Author: being in the wild

Sun., 8/23/2020: Cultivating Wisdom and Resilience Through Nature-Based Mindfulness Practice (Online and Outdoors)

As we go through an intense year of pandemic and social transformation, how do we access our inner resources regardless of external circumstances? Whether it is through a tree or sky meditation, listening to sounds of the birds or walking on grass barefoot, we can learn from the intelligence and wisdom from our natural environment, and reconnect and renew our body and spirit. Through this day you’ll be guided through nature meditation practices that connect to your senses and explore your internal and external experiences intimately. You can do these nature practices on your rooftop, porch, backyard, stupa, a neighborhood garden or park, anywhere that you can meditate outdoors. You don’t need to seek the most beautiful place to meditate – it is more important that it’s a place that you can easily access and that it can be in your routine so you can develop a regular nature-based practice on your own if you wish. We’ll also explore an indoor nature practice at the end of the day. Date: Sunday, August 23, 2020 Time: …

Sun. 9/27/2020: Fall Foliage Hike to Hook Mountain, Rockland Lake State Park (on the Long Path)

“In every walk in Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir, naturalist Enjoy a fall day in the peaceful beauty of the Hudson Valley with a guided, meditative hike to connect with nature and ourselves. This hike takes the scenic route along the Long Path—into the Rockland Lake State Park and up Hook Mountain. 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. Much of the hike will be observed in silence but we will integrate meditation practices throughout the day — allowing our senses to come alive and our sense of separateness fall away. Turning our attention inward allows us to become receptive to both of our outer and inner experiences. The dynamic outdoor conditions will be a perfect container for mindfulness practices. The hike will be approximately from 10am – 3pm. Who: Lin Gordon When: 8:15am-3pm, Sunday, September 27, 2020 Where: Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance on Route 9W and Lake Road (parking …

Mon. 8/10/2020, 7pm: Sacred Earth Sangha – Climate, A New Story (Online)

Sacred Earth Sangha at New York Insight Meditation Center Meets 2nd Monday evening of every month Join us for an online book club exploring the latest book by Charles Eisenstein, Climate: A New Story which you can read online for a donation here. For our second meeting, we will be reading through Chapter Four (up to page 104 in the book and through the section “Five Thousand Years of Climate Change” online). Please feel free to join us for practice and discussion even if you have not completed the reading. We will still have time during our gathering for meditation, small group checkins and plenty of discussion. More info about the book below as well as Zoom Guidelines for our meetings. We look forward to post quarantine where we will be gather outdoors for safe and profound practices in nature. Climate — A New StoryFlipping the script on climate change, Eisenstein makes a case for a wholesale reimagining of the framing, tactics, and goals we employ in our journey to heal from ecological destructionRead the book online for free …

Voice from a Tree

March 14, 2020 – Stuyvesant Park, NYC This was a freewriting exercise that came out of the Breathe.Read.Write workshop offered by Lisa Freedman. I gave an instruction of a 10-minutes tree meditation. After we meditated with a tree, Lisa read the poem “I Trust the Wind and Don’t Know Why” by Wyn Cooper, then she asked us to write from the voice of the tree that we just spent time with. “I am not a sissie. I’ve been standing here in this noisy, bustling urban environment for a long time. Even though they’ve tried to contain me at roots, put hard concrete on top on my roots, I keep expanding. I go deeper, finding water and nutritions where human don’t reach and interrupt my natural freedom. I dig deeper into them and I bring them back through my body and reach upward. Yes, it’s hard sometimes. The wind blows, and I don’t get support from my fellow tree family in a natural way, but I am growing and thriving. Even if it means I have …

Sat. Mar. 14, 2020: Stuyvesant Square Park Volunteering, Nature Meditation and Writing

