meditation

Williamburg’s Kadampa Meditation Center Brings a Mindful Approach to Dealing with Anxiety (WED, 10/24)

“If we want to be happy all the time and to be free from problems, we must develop and maintain a peaceful mind.”
– Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, How to Transform Your Life

In Buddhism, the term mindfulness is interchangeable with meditation.

Mindfulness is that part of the mind we need to cultivate in order to practice meditation. Mindfulness technically means to remember, to be mindful. We already have mindfulness, the problem is we have mindfulness of the wrong things. For example, if we have a tendency towards anxiety we’ve already mastered mindfulness of remembering all the things that might go wrong.

That’s why we need to train in mindfulness of the right things, to train ourselves to focus on those aspects of our mind that produce what we actually want – peace, happiness and an expansive and open heart.

We can think of meditation as focusing the mind on the internal causes of peace and happiness. The beautiful thing is we carry these internal causes with us everywhere we go. While we all already have them, we need to learn how to recognize them. Once we can recognize our internal causes of peace and happiness. we then train in remaining mindful of them.

This is essentially what the practice of meditation is all about, and how it can be used to completely eradicate all suffering, including the suffering of anxiety.

Price: $15 for the Special Event, followed by $15 per class, or sign up for all five follow-on classes in advance for $50 (save $25). Continue reading

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Practical Enlightenment: Modern Buddhism at Kadampa Meditation Center

“Anything you do can be incorporated because it depends on the mind in which you do something, so you can always have a peaceful, loving, enjoyable, heart centered feeling at work, with friends, with family; especially when things are stressful. It’s a practical practice. It’s not just about sitting formally.” — Joe Giacona, Meditation Teacher at KMC Williamsburg Branch

On the Northside of Williamsburg, inside one of the many new towers that have arisen, sits Kadampa Meditation Center — a cozy, peaceful space with bright walls, golden Buddhas and very chill teachers. In this busy town, coming back to ourselves for simple, quiet reflection is increasingly difficult. Even in this space of North Brooklyn that boasts apothecaries, yoga studios, and new age classes, we can struggle to find that which we are all searching for: Peace and Happiness.

Enter Joe Giacona, a volunteer and Teacher, who’s been helping run the Kadampa Meditation Center of Williamsburg for years by setting up in various yoga studios throughout Greenpoint. (It’s only recently this branch of the New Kadampa Tradition found a permanent home at 119 North 11th Street between Bedford & Berry). This self proclaimed “goof” exudes a sense of serene happiness. As he talks about meditating on love and compassion in simple routine times like your daily commute, you realize that steps towards enlightenment aren’t nearly as stressful as they’re made out to be.

“Meditating on Love is just recognizing somebody wants to be happy … and you have the same the wish … If people could just meditate on that alone, the world’s problems would just cease. You’d recognize we are all in it for the same thing. We’re not on these different sides; getting stuck and entrenched in our views, thinking you’re right and they’re wrong. No, we all just want to be happy.” — Joe Giacona, Meditation Teacher at KMC Williamsburg Branch

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Happy 9th Birthday Hosh Yoga + Pay-What-You-Wish Meditation Class!

image via Hosh Yoga
image via Hosh Yoga
Happy birthday, Hosh!!! Hosh Yoga (657 Meeker Ave) has been serving our neighborhood as a non-profit yoga studio for the past nine years, having started out giving free yoga classes in McCarren Park. They later moved to a studio on Nassau Avenue, and then to their new space on Meeker Ave last fall. After tremendous support from the Greenpoint community, which helped them to raise more than $8500, they were able to open the new space. Hosh offers a range of affordable yoga classes and free wellness programs for underserved adults and seniors, and enriching educational programs for kids in NYC schools. In short, they’re doing good work. 🙂

Their latest offering is a donation-based meditation class on Saturdays from 1:30-2pm, starting this Saturday, May 5th. Drop in to meditate on all the positive vibes they’re spreading, and if you can’t make the class, you can still donate to Hosh.

