Author: being in the wild

Sat. November 24 – Thanksgiving Meditative Hike to Hook Mountain, Rockland Lake State Park (on the Long Path)

  “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   Register Immerse in the peaceful beauty of autumn in the Hudson Valley before winter arrives. This guided, meditative hike takes the scenic route along the Long Path—into the Rockland Lake State Park and up Hook Mountain (698 ft). Enjoy expansive vistas only 1.5 hours outside of the city, and an extraordinary space designated by the New York Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area. As we head into deep fall, take a walk into the woods to connect …

Winter Renewal Silent Weekend Retreat – President’s Day Weekend, 2019

Register Every season has its unique gifts. As a season for deep rest and renewal, winter provides us a unique opportunity to step away from our active life and come into deep introspection and regenerate. To help you come into a deeper rhythm with the natural world, Lin Gordon and Lee Steppacher will weave nature-based meditation practices throughout this silent weekend retreat. We will spend extended time outdoors and participate in guided meditation and mindful walks to open our sense of awareness, and sinking deeply into our connection to the world around us. Participants will learn to develop a receptive presence and contemplative relationship with nature, opening the possibility to experience beautiful states of joy, peace, wonder, love and connection with oneself, each other and the larger web of life. Specific practices will be chosen based on weather, location and the group, but will include foundational mindfulness, movement and wisdom practices that are particularly aligned with being in nature. The weekend will be held primarily in silence, allowing you to cultivate the capacity to be …

Workshop: Block.Build.Be. 2019

People of Color Practicing Earth Wisdom Organized by Buddhist Peace Fellowship Date: May 9–12, 2019 Location:  The Watershed Center, Millerton NY Registration: Applications due January 25th, 2019.  Register at Block.Build.Be. 2019. Focus: Earth Wisdom and Eco Justice Attendance: 100% BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Cost: Fully sliding scale from $0–$3,500, no one turned away for lack of funds. For full details, please find more info on Block.Build.Be. 2019. Below is a brief summary from the Block.Build.Be.2019 website: What kind of gathering is Block Build Be? While BBB gatherings do draw from multiple lineages of Buddhism, please note that this is not a silent meditation retreat or intensive Buddhist study. Rather, it’s a chance to practice #MakingRefuge together, in the words of BBB alum Ed Ng. Sometimes this is quiet, and sometimes it is loud! Always, it centers relationships. Think: 70% workshops 30% shared dharma practice 100% getting to know amaaaazing people. We are a multi-lineage crew and welcome folks from many traditions — Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, all their branches, and non-Buddhists — all working for climate justice. Some of us were raised with Buddhism, some have …

Practice: Standing in front of a Tree

In a technology-oriented world we live today, we rarely get the opportunity to have an intimate and deep connection with the natural world and learn from it.  This practice of standing in front of and interacting with a single tree, will help us cultivate the sensitivities and attunement to a living being.  And we can find a tree even in a dense urban environment. 1) Be Called to a Tree Instead of picking a tree in our mind before the practice, notice where you are standing in your environment, tune into the body first, and sense if there is a tree at and its energy at this moment that you find interesting to connect with.  Follow your curiosity and felt sense. 2) Take in the Whole Tree from Afar As you approach the tree from afar, take in the whole tree from a distance first.  Take in the height, the shape, and how this tree fits into the its environment as whole. 3) Sense the Tree Upclose Feel into the environment of the tree as it has …

Guided Meditation: Making It Happen vs. Letting It Happen

My teacher Jonathan Foust gave a talk on “Making It Happen vs. Letting It Happen” back in April.  I always love that Jonathan is so artful in condensing spiritual teachings into simple and accessible phrases.  We can explore this theme in two layers and both speak to me to the heart of spiritual practices.  First is the balance between making efforts to achieve goals and making time and space in our life to reflect on those efforts, to see if they are aligned with our hearts and whether they lead us on the path we want to go down to.  Our culture values goals and results and idealize efforts and productivity, and there are certainly great value in work ethics.  Yet, if we don’t slow down in our life to make time and space to reflect, we can be running in full speed down on a path that we don’t want to go down to. Secondly, “letting it happen” speaks to a quality that we all recognize in our life, that is that life is …

