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.
Spend the Cinco de Mayo afternoon doing a little African-Asian-American mindfulness!
HALF DAY WORKSHOP
Mindfulness, Meditation, & Martial Movement
Taught by Khalil Maasi with assistance by Andrea Lee
Sunday, May 5th, 2019 | 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Index Art Center, 237 Washington St., First Floor, Newark, NJ
This donation-based workshop is appropriate for all people and of any discipline — beginners through advanced students. Teacher Khalil will be using internal martial arts exercises, though this is not a fighting workshop. It is rather a means of using these disciplines for healing (energy work), mindfulness, and achieving a state of “no mind.” Guidance from Andrea will include a sitting meditation and sound healing meditation. Suggested donation of $25 adults/$15 students 18 or older. Youths 12-17 come free.
To attend go to: ncmc-spring-workshop.eventbrite.com.
A program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.
Sunday, May 5, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Index Art Center, 237 Washington Street, First Floor Gallery, Newark, NJ
Taught by Khalil Maasi assisted by Andrea Lee
Suggested donation of $25 adults/$15 students 18 or older. Youths 12-17 come free.
This workshop is appropriate for all people and of any discipline — beginners through advanced students.
Teacher Khalil will be using internal martial arts exercises, though this is not a fighting workshop. It is rather, a means of using these disciplines for healing, mindfulness, and achieving a state of “no mind”. Briefly, the disciplines we will be working on are:
1. Standing Meditation: Zhan Zhuang, Standing Like a Tree, a standing meditation that’s initial goal is to relax and release all the tension in your body. This method cultivates the body’s natural energy called chi — a simple practice with extraordinary mental and physical benefits.
2. Healing Science: Chi Gung (qigong) is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health, spirituality, and martial arts training.
3. No Mind: This is a mental state called mushin in Japanese and wuxin in Chinese. Zen and Daoist meditators are said to reach this state, along with disciplined artisans and trained martial artists. They practice this mental state of emptiness, free from attachment, during everyday activities.
There will be sessions with Andrea who will offer a Sound Healing Meditation using Tibetan bowls and a Guided Sitting Meditation.
Besides sharing these mental, spiritual, and physical refreshments we will also provide a fusion of snack and beverage refreshments during break.
*VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We need a few volunteers to help us with set-up and break-down, check-in desk, refreshment service/clean-up, etc. Contact the volunteer coordinator for the program, Jennifer Becher at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply as a volunteer before registering for this program.
Khalil Maasi is a lifelong student and practitioner of meditation, mindfulness, martial science and it’s related integrated systems of knowledge. To understand the fruit, you must understand the root. And the root in this paradigm is Khalil’s father, well-renowned meditation and martial arts Grandmaster Shaha Mfundishi Maasi. He teaches under Shaha Maasi’s tutelage their family system known as Moyo Kazi (Energy Work) through their organization The School of Heaven and Earth which is based in Baltimore, Maryland. Moyo Kazi is a system of Chi Gung (internal martial healing science) developed and based on the study of internal healing martial traditions from around the world. Khalil is also a initiated Yoruba Priest (Minister) in the traditional African/Nigerian spiritual system of Ifa (Isese) and is an associate Minister at The Ifa Temple Of Light in East Orange, NJ. Khalil often teaches the African connection to these practices during his classes and workshops. As well, Khalil is a certified child assault prevention counselor in the state of New Jersey working primarily in the Newark and Essex County school system.
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 is a certified Yoga instructor and performs Kirtan with Mirabai Catherine Moon. Andrea is founding Treasurer of NCMC where she also instructs in meditation and mindfulness and provides yoga and chanting sessions. Newark Center for Meditative Culture is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
A program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.
The Art of Seeing and Bringing it Home
Teachers Rebecca Li and Shaka Georges guided once again an engaging retreat for NCMC — expecially important since the majority of the students were beginners. The students asked excellent questions during the Q&A’s. The reflections got personal and the students empathized, connected, and learn from each other because of it. Of concern to many was how to bring what they learned on the cushion home to the people they live with and see often.
