vida no hay momento MÁS digno de toda tu atención que el momento presente. Es aquí donde se reviven experiencias pasadas y se forjan deseos de un futuro mejor. Y dado que vivir el presente es el propósito principal de esta meditación, la convierte en una pieza invaluable en nuestras vidas, entonses, 

Comencemos asumiendo una postura que te permita sentirte relajado y alerta.

Pausa corta 

Comienza a cerrar suavemente los ojos o suavizar la mirada.

Pausa corta

Las dos intenciones principales de esta meditación son, 1º, llevar tu atención a una sola respiración a la vez, y 2º, devolver tu atención a la respiración o al momento presente tantas veces como sea necesario.


Repite en silencio “Estoy aquí, ahora mismo, en este cuerpo, presente y atento.” 


Ahora trasladando tu atención a tu cuerpo, ¿dónde predomina más la respiración? Inhala suavemente contando hasta 4, y exhala suavemente contando hasta 4, repite este proceso varias veces y luego deja que la respiración siga su ritmo natural.

Pausa más larga 

Talvez notes la sensación de la respiración cuando pasa por tus fosas nasales o tal vez es la forma en que tu pecho sube y baja con cada respiración, o también podría ser la sensación de cómo cada inhalación llena tus pulmones expandiendo el vientre y cómo se contrae con cada exhalación.

Pausa de algunas respiraciones

¿Dónde está tu mente en este momento? 

Pausa corta 

Si notas alguna distracción, ya sea un pensamiento o un sonido. Suavemente, regresa tu

atención a tu respiración. 


Familiarízate con cada respiración, ya sea larga, corta, agitada o fina, y nota también sus sensaciones, ya sean placenteras, desagradables o neutral. Lo importante aquí es crear una relación personal, íntima y saludable con tu respiración y el momento presente 

Pausa más larga

A medida que nos acercamos al final de esta meditación, veamos si es posible presenciar el ciclos completos de respiración, de principio a fin. Notar el comienzo, la mitad y el final de la inspiración, y el principio, la mitad y el final de la exhalación. 

Pausa corta

Tómese un momento para felicitarse asi mismo por darse la oportunidad de participar en tu propio creciminento mental y espiritual. 


En tu propio tiempo, comienza a abrir suavemente los ojos y tómate unos minutos para reflexionar sobre la experiencia de ser consciente de tu respiración. Y recuerda que siempre puedes refugiarte en ella.


Why meditate? … Why tie your shoes?

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.



Free 10-Week Fall Meditation with Mindful Movement Classes: Traducciones en español • Translations in Spanish as necessary.

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.

Mujeres de Meditación: Una Primera Clase Exitosa


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!


IRONBOUND: Free Fall Meditation Class Series in The Wellness Room

Ironbound Meditation_2018-4Q.png

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 if you would like to attend. No walk-ins.

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