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

ATTEND EVENT

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.

ATTEND EVENT


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.

ATTEND EVENT

A program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.

 


Thanks Giving Reflections from the Indigenous Culture of America

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NCMC wishes you a day of abundance or simplicity — and thanksgiving — for clear water, good food, and Mother Earth to sit on!

WITH ONE MIND
Greetings to the Natural World!

The Earth Mother
We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Waters
We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms — waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.
Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants
With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.
Now our minds are one.

(Excerpted from a Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address)


INTERDEPENDENCE
The Three Sisters of Corn, Beans, and Squash

For many Indigenous People in the Americas, the triad of corn, beans, and squash is called the Three Sisters. Traditionally grown together, this crop trio are all interdependent on one another. Beans grow up the corn stalks and add the nutrients (nitrogen) to the soil that the others need to grow. Squash is planted in between them to keep the weeds out. These three staples remain the heart of most Indigenous diets and are often eaten in companion with each other.


 


Change-Makers: Fall Back into Self-Care Day Retreat with Meditation, Movement & Medicine for the Season

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Sunday, November 11, 2018
10:00am to 3:00pm
ICC Early Learning Center
1 New York Avenue, 2nd Floor
Newark, NJ 07105

Ideal for healthcare workers, social workers, activists, community organizers, teachers, students, radical artists, and other change-makers. We work so hard to improve the lives of others. Now enjoy a relaxing, intentional day for yourself.

Join us to learn season-specific techniques and tools for self-care: stress resilience, immunity boosting, health promotion, and methods to boost your creativity and mental sharpness.

Taught by Ib’nallah S. Kazi (Kazi), spiritual director of Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC). Kemetic Yoga Session with Jillian Majuta-Faulks is in the morning. Drum Circle to be led by Akua Ishangi is in afternoon. (See their bios at registration site.)

Youths aged 8-17 can attend if the guardian can manage them. Venue has wheelchair and elevator access.

Cost
Adults: Suggested Donation $30
Kids: Free

Registration on Eventbrite Required
No Walk-ins!

About Lunch
All attendees are asked to participate in lunch as it is integral to the workshop (unless you are fasting). Menu will include vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and gluten free vegan food. You can brown bag it if you have unique food allergies or specific food requirements.

Volunteers Needed!
If you’d like to help before, during, or after the program please let us know when you register. Or, if a family member would prefer to volunteer rather than participate, that’s okay too!

Important Contact Information
Please no phone calls to the venue. Call NCMC at 862-227-3288 with inquiries or preferably by email at info@newarkmeditation.org.

REGISTER NOW!


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


First Books to be Published by NCMC

Planting Dhamma Seeds and Sowing Seeds of Peace

We’re excited to announce that Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) is now a book publisher. We are publishing two books by Bhante Kaboggoza Buddharakkhita who will be teachingPDS Graphic.png with NCMC on Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th. The books to be published are Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa and Sowing Seeds of Peace: Mindfulness Meditation for Finding Peace Within.

They will only be available for a special sale price of $10 and at a limited quantity to participants at the programs — first come first serve! They will soon also be online with Amazon for purchase at $13.95.

This is the first time that these books will be published in the United States and the first books to be published by NCMC!

We have a short term agreement to publish these books online as a trial project in order to see if publishing spiritual and meditation books could provide a slow and steady stream of income for NCMC in order to fulfill our mission and support our programming.

Author of “Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist and Buddhist”, Jan Willis, wrote of the book Planting Dhamma Seeds:  “… Venerable Buddharakkhita offers us the rare and fascinating story of his spiritual journey with heart and humor. He skillfully weaves into his personal narrative well-chosen passages from the Pali Buddhist Canon and describes for us the challenges and triumphs of establishing the first Buddhist Centre in Uganda. When I finished reading this engaging account, I was left wishing for more!”
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As for Sowing Seeds of Peace, Ib’nallah S. Kazi, Spirit Life Coach at The Spirit Centered Life, describes the book as: “… a breath of fresh air in an age of information overload. Bhante presents the essential elements of meditation practice in a concise and simple language, minus the common filler of metaphysical jargon and scientific theory sandwiched between mounds of case studies. If you want to begin a meditation practice today and progress from the general to more specific techniques for healing and self-development, this book is written for you. Just add consistency.”

All of the proceeds (after costs) from the sale of the books sold at these programs will go to Bhante’s meditation center, Uganda Buddhist Centre, to help support programs such as their Peace School for Children, their Orphan Project, and their Women’s Livelihood Program.

See our newsletter for descriptions of the programs you can attend to purchase these books.

