something new this Tuesday + meditation teacher training!

Our Tuesday teacher, Curtis Smith 

Our Tuesday teacher, Curtis Smith 

We're BEAMING with pride about an invite we have for you this Tuesday. 

For the first time ever we've invited a graduate of our teacher training program .. to guide us in meditation. 

Join us Tuesday for a very special meditation

Some things will be the same. You'll be surrounded by great people, we'll be at The Standard, and you'll be invited to stay after the sit to hang and meet other mindful New Yorkers.

But what's different and SO inspiring about this Tuesday, is that we've asked Curtis Smith to guide us. Curtis graduated this past winter from the meditation teacher training program we run with Nalanda Institute and Pure Yoga.

Admittedly, Curtis Smith was amazing before we met him. He helps run and teaches at a school in the third lowest performing district in NYC. With work, care and now daily meditation, thanks to Curtis, he and the other teachers have helped transform the school into one of the highest performing middle schools in Brooklyn

OMG so inspiring. 

He's not the only one who makes us kvell (nod to my Jewish grandmother). 

Kristin Westbrook from our last class of graduates created Calm City, a mobile RV (no joke) that rides around NYC offering people a moment of meditation and .. as she says .. "street food for your mind." (And she was just featured in the Wall Street Journal. Go Kristin)!

Keith Blechman, a surgeon, now teaches meditation at hospitals, medical facilities, and conferences around the country to help his fellow surgeons and doctors be more mindful (um, yes, super important). 

A veteran who graduated from our program is now spreading the practice to fellow veterans and helping those suffering from PTSD.

And these are just a few of the stories...

On Tuesday, we invite you to join us for our first graduate to ever lead The Path.

And we should mention... Curtis doesn't just teach his kids to meditate, but also how to teach meditation.

The students themselves now lead daily sessions in their classrooms and for the entire school... and many share the practice with friends and family!

Since graduating from our program, Curtis also teaches meditation at two Brooklyn studios, including one called Namaste (pronounced Namas-tai because it's in Bedford Stuyvesant ... love that).

Curtis' passion for meditation and teaching is contagious, and we can't wait for you to experience it.

Join us Tuesday to celebrate our first teaching training “alum” to lead us at The Standard, East Village. As always, we'll start at 7 PM.

click here to join us this Tuesday

And if you’re feeling inspired, we’d also like to welcome you to consider our next meditation teacher training, which begins in October. If you’ve ever considered... how you can use meditation in your career or community or just to go deeper in your personal practice, this is for you. And if you have any questions about the program, we’d LOVE to hear from you. Feel free to reply to this email with your questions.

And we hope to see you this Tuesday for a very special sit

Cheers to a love for learning, making change in our community through meditation, and to being wildly inspired by Curtis,
Dina

A laugh & a cry of gratitude

The author during a relaxed moment the evening her computer wouldn't charge!

The author during a relaxed moment the evening her computer wouldn't charge!

Ohhh I just learned such a lesson.

Before writing you, I plugged in my computer .. but the green light indicating the computer is charging .. that green light that ALWAYS goes on .. didn't go on.

My heart skipped a beat.

I tried not to panic. I took a mindful breath. And tried again. Nothing.

The red light on the adapter was on, so that worked. The computer cord was brand new. 

OMG. It was the computer. And I'm on a tiny island off Spain (called Formentera).

It was Saturday morning. I thought about what I needed to write that day. A note to you for The Path. Two articles for Forbes. And a book proposal for my agent. I couldn't do any of this on a phone. I needed a working computer.

My hotel suggested a computer shop one town away. I hopped on a bus there. It was closed. Someone nearby said the owner hadn't opened the shop for days (this is Spain..). I took a taxi to another town. A woman at the information booth said the computer shop there and everywhere else on the island would be closed the next two days. I asked if I should head to Ibiza, a 45-minute ferry away. She said no, any electronics shop there would be closed all weekend, too.

"It's summertime!" she said, looking at me blankly.

I headed back to the village where I'm staying. I had no plan. There wasn't even a place I could buy a new computer.

Idly, I googled what to do when your computer doesn't charge. There were two suggestions for rebooting your computer in a particular way. I tried them both.

And then I went to dinner. I read. I had a relaxing meal and thought of the fun things I could do in Formentera if I wasn't writing all day .. but .. I had to get this done.

When I headed to sleep .. I thought .. I'll just keep the computer plugged in all night and maybe, by some miracle, it will start charging.

It was 1am. I was exhausted and not stressed. I attached the cord to the computer. And the green light went on!

I sat on my bed and laughed and cried at the same time.

We have SO much. We have our breath and body. We have clean water and food and clothing. We have cell phones that work and computers that we EXPECT to always charge.

If we could spend five minutes each day thinking about ALL the things we take for granted, and not focus on the one or two things we don't have, our hearts would soar with gratitude.

For the rest of my life, every time that green light goes on I'll say a prayer of thanks.

And all day today, especially as I write you now on a fully charged computer, I feel grateful for you. I'm grateful my fingers can type, I'm grateful I love writing, I'm grateful for my computer, for the English language, for grammar diagrams in 7th grade, and oh I am grateful for so many things I feel overwhelmed as I type these words.

