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.
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
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 email@example.com to apply as a volunteer before registering for this program.
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.
Over the past six years, NCMC has presented close to 300 life changing, health promoting, and self-empowering programs within the context of the socially engaged, multi-cultural, and diverse population of the Greater Newark Area.
16 Seasonal Full-Day Meditation Retreats (including 3 People of Color Retreats)
10 First Sunday Art and Meditation Workshops
Over 200 Meditation Workshops (of which over 30 bi-lingual workshops offered)
2 Ten-Week Basic Meditation Courses
26 Dharma Movie/Meditation Sessions
2 Online Meditation Medicine Courses
16 Tai Chi/Qi Gong Classes
2 Open Mind Film Festivals
12 Nature Walks and Hikes
1 Deep Ecology Training Workshop
Publishing of 2 Books: Buddhist Dharma Book and Meditation Manual.
Having established ourselves as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2017 and having previously engaged since 2012 as a community initiative, we now need to meet some formative and developmental needs in order to advance our Mission, which is:
To be a safe place where like-minded people can gather in order to practice the fundamental meditation methods of tranquility, insight, healing, and loving-kindness (metta), and to become engaged together in conscientious, compassionate, and contemplative activities as a group and in the local community.
How do we work?
NCMC is a volunteer-run organization with a strong commitment to openness and inclusion. We do this in two ways:
Diversity/Expansiveness: We offer both general programs and pin-pointed programs for specific affinity groups of people and surrounding issues. For example, our People of Color retreats especially are intended to provide an affinity group for individuals who daily confront the effects of oppression and racism, and who therefore may initially choose to avoid mixed programs.
Inclusiveness: All of our programs are offered as donation-based no-fee or free to the participant. We base this system on the practice of dana or generosity, which is inherent to many spiritual traditions. Your donations will allow us to continue to provide life enhancing programs to the entire community regardless of their present economic circumstances.
NCMC is committed to community engagement and compassionate activism and to educating the community about meditation and its benefits. We have collaborated with or facilitated meditation classes and programs for several organizations including:
Artisan Collective – Barat Foundation – Bateman & Associates – Greater Newark Tennis & Education – Hikeolution – I’m So Yoga Newark – Ironbound Community Corporation – Newark LGBTQ Center – Newark Museum – Newark Yoga Movement – NJPAC – Rabbit Hole Farm – Sis & Bro Foundation.
In the educational sector, we have provided our services to:
Rutgers Law School – Rutgers Bookstore – Louise A. Spencer Community School – Technology High School.
We have also engaged in area compassionate activism through participation in walks, marches, and activities such as:
Million March NYC – Buddhist Global Relief NYC Walk to Feed the Hungry – 300.org People’s Climate March – Clean Energy Walk Phila. (w/NJ group) – Buddhist Council Meditate NYC & Peace Lantern Festival.
NCMC has also worked closely with generous venue providers over the years including:
Index Art Center – City Without Walls Gallery – Seed Gallery – Military Park Partnership – Ironbound Community Corporation (current).
What are our immediate needs?
Our current fundraising goal of $5,000 is a portion of our 2019 budget of $12,000. The focus of this initial campaign is to raise the finances needed to begin the new year with a strong organizational infrastructure. Our “must haves” include:
– Bookkeeper $16-20 per hour at 1 hr a week approx for yr.
– Accountant for tax return and quarterly filings for yr.
– QuickBooks Pro
• Office Supplies
– Post Office Box (yearly)
– Domain Name Renewal (yearly)
• Student and Teacher Advancement
– MBSR fundamentals teacher training online: 1 student
APPROX $5,000What do we hope to do in the near future?
• establish more weekly and monthly group meditations and study groups
• reestablish our monthly First Sunday meditation and creative journaling
• establish a weekly Sunday meditation group
• develop a training program for student leaders for groups
• provide opportunities for our students to deepen their practice at longer residential retreats
• provide opportunities for our students to advance to teachers
• secure funding to be able to afford rent for a steady place to hold group sessions
• secure funding for a director or part-time directors
• secure funding to support free programming (as our teachers need to be gifted and expenses covered)
• establish a community of practice that includes volunteers practicing generosity who love meditation or being around meditators and understanding our purpose.
So you can see, we need your help in funding!
Can we take a little more of your valuable time to relate some student stories to help you understand the need for NCMC?
(Please note that these stories are paraphrased from memory.)
One young lone meditator came to us once and scuffled shyly into the art center where we were holding our meditation session. He said “I can’t believe I’m in here, I never thought I’d be in a place like this.” He also said he had imagined how nice it would be to meditate outdoors in a park — and his dream came true! We sit in the park in the summer!
= Exposure, safe place, non-judgement.
At one of our recent People of Color Retreats, one student described how wonderful it was to “meditate with people who look like me” as she was used to having to go to meditation centers that were mainly populated by white folk.
Another woman pops in and sits with us only when she is sometimes available on Wednesday evenings. Her comment though, “I love knowing that you are here doing this every week even though I most often can’t make it.”
= The more group sessions we can hold, the more opportunities for people to show up.
Three seasoned public school staff members in Newark have come regularly and felt the positive results of continual practice. They’ve asked us mature questions about how to relieve their stress as they watch their students in difficulty and are immersed themselves in co-worker conflicts. One found results in walking meditation, another in sitting meditation, and another more in the continual probing that her new mindfulness brings.
= De-stressing techniques to help through work-related stress.
