(by Nili S.) In September 2014, my sister came to visit. She wanted to see a photography exhibit, mounted at Governor’s Island, and so we found ourselves at this magic place we never knew about.
Governor’s Island used to be an army base, which was taken over by NYC Parks Department about 10 years ago. Art, dance, music, and more are offered on a beautiful Island that includes bike trails, picnic areas, and amazing vistas of downtown Manhattan, Jersey City, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty.
Meditation seemed to be missing from these offerings, so I looked to see how it could be added. It turned out easy. All we needed to do was to apply.
Looking to present a distinguished face, I reached out to the Rama Meditation Society (RMS) to see if they would agree to serve as the organization which applied. My concern was I wanted this to be a collaborative project and to offer all meditation schools the opportunity to join. This was not about Rama, it was about Meditation and being active in reaching out to others. RMS agreed. Again, it was easy.
A few months went by and we got the space. I reach out to Reed A of IMeditate, whom I met once a few years back, to see if he wanted to support this effort. He did. I am sure many of you know Reed much better than I did, but now I know that whatever he touches, transforms.
Reed brought Justyn and Justyn dedicated a whole week to come every day from Philadelphia, get the 7 AM ferry, bring all supplies and paint the space. I cannot tell you how beautiful our meditation hall and other rooms turned out. Magic never felt better.
Kali came the first weekend, led a meditation, and cleared the energy of the entire house. We were lifted up, cleared and cleaned, and brought back down. Incredible…
Reed kept bringing CDs, Yantras, repositioning things, bringing teachers, making sure I was in my element. Thank You!
People who never taught got to teach. People who taught and stopped got re-inspired. People who stopped meditating were reminded of the essence of the practice.
From the general public, we had over 500 visitors, who came and took part. We offered 45 minute Morning & Evening meditation sessions, a guest speakers program in the middle of the day, and an ongoing exhibit about Meditation and the Brain. There was a contemplation room, decorated with Zazen posters signed by Rama, free copies of Surfing the Himalayas & free Music CDs donated by friends of Rama. People continue to be amazed that all of this was offered for no donation or fees and many expressed how touched and moved they were.
RMS funded the purchase of banners, posters, chairs, supplies, etc. RMS took on the liability of signing all legal documents, providing a security deposit and certificates of insurance. Nobody asked. They just offered and followed through to make this meditation vision into a reality.
We are about to host our final weekend and I am so very grateful to all who took part and especially Reed A. and Lisa M. Everything is made by the people who partake and have the blessing of collaborating with these two. It is a very special blessing I wish for all.
Thanks to IMeditate, to all our volunteers, to all our wonderful speakers and supporters. Thanks to Rama Meditation Society. This is one incredible organization, that has the courage, power, and intent to do, act and get involved; to support with no judgment, to focus on the Dharma, and serve as a friend and a guide to all who are interested. What an amazing organization. Thank You!!!