A couple teachings that were taken home to practice were: a) See things for what they are and not what you think they should be. So pay attention as the ideas in your mind are most often not what is right in front of you, and, b) Suffering provides us with the opportunity to observe and experience our habits. We always have a choice to continue acting out our habits or free ourselves to expose the truth through mindfulness.
One student commented that they would take home the art of seeing people the way they are and another about how it helps to practice with others and to hear their questions about the practice.
We had one 10 year old participant who had lots of fun with the movement meditations and was the first to volunteer to show her drawing and explain it during the Art of Seeing workshop.
The vegan lunch was a hit! People came back for seconds and there were plenty of compliments. We thank our volunteers Elena, Marcus, and Teneka for their support at the retreat. And kudos to Elvis for his beautiful art photography of the program. We are especially grateful for the teachers Rebecca and Shaka for practicing with us.
And, as always, thank you to Lowell, director of Index Art Center, for providing assistance, and this time, such a colorful venue to experience… and well, see!
RELAXING INTO CLARITY & FLOW:
A Daylong Meditation Retreat
Guided by Rebecca Li & Shaka Georges
Sunday, February 24, 2019 | 10:00am to 4:00pm | Morning Only 10:ooam to 1:30pm | Afternoon Only 12:30pm to 4:00pm
Index Art Center, 237 Washington St., Newark, NJ
• Adults FULL-DAY: $30
• Adults PART-DAY: $20
• Youths: FREE (Aged 10-17 accompanied by adult) (limited tix)
• Students: $15 (Aged 18+ w/ID) (limited tix)
• Pre-approved Volunteers: $15 (limited tix) Request to volunteer*
• Gift Certificate/Guest Pass Holders
You will enjoy a heart and body warming day of winter practice in semi-silence with a like-minded soul group. Your retreat will include relaxing into clarity through meditation (chan) with Rebecca, flowing with healing movement (chi-gong) with Shaka, a creative Art of Seeing workshop, Truth Talks, and engaging dialogue. Also included are healthy breakfast treats from during check-in and a delicious vegetarian lunch. See Teachers Bio-notes.
*You must request to volunteer BEFORE registering. Contact the retreat coordinator (email below). You can discuss the volunteer opportunities then.
Registration Required on Eventbrite.
Retreat Coordinator, Jennifer Becher, email@example.com.
A Program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.
Sunday, February 24, 2019 | 10:00am to 4:00pm | Index Art Center, 237 Washington St., Newark, NJ
Registration coming soon so save the date!
Fee-based Adult $20/$30, Volunteers and Students $15, Kids Free
You will enjoy a heart and body warming day of winter practice in semi-silence with a like-minded soul group. Your retreat will include relaxing into clarity through meditation (chan) with Rebecca, flowing with healing movement (chi-gong) with Shaka, a creative Art of Seeing workshop, Dharma Talks, and engaging dialogue. Healthy breakfast treats and a delicious vegetarian lunch will also be included.
A Program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.
Dear NCMC Friends,
AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS NEW YEAR we want to take a moment of your time to let you know how much your support means to us. Without the support of our NCMC Friends — whether participating virtually in social media or physically at the programs — we couldn’t have provided the transformative programs that we’ve brought to the community.
This past year we are especially grateful to our longtime VENUE PARTNERS — Index Art Center, Rabbit Hole Farm, and Military Park Partnership. A new venue this year has been the Ironbound Community Corporation and it has been such a pleasure to work with them as well.
We also want to thank the COOPERATIVE ORGANIZATIONS who invited us in 2018 to present at their programs or held cooperative programs with us, including Greater Newark Tennis & Education, Hikeolution, I’m So Yoga Newark, Louise A. Spencer Community School, Newark Museum, Newark Yoga Movement, NJPAC, Rutgers Law School, Sis & Bro Foundation, Source of Knowledge Book Store, and The Spirit Centered Life. We enjoyed and very much appreciated the teamwork with these community partners.
