Author: being in the wild

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 …

Making It Happen vs. Letting It Happen – Guided Meditation

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 …

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 …

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 …

June 24: Mineral Springs Falls Meditative Hike – Lakes, A Waterfall, and Unique Flora

“The birds have dissolved into the sky And the last remaining clouds have faded away We sit together the mountain and me Until the only mountain remains” – Li Po, Zazen on Ching Ting Mountain What we love about this hike Visit beautiful waterfalls Multiple open views of the Hudson Valley Unique ecosystems in Black Rock Forest Stop at a local farmstand Join us on a meditative hike through Black Rock Forest, a hidden gem in the Hudson Valley that’s home to unique ecosystems. Our hike begins as we pass Mineral Springs Falls and hike along the spring as we head uphill. After our first tough climb, we’ll pass by Jupiter’s Boulder and soon a break will await us at Sutherland Pond, where the bravest among us can dip our toes.  We will rest and meditate there for a while. After we’ll follow winding trails through the park – a favorite place of biologists and botanists due to its high species and habitat diversity – and observe the variety of berries and wild edibles that fill the forest …

May 20: Bird Watching/Nature Meditation at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve

“To see is to forget the name of thing one sees.” – Paul Valery   Want to spend a spring late afternoon watching birds and sunset?  With a short train ride away, we will be transported to a wild sanctuary from the city.  We will be sharing various nature meditation practices in this beautiful open space – cultivating stillness, opening our senses and our heart, and let nature help us unfold in ways that we cannot foresee. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge—part of Gateway National Recreation Area—is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeast and one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating species. With more than 330 bird species—nearly half the species in the Northeast—sighted at the refuge over the last 25 years. When: 4-6:30pm, Saturday, May 20, 2017 Where: You can meet us directly at 3:45pm at the Visitor Center at the  Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve.  Or if you would like to travel together to Jamaica Bay from Manhattan, we’ll meet at 2:30pm at the corner of 14th …

April 22: Earth Day Nature Meditation at Central Park

“We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia and pray that the breath of life continues to caress this planet home. May we grow into true understanding — a deep understanding that inspires us to protect the tree on which we bloom, and the water, soil and atmosphere without which we have no existence. May we turn inwards and stumble upon our true roots in the intertwining biology of this exquisite planet. May nourishment and power pulse through these roots, and fierce determination to continue the billion-year dance. May love well up and burst forth from our hearts.” – John Seed, environmentalist, founder of Rainforest Information Centre in Australia   On this Earth Day, April 22, join us to immerse in nature practices to connect with the Earth and your senses.  From a single leave, we see the whole universe.  Our sense of separateness falls away when we come into contact with the natural world. In addition to sensory awareness practices, we will explore a Gaia Meditation created by Joanna Macy and Australian environmentalist John …

March 25: Spring Equinox Nature Meditation at Fort Tryon Park

Feel the spring air? It’s time to go outdoors and enjoy the aliveness and renewal of the Earth. Join us to celebrate the spring equinox with nature practices. Whether it’s standing in front of a tree or watching a quiet sunset, we can open up our senses and find wisdom and joy by immersing in nature. Let our experiences in nature reveal the dharma and doorways to who we truly are. This will be the first of a monthly series of nature meditation offerings from March to September, 2017. Sessions are “sign-up as you go.”  No prior meditation experience required. Sessions will be conducted outdoors so please dress appropriately, with closed-toe shoes, clothing appropriate to the weather, hats, etc.  Please bring a water bottle to all sessions.  There will be park benches to sit on but if you prefer, please feel free to bring any meditation props that you find to be helpful (meditation cushion or bench, yoga mat, backjack, etc.). Most sessions will include some gentle movement or walking practice so please offer care …