Submitted by Jonathan S. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Starting 2 days ago, Drs. Jonathan Kaplan and Jenny Taitz began participating in a meditation challenge issued by Sharon Salzberg. As part of her wonderful book, Real Happiness, a community of meditation practitioners has convened in order to practice together...virtually. We've joined the group, and we're committed to meditating (and blogging) for 28 days...in a row! You can read about our meditation experiences on Sharon's blog here: UM & Real Happiness. For folks in NYC, you might want to check out one of the many meditation centers in the city. The "Reviews" section of this website provides details on the various centers, as experienced by one of our former interns. See you on the cushion!
Entries in meditation centers (5)
Submitted by Jonathan S. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Next Saturday, October 16th, is the annual MeditateNYC event here in the city. It's a nice opportunity to experience different kinds of Buddhist meditation firsthand and learn about their spiritual traditions. It's like one-stop shopping (never mind the "spiritual materialism")! The event runs from noon - 4 pm at the Judson Memorial Church near NYU. If you go, please sure to drop us a line and share your experience!
Photo is provided courtesy of Akiva Daube.
Given my personal and professional interest in mindfulness and meditation, I often get asked the question, "Where should I go to learn how to meditate?" And, my answer is always the same, "It depends." There are so many factors to be considered (e.g., personal preferences, prior experience with meditation, religiosity, etc.) that it is impossible to select the #1 meditation venue for everyone. It's a matter of fit: some meditation centers will be more suitable for some people than others. For example, maybe you want a lot of didactic instruction and time for questions. Or, conversely, maybe you prefer silence. Fortunately, because there are so many centers available (in NYC and elsewhere), there is sure to be a place for you.
So, to help our readers navigate the confusing (and sometimes intimidating) world of meditation centers, we are proud to announce a whole new section of our site: Reviews! This summer, our intrepid intern, Ms. Alyssa Barba, visited as many centers as she could and wrote descriptive summaries of her experiences. Rather than being evaluative, these reviews objectively describe the setting, instruction, and other factors, in order to help each of our readers find the most personally suited place to begin learning meditation. New reviews will be posted on the page each week, so be sure to check it regularly. We are launching our new feature with a review of the Chakrasambara Buddhist Center.
When you find a place to visit, be sure to tell them that UrbanMindfulness.org sent you. Also, don't forget that we provide free meditation handouts in our Resources page.
This summer, we've been grateful to have the assistance of a dedicated volunteer, Ms. Alyssa Barba, who has been canvassing NYC and checking out the various meditation centers. She's participated in the sittings of 6 different centers, and the number is growing! We're going to be posting her reviews soon. They aren't evaluative (unless something really bad or weird happened), but descriptive. This way, you can find a place that best matches your interests, values, and familiarity with meditation.
In keeping with our commitment to be as objective and unbiased as possible, we received no compensation for any of the reviews, and nobody even knew that she was attending with the intention of writing about her experiences. As a result, her opinion has not been affected by any special treatment. These days, many of us bloggers (UM, too) have been approached by people offering goods, services, or cash for favorable posts or "shout outs". We don't accept any of these offers, and we'll let you know if there's any potential conflict of interest.