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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 at our feet and the stunning views in front of our eyes.

If there’s time, a stop at one of our favorite farm stands awaits us before we head back to the city, reinvigorated and relaxed after our time in the forest.

We’ll integrate nature meditation along the hike.  Some examples of practices may include:

  • Four Elements: Contemplating the elements of air, earth, water and fire
  • Non-Conceptual Awareness: Letting go of existing concepts and focus on direct experience
  • Expansive Awareness: Dissolving into the sky
  • Sensory Awareness

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 falls 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.

No prior meditation experience required.  Please feel free to bring any light meditation props that you find to be helpful (thermal rest z-seat pad, light yoga block, yoga mat, backjack, etc.), though they are not necessary.

When:
Saturday, June 24, 2017

Register at:  New York Insight Meditation Center

Registration Fee: $95 before June 1st; price goes up $10 after June 1st.  We are partnering with Discover Outdoors for this hike.  Transportation, an expert trail guide, and park permit are included in the registration fee.  It also covers a portion of dana for teachers and New York Insight.  At the end of the trip, if you are moved by the experience, additional dana is greatly appreciated but not necessary.

Based on the size of the van, only 12 spots are available per trip.  There will be a waitlist once these spots are filled.  If you decided to drive to meet us, you will make more spots for others to join and pay $20 less ($75).  As soon as you register, please email info@beinginthewild.com to indicate that you’ll be driving so we can inform others of additional availability.

Facilitators:

Jon Aaron has been a teacher at New York insight since 2006. His principal dharma teacher has been Matthew Flickstein of The Forest Way. He trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a certified teacher through the CFM. He has taught over 50 cycles of the seminal curriculum as well as numerous courses for alumni of the program. He completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He is the co-guiding teacher of the Makom Meditation Havurah program at the Jewish Community Center. He is a certified Somatic Experience Practitionertm and has most recently completed the teacher training in Mindfulness for Pain offered by Breathworks in England.

Lin Gordon has practiced insight meditation in the last six years. Her principal dharma teachers have been Jonathan Foust of Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Mark Coleman of Spirit Rock, and Jon Aaron at New York Insight. Inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature practices, she will complete Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Meditation in Nature Facilitators Training in the fall of 2017.

Register Here


Trip Details:

Meeting Location and Time:

Meet at Paragon Sports, Broadway at E. 18th St. (Union Square area)
Meet at 8:15am, leaves at 8:30am, returning at 6:30pm

Drive to Meet Option:

Have your own transportation? You’ll meet us at the parking area on Old Mineral Springs Road in Cornwall, NY at 9:45 AM.  If you drive there to meet us, you will make more spots available for others to join us.  As soon as you register, please email info@beinginthewild.com to indicate that you’ll be driving so we can inform others of additional availability.

Pack List:

Bring
  • Your lunch
  • Ample snacks
  • At least three liters of water
  • A backpack.
Wear
  • Comfortable athletic clothing, weather appropriate
  • Hiking boots
  • Hat
  • Jacket
  • Sunscreen

Intensity Level:

This is a Level 5 trip rated by Discover Outdoors.

Moderate — For Skilled Beginners and Intermediate Participants

Level 5 trips place greater emphasis challenging you physically. Whether you’re still new to the scene or have some experience, you’ll appreciate a more deliberate pace with a capable group.

Trail Statistics
  • 6.0 miles
  • 1,000 Feet Cumulative Gain
  • Clear path, no use of hands required. Some steep uphill and downhill sections.
Activity

We’ll be out on the trails for five to seven hours.

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 St station of the A train (downtown direction).

Directions: Take the A train to Rockaway Boulevard station (about 45 mins from Manhattan).  Transfer to the Q52 or Q53 bus on Woodhaven Blvd.  When you get off the Rockaway Blvd. subway station, look for the red P.C. Richard & Son store sign, the bus is right in front of it facing Woodhaven Blvd.  It will drop you off directly in front of the Wildlife Preserve Visitor Center in a 5-7 minutes bus ride.