And so today I invite you to spend a moment being grateful for the small things. Let gratitude fill your heart with good energy. Then spread this positive energy throughout your day and week.

And Tuesday, I'm super grateful that our friends Susan and Juliet from Doing/Living have invited us to host The Path meditation at their brand new beautiful space in midtown. This is so special! Janusz will guide us in a meditation on gratitude .. in this brand new space committed to wellness, art & healthy products.

click here to join us

We'll enjoy an expertly guided meditation and then Susan and Juliet will tell us a bit about what they're doing with this cool new space. We hope you can join us!

click here for meditation Tuesday

Cheers to gratitude, to new spaces, to Janusz and that little green light,

Dina

the only prize is happiness

I'm writing you with a big smile from Formentera, a tiny island in Spain that's one of my favorite places in the world.

During the day I work a lot here .. and take snorkeling & gelato breaks (yeah the diet is hard to keep here ..).

When I first arrived, a dear friend and member of our community wrote saying he's not sure why he's in NY now. He said he wasn't making more money being in NY and that it was making him feel stressed.

"Come visit!" I suggested. He's thinking about it.

I get it. For so long I thought life was MEANT to be hard. I'm embarrassed to say that deep down I thought I'd get some sort of prize if I worked a lot .. and if things were .. hard.

But then I went to a Vedic retreat led by Thom Knoles .. about our addiction to suffering. And I read more about Buddhism, which says we're conditioned to suffer .. until we train our minds NOT to suffer.

Now I know we actually get a prize if we follow our happiness. The prize is joy. We get there by working when we need to but also by doing what's fun for us! And being happy and light. 

We won't feel this way all the time. But we don't need to suffer all the time, too. There's no prize for hardship.

So maybe you can't hop on a flight today. You could take that pottery class you've been eyeing for a year. You could skip out of work (maybe?) and walk The High Line for half an hour. You can pop into a gallery for a minute and look at a painting that inspires you. You can read a novel for fifteen minutes in the morning before work.

Or for one day you could choose to smile at each stranger you pass on the street.

This week I encourage you to follow your bliss. Do what's fun or silly or enchanting or charming. 

I'd love to hear how it goes for you - send me a line here and let's chat about how it feels to prioritize FUN.

And this Tuesday, join Marlie McGovern for an expertly guided meditation about joy 7pm at The Standard, East Village. YES let's focus on happiness this week!

click here to join us

doing what you love, a master teacher & tea!

I’m writing you with a relaxed smile from Gili Air, a tiny island off Bali .. where something cool just happened.

I was biking home from watching the sunset when I heard an acoustic guitar and immediately screeched on the brakes.

I hadn’t planned to stop. I just, as the great Vedic teacher Thom Knoles would say, went from feeling to action. No analysis, just instinct.

“Where are you from?” the Indonesian man playing guitar asked as I hopped off the bike. “America!” I responded. “Oh perfect, we need a singer,” he said. 

Oh my. I love to sing, but I’m terrible at it. I'm enthusiastic and off key. 

But this was just one evening, on a tiny island, and they needed an English speaker. So I said yes.

They started playing “Zombie," and I belted out the lyrics while my new Indonesian friend and another traveler played the chords. Then “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Hey Jude.” I let my confidence in the lyrics overwhelm my insecurity about singing. I lost myself in the music.

And I realized we can have so much fun doing something we enjoy that we’re terrible at! Why should we only do what we’re good at? I’m terrible at biking but have been biking all around Gili Air, constantly falling off and getting a bit beat up but having a blast.

So this week I ask — is there something you love that you’re bad at, that maybe you can do anyway? 

We work so much. Let’s play. Try something you might enjoy but haven't done in a while, independent of your skill level.

And this week, we're bringing in a real expert to guide us in meditation. John Baker has been a student of Buddhism for 41 years and co-founded Naropa University in Boulder. He's also a senior teacher in the North American Buddhist community and the author of many numbers about Buddhism. We are SO happy to have him guide us in meditation this Tuesday, at the Penthouse of The Standard (ohhhhhh yeahhhhhh).

After the meditation, you're invited to join Dasan Tea for a (free!) tea ceremony with a new tea they created from wild green tea leaves, hand-picked from Mt. Jiri in South Korea. We'll enjoy the tea in cups handmade by Korean pottery artists, and each sip is designed to help you awaken and clear your mind.

Tuesday, in short, is going to be amazing.

click here to join us for meditation & tea

And to be clear, all this is included in the cost of a regular meditation! Just $24 for meditation by John Baker AND the tea ceremony.

click here to join us
 

A Revelation in Bali

Hey there,
 
I’m writing you with a relaxed smile from Ubud, the spiritual center of Bali, where I just had a revelation during a meditation.
 
I realized that it’s so easy .. to WANT love. To pine for it. 
 
What if we could shift towards feeling .. that we’re SURROUNDED by love. 
 
What if we could move towards feeling grateful .. for the love around us now.
 
We have friends near us who message to make plans ..

Friends from out of town who send caring messages ..

Many of us have family members who check in to see how we are. 
 
We have people in our lives who CARE about us. Profoundly! 