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Freshly Baked Comedy, Pasta Fesca Plate, Prophets Over Profits, Bike Tour Tuneup — What’s Happening Greenpoint (4/11-4/17)

Poster design by Julia Moak

Our Gardens of the Galaxy Spring Market is Getting Ready to Blast Off! Spring may not yet have fully sprung but we’re bringing fresh life, warmth, and out of this world local vendors to the Greenpoint Loft on 67 West Street for Greenpointers’ Gardens of the Galaxy Spring Market. We’ll be blasting off on Sunday, April 22 and staying in orbit from 1 to 7pm. Join your fellow space gardeners and RSVP on Facebook.  More deets here.

WEDNESDAY 4/11

^ Letters in the Dirt @The Brick (579 Metropolitan Avenue), 7pm, $20, This play places its audience face-to-face with the insightful Aiyana Jones— a seven-year-old girl fatally shot by police in 2010 during a botched raid in Detroit, now a symbol within the Movement for Black Lives. Buy Tix
♫ Full Frontal Female Fronted @Our Wicked Lady (153 Morgan Ave) 8pm, $5, Buy Tix
Grand St. Stompers: 20s Jazz @Radegast (113 N 3rd St.), 9pm, FREE, Grab some German food & drink and join the quintet for dancing, listening, and hanging, More Info
☺ Freshly Baked: Cookies and Comedy @ The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue), 9pm, FREE, rotating lineup, surprise special guests and homemade baked goods, More Info

THURSDAY 4/12

* Economic Development Committee Mtg — Community Board 1 @ CB1 District Office (435 Graham Avenue), 6:30pm, FREE, More Info
* Cacao Ceremony & Reiki Experience @Anima Mundi Herbals (35 Noble Street), 7pm, $40, Are you ready to cultivate a deep loving sensation within your heart? Are you ready to deepen your loving relationship with yourself and others? Buy Tix
# Pasta Fresca Plate! @Archestratus (160 Huron St.), 7pm, $20,Archestratus is very excited to kick off a new weekly dinner gathering! A relaxed evening of fresh, homemade pasta from a pasta-making Chef + Friend of Archie’s, RSVP
Abraham Brody & Trys Keturiose: Ancestors @National Sawdust (80 N 6th St.), 7pm, $20, Buy tix
PULP FICTION LIVE performed by The Last Nites @ The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Avenue), 8pm, $12-15, Buy Tix Continue reading

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Ladies Who Ranch, Art on Airwaves, La Banubas, Paint and Sip — What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (3/7–3/13)

For just $1 get a ride to nearby subway stations to/from Greenpoint with Via, an on-demand ridesharing app!! Download the app here and set your pick up or drop-off location by moving the pin on the map to the locations for any of the following train stations:

  • Marcy Av (JMZ train)
  • Vernon Blvd – Jackson Av (7 train)
  • Bedford Av (L train)
  • Lorimer St/Metropolitan Av (L and G trains)
  • Graham Av (L train)
  • Nassau Av (G train)
  • Greenpoint Av (G train)

Expires Monday (March 12, 11:59PM). Install the Via app now! [Sponsored]

WEDNESDAY 3/7

^ Tables of Contents Reading Series: Hunt! Gerrard! Caldwell! @Egg (109 North 3rd St), 7pm, $5, Each reading will be paired with snacks inspired by its text, plus you’ll be in for an author-curated playlist and a rangy Q&A/discussion on writing, craft, aversion, and creativity to wrap up the night. Beer and wine will be available for purchase, and WORD will be present slinging text, More info
☺ Ladies Who Ranch @ Vital Joint (109 Meserole St), 8pm, $5-10, Group of women does jokes for laughs at comedy show to change the national conversation. The show is followed by the Ladies Who Ranch Open Mic, an experimental comedy mic that especially encourages multimedia performances, More info
♫# Live Flamenco in St Charles Cellar @St. Mazie Bar (345 Grand St), 8pm, FREE, A night of authentic Flamenco in our beautiful speakeasy. Full dinner menu available as well as a 3 course Pre fixe menu, cocktails, absinthe and more… Ole!, More info
♫ Carte Blanche @Radegast Hall (113 N 3rd St), 9pm, FREE,French, Latin and American tunes while you sample the incredible selection of authentic german beers on tap and maybe have a giant german pretzel or bratwurst from the grill!! Space to dance!, More info

