Meditation for Modern Lives: Medi Club at Dobbin St
On July 6th, 250 people came together in Greenpoint to celebrate the first official Medi Club of the Summer! Medi Club is a collective of thousands of New Yorkers that share meditation as a common thread. It’s an evening to get together to meditate, collaborate, meet new people, and discuss topics relevant to modern lifestyles. And, Medi Club is run by the same folks who run The Big Quiet, a mass movement on meditation and culture.
Medi Club now meets at Dobbin St (64 Dobbin St)—their meditation sessions used to be held in Manhattan. The Dobbin St loft is a giant event space at the top of McCarren Park. An old factory has been transformed into a hip event space with a raw and minimalist feel. When I arrived at Medi Club, I checked in at the door and headed straight in. I arrived a few minutes early to meet up with friends, grab a seat, and a bite. The doors close at 7:30 pm and it quickly fills up, so I would recommend getting there a bit early and snagging a spot. There were two tables set up with Sweetgreen salads and a large table along the back wall with Kombrewcha kegs. I picked up a salad, cup of Kombrewcha, spotted my friends, and headed up the stairs to the roof. The roof at Dobbin St is amazing—with fantastic views of the city and tons of open space. I totally recommend hanging out on the steps and benches while you eat your green salad and catch some warm sun. At exactly 7:30, we were guided to come downstairs for the event.
Lauren Bille and Jesse Israel, who run the show, explained the lineup for the evening and what to expect. It started with an icebreaker; we were asked if there is a slogan or saying that has really resonated with us and to share with our neighbors. It came to me immediately and mine was to lead with my heart. This is something I have been practicing and thinking about a lot lately, especially when it comes to decision making, particularly with work. Post-icebreaker session, there was a sound bath and meditation led by Alex Falk. Alex is the founder of Atonal Meditation which introduces practices incorporating sound, voice, breath work, deep listening, and self inquiry. Much like the way Atonal music shifted the definitions of ways people thought about how notes and chords can relate to each other, Atonal Meditation is designated to shift the common perceptions around the way meditation and mindfulness relate to our daily lives.
The sonic meditation (which used crystal bowls to adjust our chakras) was truly incredible and found myself very quickly drifting away, losing track of the fact that I was in a room of 100+ people and completely forgetting that I was sitting next to friends. Time slipped by and before I knew it, we were instructed to open our eyes. It’s incredibly powerful to mediate in a large group where you can feel the energy and vibrations of those around you but so quickly turn inward.
After the meditation, there was a beautiful opera and cello performance by Claudillea Holloway which silenced the room. It was followed by an author who read from his new book about his experience of moving from Haiti to NYC. Then, we broke off in smaller groups of four or five to discuss a topic which then would turn into a group wide town hall where a few people shared what they had discussed in their breakout group. There are certain guidelines for the group breakouts—for one, you are not allowed to give advice. Medi Club has created a space to simply share what’s on your mind and feel listened to, which doesn’t happen often in today’s world.
The breakout group part of Medi Club always brings up modern issues like relationships, creativity, sex and business/life balance, while exploring innovations and breakthroughs in the meditation space. This type of meditation and talk session is way more relevant to today’s culture. It’s definitely not the cliche Enya-induced meditation seshes you see in movies – it’s about real life and real people. The experience was refreshing and insightful, because it feels totally contemporary and expressive, and in line with our current lifestyles. This has became my favorite part of Medi Club because very quickly you become open and vulnerable, sharing deep topics with complete strangers.
After we were brought back together as a group, we wrapped up around 9 and I found myself lingering, still chatting with the people I met in my breakout group, and swapping phone numbers. I have been attending Medi Club for a couple of years now and every single month it’s a different experience with the familiarity of the same community, but I’m always meeting new people as the event continues to grow. Medi Club is such a special monthly treat and I am beyond thrilled that it’s made its way to Greenpoint!
The next Medi Club is Wednesday, August 9th at Dobbin St (64 Dobbin St) from 6:30 to 9pm. The event will kick off with Sweetgreen dinner bowls and Kombrewcha on the rooftop. The 250-person meditation will be led by wisdom teacher Jonni Pollard, followed by a performance from singer Niki Morrissette, a special share by global speaker Juvan Langford, a break out discussion on the night’s topic and hot tracks from DJ Lomé‘.
Tickets and info here