What if we choose to live in that energy, grateful for the wonderful people in our lives and the positive energy this brings us?
 
This week I invite you to shift from wanting more love .. into a gratefulness for the love you have .. and the amazing people in your life .. who care so much about you. 

It's a decision .. a freedom .. we have.
 
Cheers to gratitude for the love in our lives,
Dina
 
p.s. We have a GREAT group joining our July social, a dinner party and talk on real love Thursday, July 20th. We’ll be swimming in good energy and good food (thanks Dig Inn!) and will enjoy an inspiring and fun talk by two meditation teachers, Janusz Whelin and Rakhel Shapiro, who just got engaged. And we’re gathering at a STUNNING penthouse in Soho thanks to a member of our community. Click here to join us for our July social this Thursday!
 
p.p.s. YAY this Tuesday we’ll be the PENTHOUSE of The Standard, East Village! Join us for meditation with Pandit Dasa, a former monk in NYC, and to enjoy one of the most spectacular spaces in NYC (selfies allowed before and after meditation!) Click here to join us Tuesday

p.p.p.s. Sending you a toast to love .. of all kinds .. and to giving and receiving love all day

(living with love) new bonuses

Quick note that we have an AMAZING group joining for our dinner party & talk on real love next Thursday (the 20th).

And if you sign up by Friday at midnight I've got two awesome bonuses for you.

(If you already registered you'll get them too.)

Here are the bonuses:

Three downloadable meditations .. so you can get your mindfulness and lovingkindness on whenever you want. Listen to them individually .. or together whenever you need a "reset."
A free live, in-person meditation with us any Tuesday evening in July or August.
You'll also enjoy a special "early bird" price of just $50 which includes everything above .. and dinner & drinks .. and a talk by two just-got-engaged meditation teachers.

And you'll meet great people and luxuriate in a beautiful private home in Soho. 

click here for dinner & love next Thursday + the bonuses

Cheers to summer dinner parties,
Dina

p.s. A bunch of people from our Sharon Salzberg retreat celebrating the launch of her new book Real Love are joining .. bit of a reunion .. so you'll be immersed in their good energy.

p.p.s. Yes 'luxuriate' is a word - I just checked! 

click here to join us next Thursday

Our July Social = Love, A Dinner & A Chat

Hey there,

If you’re wondering .. how to really.. live with love..

I have a cool invite for you. (So excited to share this!)

Two meditation teachers we adore, Janusz Whelin and Rachel Shapiro, just got engaged. 

As teachers they talk up love a lot.

But after work, there’s real life to deal with. Ups and downs and everything in between.

That’s when things get interesting.

And so July 20th, you’re invited to join us .. to hear Janusz and Rakhel share the funny, inspiring and insightful truth of two teachers finding their way through love.

We’ll also enjoy dinner and drinks and gather at a spectacular private home in Soho with terraces overlooking the city.

It will be an amazing evening. And this week we’re offering it all for just $50.

click here for dinner, drinks and a chat on love 

The price (which includes dinner and drinks!) will go up next week. So reserve your spot today for an extraordinary evening of great people, great conversation, delicious food and a happy talk about really living with love.

join us by clicking here

Cheers to love and enjoying an awesome summer dinner party with great new friends,

Dina

p.s. If you have extra copies of Sharon Salzberg’s Real Love book you want to donate to charity, we invite you to bring them to our social July 20th, and we’ll get them to one of our charity partners (Housing Works and the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation). You'll also have a chance to chat about the book with other folks who’ve read it!

p.p.s. This Tuesday join us for a wonderful meditation guided by Janusz (a sneak preview of our dinner together July 20th). Then join us for a free talk by author Jennifer Howd on her new book Sit, Walk, Don’t Talk: How I Survived A Silent Retreat. If you’ve thought about joining a silent retreat, wondered what it’s like or want to commiserate about your own experience, join us Tuesday for her amazing insights! Click here to be with us Tuesday. Also only this Tuesday we're moving to the stunning private home of a community member, with an incredible view of Columbus Circle (it is a wow)! Join us at 240 Central Park South for meditation by Janusz and a wonderful book talk. It's going to be a really cool evening in a beautiful spot.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

Today is about celebrating freedom.

Which is soo perfect ..

Because meditation gives us freedom.

It helps us choose how to respond .. to almost anything.

It lets us decide what we want to optimize for .. and how we want to be. 

It also gives us the freedom .. to know we deserve to step away from work sometimes!

We have the freedom to enjoy ourselves ..

To be silly and laugh and have fun & be our favorite version of ourselves.

I hope you're having a great holiday weekend ..

And enjoying warm summer days. 

Tonight we're not gathering for meditation .. so you can enjoy fireworks or quiet time or whatever you choose, wherever you are ..

We'll be back next week, meditating each Tuesday evening and gathering to celebrate LOVE in July (please save July 20th .. more details soon ...).

And today, I wish you a truly awesome day.

Cheers to freedom,
Dina

Tuesday with Essential Oils

It feels like a good time to give ..

So this week, again, we're offering a FREE workshop after The Path meditation tonight!

First we'll enjoy a meditation expertly guided by Pandit Dasa, author of Urban Monk.

