September 9-10: Nature Meditation Camping Weekend in Harriman State Park

Two Days of Outdoors, Meditation and Peace

“Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Here grow the wallflower and the violet. The squirrel will come and sit upon your knee, the logcock will wake you in the morning. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.  Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains.”

— John Muir

Photo Credits: Discover Outdoors

Register Here

The backcountry is one of the best places to find peace, quiet, and calm.  This weekend, we’re taking full advantage of the stillness of the woods as we spend two days escaping the city to practice meditation and mindfulness.

You’ll meet your Discover Outdoors guides Saturday morning and take a short drive to Harriman State Park.  Your morning hike will take you to camp for the weekend, a mild three miles from the trailhead.  You’ll arrive at the remote campsite along the Long Path, overlooking a peaceful lake and the lush trees below.  Once at your destination, you’ll have time to settle in.  We’ll do various practices and have group discussions in the afternoon and evening.  If weather permitted, we may do sunset and fire meditation in the evening.

After a good night’s sleep, you’ll rise early to see the sunrise.  After you’ll enjoy breakfast prepared by your guide before a short hike to the nearby lake and an option to dunk your feet in the refreshing water.  Returning to camp, you’ll pack up your gear and return via a three mile hike back to the trailhead.  Home awaits, as does newfound peace of mind as you hold onto the calmness of the forest even here in New York City.

We’ll integrate various nature meditation throughout the weekend.  Some examples of practices may include the following, but actual practices will vary based on location and weather.

  • Sunrise and sunset meditation
  • Stargazing or fire meditation
  • Sensory and Tactical Awareness
  • Non-Conceptual Awareness: Letting go of existing concepts and focus on direct experience
  • Expansive Awareness: Dissolving into the sky
  • Four Elements: Contemplating the elements of air, earth, water and fire
  • Tree Meditation

Most of the weekend will be observed in silence.  John Muir said, “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  Silence is a critical ingredient for introspective and transformative experiences.  Turning our attention inward allows us to become receptive to both of our outer and inner experiences.  Allow your senses to come alive and watch your sense of separateness falls away in nature.  The dynamic outdoor conditions will be a perfect container for mindfulness practices.  As we become intimate with the natural world, we become intimate with ourselves.

When: Sat.-Sun., September 9-10, 2017

Where: Harriman State Park

Registration Fee: $360.  We are partnering with Discover Outdoors for this camping trip.

Registration fee includes:

  • Licensed and certified Discover Outdoors guide
  • Roundtrip transportation in passenger van
  • Guided hikes to and from camp
  • Dinner on day one, breakfast and lunch on day two
  • Park and destination fees
  • Group camping equipment (cooking, water filtration, etc)
  • NYIMC administration fees and a portion of dana for teachers

Does not include:

  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pads (rental available with details below)
  • Additional dana for teachers

Based on the size of the van, only 11 spots are available per trip.  There will be a waitlist once these spots are filled.  If you decided to drive to meet us, you will make more spots for others to join and pay $260.  As soon as you register, please email info@beinginthewild.com to indicate that you’ll be driving so we can inform others of additional availability.

Register Here

Itinerary (Tentative)

Day One

7:30 am    Meet at departure location (Union Square) for check in
7:45 am    Scenic drive to Harriman State Park
9:15 am    Begin hike to camp
1:00 pm    Arrive at camp, set up
2:00 pm    Guided meditation practices
5:00 pm    Dinner, free time
7:00 pm    Sunset meditation
8:00 pm    Stargazing/fire meditation
9:00 pm    Sleep

Day Two

6:00 am    Sunrise meditation
8:00 am    Free time
8:30 am    Breakfast
10:00 am   Begin hike to lake
11:00 am   Meditation at lake
2:00 pm    Return to camp, pack, begin hike back to lot
4:00 pm    Arrive at van, depart
6:00 pm    Arrive in NYC

Weather and Cancellation 

If the event or a portion of the event is cancelled by Discover Outdoors (reason may include inclement weather), you are entitled to a full refund.  The decision to cancel will be made by Discover Outdoors one day prior to the date of the event.

There are no refunds for cancellations made within 14 days of the event.  Please read the refund and cancellation policy.

Trip Details

Meeting Location and Time:

Location: Meet at Paragon Sports, Broadway at E. 18th St. (Union Square area)

Time: Meet at 7:30am, leaves at 7:45am

Drive to Meet Option:

Have your own transportation? If you would prefer to drive yourself, you can email us about the drive to meet option. You’ll meet us at Lake Kanawauke boat launch.  From there, you’ll follow the van to the trailhead just down the road.  We’ll confirm this meeting location before the trip.

Backcountry Camping

We’ll be camping out for one night near a backcountry shelter.  We’ll be sleeping in backpacking tents.  You can bring your own tents, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad or you can rent them for additional fees.  Food and communal gear will be carried up by the group, so be sure to leave space in your pack!

Pack List:

To Wear
  • Comfortable, athletic clothing
  • Hiking boots with light wool socks
  • Layers are recommended to account for changing conditions
  • Rain Jacket
  • Warm clothes for evening at camp (fleece, jacket, warm pants)
  • Swimming suits and towel
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Packed lunch for day one (eaten on trail)
  • Additional snacks
  • Backpack (50 L recommended)
  • Backpacking tent (can be rented for $30/pp for shared or $50/pp for single occupancy)
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for $30)
  • Sleeping pad (can be rented for $20)
  • Sitting Props (Examples: yoga mat can double as a sleeping pad or sitting prop, Crazy Creek, light pillows, light yoga block, etc.)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Basic first aid kit (band-aids, moleskin, etc)
  • Bowl, mug, and utensil
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent (Organic version if preferred)
  • Tick repellent (Organic version if preferred)
  • Camelbak bladder or water bottles (3 L capacity)
  • Toiletries
  • Trash bag (Leave No Trace)



Jon Aaron has been a teacher at New York insight since 2006. His principal dharma teacher has been Matthew Flickstein of The Forest Way. He trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a certified teacher through the CFM. He has taught over 50 cycles of the seminal curriculum as well as numerous courses for alumni of the program. He completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He is the co-guiding teacher of the Makom Meditation Havurah program at the Jewish Community Center. He is a certified Somatic Experience Practitionertm and has most recently completed the teacher training in Mindfulness for Pain offered by Breathworks in England.

Wild Lotus - About 2

Lin Gordon has practiced insight meditation in the last six years. Her principal dharma teachers have been Jonathan Foust of Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Mark Coleman of Spirit Rock, and Jon Aaron at New York Insight. Inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature practices, she is part of Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Meditation in Nature Facilitators Training.