Hike Leader: Kazi | Distance: Choice of 3 mi or 6 mi | Difficulty: Beginners | Fee: FREE | Age: Adults and Youths able to walk the distance (Youths 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult)
Walk, meet new friends, talk, listen, smell, look, touch. Upon reaching the park, we will practice nature therapy, mindful movement, and walking meditation. We’ll also enjoy a bag lunch while there.
We will meet at Newark Penn Station between 9:30-9:50am at the ground-level entrance to Track 1-Path Train. We will depart at 10:00am riding the Path to Hoboken. Our Hike will then begin at Hoboken Station and take us to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, where we will turn around for the return leg of the hike.
This Beginner’s Hike is 3 miles in each direction for a total of 6 miles. For the shorter journey, those who wish can take the Light Rail back to Hoboken Terminal to connect to the PATH.
Registration Required. We ask that you kindly cancel if your schedule changes.
August is Wellness Month and we’ve put together an overview of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness.
Consider designing your own wellness program for August with good planning and a goal to sustain and build on it!
We’ve also provided a fillable Wellness Month Calendar that you can print out to use and we created a month of daily suggestions to inspire you. There’s other tools described available for your use that might help too.
What are a few of the dimensions below that you might like to work on? How can you apply changes successfully on a daily or weekly basis in order to make a habit of them?
1. PHYSICAL WELLNESS
Move more and eat better.
Tips and suggestions:
• Exercise daily.
• Control your meal portions.
• Eat healthy foods/avoid processed and junk foods.
• Get adequate rest.
• Protect yourself against injuries.
• Learn to recognize early signs of illness.
• Use alcohol in moderation or not at all.
• Stop smoking and protect yourself from second-hand smoke.
Without physical health, it is more difficult to be mentally and emotionally healthy, so the two key components are to exercise and eat well. Improving physical wellness involves personal responsibility and often leads to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination, and a sense of purpose.
Another important element — we think very important in your wellness practice — is to use mindfulness to manage your compulsions and obsessions that drive bad habits. In fact, if you can’t necessarily add good behaviors during Wellness Month, start by mindfully trying to remove bad behaviors.
2. EMOTIONAL WELLNESS
Develop mindfulness and optimism skills.
Tips and suggestions:
• Tune-in to your thoughts and feelings.
• Cultivate an optimistic attitude.
• Seek and provide support.
• Learn time management skills.
• Learn meditation and mindfulness techniques.
• Learn stress management techniques.
• Deal with anger constructively.
• Accept and forgive yourself.
Emotional wellness is by nature a dynamic state that fluctuates along with your other six dimensions of wellness. It is important to develop a positive outlook on life and surround ourselves with positive people. Uniquely, time management is an important factor of emotional wellness, allowing time for ourselves and minimizing stress-induced situations.
Practicing mindfulness helps to really be present in the moment so you don’t jump onto the wrong emotional train. Expressing your feelings of love, gratitude, and other positive feelings can help alleviate alienation. During Wellness Month you might pick just a few negative habits to weaken, using your own daily prayers to reinforce your efforts.
3. INTELLECTUAL WELLNESS
Stimulate and inspire your brain.
Tips and suggestions:
• Take a course or workshop.
• Teach others.
• Learn or perfect a foreign language.
• Seek out people who challenge you intellectually.
• Read books and watch more educational programs.
• Attend museums, exhibits, and theater.
• Travel and explore other cultures.
The intellectual dimension encourages learning, growth, and creativity. An active and open mind leads to a life filled with curiosity, passion, and purpose. Just as our bodies need motivation and exercise, so too our minds. If we are not intellectually stimulated, life can be mundane and this can lead to depression and resentment.
Tied to our emotional wellness, it is easy to compare and judge ourselves if we don’t feel intellectually competent or aren’t comfortable with and made peace with our own capacity. To ensure our personal maximum intellectual wellness we can take advantages of available resources to find new hobbies, read, take a course — simply keep learning!
4. SOCIAL WELLNESS
Cultivate friendships and contribute to community.
Tips and suggestions:
• Cultivate healthy relationships.
• Contact old friends and make new friends.
• Get involved.
• Contribute to your community.
• Share your talents and skills.
• Communicate your thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Personal connections contribute to a long and fulfilling life — whether they are family, friends, community groups, or even global connections. When you nurture relationships you create healthy support networks, contribute to the greater good, and builds a sense of belonging.
This means practicing good communication skills and developing intimacy with others. Social wellness also includes showing respect for others as well as yourself. An active social life can be incredibly stimulating and conducive to positive changes in all seven dimensions of wellness.
5. SPIRITUAL WELLNESS
Nourish your soul and open your heart.
Tips and suggestions:
• Explore your spiritual core.
• Spend time alone to reflect.
• Meditate regularly.
• Take pauses to pay attention to your breath.
• Be inquisitive and curious.
• Try to be fully present in all you do.
• Listen with your heart and live by your principles.
• Allow yourself and those around you the freedom to be who they are.
• See opportunities for growth in the challenges life brings you.
When we develop a set of guiding beliefs and principles it gives a sense of meaning and purpose to our life. Keeping an open mind in a spirit-centered life may bring up thoughts of despair, fear, and doubt as we grow, but out of it can come joy, happiness, and wisdom.
