REVIEW: Ladies First – From Superwoman to Self-Care

By Andrea Lee

This weekend’s Women’s Retreat was a multi-generational gathering of nearly 50 women of diverse backgrounds and from all different walks of life. The retreat was mindfully and lovingly guided by five women who are leaders in their own fields. We kicked off the retreat with a moving spoken word opening by TaNisha Fordham who brought nine teen-aged students to the retreat. Jillian Faulks-Majuta lead a Kemetic Yoga session that physically grounded guests in the power of self-care. The day continued with passionate workshops about caring for mind, body and spirit.

Kamilah Crawley, who organized and emceed the event, offered sessions about the intersection of mindfulness and women’s self-care and lead discussion groups on the complex and nuanced notions of the modern Superwoman. Michelle Beadle Holder explored mindful eating and the frequent everyday choices we make about how we nourish our bodies and helped us become more mindful of the environments where we break our bread and buy our food. Her presentation was followed by a nutritious and soulful lunch provided by Arelis Hernandez and Rabbit Hole Farm.

Aleah Gathings presented on the power of words and affirmations and guided retreatants in a symbolic ceremony to release unconstructive thought patterns. Mandara Parashakti Akiwumi facilitated a process to help participants “Stop the Story”, release narratives that hold us back and re-narrate our current truth. We ended the retreat by writing self-care letters to our future selves — to be mailed and opened just when we most need the reminder.

Throughout the day retreatants were encouraged to hold a non-judgmental space for everyone’s opinions and experiences and to self-reflect through conversation and journaling. Participants readily shared their own resources and several lists were compiled with books, websites, and places of interest for people to visit to continue the deep work that was initiated at this retreat.


You are invited to attend: MINDFULNESS, MEDITATION & MARTIAL MOVEMENT thru African-Asian-American Fusion HALF-DAY WORKSHOP

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Sunday, May 5, 2019  |  1:00 PM5:00 PM
Index Art Center, 237 Washington Street, First Floor Gallery, Newark, NJ

Taught by Khalil Maasi assisted by Andrea Lee

LIMITED SPACE!

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 jennifer@newarkmeditation.org to apply as a volunteer before registering for this program.

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Presenter Bio-notes
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.

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A program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.

 


Review: February 24th Retreat

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!

 


September 8-9: Farm Meditation, Book Signing, and People of Color Retreat

With Bhante Kaboggoza Buddharakkhita of Uganda

SOWING SEEDS OF PEACE
Farm Meditation • Dharma Talk • Farm-to-Table Lunch
Saturday Sep. 8 | 11:30am to 1:30pm
Free: Donations welcome
Rabbit Hole Farm Newark
RSVP | Details: Keven/Arelis at rabbitholefarmnewark@gmail.com

PLANTING SEEDS OF DHAMMA
Book-Signing • Meditation • Talk • Vendors
Saturday Sep. 8 | 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Fee: $15
Source of Knowledge Bookstore
RSVP | Details: Greg 973-388-4900 or Ayanna 862-944-8860

CULTIVATING WISDOM & COMPASSION TO HEAL THE COMMUNITY
People of Color Full-Day Meditation Retreat
Sunday Sep. 9 | 9:30am to 4:30pm
Meditation • Talks • Movement • Art • Healing • Affinity
Suggested Donation: $30
Atrium Room at the Early Learning Center
Register | Details: ncmc-poc-retreat.eventbrite.com