“Walking mindfully on the Earth can restore our peace and harmony, and it can restore Earth’s peace and harmony as well. We are children of the Earth. We rely on her for our happiness, and she relies on us also. Whether the Earth is beautiful, fresh and green, or arid and parched depends on our way of walking. When we practice walking meditation beautifully, we massage the Earth with our feet and plant seeds of joy and happiness with each step. Our Mother will heal us, and we will heal her.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
Do you want to experience the fall of the Hudson Valley before we move into the winter? How about taking a meditative hike that takes you through a scenic route along the Long Path? We will go into the Rockland Lake State Park and hike the Hook Mountain (689 feet), partly on the Long Path and partly around the Rockland Lake. You will see dramatic vista on multiple lookouts, overlooking the Mario Cuomo Bridge. Hook Mountain is only 1.5 hours outside of the city, and it will take you to fresh air and expansive vista along the Hudson River, and a great place for birding. Hawks tend to fly around the area. Hook Mountain was designated by the New York Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area in 1997, due to its importance as a feeding area for migratory songbirds and hawks. It has been utilized annually as a hawk monitoring station since 1971.
As we head into deep fall, take a walk into the woods to connect with nature and ourselves. We’ll integrate sitting and walking meditation throughout the hike. Some examples of nature practices may include the following, but actual practices will vary based on location and weather.
- 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 hike will be observed in silence. John Muir said, “In every walk in Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” 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 fall 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.
The hike will be approximately from 10am – 3pm, with stops for meditation practices and an hour long lunch break. It’s a relatively moderate hike, but there are sections where you need to go up and down, so hiking shoes and a pair of hiking poles will be handy.
Who: Lin Gordon
When: 8:15am-3pm, Saturday, November 25, 2018
Where: Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance on Route 9W and Lake Road (parking lot #4). Valley Cottage, NY. (299 Lake Rd. Valley Cottage, NY, 10989). There is a picnic table under a big tree near the toll booth of the parking lot.
Public Transportation: Coachusa.com (Weekend schedule)
From 42nd St., Port Authority: Leave on the 8:15 am bus going to Rockland Lake
From George Washington Bridge Terminal: Leave on the 8:40 bus going to Rockland Lake
Destination: Rockland Lake (Lake Road and Route 9W) in Valley Cottage, NY
Please make sure that you leave ample time to get to the bus gate. You can get ticket on the bus or from the window on the ground floor.
Arrival Time: Bus arrives approximately at 9:35 a.m. After arriving, walk across the street (Route 9W) and walk into Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance. Keep walking along the path for 2 minutes, we’ll meet a picnic table right next to the park lot. Restrooms will be available.
Return Trip: The bus runs hourly and arrives at pickup at approximately 25 minutes past each hour. Bus station is right across where they drop off in the morning.
Drivers: Expect an $8 parking fee. Arrive by 9:45 a.m. and drive into the Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance on Route 9W and Lake Road, Valley Cottage, NY. (299 Lake Rd. Valley Cottage, NY, 10989). There is another parking lot about a mile further north on Route 9W (parking lot #2). Please make sure you’re at the right one. South Entrance parking lot is an open space with a lots of picnic tables and a large building complex.
We aim to start the hike at 10am and will walk to the trailhead together from the parking lot.
Registration Fee: Sliding scale from $30 – $85. Registration opens Oct. 15th on NYIMC.org.
No prior meditation experience needed.
- Hiking poles
- Your lunch
- Ample snacks
- At least three liters of water
- A backpack
- Organic tick repellent (optional)
- Organic bug repellent (optional)
- Sitting props if needed (thermal rest z-seat pad, light yoga block, etc.)
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Comfortable athletic clothing (cottons are discouraged)