It is important to spend quiet time each day, reflecting or meditating, or simply pausing to take a few minutes to breathe properly. Spiritual wellness includes developing a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces of the universe.
6. ENVIRONMENTAL WELLNESS
Love and care for the planet.
Tips and suggestions:
• Stop your junk mail.
• Conserve water and other resources.
• Minimize chemical use.
• Reduce, reuse, recycle.
• Rethink your living space.
To be environmentally well we need to be aware of the delicate state of the earth and the effects our daily habits have on the physical world. When we help to take responsibility for the health of the planet we can bring a sense of accomplishment and well-being into our own life.
It is also important to be aware of our home environment — how the materials and objects we choose to surround us have an effect on environmental wellness. The more we get out into nature mindfully the more we will understand this. We need to remember that we are an integral part of the environment and that caring for the environment is self-care.
7. VOCATIONAL WELLNESS
Use and give your skills.
Tips and suggestions:
• Explore a variety of vocation options.
• Create a vision for your future.
• Choose a career that suits your personality, interests and talents.
• Be open to change and learn new skills.
• Balance work with life.
• Learn to budget your lifestyle with your vocation compensation.
• Use unemployment or retirement to hone your skills or develop new ones.
• Volunteer your vocational skills if you aren’t fulfilled at work.
This dimension of wellness focuses on enriching your life and that of others by sharing your special gifts, skills, and talents. Our job may not fulfill us, we may be unemployed or retired, but there are always ways to use our skills, knowledge, and passion in other meaningful ways to serve our family and society, and to enhance our self-esteem.
Vocational wellness also involves preparing, planning, and creating a positive attitude to reshape your personal goals at work. Whether through work, parenting, or volunteering, you can make a strong impact and reap the health benefits of adding purpose to your life.
Are you inspired yet? Ready to fill out your Wellness Calendar? Let’s get started together!
If these tools, tips, and teachings we’ve compiled are helpful to you, would you consider making a small donation to Newark Center for Meditative Culture? We are 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.
ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd we held our first retreat in our first home at 2 Park Place. The topic was Community-Building with Clarity & Compassion. You can see from the faces of the students that it was a wonderful experience! It was fitting that Rebecca Li led the retreat as she has been supporting programs with NCMC since 2012.
We are grateful to her for dharma and meditation teachings as practiced by Dharma Drum, to Leslie of I’m So Yoga for her yoga session, and to Kathryn Davis of Heart of Mind Radio for her qigong session.
And what a great team of volunteers we had! Thank you to Ella and Ivette for their retreat day support, to Tenisha for social media promotions, and to her daughter Ariyan for the fantastic photos. We are grateful for the delicious vegan meal, a kind donation prepared by a veteran caterer, Vijaya Dharmapuri.
A special thanks to Jennifer, General Coordinator; Vijay, Food Coordinator; and Javier, Deputy Coordinator, as well as to Andrea, our Treasurer, for registration coordination.
The students were awesome, engaged, and attentive — comprehending with keen awareness the powerful yet invisible dynamics of community.
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.
We often totter with our bodies as well as in our minds. This flowing, ancient movement practice can provide balance and equilibrium to both. It gently brings energy up and grounds us in the moment releasing us from our distracted selves. Tai-chi can be applied anywhere — from behind your desk to how you turn to greet someone. Whether you are a millennial trying to de-stress, in mid-life recuperating, or a senior wanting to bring back youthful pliability, this practice can bring you well-being and a sense of oneness.
Weekly Tai-Chi with Shaka | Wednesdays 6:30 to 7:20pm | 2 Park Place, Newark NJ | Fee-based, Youths free 14-17 accompanied by parent. | There will be no class on November 27th.
2 Park Place | Newark, NJ Wednesdays, 6:30 to 7:20pm November 13th 2019 to January 8th 2020
Teacher: Shaka Georges
In this six-week series, you will be taught the Tai-Chi Yang short form and qi-gong exercises. It’s a gentle, healing, and easy-to-learn movement practice that you can develop to skillfully use the theory in your daily life. Youths aged 14-17 are welcome for free accompanied by an adult. Come as you can or join the entire series at a discount. There will be no classes on Nov. 27th, Dec. 25th, and Jan. 1.
In this 10-week series you will learn and practice with J. Javier Cruz and Jennifer Becher both meditation and mindfulness along with mindful movement and how to integrate the practice into your daily life to bring less stress and more love and peace into it. Family friendly. Bring youths who can sit quietly. There will be no class on Nov. 26th.
DONATION-BASED (donate what you can and when you can). For more information: email@example.com
Saturday, May 4th, 2019 | 10:00am to 3:00pm
Palisades Interstate Park, Fort Lee, NJ
Limited Group Size: Sign up soon!
This is a free program geared toward youths aged 12-18. Individual adults, families, and youth/student groups (up to 7 youths per chaperone) are welcome. Join us for a day of nature immersion, hiking, tai-chi and art sessions, Hudson River Views, and more! Includes free vegetarian bag lunch for all and free backsacks for youths (limited quantity)! Transportation and parking fees not provided. We might be able to help with transportation for individuals from Newark and back.
Gather/Check-in — 9:30-9:50am
Opening Circle — 10:00am-10:15am
Hike, Special Sessions, Lunch — 10:15am-2:45pm
Closing Circle — 2:45pm-3:00pm
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!
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.