Registration: New York Insight Meditation Center

This will be the part of a monthly series of nature meditation offerings from March to September, 2017. Sessions are “sign-up as you go” and upcoming sessions will be announced soon. 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, and 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 for yourself around mobility issues.

For planning purposes, please register online so we know to expect you and we will send an email notification at least 24 hours in advance to in case of location change or cancellation due to weather conditions.

We look forward to awakening up in the wild together.

Fee by donation: Suggested starting donation at $20 but whatever you offer is greatly appreciated and no one is ever turned away for lack of funds.


Facilitators:

Jon Aaron has been a teacher at New York insight since 2006. His principal dharma teacher has been Matthew Flickstein of The Forest Way. He trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a certified teacher through the CFM. He has taught over 50 cycles of the seminal curriculum as well as numerous courses for alumni of the program. He completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He is the co-guiding teacher of the Makom Meditation Havurah program at the Jewish Community Center. He is a certified Somatic Experience Practitionertm and has most recently completed the teacher training in Mindfulness for Pain offered by Breathworks in England.

Lin Gordon has practiced insight meditation in the last six years. Her principal dharma teachers have been Jonathan Foust of Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Mark Coleman of Spirit Rock, and Jon Aaron at New York Insight. Inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature practices, she will complete Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Meditation in Nature Facilitators Training in the fall of 2017.

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 Seed, as well as an earth protection practice inspired by Mark Coleman.

This will be the part 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, and 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 for yourself around mobility issues.

For planning purposes, please register online so we know to expect you and we will send an email notification at least 24 hours in advance to in case of location change or cancellation due to weather conditions.

We look forward to exploring our inner and outer world together in nature.

When:
9:30-12pm, Saturday, April 22, 2017

(Meet at 9:15am at 100th St. entrance, Central Park West)

Where:
Central Park (100th St. and Central Park West)

Register at: New York Insight Meditation Center

Fee by donation: Suggested starting donation at $15 but whatever you offer is greatly appreciated and no one is ever turned away for lack of funds.  50% of the donation will be directed to the New York Insight Meditation Center.


Facilitator:

Lin Gordon has practiced insight meditation in the last six years. Her principal dharma teachers have been Jonathan Foust of Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Mark Coleman of Spirit Rock, and Jon Aaron at New York Insight. Inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature practices, she will complete Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Meditation in Nature Facilitators Training in the fall of 2017.

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 for yourself around mobility issues.

For planning purposes, please register online so we know to expect you and we will send an email notification at least 24 hours in advance in case of location change or cancellation due to weather conditions.

We look forward to awakening in the wild together.

When:
4-6:30pm, Saturday, March 25, 2017

(Meet at 3:45pm at the 190th St. entrance, across the A train 190th St. stop)

IMG_0493

Where:
Fort Tryon Park, in Upper Manhattan, offers spectacular views of the Hudson River, 800 flower varieties, the Cloisters Museum and miles of landscape

Register at: New York Insight Meditation Center

Fee by donation: Suggested starting donation at $15 but whatever you offer is greatly appreciated and no one is ever turned away for lack of funds.


Facilitators:

Jon Aaron has been a teacher at New York insight since 2006. His principal dharma teacher has been Matthew Flickstein of The Forest Way. He trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a certified teacher through the CFM. He has taught over 50 cycles of the seminal curriculum as well as numerous courses for alumni of the program. He completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He is the co-guiding teacher of the Makom Meditation Havurah program at the Jewish Community Center. He is a certified Somatic Experience Practitionertm and has most recently completed the teacher training in Mindfulness for Pain offered by Breathworks in England.

Lin Gordon has practiced insight meditation in the last six years. Her principal dharma teachers have been Jonathan Foust of Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Mark Coleman of Spirit Rock, and Jon Aaron at New York Insight. Inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature practices, she will complete Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Meditation in Nature Facilitators Training in the fall of 2017.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Foust, 2016