We can’t say enough too about our WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS who have consistently been patient and provided diligent assistance for us over the past year. We can’t name you all here, but you know who you are!
Wishing you all the very best in 2019!
Your friends at NCMC,
Kazi, Marcie, Cornelia, Andrea, Ihsaan, Kamilah, Javier, and Jennifer
Capturing the Spirit of Autumn
It was a spectacular day on Saturday, November 10th for a hike through a 5.5 mile stretch of Newark NJ. The weather was a bit chilly, sunny, and breezy so we were bundled up. This was Newark Center for Meditative Culture’s first such program, though we have done shorter nature walks and hikes through Branch Brook Park and South Mountain Reservation. This particular hike was held in cooperation with Hikeolution and The Spirit Centered Life.
It was also a day of renewal for one of our urban hikers as this was the way she was spending her birthday – and we shared in her renewal.
We started off with a prayer for guidance and protection by co-leader Kazi, spiritual director of NCMC, forming a circle around a large tree near the northern corner of Lincoln Park.
Walking north on Broad Street for a while, we then entered Military Park, the base for NCMC’s warm season outdoor meditation and tai-chi. Here we picked up a few more hikers. We again made a circle. This time on the Great Lawn where Kazi lead us in a graceful flowing tai-chi movement called Wave Hands Like Clouds.
We continued along Broad to Washington Park studying the monuments. A nice surprise participant to our hike was Suzanne Joblonski of Newark Centric City. She gave us an informal and informative tour of the landmarks and background of Newark along the way. We also had two members of the Appalacian Mountain Club join us too — one from NYC and the other all the way from Philly!
We learned from co-leader Keyana Jones that we were following the yellow-blazed Lenape Trail of the Lenni-Lenape, indigenous people of this area. She pointed out a marked tree on James Street and we were to continue on this trail through Branch Brook Park. Her associate, Leslie Arthur, described how this trail is 34 miles long. Newark and Millburn are at either end, the trail bowing all the way north just into Passaic County.
We continued to make our way, our hike zig-zagging back and forth along concrete and grass, crossing over Route 280 to Branch Brook Park. Following along the blazed trail, we stopped along the way to reflect on the lakes and absorb the colors of the berries in purples, reds, oranges, and golds.
Our “great ascent” was to climb the some 25 steps up to a large meadow. Here we practiced a qi-gong standing meditation that Kazi called The Mother, an energy harvesting form that in just a few minutes of practice, the group felt results.
Almost there, we sauntered a little while longer close to the cherry blossom groves and crossed over into Belleville at 5.47 miles. Retracing our steps back a little way into Newark, we ended our beautiful and peace-filled urban nature hike.
To all things there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
— Ecclesiastes 3
Hippocrates, in teaching the doctors of his day, said, “Consider the seasons of the year and what each of them produces.” When you respect the seasons you will respect your body, mind, and spirit and their needs.
Based on chinese medicine the fall is the season of the element of metal and lung and the lungs are associated with sadness and grief. We move from the external, expansive nature of summer to the internal, contracting nature of fall.
What does this have to do with meditation?
Through specific meditation and mindfulness skills — stationary, movement, eating, sound, and all our sense organs — we can learn season-specific techniques and tools for self-care: stress resilience, immunity boosting, health promotion, and methods to boost your creativity and mental sharpness.
We can also develop insight into the constantly changing, impermanent nature of our bodies and minds and learn to let go. In fact the energy of the lungs is related to “letting go” — first remembering our breath, using our breath, relaxing our breath — then becoming aware and allowing the elements and nourishment to inform us.
The northeast Autumn with it’s cool temperatures and warmly-colored leaves is a good time to:
• eat hot foods
• eat gourd foods
• supplement with mullein
• get to bed early
• sweat in a sauna
• socialize locally.
Learn more on Sunday, November 11, 2018, when we hold a workshop Fall Back into Self-Care: Meditation, Movement, and Medicine for the Season. This 5-hour workshop is kid friendly for those youths who might like to practice with us.