May is National Meditation Month! An ideal time to start your meditation practice
How do I meditate? For most of us without any previous experience, one day we hear from a friend, acquaintance, or through the media, that meditation is beneficial and we a have feeling inside: ‘I should try that.’ But the questions arise, "How do I meditate?" "What if I can’t, or is my mind too busy?" "Is there a ‘right way’?" "What’s the best way?" There is no such thing as a silly question. As meditation guides at our center, we have seen that a majority of people who come to the center, just want to try it for the first time, and have their own set of questions that come up. We try our best to help each person navigate through these, so that they can feel confident in their practice and get the most out of it. So, in addition to our ongoing free online series we would like to invite you to a special session called: ‘How to Meditate,’ every Friday, starting May 29th, at 5pm EST. This session will be hosted by Evan Shwam, musician and long-time meditator. Accompanied by a few guides from local centers in New York and New Jersey, Evan and the other guides will answer questions, give helpful tips and encouragement on your journey. Even if you don’t have any questions, but would like to listen and to find out what others are asking, we welcome you to do so. So if you are a newcomer, or just want to know more about it, maybe heard about our online programs already, but want to know more first before joining, we are happy to help, especially during the month of May, Meditation Month! This just might be the best time to start your journey! Learn more and RSVP at Every Friday, 5-5:45pm EST
Everyday Health Emotional Health A Guide to 7 Different Types of Meditation
This is great way to understanding variety of meditation techniques and types. Brooklyn Meditation practices its own unique method, the format to deliver it is tailored live guided meditation. By Ashley Welch Medically Reviewed by Justin Laube, MD Vipassana, chakra, and yoga are three different forms of meditation. Wizemark/Stocksy; iStock; Aliaksandra Ivanova/Getty ImagesMeditation is the practice of thinking deeply or focusing one’s mind for a period of time. This can be done in silence or with the help of chanting, and is done for a number of reasons, ranging from religious or spiritual purposes to a method for evoking relaxation. In our modern, hectic world, meditation has gained traction in recent years as a way to manage stress. Scientific evidence has also emerged that shows meditation can be a helpful tool in fighting chronic illnesses, including depression, heart disease, and chronic pain. There are many different forms of this ancient practice. If you’re interested in trying meditation, but do not know where to start, here’s a list of seven types of meditation practice:
1. Mindfulness Meditation Mindfulness meditation is the process of being fully present with your thoughts. Being mindful means being aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not being overly reactive to what’s going on around us. Mindful meditation can be done anywhere. Some people prefer to sit in a quiet place, close their eyes, and focus on their breathing. But you can choose to be mindful at any point of the day, including while you’re commuting to work or doing chores. When practicing mindfulness meditation, you observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgement. 2. Transcendental Meditation Transcendental meditation is a simple technique in which a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound, or small phrase, is repeated in a specific way. It’s practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The idea is that this technique will allow you to settle inward to a profound state of relaxation and rest, with the goal of achieving inner peace without concentration or effort. (2,3)
3. Guided Meditation Guided meditation, which is sometimes also called guided imagery or visualization, is a method of meditation in which you form mental pictures or situations that you find relaxing. This process is typically led by a guide or teacher, hence “guided.” It’s often suggested to use as many senses as possible, such as smell, sounds, and textures, to evoke calmness in your relaxing space. 4. Vipassana Meditation (Sayagyi U Ba Khin Tradition) Vipassana meditation is an ancient Indian form of meditation that means to see things as they really are. It was taught in India more than 2,500 years ago. The mindfulness meditation movement in the United States has roots in this tradition. The goal of vipassana meditation is self-transformation through self-observation. This is accomplished through disciplined attention to physical sensations in the body, to establish a deep connection between the mind and body. The continuous interconnectedness results in a balanced mind full of love and compassion, teachers of the practice claim. Vipassana, in this tradition, is typically taught during a 10-day course, and students are expected to follow a set of rules throughout the entirety of the time, including abstaining from all intoxicants, telling lies, stealing, sexual activity, and killing any species. 5. Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation) Metta meditation, also called Loving Kindness Meditation, is the practice of directing well wishes toward others. Those who practice recite specific words and phrases meant to evoke warm-hearted feelings. This is also commonly found in mindfulness and vipassana meditation. It’s typically practiced while sitting in a comfortable, relaxed position. After a few deep breaths, you repeat the following words slowly and steadily. “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease.” After a period of directing this loving kindness toward yourself, you may begin to picture a family member or friend who has helped you and repeat the mantra again, this time replacing “I” with “you.” As you continue the meditation, you can bring other members of your family, friends, neighbors, or people in your life to mind. Practitioners are also encouraged to visualize people they have difficulty with. Finally, you end the meditation with the universal mantra: “May all being everywhere be happy.” 6. Chakra Meditation Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word that translates to “wheel,” and can be traced back to India. Chakras refer to the centers of energy and spiritual power in the body. There are thought to be seven chakras. Each chakra is located at a different part of the body and each has a corresponding color. Chakra meditation is made up of relaxation techniques focused on bringing balance and well-being to the chakras. Some of these techniques include visually picturing each chakra in the body and its corresponding color. Some people may choose to light incense or use crystals, color coded for each chakra to help them concentrate during the meditation. 7. Yoga Meditation The practice of yoga dates back to ancient India. There are a wide variety of classes and styles of yoga, but they all involve performing a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises meant to promote flexibility and calm the mind. The poses require balance and concentration and practitioners are encouraged to focus less on distractions and stay more in the moment. Which style of meditation you decide to try depends on a number of factors. If you have a health condition and are new to yoga, speak to your doctor about which style may be right for you.