A young sensitive woman studying online to be a reiki master, having gone back and forth and back and forth through her childhood between here and Uruguay, lacks confidence in both her languages. She stated from the heart, “My passion is to become a meditation teacher.”
= Helping to build confidence and support potential meditation and mindfulness teachers.
We hope that these stories give you an idea of some of the reasons we think the development of a meditative culture in the Greater Newark Area is as vital and important a cause as we do. Do take the time to look at our website to get to know us even better at www.newarkmeditation.org.
Can you please share our story with your network of like-minded mind-loving friends who might support this cause?
Thank you again for your time. We hope you will consider donating now to help our work to get to the next level and blossom.
El 2 de octubre, J. Javier Cruz, profesor del Centro de Cultura Meditativa de Newark, impartió un Taller de Salud Mental y Meditación para algunos miembros del personal de Ironbound Community Corporation. Alrededor de 13 mujeres trabajadoras que hablaban solo español asistieron. La mayoría sintió que no podían durar más de media hora, pero duraron todo el taller y se quedaron incluso más tiempo. ¡Parece que entendieron los beneficios inmediatos y querían más! Por supuesto, no fue solo la práctica de la meditación, hubo una charla del profesor, una discusión y preguntas y respuestas. ¡Solo mira esas poderosas y conscientes mujeres de meditación!
On October 2nd, J. Javier Cruz, a teacher with Newark Center for Meditative Culture, taught a Mental Health and Meditation Workshop for some staff members at Ironbound Community Corporation. Around 13 women coworkers who spoke spanish-only attended. Most felt they couldn’t last for more than a half hour but they lasted for the entire workshop and stayed even longer. It seems they understood the immediate benefits and wanted more! Of course it wasn’t just meditation practice — there was a teacher talk, discussion, and Q&A. Just look at those powerful, mindful women of meditation!
Wednesdays, Sep. 12 – Oct. 17 5:30 to 6:30pm Meditation Lawn in Military Park
A six-week series (weather permitting) of tai-chi and qi-gong taught by visiting teacher with NCMC, Shaka Georges, for his second summer with us. Gentle, healing, and easy-to-learn movement practice. No need to register, come as you can.
A free community service program of NCMC in cooperation with Military Park Partnership Summer Programs.
Thursdays, September 13 – November 15 | 5:30-7:00pm | ICC Family Success Center, The Wellness Room, 317 Elm Street, Newark, NJ
Above: On September 20th, we had three english-speaking students and one spanish-only and our meditation circle was ready to go. Mindful moments of students practicing walking and sitting meditation. But wait, where’s the men? Donde esta los hombres?! Oh, he’s taking the picture!
In these on-going weekly meditation classes with NCMC instructor J. Javier Cruz and assistant Jennifer Becher you will learn basic meditation and how to apply mindfulness in daily life to live with more ease, more joy, and less stress. Sessions include meditation, light yoga stretches, readings, and discussion. You are welcome to join in at any time. Translations to Spanish and Portuguese as needed.
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
Re-Naturing Ourselves and Our Children:
The Tree vs. The Screen
Some of our current and past nature programs, left to right, top to bottom: Child sits quietly near meditation circle at Military Park; our new meditation circle in Independence Park; children play at the trees; a child tries a few minutes of meditation, a boys/men mindful nature hike in South Mountain Reservation, an Earth Month pond clean-up and mindfulness in motion in Branch Brook Park with teenagers.
The japanese have a practice called shinrin-yoku, translated to forest-bathing, that simply put means taking the forest in through our senses. To just be in nature, with no particular aim, can bridge the gap beween us and the natural world that we are intrinsically a part of, but too often we have lost touch with.
We use all our senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching to forest bath. Along with awakening the five senses to nature, we can elevate our sixth sense base of consciousness (present with all of these other senses) to a mind state of joy, kindness, and wholeness.
Many of us have become so separate from nature as now the majority of the world’s population lives in cities. Though we might not often be able to go “into the woods”, we have our urban green spaces as little oases.
If not for our own good, we need to consider exposing our urban-bred children to natural settings. There are significant and diverse studies that indicate that being in nature is important to children in their cognitive, emotional, social, and educational development.1 In a more natural way of putting it, we can say that children who experience natural settings are able to stay in touch with themselves and be more peaceful, which helps them to stay more focused and less fragmented.
There too are clear class- and race-based inequalities in urban children’s exposure to the natural world as well as industrial environmental hazards1, but we as a community and as parents and caregivers can make informed choices as to how we use our precious time.
At Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC), being in nature has an important role in our teacher’s practices. Those in the community who keep up with us recognize that bringing nature programs and sessions to the community is a priority.
This summer through the end of August, NCMC is offering two free opportunities to bath in urban nature with us and learn to meditate while you are at it. Each Tuesday we are running Meditation Classes in Independence Park in the Ironbound (translation into spanish and portuguese as requested). Downtown each Wednesday we are running Meditation Classes in Military Park. Weather providing, both start at 7:00pm and go to 8:00pm.
These are Family Friendly programs, so we invite you to bring children who can sit quietly with us or play near us to get their first taste of mindfulness practice in nature.
If you can’t sit with us, perhaps this information will inspire you to commit to engage with nature through local hikes and nature outings or as much as possible get out at lunch to sit at a tree, lay in the grass and look at the sky, or instead of gazing at a television screen or phone screen, step out at night to gaze up at the stars.
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.
Consultation: Optional twenty-minute consultation with Kazi concerning your meditation experiences, insights, challenges, etc. via email, phone, or skype. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.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.