Then .. at our beautiful home at The Standard, East Village .. you're invited to stay for a tea ceremony .. to relax your body .. and go even deeper.

Together we'll enjoy an organic hand-blended herbal tea with rose, chamomile and lavender.

The herbs .. and the ritual of sipping .. will help us feel amazing .. and then we'll use an organic essential oil with chamomile and spruce to stimulate our senses even more .. and enhance the connection to our bodies.

It's all courtesy of Jennifer Goldman from Essential Rose Life .. who's designed this experience for us.

And it's all included in the regular cost of a Tuesday meditation ((just $24 for everything!)).

click here to join us Tuesday

It's another thank you for being part of our community .. and being you. (And we're excited for our first tea ceremony together!)

Also .. HUGE thanks to everyone who joined The Path Experience this weekend. What a joyous and relaxing retreat!

It's been inspiring to be around so many incredible people from our community this past week, for the big workshop last Tuesday .. and our retreat Saturday.

It's felt .. truly .. life-affirming.

And so I leave you with a hope .. that you're grateful for the wonderful people in your life. 

It is a beautiful thing .. to live life .. in gratitude. Grateful for what we have.

With love and cheers to a tea ceremony tonight (with more wonderful people!),  
Dina

The Path Experience - Saturday

As I write you I'm looking through the amazing people joining us Saturday for The Path Experience.

Did you see the details the other day? If not, you can check it out here. I'll hold :-)

I also have some cool new things to share with you today...

  • We can finally announce that dinner after the retreat will be catered by Epicured, a gourmet kitchen and food delivery service. They're preparing a special meal for us, and it's going to be delicious (and healthy)!
  • We're hosting this retreat .. drumroll .. at The Standard, East Village! This is our first retreat with The Standard, and we're thrilled to share this beautiful space with you.
  • The dinner party after the retreat will be at "The Terraces," a gorgeous home with terraces overlooking the city. It will be a spectacular close to the retreat.
  • We'll be serving Harmless Harvest coconut water (yummm) and Verday Chlorophyll Water. We're so grateful to our sponsors.

But here's the deal...

Want to know why I really think you should join?

Going on a 10-day retreat is tough.

The Path Experience is fun and social and beautiful .. and will transform your energy in just five hours, with no need to travel.

We'll clear your body and mind from the effects of electronics .. and bring you to your natural state of intuition, creativity, and bliss.

You're going to feel incredible after this retreat. The feedback we get after them is extraordinary.

One person wrote, "I feel amazing. And I look amazing ... I got my radiance back." Another person said, "I've had one of the most productive and crystal clear weeks in ages .. and I think part of that is having a clear mind."

I hope you join us for great meditation and yoga. To have fun and be in community with like-minded new friends.

But most of all I hope you join us to feel the stillness and goodness within you.

And so... for a better summer. A better year. And a better you.

I hope to see you Saturday.

With love,
Dina

p.s. We only have 6 spots left -- so if you want to join us, reserve your "cushion" now.

The Path Experience NYC - June

I'm writing you with clouds outside the window as I fly home to NYC (yay!) after hosting The Path Experience in San Francisco.

And I'm learning .. that the MAGIC of these retreats .. is bringing together amazing, like-minded people .. and creating a warm, friendly environment that makes it easy for everyone to DIVE into relaxation .. and stillness.

The meditations and wisdom were great .. and we gathered in a BEAUTIFUL place (the apartment that actually houses the SF clocktower!! It was unbelievable!).

But what makes these retreats powerful beyond my wildest dreams .. is the supportive feeling of the community we build each time. And it's all thanks to you .. our community.

Look, life can be hard. I get it. It's easy to put your dukes up and wonder who's out to get you. When you step into these afternoon retreats, that fear washes away. And you enter .. kindness. Playfulness and happiness.

This is why people emerge from The Path Experience saying they feel INCREDIBLY clear, calm and happy .. after just five hours on retreat (and a happy cozy dinner afterwards).

And so .. I'm super excited we're hosting The Path Experience in NYC this Saturday. If you're in town, I hope you join us.

click here for The Path Experience Saturday

This time we're doing something different.

We're going to CLEAR you from the effects of electronics on your body and mind.

Working from the outside in, using yoga and meditation, we'll give you a digital detox. And leave you feeling renewed, refreshed, and reconnected to you.

Experience what it feels like to REALLY connect to your body.

To SWIM into your breath.

And TOUCH your creativity and intuition.

Yoga master Marlie McGovern will co-lead with me. We only have 10 spots remaining. If you feel digital overstimulation, and you're ready to turn it off, join us.

click here for The Path Experience Saturday

(As always we'll gather amazing people, be in a beautiful space & enjoy delicious food after.)

And TUESDAY, join us for a preview! Marlie will guide our meditation at The Standard, East Village .. and shift your attention from digital .. to your creativity and inner self.

click here for meditation Tuesday

You'll get a cool bonus if you join us Tuesday. After the meditation, you're invited to stay and enjoy a FREE workshop on Mindful Eating and Self Compassion by Quiet the Noise, two NYC nutritionists. Lisa Hayim MS, RD and Naomi Arbit, PHD, MA will guide us in a special technique to help you make healthy choices about food .. by listening to your body and treating it with kindness. ((Also, we'll enjoy free chocolate as part of the workshop! I'm 100% joining!)) All this is included in the regular cost of a Tuesday meditation (just $24 for everything).