Brooklyn meditation Selected by GlobalGiving As Red Backpack Fund Recipient, Receives $5,000
Grant From The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation To Combat COVID-19 Crisis May 15, 2020 — GlobalGiving announced today that Brooklyn meditation has been selected to receive a $5,000 COVID-19 relief and recovery grant from The Red Backpack Fund, an opportunity for small businesses and nonprofits made possible by The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation. “My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic. Twenty years ago, I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings, and I see this as a time to pay it forward. Small business is the backbone of our culture. I know what it’s like to be a small business owner, and I want to provide some relief to these entrepreneurs during this time,” said Spanx Founder Sara Blakely. The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. Thousands of business owners and nonprofit founders from across the United States and its territories applied to receive a grant from The Red Backpack Fund to combat economic hardship caused by COVID-19. Brooklyn meditation was selected for the grant based on its outstanding application, its urgent need for COVID-19 relief, and its demonstrated capacity to overcome COVID-19 setbacks. Brooklyn meditation is among the first 200 Red Backpack Fund recipients to be selected. GlobalGiving, a 501(c)(3) organization with nearly two decades of grantmaking experience, will award grants to at least 1,000 women entrepreneurs from now through September 2020 through The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving has assembled a 100% women-led team to lead the grantee selection process. The team includes grant specialists, social workers, female entrepreneurs, analysts, and monitoring and evaluation experts. "We're proud to announce the grantees of The Red Backpack Fund. They have successfully undergone GlobalGiving’s rigorous vetting process, and we believe this grant will help them continue to thrive, despite the shifting economic circumstances brought on by this crisis," said GlobalGiving CEO Alix Guerrier. "The world needs more women-led organizations who are a key force in overcoming COVID-19 and establishing a better normal." Learn more about The Red Backpack Fund at
About The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation Since its inception in 2006, the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has donated millions to charities around the world, focusing on charities that empower underserved women and girls. In 2013, Sara Blakely became the first self-made, female billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, promising to give at least half her wealth to charity. In 2020, Sara and the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation launched the Red Backpack Fund in partnership with GlobalGiving. Back by Sara Blakely, the $5 million fund supports the recovery and revitalization of female-owned businesses in the U.S. impacted by the coronavirus crisis. While many of the world’s resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed: Women. The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation is on a mission to support women and help them SOAR through education, entrepreneurship and the arts. Learn more at www.spanxfoundation.com. About GlobalGiving GlobalGiving is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that makes it safe and easy to support important causes around the world. When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, GlobalGiving quickly delivers funds to vetted organizations that are best-suited to lead immediate and long-term relief and recovery. As part of its mission to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving provides tools, training, and support to help nonprofits, donors, and companies increase their impact and make the world a better place. Learn more at www.globalgiving.org.
Brooklyn Meditation is proud to announce Meditation for Kids program (Every Sundays at 3-3:30 pm EST) In collaboration with 8 sister meditation centers in NY NJ Metro area Brooklyn Meditation launched this wonderful addition to current online free meditation programing. “Written by Nicky Tait, a current guide, active meditator, & animal lover residing in Berkeley at people should learn from water is that water exists within nature’s flow. It is not stubborn and it is During this period of change and uncertainty, I think it’s more important than ever to make sure we’re not only taking care of our own mental health, but also caring for the mental health of our children. I remember pretty vividly what it was like to be a child; the big emotions, the fear, the difficulty expressing myself, and many times feeling like a prisoner to it all. Don’t get me wrong, I had some pretty outstanding moments as a kid growing up in the beautiful, lush nature of Hawaii island, but even in a tropical paradise, you can only get so far until your mind catches up with you. I was a very imaginative, joyful, and creative child, but on the other side of the personality coin was a lot of sadness, worry, and fear.