 


People of Color Full-Day Retreat with Bhante Buddharakkhita of Uganda

Cultivating Compassion & Wisdom to Heal Our Communities

A DONATION-BASED MEDITATION PROGRAM.
$30 suggested or as you can, greater or smaller.*

Sunday, September 9, 2018
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM EDT
Early Learning Center | Atrium Room
1 New York Avenue | Second Floor
Newark, NJ

REGISTER NOW: ncmc-poc-retreat.eventbrite.com

Led by Ugandan Buddhist monk, Bhante Buddharakkhita (b. Steven Jemba Kaboggoza; bio below), this meditation retreat is specifically for those people from communities of color who are immigrant Americans or reside in America and who consider themselves as indigenous, enslaved, colonized, disenfranchised, and/or marginalized. People of Color retreats are especially intended to provide an affinity group for individuals who daily confront the effects of racism.

We ask that all participants attend the program in its entirety. The program is designed for all to feel comfortable, comprehend, and hold interest — whether you are a beginner, experienced, or committed meditator of any discipline. Consider inviting a meditation buddy to attend with you (it’s a nice supportive practice).

Included in the program will be guided meditation, Dharma Talks, walking meditation, yoga movement, Dyads, and Q&As. There will also be an Art As Insight Workshop. Assisting Bhante from the NCMC board community will be instructors Andrea Lee, Kamilah Crawley, and J. Javier Cruz, and announcer Ihsaan R. Muhammad. (Bios on the Leadership Page of our website.) A vegan meal will be served.

The venue is in a state-of-the-art LEED-certified green building with wheel-chair and elevator access. If the weather is nice we will also use the adjoining Outdoor Courtyard to the Atrium Room during some of the movement sessions. It is an easy and direct .6 mile/11 minute walk from Newark Penn Station. Street parking is available in the area.
Bhante Buddharakkhita’s most popular book, Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa and his most recent book on meditation, Sowing Seeds of Peace, will be available for purchase. All proceeds after costs will go to his center in Uganda for their projects such as the Peace School for Children, Orphan Project, and Women’s Livelihood Project.

*Donations go to cover program expenses and gifts to teacher and instructors.

REGISTER NOW: ncmc-poc-retreat.eventbrite.com


Tentative Schedule

ARRIVAL
8:30 Volunteer Arrival
9:00-9:15 Participant Arrival. Please arrive no later than 9:15.
MORNING SESSION (3 hours)
9:30-12:30 Dharma Talk, Guided Meditation, Yoga Movement, Dyad, Q&A
LUNCH (1 hour)
12:30-1:30 Mindfulness of Eating Guidelines, Meal Blessing, Meal, Rest, Interviews with Teacher
AFTERNOON SESSION (3 hours)
1:30-4:30 Dharma Talk, Guided Meditation, Art Workshop, Walking Meditation, Dyad, Q&A
DEPARTURE


Teacher Bio-note

Bhante Buddharakkhita was born and raised in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while living in India, and he began practicing meditation in 1993. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk by the late Venerable U Silananda in 2002 at the Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose, California and then he spent eight years under the guidance of Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. He is the founder of the Uganda Buddhist Center in Uganda. Besides spending time at his Center, he is the spiritual director of Flowering Lotus Meditation Center in Magnolia, Mississippi. Bhante has been teaching meditation in Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, and the U.S, since 2005. His book, Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa, tells the story of his religious and spiritual work in Africa. His most recent book is Sowing Seeds of Peace. He is a Visiting Monastic Teacher with Newark Center for Meditative Culture in New Jersey. He is on the council of advisers to Buddhist Global Relief in New York.


About NCMC

Newark Center for Meditative Culture is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving a diverse urban meditation community. Your tax deductible donations make it possible for us to deliver life-changing programs to the Greater Newark community.

All of our programs are offered as donation-based no-fee to the participant. Instead, we invite all participants to make voluntary gifts to the level of their ability, sometimes with suggested donation amounts. NCMC disperses the donations equitably between teachers and venue providers. We base this system on the practice of dana or generosity, which is inherent to many spiritual traditions.

Contact us with questions at info@newarkmeditation.org.


Part 1.4: Self-Healing Meditation Medicine

Introduction to Meditation Medicine Course

Part 4 of 4 Lessons

The purpose of this course is to help you move beyond settling for the explanation of meditation, into the experience of meditation and a consistent practice. Meditation is something that you have to practice and make a part of your life. You will come to understand what Meditation Medicine means and why meditation is medicine. (See blog post Course 1.0: Introduction to Meditation Medicine—Course Description that gives the entire overview.)

Step 1: Watch Intro to Meditation Medicine Talk 1.4

Short talk about developing a sacred approach to your practice, space, and time in order to focus internally on yourself for power, wellness, and wisdom. (9 min)

Step 2: Listen and practice Guided Meditation 1.4: Self-Healing Meditation Medicine

Short talk on meditation as a self-healing modality within a specialized society and the ensueing fragmention of ourselves that we can heal through meditation. Includes brief body scan and breath meditation and a new practice of Inner Smile meditation. (24 min)

Step 3: Practice what you’ve learned in these videos for a week. Then continue on with your own practice.