The workshop .. is a thank you for being part of our community. And being mindful. And being you.

Cheers to mindful eating and emailing and hope to see you Tuesday and Saturday,
Dina

The Path Experience NYC

I'm writing you from San Francisco, where I just emerged from a retreat with Jon and Will Kabat-Zinn.

The wisdom and meditations were great .. and I feel amazing. 

But one of the reasons I feel so clear and calm .. is that I put away my phone and computer .. for days.

Our electronics are addicting. And making us feel stressed. That stress permeates our body and mind.

So for our next afternoon retreat .. we call The Path Experience .. we're offering a COMPLETE digital detox for the body & mind.

I'll co-lead this time with a yoga master — who RUNS a restorative yoga teacher training program for doctors and therapists (so, yeah, she REALLY knows her stuff) — and working from the outside in, we'll clear you from the effects of electronics.

You'll emerge from the retreat feeling rejuvenated and deeply relaxed. More playful. And creative. And as always you'll meet amazing people and enjoy a fun dinner party after the retreat (included).

We're keeping this Path Experience intimate so it's as powerful as possible, and we only have 18 spots. Click here to join us:

click here for The Path Experience

My partner on this retreat is Marlie McGovern, who DEEPLY knows yoga and how to make it work for your body and mind. Marlie also helps to lead our extraordinary Meditation Teacher Training program. The depth of her knowledge in yoga and meditation is incredible, and she'll bring both to you.

So when the retreat is over .. you'll reenter the outside world .. from a different place.

Feeling calm, centered .. and ready to follow your bliss.

click here to join us on retreat  

Cheers to retreats and a true digital detox,
Dina

p.s. Janusz Whelin (raised on a hippie farm - ask him about it!) is guiding our meditation Tuesday evening at 7pm, at our home at The Standard, East Village. Click here to reserve your spot. Yay!

Finders Course & SF Retreat

Hey there,

I'm writing you from San Francisco, where I'm excited to head on retreat in a few hours .. to unplug and go within.

But first, I wanted to invite you to join an extraordinary online course. 

It's a four month program, called Finders Course. It's intense. It requires meditating an hour a day .. and positive psychology exercises too .. to supercharge your happiness and well being.

It is a real time commitment. But it pays off.

It shifts you .. to a deep feeling of inner peace. One person in my class (we just finished the course) said he now feels "deep contentment." I found it transitioned me from thinking the world was out to get me .. to a profound feeling that the world supports me.

A new round of Finders Course starts June 24th. They're accepting applications the next few days.

click here to apply to Finders Course 

Or respond to this note, and we can talk about it. 

In the meanwhile, I wish you an awesome, joyous weekend, full of love and/or laughter, fun and/or productivity!

With love,
Dina

p.s. If you're in SF or have friends or family here, we're hosting The Path Experience San Francisco next Saturday, June 17th. It's an afternoon retreat in a stunning location, with food from Seed + Salt, amazing people and just 8 spaces left. Click here to learn more or join us!

p.p.s. Have fun today!

teacher training & the book .. is out!

 

First, good news to share ..

We're opening enrollment TODAY for our teacher training program (which starts in October). And the site to apply .. is now live!

click here to apply for teacher training 

If you've thought about becoming a certified meditation teacher .. this is the best program in NYC. And the community of teachers we have .. is amazing.  

We got a huge response from our note last week .. a bunch of applications .. and only 25 spots available.

If you enroll this month we'll give you $200 off the tuition. So if you've ever thought about becoming a teacher, I encourage you to apply today!

click here to apply for meditation teacher training

And, huge thanks to everyone who joined our Mindful Leadership course and closing retreat Saturday.

It was inspiring to hear how TRANSFORMATIVE the course has been .. and to learn how much we can progress as leaders if we learn to properly connect with our minds, bodies and hearts. 

And Tuesday .. is the launch of Sharon Salzberg's book Real Love! 

Sharon guided an extraordinary retreat for us in April. She's one of the top meditation teachers in the country. And this book will teach and inspire you to live with more love .. in every area of your life (yes, even work!). I encourage you to buy a copy if you haven't yet, and buy another if you already have! It's a perfect gift for friends, colleagues and family members. 

Click here for Sharon's new book Real Love

Book sales the first week are the most significant for an author. Often it's what propels a book into bestseller status. Sharon is an incredible teacher and friend of the company. If we can help her get to bestseller status, this will help bring us to Buddhist heaven (which is, you could say, joy today)!
 

Announcing: Meditation Teacher Training

Have you ever thought ..

About becoming a meditation teacher?

For months we've been asked ..

When is our next teacher training?

Today I'm so excited to announce: a new Meditation Teacher Training course from October - January (with a winter holiday beak) in partnership with the Nalanda Institute and Pure Yoga.

If you want to deepen your practice .. or really learn the wisdom behind meditation.

If you want to add meditation teaching to your role as a coach, business person, doctor, teacher, therapist, creative or whatever you do ..