I had trouble sleeping for much of my childhood, along with pretty crippling social anxiety. Incidences that other kids seemed to be able to just brush off stuck with me for months and sometimes years. I remember one time hearing about how one of my brother’s friends killed a chameleon after school one day just for fun, and it made me so angry and sad and scared. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why someone would do such a thing. I knew his friend grew up in a pretty rough home environment and got into a lot of fights at our school, but still it was so unsettling and disturbing to me to imagine such a senseless act of violence. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it, and I didn’t even know how to talk to anyone about it.
There were many instances like this throughout my childhood, where I felt so disturbed and upset from something I heard, or read, or saw, usually at school, but also just from things that I saw on TV, or witnessed hanging out with my older brothers and their friends. The thing is, sometimes we just don’t know what our children are experiencing, and can overlook the amount of stress and anxiety they are carrying with them because we’re just not sure what questions to ask or how to ask them. I know for me, I went for much of my life keeping all of this anxiety and sadness locked away in a deep part of myself that I didn’t feel safe talking about with anyone, even my own family. Sometimes we just need a non-biased opinion and a practice to help us let go of this accumulated stress in a safe and fun way.
Cue our new Kids Meditation Program! This is exactly what our program aims to do. Help kids to relieve the stress and anxiety they are carrying in their minds using a very simple and easy to follow method. Our current guide for this program has years of experience with this meditation, and with her happy go lucky personality, she is a natural with both kids and adults alike. Let us help you, help your kids to navigate the uncertainty of this period by giving them the gift of a peaceful mind. In only 30 minutes, once a week, your child will be surprised to find what a difference meditation can make in their lives.
If you as a parent are interested in meditation or know anyone who is, we also have programs specially made for essential works, better sleep, and to help the community at large access an inner reservoir of peace and hope. If you find yourself needing more one on one attention we also offer more tailored memberships at our meditation centers across the country and globe! Don’t wait, peace is calling. Help yourself and your family today.
Better Sleep, tonight. A new late-night meditation series to rest the body and mind.Better sleep
Better Sleep, tonight. A new late-night meditation series to rest the body and mind. Better sleep for better days.
We hear firsthand how so many struggle to "turn off" at night, and sleep in a way that is truly restorative. We have designed a special nighttime meditation series to melt away tension and invite a restful night's sleep. Introducing: Better Sleep Meditation Free, and guided live Every Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-10:45pm EST Each session, you will be led through a progressive relaxation technique and guided meditation to gently release the thoughts of the day. Naturally, your body and mind will quiet down, allowing for a comfortable, rejuvenating state of restfulness.
Every Tuesday and Thursday night, we will begin at 10pm, and close quietly at 10:45 - but hopefully our “goodnight” will go unheard. :) This is intended to be the last thing you do before falling asleep, so come ready to drift off to dreamland. We’ll see you there!
Completely free and all are welcome. Please share this with those who could benefit from sounder sleep and sweeter dreams. Enjoy Better Sleep
Our heartfelt offering: a free weekly meditation just for healthcare workers
Sending our deepest gratitude to those working on the frontlines Hero’s Meditation This is for healthcare workers, working all day long in uncomfortable equipment, who are facing battles that we never imagined in our time. The rest of us, apart from images that we see on the news, know too little about what you must be going through. You are truly brave. You gather your strength each morning to go into action, and you come back to your home, hoping to catch a moment of silence. We honor you, and respect you, and are thinking of you. We hope that we can be of service in releasing what has accumulated over this time, and restore peace in your body and mind. We are offering a new series of public guided meditations called ‘Hero’s Meditation’ specifically for healthcare workers. Every Monday, 9-10pm EST Free, Live, hosted via Zoom We invite you to log on and listen, and hopefully take something away from it that you can use as a tool during the crisis. Here are a few quotes from two of our own members who are healthcare workers and currently satisfied with how this meditation has helped them: “Due to the pandemic, I have been witnessing 25-30 people who pass away daily in my emergency room and have lost 4 co-workers of all ages so far. Meditation has helped me to let go of despair, fear and stress I go through daily.” - Dr. Ahmed Sabih, E.R. Doctor Meditation helps me let go of the stress that I experience daily while working in the emergency department. It is especially helpful during the time of this pandemic when my work is infinitely more challenging, and I struggle to protect myself from all the grief and suffering around me. Letting go of the saddest and most heartbreaking moments allows me to deliver focused and compassionate care to my patients and their families. - Tatiana H., current student and E.R. physician “This meditation has been fundamental to my self care. It helps me manage the emotional burden of being a therapist and clinical social worker for a highly vulnerable population working with undocumented people from Latin America. Providing access to this meditation method for all mental health and health care professionals will be so important for them to prevent vicarious trauma and burn out.” - Anonymous, Bilingual Clinical Social Worker
