Author: being in the wild

Sat. June 15, 2019 – Birding and Nature Meditation at Central Park

Register Bird in the Pepper Tree Don’t mind my inexplicable delight in knowing your name, little Wilson’s Warbler yellow as a lemon, with a smooth, black cap.. Just do what you do and don’t worry, dipping branch by branch down  to the fountain…. A name is not a leash. – By Mary Oliver Do you know there are approximately 230 different species of birds can be found in Central Park? Some are year round and some would stop by during the spring and fall migration season.  Join Lin Gordon (nature meditation teacher) and Stephen Roylance (retired science teacher) in taking an early morning walk through Central Park, where we will listen to the sounds within and without. Who: Lin Gordon and Stephen Roylance When: 8:15am-10:30am, Saturday, June 13, 2019 Where: Meet at 72nd St and Central Park West entrance  Public Transportation: 72nd St station, 1, 2, 3, B or C by Subway Registration Fee: Sliding scale from $15, $20, to $25.  Registration is now opened. No prior meditation or birding experience needed. Bring Binocular Water Organic bug/tick …

May 10 – 12, 2019: Spring Weekend Retreat

Every season has its unique gifts. As a season for reawakening and renewal, spring provides us a unique opportunity to see the world with fresh eyes and to feel the wonder of the earth as it comes back to life. 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 …

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 …

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 an 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 a …

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 …

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 …

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

Register 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 …

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 …