Co-facilitators: Kazi & JJavier Cruz | Dates: Wednesdays, April 6, 13, 20 & 27 | Time: 7:00pm to 8:00pm EST | Cost: FREE | Age: Adults 18 years and older | Guidelines: You must be a Person of Color or identify as such to attend. You must be active in a movement. You can attend from any location in the world. | Platform: Zoom |
The ongoing grassroots movement for freedom, justice, and equality waged by peoples of color (POC; BIPOC) in the Americas has for the most part been carried forward on the shoulders of a few — fighting unselfishly and relentlessly for the rights of the many.
As rewarding as the occasional victories may be, the day-to-day struggle can be filled with stressors that often lead to compromised physical and mental health issues such as depression, misplaced anger, anxiety, burnout, addiction, domestic strife, and a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
Join us for four weeks of discussion, engagement, and sharing solutions for keeping the movers of our movements mentally healthy, physically strong, and conscientiously clear.
WED. JUNE 3 • 7PM EST Part 1—Practicing in Uncertainty
Guided meditation and talk on how to use meditation practice to handle anxiety and frustration in the face of continued social injustice amidst the stress caused by the pandemic. It will be followed by a Q&A.
(LIVE guided meditation, talk, and Q&A with Rebecca.) WED. JUNE 10 • 7PM EST Part 2—Cultivating Clarity
Guided meditation followed by a talk on how meditation can help us cultivate clear awareness of our body, mind and environment and allow joy into our heart when we are in a stressful situation.
(Recorded talk and meditation by Rebecca; LIVE discussion with Kazi.) WED. JUNE 17 • 7PM EST Part 3—Cultivating Compassion
Guided meditation followed by a talk on how we can use meditation to be fully present with ourselves and to cultivate compassion to ourselves and people around us.
(Recorded talk and meditation by Rebecca; LIVE discussion with Marcie.)
ABOUT THE TEACHER Dr Rebecca Li a Dharma heir in the Dharma Drum lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen, started practicing meditation in 1995. She began her teacher’s training with him in 1999 to become a Dharma and meditation instructor. Later on, she trained with John Crook and Simon Child to lead intensive retreats and received full Dharma transmission from Child in 2016. Currently, she leads Chan retreats, teaches meditation and Dharma classes, and gives public lectures in North America and the U.K. She is the founder and guiding teacher of Chan Dharma Community and a sociology professor at The College of New Jersey, where she also serves as faculty director of the Alan Dawley Center for the Study of Social Justice. You can find her talks and writings at www.rebeccali.org. Rebecca is a Visiting Teacher with NCMC.
A program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture. Sponsored by the Victoria Foundation.
Mondays, May 18, June 1, and June 8: Enroll in as many FREE Zoom sessions as you like. You must register to access Meeting ID and Password:
10:00 AM Sessions
ENROLL AT: https://bit.ly/3bf8MTp 5/11 Re-Connecting with the Natural World (Cornelia)
5/18 Taking a Pause for Deep Relaxation (Andrea)
6/1 Chair Yoga: You Are Creator of Your Experience 1 (Ella)
6/8 Light Yoga: You Are Creator of Your Experience 2 (Ella)
1:00 PM Sessions ENROLL AT: https://bit.ly/2WBvmQQ 5/11 Meditative Resurrection of the Daily Constitutional (Kazi)
5/18 Yoga: Relax & Renew — Making the Mind-Body Connection (Fadja)
6/1 Yoga: The Breath — Elevator and Regenerator (Fadja)
6/8 Re-Connecting with Our Inner Wellness (Cornelia)
7:00 PM Sessions ENROLL AT: https://tinyurl.com/y8dafpmx 5/11 Building a Mindful Community (Kamilah & Andrea)
5/18 Mindfully Managed Stress: Using Your Toolbox (Kamilah)
6/1 Mindful Household Budgeting Workshop (Andrew)
6/8 Plant Spirit Meditation Medicine: Stress Resilience (Kazi)
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.
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
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 Africaand 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.
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
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.
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.