Hello out there! To all fellow ‘quarantin-ers’ and to the essential workers keeping us safe and well-equipped: no matter who we are, it's undeniable that our realities have been shaken up due to the COVID -19 pandemic. The plans that we made have been halted, our daily routines, turned upside down, and our thoughts are heavy for those who are fighting battles inside of hospitals and on hospital beds, as we speak. For many of us, these circumstances offer an important chance for self-reflection, and a release of inner thoughts and worries. We invite you to join a special free online guided meditation, this Saturday April 11th at 4pm, via Zoom web meeting, designed to help you find peace within - both during these trying times, and beyond. People from all walks of life have found calm and inner strength through our meditation practice, and we hope to share that with you as well. In particular, many parents, now busy homeschooling, are facing a completely new set of daily challenges. Melissa, mother of 2, shares how much meditation has helped her and her family, and she invites you to try online meditation as a way to restore peace, and make calmness your superpower at home. Learn more about this online meditation event and reserve your spot here. We look forward to seeing you in person again soon, and in the meantime, we hope you are staying safe and staying well. Brooklyn Meditation
3 Reasons to Meditate in the Battle Against CoronaVirus
Research shows that meditation may improve immune function and reduce stress Published in Psychology Today Posted in March 13, 2020 Claire Jack Ph.D.Women with Autism Spectrum 3 Reasons to Meditate in the Battle Against COVID-19 I have been seeing myself and Brooklyn Meditation meditators become healthier and brighter when we meditate consistently. I have been able to shed habits that were harming my body and daily routine and naturally engaging in healthier habits! My immune system now is better than I 15 years ago and when I was in my 20s. Coronavirus is now officially a pandemic, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) defines as “the worldwide spread of a new disease.” Wherever you live, you’ll be well aware not only of the worldwide impact of this disease but also the threat within your own country, community and family. Many of us are particularly worried about the potential impact of this disease on our elderly and physically vulnerable relatives. And, on top of the disease itself, the economic impact—from the worldwide level right down to individuals being unable to work and ineligible for sick pay—is huge. Kids off school in some areas, shortages in shops, and cancellation of holidays and events are all adding to the anxiety and distress.
We should all be following the WHO guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus,1 as well as the information issued by our own governments, which include: Washing hands frequently Maintaining social distance Avoiding touching face, eyes, nose, and mouth Practising good respiratory hygiene Following your country’s guidelines on self-isolation/seeking medical advice if you have potentially come into contact with the virus or have symptoms It’s easy to get caught up in all the panic which is around—particularly when you’re reminded of its impact every time you go to the supermarket and see empty toilet roll shelves—all of which makes it particularly important to remember good mental self-care. Taking some time out to meditate can help in so many ways.
Here are three reasons to do so: 1. Meditation may boost the immune system. Coronavirus is a highly infectious disease and no one is saying that meditation will protect you against it. However, several studies2,3 have shown that meditation may be able to strengthen the immune system by positively impacting genes involved with the infectious cycle.
Using regular self-hypnosis as a relaxation technique has had positive effects on Lymphocytes—a type of white blood cell which helps produce antibodies and destroy cells which could cause damage.4 Meditation’s capacity to reduce stress levels can have a knock-on effect in improving the immune system, given the fact that stress is associated with a diminished immune response.5
2. Meditation can help relieve anxiety. Mindfulness meditation has a proven track record in helping manage and alleviate anxiety.6 Not only does this help reduce stress levels—and thus potentially improve the immune system—but it also helps people manage the increased level of anxiety which comes from being in the middle of a pandemic like coronavirus. article continues after advertisement Mindfulness meditation involves staying in the present moment, without dwelling on the past or the future, and accepting your feelings and emotions as perfectly valid. This is in vast contrast to getting caught up in worries about what may or may not happen during this pandemic. 3. Meditation can help us to improve emotional health.
At a time when people may be self-isolating, worrying about finances, socially distancing from loved ones, and feeling concerned about contracting coronavirus, meditation can help improve emotional health and can help manage depression which is exacerbated by stress.7 If meditation is new to you, here are a few tips to get started: Use a good app. Until you’ve become used to meditating, it can be a bit tricky at the start. There are loads of great apps out there with guided meditations which can help you get used to meditating. Be patient with yourself. Training the brain is like training any other muscle. Be patient and understanding with yourself while you’re learning. Keep it short to start off with. Meditation requires you to use your brain in a very different way. At first, it will take effort. Do regular, short bursts and gradually build up the amount of time you spend during any one meditation session. Set a regular time of day. Meditation is a habit, and you’re much more likely to implement it if you set a specific time of day and incorporate it into your routine. Make it enjoyable! Meditation is fun. Get nice and comfy, maybe light a candle or some relaxing music, and enjoy. Do it regularly. To experience the benefits of meditation, you need to do it regularly. Short bursts regularly are far better than attempting a half-hour meditation now and again. If you already regularly meditate, it’s important to keep up the practice, no matter how many demands you may be facing. If you’re new to meditation, there couldn’t be a better time to start!