Or if you simply want to become a certified meditation teacher .. this is the best program in NYC.

It's comprehensive. And accessible. With a focus on neuroscience, wisdom, practice and community.

THIS MONTH .. we're offering .. $200 off tuition for the first ten people who enroll.

Are you thinking about meditation teacher training?

Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher?

To teach .. or maybe .. just for you?

Let us know if you're interested!

the key to happiness and a long life

I've always wondered if you can be an extreme extrovert and AND an extreme introvert.

I love hosting events, building friendships and going to dinner parties, but I often choose to travel on my own — and love it! I love meditating and reading and spending days just enjoying nature.

Then .. we hosted our Montauk retreat last June.

I was nervous about it. I knew I would be living with our team, sharing a room with our chef Daphne (!), and that meant being around people nonstop. I worried about offending someone or being offended myself! But it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. Ally Bogard and our team created an atmosphere of LOVE. Everyone got along. It didn't matter who you sat with at dinner or next to for meditation.

Everyone was amazing.

I loved living in community and it made me think.

Not just about the importance of loved ones but the power of community. About what it means to have people around to share the good times and bad.

"Social connections .. not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking," Harvard Medical School published in Harvard Health Publications. "Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer."L'chaim!

L'chaim! Community matters! Sangha, the community of meditators, is one of three jewels in Buddhism.

So this month we're celebrating community in two big ways.

First, we're hosting a dinner party for members of The Path, graduates of our teacher training program, people now in our (amazing!) Mindful Leadership course, and everyone from the Montauk retreat. We'll be in a spectacular Soho home with terraces overlooking the city enjoying good food & wine & peoples. If you'd like to join us, you can become a member of The Path here (and join all our Tuesday evening meditations for free, yay)!

Click here to become a member of The Path

Second, we’re launching a dharma program this month to encourage giving back to the community AND so you can get closer to all the good things we're doing! Here's the deal:

If you volunteer to help produce two Tuesday meditations you can join the other two that month.
If you volunteer to help at a big monthly event or retreat you can join the following month's Tuesday meditations.
If you join our social media activation team you can join two Tuesday meditations. Email us here for more details! 

A mistake in Rome...

I’m writing you from Rome, my favorite city in the world — and feeling a bit embarrassed to share with you what happened this weekend.

I was walking down the Via del Corso, one of my favorite streets, feeling happy and light.

When suddenly - BOOM! - someone smashed into me. I snapped my head around and saw the girl casually walking away. Did I have a lesson to teach her! 

Aspetta! I said loudly (“wait" in Italian). I walked towards her. 

“Why not say 'I’m sorry?’" I asked in Italian, ready to preach the wisdom of kindness.

But it was me who needed the lesson. 

She was walking with someone. Her caretaker turned around. And for the first time I saw that the girl who had run into me had a disability. It was now clear that walking was a challenge for her, and even being outside on this holiday weekend full of people enjoying the sunshine on the busiest shopping street in Rome.

It was I who was humbled. Deeply. Tears welled up in my eyes. Not only because I may have hurt this woman emotionally but because I was so wrong about the story I had created about her.

And how wrong the stories we create about others often are. And, really, the stories we create about ourselves, too. 

We live with big and small mistruths about ourselves (I’m not good enough for x, I’m not handsome enough for y, I’ll stay in this job/relationship/city because I don’t deserve something better).

In Buddhism they say everything is empty.

Can we live with everything being empty? No stories about ourselves, and certainly no stories about others?

I created a 100% false story about this woman. And probably about many others in my life. What if we let all the stories go? 

Today I pledge to trying living with fewer stories. To give people the benefit of the doubt. And to live with love, even if someone smashes into me (or the verbal equivalent) because I’ll never know the real reason why.

This month we're hosting a dinner for our members May 18th (invites go out soon!). We'll talk about the stories we create, about ourselves and others. And we'll laugh and hopefully share some humility too. If you're interested in becoming a member of The Path, which means you get special invites, discounts on retreats and join all our Tuesday sits for free, please click here to sign up (just $50, which is super super low)!

And to dip into your Buddhism, your kindness and your true self, with no stories, join us at The Standard, East Village Tuesday for a meditation with Home Nguyen of the MindKind Institute (who has more than 20 years of experience in personal leadership and mind-body practices). Home has an extraordinary way of guiding meditations that leave you feeling calm, happy and centered, so I hope you join us Tuesday:

click here to join us for meditation Tuesday at The Standard

We’re excited to meditate together — to help strip us of stories, about ourselves and others.

Here's How We Built a Vegan Seder Plate

The vegan seder plate

The vegan seder plate

We're prepping for our Jewish Buddhist non-denominational vegan seder led by Sharon Salzberg tomorrow - and did a trial run of the seder plate tonight, managed by our team member Mani Katari!

We have:

  • celery to symbolize spring. It gets dipped in salt water to symbolize the tears of the enslaved.
  • kale & lettuce  bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of slavery and captivity.
  • olives the blood-red color is symbolic of the blood shed as well as the blood smeared over the doors of the people the Angel of Death passed over. Olives can also be used to symbolize the commandments of compassion for the oppressed (instead of shankbone).
  • avocado symbol of new life, renewal and hope (instead of egg).
  • Charoset: NOT ON THIS PLATE but will be provided by our chefs: a mixture of nuts, apples, wine and spices.

