RELAXING INTO CLARITY & FLOW: A Daylong Meditation Retreat on February 24th (Part-Day or Full-Day)

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

Registration for:
• 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.


Contact information:
Retreat Coordinator, Jennifer Becher,

A Program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.

Overview of our Newark IntraCity Park Hike

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.

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.

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


A Moment of Grace

By Ib’nallah S. Kazi

savingPNG.jpegThe act of saying grace over a meal and of blessing the dinner table are sacred rituals practiced for millennia across the globe.

From Ghana to Burma and all the way to the Netherlands, human beings incorporate the daily act of eating into their personal and collective spiritual lives.

The blessing of the meal is a time for giving thanks.

Prayers may be directed to a supreme being, to ancestors, the earth or whatever spiritual agency is believed to be of assistance in securing sustenance. Sometimes family members, employees and employers are thanked for the part they play in sustaining an individual or household.

Still a concern for many to this day is the healthiness of a meal they’re about to eat. Invasion of the body by food-born pathogens is a threat that challenges human beings daily. Therefore, some cultures may include request that the meal be allowed to provide strength and vitality — or at least be rendered free of harm.

Not to be overlooked is the impact upon the psyche of that moment of silence when one’s head is bowed and gaze lowered in recognition of our mutual dependence upon all we consider powerful, holy and beneficent.

The few seconds taken to reconnect to the part of us that remains in constant connection with the Unseen Real opens a “spiritual moment.” And in that moment, we invoke the soul elixir that releases the strengthening, healing, beautifying properties of the meal.

We can use the tradition of saying grace as a “conscious opportunity” to create more of those spiritual moments in our day. We don’t have to limit our spiritual practice to being locked away in a specially outfitted room with dimmed lighting, lots of plump pillows and scented candles.

Let’s bring our practice into our “common spaces” — with their sounds and scents of life at its core. First we take back the kitchen, then the toilet, then the garden.

It all adds up.

Ib’nallah S. Kazi is the Spiritual Director of Newark Center for Meditative Culture and a Spiritual Health & Wellness Coach at The Spirit Centered Life.

IRONBOUND: Spring Meditation Classes Begin for English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Groups

Ironbound_event.pngHispanohablante — Clases de meditación y atención plena para principiantes
Serie de 8 clases
Miércoles, 4 de abril – 23 de mayo
5:30 a 6:30pm
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave. (no walk-ins)

Aprenda prácticas básicas de meditación y atención plena con Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) que pueden ayudarlo a reducir el estrés en su vida y darle más tranquilidad. Estas clases básicas de meditación y mindfulness son impartidas por NCMC profesor, Javier Cruz. Las clases incluyen meditación guiada, estiramientos de yoga ligero, caminar atentamente, charlas con el maestro y preguntas y respuestas. A los estudiantes se les asignan tareas opcionales de atención domiciliaria fáciles y opcionales. Lo mejor es asistir a la serie completa, pero ven lo que puedas. Sin embargo, no hay walk-ins. DEBE registrar su nombre, email, y ciudad una vez antes de asistir. Registrarse en

Un programa de servicio comunitario gratuito con NCMC patrocinado por Ironbound Community Corporation.

Spring Session — Meditation & Mindfulness Classes
Series of 10 Classes
Wednesdays, April 4 – June 6
6:45 to 7:45pm
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave. (no walk-ins)

This spring session of 10 classes with Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) will have a focus on loving-kindness (metta) meditation practice. These continuing meditation and mindfulness classes are taught by NCMC teacher, Javier Cruz with assistance by Jennifer Becher also of NCMC. The classes include guided meditation, light yoga stretches, mindful walking, teacher talk, and Q&A. We’ll enjoy one class with an Art as Meditation Workshop. Students are given easy, optional home-mindfulness assignments. Parents/guardians are welcome to bring teens. It’s best to attend the entire series, but come as you can. However, there are no walk-ins. You MUST register your name, email, and city one time before attending. Register at

A free community service program with NCMC sponsored by the Ironbound Community Corporation. •



Letting Go and Loving

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A Special Loving-kindness Meditation Class on Valentine’s Day
(with “Heart of Wisdom” Valentine Art Session)
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
6:00 to 7:30pm
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave., Newark
(no walk-ins)

(Traducción en español a continuación.)

How do we let go of those we love, but at the same time love them? How do we learn to give our love more open-mindedly, with less judgement? How do we turn passionate love into compassionate love?

Join Newark Center for Meditative Culture for this special valentine meditation class with teacher J. Javier Cruz. He will guide us in the practice of loving-kindness (metta), an important meditation discipline to develop a finer, more infinite love for self, family, friends, enemies, and ultimately for all beings. The Karaniya Metta Sutta describes it beautifully:

Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded.

This loving-kindness practice can soften the heart to not want to feel anger or hate any more — seeing how it not only hurts others, but it hurts ourselves.

We will also enjoy a Heart of Wisdom valentine art session to further express our intrinsic selflessness and love!

This class will be in english with spanish translation as necessary. You must sign up to attend this class at (unless you are registered already for the bilingual classes).

Sponsored by Ironbound Community Corporation.

May all beings be happy!

Dejar Ir y Amar

Una clase especial de meditación de bondad amorosa en el día de San Valentín
(con “Heart of Wisdom” Valentine Art Session)
Miércoles, 14 de febrero de 2018
6:00 a 7:30 p.m.
Early Learning Center, 1 New York Ave., Newark
(sin visitas)

¿Cómo dejamos ir a los que amamos, pero al mismo tiempo los amamos? ¿Cómo aprendemos a dar a nuestro amor una mente más abierta, con menos juicio? ¿Cómo convertimos el amor apasionado en amor compasivo?

Únase al Newark Center for Meditative Culture para esta clase especial de meditación de San Valentín con el maestro J. Javier Cruz. Él nos guiará en la práctica de la bondad amorosa (metta), una importante disciplina de meditación para desarrollar un amor más fino e infinito por uno mismo, la familia, los amigos, los enemigos y, en última instancia, por todos los seres. El Karaniya Metta Sutta lo describe bellamente:

Incluso cuando una madre protege con su vida
Su hijo, su único hijo,
Entonces con un corazón sin límites
Debería uno apreciar a todos los seres vivos;
Irradiando bondad en todo el mundo:
Dispersándose hacia los cielos,
Y hacia abajo a las profundidades;
Hacia afuera y sin límites.

Esta práctica de bondad amorosa puede ablandar el corazón para no querer sentir rabia u odio, ya que no solo lastima a los demás, sino que también nos lastima.

¡También disfrutaremos de una sesión de arte de San Valentín de Heart of Wisdom para expresar aún más nuestro desinterés y amor intrínsecos!

Esta clase será en inglés con traducción al español según sea necesario. Debe inscribirse para asistir a esta clase en (a menos que ya esté registrado para las clases bilingües).

Patrocinado por Ironbound Community Corporation.

¡Que todos los seres sean felices!