My students LOVE meditation! Whether in the boardroom, college classroom, dance studio, or veteran’s center, they enjoy meditation’s gifts: the sense of serenity, connection to higher consciousness, and the ability to solve challenges from a spiritual viewpoint. But the most common comment I hear from my blissed-out students at the end of class is, “I love meditation! But what IS it?”
So let me Nancy Drew this situation for you! When hearing about meditation, some folks may conjure an image of half-naked men walking unscathed on hot coals or people hiding in a mountain cave and signing strange chants. Although these experiences are part of some meditation traditions abroad, this ancient practice is just as accessible to the modern Westerner living in the most expensive, fast-paced, and fabulous metropolis in the U.S.-New York City!
Meditation includes everything from simple concentration exercises to achieving enlightenment. People of all spiritual backgrounds can practice meditation, and most forms of worship already contain meditation, although called by other names. The practice of meditation results in common human experiences across gender, culture, age, language, religion, and educational background.
The actual practice of meditation can be done seated, lying in savasana, walking around, with the eyes open or closed, and for the lucky few, lived as a state of existence 24/7. Like learning any new skill, meditation is designed to be practiced (not perfected!) each time you feel the desire to go within and calm the mind.
Meditation trains the mind to concentrate steadily on a point of focus (breath, mantra, even thought itself) so that the mind relaxes and higher consciousness has a chance to expand. With practice, even this focus falls away and you’re just in a state of meditation. Our minds are designed to think rapidly, so gratitude and compassion for your thoughts is often the first step in relaxing the mind. There are as many methods for achieving this goal as there are global cultures, and all that matters is that you find the right one for you!
To that end, I teach a guided meditation class every Friday in Midtown Manhattan from 1:30-2PM at Reflections Yoga. This class is donation-based, so it’s FREE for all who need it to be. Donations are welcome but certainly not required. Each week, I teach a different style of meditation focusing on universal themes. Beginners and students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome. So if you’d like to solve the Great Meditation Mystery for yourself, come join me!
Refections Yoga, 250 West 49th Street, 2nd Floor (Just off 8th Avenue), NYC 10019
I also teach weekly Yoga & Meditation classes at Broadway Dance Center in Midtown Manhattan. This class follows the format of 1 hour of gentle vinyasa yoga followed by a 30-minute guided meditation. For class rates and schedule, see below:
Broadway Dance Center, 322 West 45th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue), NYC 10036
Both locations provide free mats and meditation props. See you in Blisstown!