August 24 – 26, Summer Nature Meditation Weekend Retreat (Norwich, VT)

The Summer Day Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? — Mary Oliver Register As Mary Oliver …

Sat. April 21 – Earth Day Meditative Hike to Anthony’s Nose

6Register Here “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 Feel the spring energy in the air?  How about taking a meditative hike that takes you past a crystalline lake and the lowest-elevation stretch of the Appalachian Trail (AT) to one of the most dramatic scenic destinations in the Hudson Valley? Anthony’s Nose (900 feet) is only an hour outside of the city, and it will take you to fresh air, expansive vista, and blossoming trees.  On this Earth Day (4/22) weekend, take a walk into the woods to …

November 24: Black Friday Nature Meditation at Central Park

Register Here “Everything in this universe has a rhythm; everything dances.” – Maya Angelou Need some renewal time after the Thanksgiving holiday? Inspired by REI’s #OptOutside campaign which closes its stores on Black Friday and encourages everyone to go outdoors, we would like to take this opportunity to immerse in the season with nature meditation and gratitude practices. Every season has its unique gifts.  With the abundance of late fall, we reflect on the work from this past year, harvest what we reap, and release what we no longer need.  It returns to the essence of our experiences and who we are, as we let go of the attachments to the beauty and excitement of summer.  As days get shorter and we are heading into winter, it is a time for introspection, letting go, and spiritual connection. Who: Jon Aaron and Lin Gordon When: 10:30am-12:30pm, Friday, November 24th Where: Central Park, 100th St. and Central Park West Meeting Location and Time: 10:15am at 100th St. entrance, Central Park West No prior meditation experience needed. Fee by donation: Suggested donation starts …

Meditate and Write in the Grove: June to October (Monthly)

Register Here Starting June 11, join Brooklyn Greenway Initiative as we meditate and free write in the beautiful outdoor space of the Naval Cemetery Landscape, co-sponsored by Breathe Read Write and Being in the Wild. Session 1 on Sunday morning, June 11, 9:30 – 11:30am: Welcome summer, season of growth and abundance. Sessions 2-4 on the first Thursday evening of July (7/6), August (8/3), and Sept. (9/7), 6:30 – 8pm: Tune in to the gifts and cycles of this ground and the beings that live here, such as trees, native wildflowers (Brown Eyed Susans, Asters, etc.), bees, birds, and more. Session 5 on Sunday morning October 1, 9:30 – 11:30am: Thank summer and welcome fall, season of harvest and completion. This park honors the past and builds toward a greener, more contemplative future. We can all participate by gathering to meditate and offer our own creativity. These sessions are suitable for everyone, from beginners to experienced meditators or writers. Each class will include meditation instruction and practice, prompts to awaken your senses, guided free-writing, and …

July 29: Lake Awosting – Meditative Hike & Swim

Bask in Some of NY’s Greatest Views and Cool Off in a Glacial Lake What We Love Swim in a glacial lake Open views of stunning cliffs Lush and colorful forests Visit a local farm stand Photo credit: Discover Outdoors Register Here After arriving at the beautiful glacial Lake Minnewaska, we’ll warm up with three miles through the lush and mystical forests high above the Palmaghatt Ravine. We’ll take in the sweeping views of Gertrude’s Nose and the Hudson Valley as we make our way to the cliffs of Hamilton Point. Our next stop is Lake Awosting, where we can take a break by the calm waters and jump in for a quick swim while we enjoy lunch.  After our rest, we’ll turn to off our gentle carriage roads and join the wondrous Shawangunk Ridge Trail out to take in views from Castle Point and Litchfield Ledge, stretching out to the Catskill Mountains.  We’ll return back to our trailhead via a moderate carriage road and enjoy some final views before our ride home. We’ll integrate …