And, decorated with mint, parsley and thyme.

I love this team.

Best vegan seder ever - can't wait for tomorrow. And only 2 spots left! thepath.com/sharon to join us.

I've never shared this story before...

I come from the fast-paced NYC start-up world. I thought I could never show weakness. Or fear. No feelings!

But let me share a little "secret".

That's all BS.

We all get scared. We all feel alone sometimes. We all have moments of complete terror when we meet one of our heroes.

But here's the cool part ..

The moment we acknowledge it. The moment we allow ourselves to feel it. That's when everything changes.

It kind of blows my mind that I'm hosting a dinner and retreat with one of my mentors this weekend and that's it almost sold out.

Why?

Because the first time I had a chance to actually meet her, I was petrified.

I remember it like it was yesterday...

My hands were sweating. My heart was pounding. I felt like I was going to throw-up.

But I'm getting ahead of myself... let me give you some context.

I first heard about Sharon Salzberg when I was helping to run a tech company.

I was stressed out of my mind. I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.

I wanted to meditate but didn’t know where to start. 

Every time I actually tried to do it, I thought I was doing something wrong and would just wind up getting more stressed .. and feel frustrated and stop!

I went to guided meditations all over the city but nothing felt quite right. I couldn't connect or identify with these people. I never felt "apart of." 

I didn't feel surrounded by people like me - a founder, super ambitious, surrounded by other entrepreneurs who wanted to learn meditation mainly to feel sane. To stop, even for a second, the churning of my mind which swirled in circles of stress worse than a cyclone.

The teachers whose classes I attended kept talking about the luminaries of meditation in the U.S. I retained only two names: Jon Kabat Zinn for mindfulness and Sharon Salzberg for loving-kindness. 

At that point in my life, I didn't feel any real "loving kindess" for myself, so I began to use Sharon's name as a "makeshift mantra" of sorts, and I would somehow always feel better once I did. 

Crazy, right?

I imagined what it would be like to someday meet her and how I would feel. It brought be calm and peace. But if I'm being honest...

I didn't really think I would ever meet her. I didn’t know where she lived, but I assumed it was on a mountain, maybe somewhere in Tibet or Nepal or somewhere else where she could meditate all day and think deep thoughts. It felt really, really different from my life.

One day a friend invited me to a meditation Sharon was leading. I couldn’t believe she was in NYC! I couldn’t believe I could ever be in the same room with a teacher as famous as she was.

Heck, this was the woman who literally wrote the book on loving-kindness and is often credited with bringing compassion meditation from the East to the West and helping to make it mainstream!

I remember sitting in the back of the room, awed and humbled to be in the same room as this famous teacher. I remember she taught us six phrases we could use to practice loving-kindness meditation on our own: 

“may you [or I] be happy, may you be peaceful, may you live with ease, 
may you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be strong.”

I loved the first three of these phrases and used them for a half hour sit with Sharon that night. Sitting, still, at the back of the room, afraid to move up or to say hi. 

That evening I went back to work, as was my life as a tech founder, and I’ll never forget what happened. I answered emails from partners and from people on our team. 

And I was funny! I was kind. Something had "shifted". 

After this meditation with Sharon, without even trying, I was myself! I was funny and silly and light — and the next day my colleagues commented on how different my tone was in the emails they got from me that night :-)

Sharon’s phrases became my daily practice. 

It was the one respite in stressful days of press interviews, meetings, calls and panic attacks (that I didn’t tell anyone about). 

Then one day, when I had a panic attack and couldn’t cross the street to my office, I left my job and the company I had co-founded and took a 2.5-year trip around the world to get healthy again. To shake off the stress of running my first start-up...

As you can probably guess that’s when I really *found* meditation. I ended up studying around the world. 

And I had the inspiration, on a 10-day retreat in India, to start The Path — and to bring meditation back to the US and try helping people avoid the panic attacks and burnout I had suffered living a hectic "always on the go" life for so many years.

Eventually, I was ready to go back to NYC. As a new, better version of myself. And to launch The Path community.

On our first month, my co-founder and I made a dream list of people we wanted to partner with. Sharon topped the list. 

We laughed and said to each other — if we can ever do anything with Sharon, we’ll know we will have made it. And we will have accomplished our goal of offering to the next generation of change-makers — the best meditation teachers in the country. 

A few months after we launched a friend invited me (yay!) to a gathering of some of the top thought leaders in meditation in the city. I saw Sharon on the invite list, too. I couldn’t believe it. I opened the door to the event and took a deep breath. 

A group of people were there. Including Sharon. 

My hands were sweating. My heart was pounding. I felt like I was going to throw-up. It all felt like a blur...

But within a few minutes, someone introduced us, telling Sharon that I had just started a community called The Path, and asked me to explain our concept to see what she thought. 

Want to know what's so crazy about all this?

I used to be a live TV reporter. I've met some of the most famous and successful celebrities and business people in the world. I’ve given speeches to thousands of people. And yet...

I’ve never been so scared to speak in my life.