THURSDAY 3/8

* Kombrewcha’s International Women’s Day Celebration @ The Williamsburg Hotel (96 Wythe Ave), 6:00pm, $3, Boss Ladies doing big things. We’ll be hosting a panel on Women Who Do. Buy tix
* NYC DRAFT Meetup @ PencilWorks (61 Greenpoint Ave), 6:30pm, FREE, Fast-paced hour of ideas, entrepreneurs and bikes, capturing the exciting things happening in the bike industry, RSVP
♫ ♦ Art on the Airwaves @ Union Docs (322 Union Avenue), 7:30 pm, $10, A showcase of radio documentary selected by James T. Green, cofounder of Postloudness, a collective of independent audio shows by people of color, women, and queer-identified hosts that aims to create a community of unique voices in audio. Buy tix
♫ Anna McClellan (Record Release), Navy Gangs @ ALPHAVILLE (140 Wilson Avenue), 10pm, $10, Buy tix
♫ Mughal Legion 3 Ft. Fanaa @ Legion Bar (790 Metropolitan Ave), 10pm, FREE, Part 3 of a monthly-ish series of musical rites to be performed at Legion Bar, curated by Mughal Muesli. More info
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TOMORROW: Reiki & Meditation at PS 9 Pets

Are you a dog lover? Do you also dig on self-care, wellness, and mindful practices? Well, here’s a great event for you and your best pooch. Tomorrow (2/18), PS 9 Pets  (169 North 9th Street) is hosting a reiki share and guided meditation for you and your furry friends. With the healing and impactful practice of reiki and the calming, clarity of meditation, you and and your dog can experience a mindful, deep, and restful journey together.

New to reiki and meditation? No worries, beginners are welcome. A $20 suggested donation gets you into the event and sets you up for a successful and peaceful practice for you and the pup in your life. Folks, space is limited, so RSVP with Esther at [email protected]

February 18th, 6-8 pm
PS 9 Pets
169 North 9th Street

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Find Your Spark At the Narayana Integrative Center

Greenpointers, I’m not going to get all woo woo on you. I promise. But, there’s a transformative, powerful space in the neighborhood and I want to share it with you.

Meet the Narayana Integrative Center (191 Nassau Ave), a holistic wellness space located near McGolrick Park. The center focuses on blending physical and spiritual practice for a healthy body and balanced mind.

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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. Continue reading

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Disconnect Your Devices and Connect To Nature in Transmitter Park

Transmitter Park, photo by Megan Penmann
Are you shackled to your phone and ready to take a break from the internet and social media—or at least put your digital presence on pause? This Saturday, guided by mindfulness practitioner Sara Overton, you will be connected with flowers, grasses and trees while playfully awakening your capacity to be one with nature. Overton is currently developing the art project Awake in the Wild Experience with Mark Coleman, author of Awake in the Wild.

What: Become More Mindful in Transmitter
When: Saturday, August 5, 10am – 12 noon
Where: Transmitter Park
RSVP: Email [email protected]. Due to the nature of the practice, space is very limited and admission is by registration

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Four of Wands Wellness Collective: Self-Care and Community

Four of Wands Wellness Collective Williamsburg Store Window
Four of Wands exterior; all photos via Four of Wands

Four of Wands Wellness Collective (349 Leonard Street) is a self-care studio in Williamsburg, where people can find different kinds of holistic treatments, classes, handmade gifts, and a community space. Owner and Licensed Massage Therapist Daru Oda wanted to create a space for  doing “what makes you happy. We forget to do things that are fun or to expand our minds. At Four of Wands, we can take care of ourselves for an hour.”

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