We also would love for you to join us if you haven’t already on the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook where we can support each other’s practice through online discussions, sharing relevant posts, and asking questions to the teacher.

Additional Resource: Infographic 1.4: A Consistent Sacred Meditation Practice.
Feel free to print this out and use it as a reference.

Infographic_Consistent Sacred Meditation Practice.png

Consultation: Optional twenty-minute consultation with Kazi concerning your meditation experiences, insights, challenges, etc. via email, phone, or skype. Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org to request.

Ongoing online group discussions and teachings with Kazi: You can join the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook to engage with a group of kindred spirits to share your meditation medicine journey with.


Go to Course 1.0: Introduction to Meditation Medicine: Course Description

Go to Lesson 1.1: Meditation is Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.2: Preventive Meditation Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.3: Curative Meditation Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.4: Self-Healing Meditation Medicine

 

Peace. Kazi


 


Part 1.3: Curative Meditation Medicine

Introduction to Meditation Medicine Course

Part 3 of 4 Lessons

The purpose of this course is to help you move beyond settling for the explanation of meditation, into the experience of meditation and a consistent practice. Meditation is something that you have to practice and make a part of your life. You will come to understand what Meditation Medicine means and why meditation is medicine. (See blog post Course 1.0: Introduction to Meditation Medicine—Course Description that gives the entire overview.)

Step 1: Watch Intro to Meditation Medicine Talk 1.3

Short talk your mindset, erasing doubts, letting go, and our abillity to truly relax in order to activate our parasympathetic nervous system. (10 min)

Step 2: Listen and practice Guided Meditation 1.3: Curative Meditation Medicine

Short talk on meditation as a curative measure, relating to tension, pain, and chronic pain. Includes additional guidance on contract-relax body scan and breath meditation, followed by a new practice of mindfulness of pain. (28 min)

Step 3: Practice what you’ve learned in these videos for a week. Then go to Lesson 1.4: Self-Healing Meditation Medicine.

Additional Resource: Infographic 1.3: Basic Meditation Practices Prescribed.
Feel free to print this out and use it as a reference.

Infographic_Basic Meditation Practices_color.png

Consultation: Optional twenty-minute consultation with Kazi concerning your meditation experiences, insights, challenges, etc. via email, phone, or skype. Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org to request.

Ongoing online group discussions and teachings with Kazi: You can join the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook to engage with a group of kindred spirits to share your meditation medicine journey with.


Go to Course 1.0: Introduction to Meditation Medicine: Course Description

Go to Lesson 1.1: Meditation is Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.2: Preventive Meditation Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.3: Curative Meditation Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.4: Self-Healing Meditation Medicine

 

Peace. Kazi


 


Part 1.2: Preventive Meditation Medicine

Introduction to Meditation Medicine Course

Part 2 of 4 Lessons

The purpose of this course is to help you move beyond settling for the explanation of meditation, into the experience of meditation and a consistent practice. Meditation is something that you have to practice and make a part of your life. You will come to understand what Meditation Medicine means and why meditation is medicine. (See blog post Course 1.0: Introduction to Meditation Medicine—Course Description that gives the entire overview.)

Step 1: Watch Intro to Meditation Medicine Talk 1.2

Short talk on how to create a space conducive to meditation practice. (11 min)

Step 2: Listen and practice Guided Meditation 1.2: Preventive Meditation Medicine

Short talk on meditation as a preventive measure, its positive effect on the immune system and well-being, and the qualities of mindfulness. Includes three guided meditation exercises: body scan, breath meditation, and mindfulness meditation. (31 min)

Step 3: Practice what you’ve learned in these videos for a week. Then go to Lesson 1.3: Curative Meditation Medicine.

Additional Resource: Infographic 1.2: Creating Good Meditation Associations.
Feel free to print this out and use it as a reference.

Infographic_Creating Good Meditation Associations.png

 

Consultation: Optional twenty-minute consultation with Kazi concerning your meditation experiences, insights, challenges, etc. via email, phone, or skype. Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org to request.

Ongoing online group discussions and teachings with Kazi: You can join the Meditation Medicine Study Group on Facebook to engage with a group of kindred spirits to share your meditation medicine journey with.


Go to Course 1.0: Introduction to Meditation Medicine: Course Description

Go to Lesson 1.1: Meditation is Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.2: Preventive Meditation Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.3: Curative Meditation Medicine

Go to Lesson 1.4: Self-Healing Meditation Medicine

 

Peace. Kazi