“This is really why I made my daughters learn to garden—so they would always have a mother to love them, long after I am gone.” ― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants This event is sponsored by Breathe.Read.Write. Did you know that increased sunlight triggers birdsongs? As the days get longer and life wakes up from the winter slumber, it’s time to go outdoors and enjoy the aliveness of  Earth’s renewal.  Join us for our pre-Equinox celebration  with a day of park volunteering, nature practices, poetry, and free-writing. Come at any time between 9:30am-1pm to volunteer and celebrate this local park by helping with gardening and maintenance. Come see early spring blooms and learn about composting. No gardening experience needed and there will be light refreshments provided by the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA). After volunteering, you can join the Breathe.Read.Write workshop from 1-3pm. We will begin with a nature meditation guided by Lin.   After that, Lisa will read a short poem and invite you to free-write (just let the pen move, …

Practice: Fire Meditation on a Winter Night

Sitting, singing, and sharing stories around a bonfire is how humans connect with each other for millenniums. In this winter, build a fire in your yard or a camp ground. Invite your friends and neighbors over to join you in taking in the warmth and light. To begin the practice: Take in the gratitude into our heart.  The warmth of friendship. Let’s first close our eyes and tune into our senses.   Can we hear the fire? The crackle of sparks.   Can we smell the fire?  The burning wood, the smoke. Can we feel the fire?  Can you put your hands or feet near the fire? The warmth, the flickering flame that goes here and there. After a few minutes, when you are ready, you can open your eyes.  Notice how bright the fire is.  How ephemeral are the flames, how the smoke swirled.   Notice the bright red wood coming through the blackness, shimmering. Contemplate that what we think of being burned and destruction of the wood, is actually the release of the …

Sat. Nov. 23, 2019: We Are Nature: Remembering Our Sacred Connection to Earth

Who: Sebene Selassie, DaRa Williams, and Lin Gordon  Date: Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 | 10:00am to 5:00pm Location: New York Insight Meditation Center Many of us speak of nature as if it is something external, having nothing to do with us except when we “visit it”. Nature is “out there” or in “the wilderness.” Dharma, which is often referred to as truth or teachings, can be translated as nature. Dharma as nature is everywhere, in and around us. Whether we are aware of it or not, We are always in connection to this truth, that we are this sacred earth. In this daylong program, we will take time to reconnect to our bodies, hearts and minds remembering that we are nature. Centering land and ancestors, we will cultivate meditative awareness to sense the sacred connection to earth that is always present when we open to it. We will explore how this understanding can support us in our lives, in relationship/connection, our work, and especially in our response to our current planetary crisis. We will use …

Sun. October 20, 2019: Fall Foliage Hike to Hook Mountain, Rockland Lake State Park (on the Long Path)

“In every walk in Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir, naturalist Enjoy a fall day in the peaceful beauty of the Hudson Valley with a guided, meditative hike to connect with nature and ourselves. This hike takes the scenic route along the Long Path—into the Rockland Lake State Park and up Hook Mountain. 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. Much of the hike will be observed in silence but we will integrate meditation practices throughout the day — allowing our senses to come alive and our sense of separateness fall away. Turning our attention inward allows us to become receptive to both of our outer and inner experiences. The dynamic outdoor conditions will be a perfect container for mindfulness practices. The hike will be approximately from 10am – 3pm. Who: Lin Gordon When: 8:15am-3pm, Sunday, October 20, 2019 Where: Rockland Lake State Park, South Entrance on Route 9W and Lake Road (parking …

Practice: Working with Difficult Emotions

“All transformation comes after you come into contact with your body.” Jonathan Foust Emotions stay in our body if we don’t process and release them.  Yet if we can develop the capacity to be with them intimately, we can release them once we allow them the space to be fully experienced for a minute or two.  When we work with difficult emotions, we want to listen to and respect our body’s intuitive intelligence, and let it be the guide to navigate the emotional territory.   Thich Haht Hahn said that we need to hold our emotions like a newborn baby – with the same kind of gentleness, tenderness, and care. Usually we feel pain in particular areas of our body, not all of the body.  In this meditation, we will establish areas of body that are the pain zones, and areas of body that feel a sense of ease, which we call the non-pain zones.  And we will shift our attention between the pain zones and non-pain zones depending on our emotional capacity and where we are …