My voice trembled, and I said, “I’ve studied meditation around the world. Including your work. My partner and I believe you can put all of the types of meditation into four categories: mindfulness, mantra, energizing and meditation to help you accomplish a goal, like compassion or loving-kindness. We think all four categories are valid. And we want to teach all of them, to help people find the technique that’s best for them.”

And then I held my breath. 
I was, in a word, terrified. 
No one spoke. 

And finally, that famous, awesome, warmth of a Sharon Salzberg smile emerged. “I like that,” she said. “That makes a lot of sense. I support what you’re doing.”

And I breathed a sigh of relief.

I came back to the gathering the next month. As did she. 

We became close.

Now, two years later, Sharon is a dear friend. We know we're both night owls (shhhh), so we email funny things to each other at all hours. I helped her choose the font for her new book. And I forward her silly emails from my mom extolling the virtues of empathy :).

And yet, just last year I was terrified to ask her something once again...

We were both at the Wisdom 2.0 conference and walking to the bathroom after a session. I held my breath and asked her to lead a retreat for us.

And without hesitating — my hero, mentor and teacher said YES!

In that bathroom we closed the deal for her to lead her first retreat for The Path, last September. 

It was amazing.

This year we wanted to do something cool, and she had the idea to lead a seder. I thought she was kidding but said I would call her bluff and say yes, let's do it! 

She wasn't kidding. So on Friday we're doing it. She'll play rabbi and lead a "Jewish-Buddhist non-denominational vegan seder" (her name, her idea). 

I couldn't be more excited for this event. 

Because I know she will help you in the way she helped me. To breathe, live and love again.

And I also want to help her. I want to help bring her new book to bestseller status. 

So I'm thrilled we'll have a "day of love" retreat with her about the book Saturday. And that we're asking everyone who joins to buy a copy of her book. Or two. 

I WANT to help this woman who's changed my life so much for the better to get to bestseller status on her new book the week it's released. That's why we're asking people to buy books to attend the dinner and the retreat.

Sharon is one of my favorite people in the world.

On Friday I almost can’t believe I have the honor of introducing one of my life mentor’s and inspirations.

As our teacher. For the weekend. I hope you can join us and see how she can change your life for the better, just as she has changed mine.

Want to join us?

Click here to reserve one of the final spots...
and experience the "Sharon magic" yourself.
 

Our Thoughts on Real Love (And Why We Recommend It!) by Sonali Nigam

One of the best perks of being part of The Path is the opportunity to get to know some amazing teachers and sometimes even getting a sneak peek into their upcoming books. Needless to say this week, Sonali Nigam, a member of The Path team was over the moon to get her hands on a manuscript of Sharon Salzberg's soon to be released book: Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. Here she shares some of her favorite passages from the book and why she considers it to be one of the most important books of 2017!

I have always thought of Sharon Salzberg as a force of Loving Kindness in our often crazy world. Having taught for over thirty years, written New York Times bestsellers, and co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, Sharon has created a movement of Loving Kindness and Self Compassion that only gets bigger and bigger with every passing year. And I for one am glad of it.  

I am sure each of you reads a book like Real Love for your own reasons. Perhaps to be inspired, perhaps to fix a relationship or perhaps to help someone else. 

My personal reason for wanting to read this book is that Sharon as an author always keep it real. Her prior books were not only thoughtful, but also accessible and actionable. Pertinent to real lives... Like mine and yours :)

And Real Love is no different. It speaks to real situations that are common to the human experience. Not only is Sharon asking questions that provoke introspection, but she provides simple tools to attend to the thoughts and feelings that come up as a result. 

Sharon tackles a very relevant theme early on in the book, the curse of advertising, 

"Have you ever wakened in the morning feeling contented and quiet, and then, within fifteen minutes of checking your phone, felt out of sorts and jealous? Longing for something more? 

By asking these questions, Sharon brings awareness to the mindless thoughts and actions we each take without considering their impact. Next she points out, 

"Many of us now spend as much time immersed in images on a screen as participating in the world outside our devices. Whether subtly or blatantly, ads tell us that our bodies need making over, our clothes just won’t do, our living room is a mess, and we’re not invited to the right parties—all as a way to sell us more and more. Along the way, what might be a source of pleasure becomes infused with anxiety."

Sharon's wisdom highlights the consequences of our mindless immersion in a seemingly benign medium. Thankfully, she follows up with a set of practical tools to help the reader undo these toxic patterns and develop better ones. 

An important tool Sharon describes is the Freedom of Imperfection. She begins by sharing her own struggle, 

"When I first started to co-lead meditation retreats, my perfectionism caused me a lot of suffering... I worried that I would lose my train of thought or state something so ineptly that my mind would freeze. The image of me standing there speechless was so vivid that I refused to teach. I was silenced by my own perfectionism. Eventually, I decided I could try to give a talk on lovingkindness and lovingkindness only. I figured that if my mind went totally blank, I could launch into the traditional lovingkindness meditation, and maybe no one would notice my imperfect performance. Then one day I realized that all our talks were basically about lovingkindness. The point wasn’t to give a perfect performance, it was to connect with the people gathered to listen and to extend a sense of inclusivity and care to them. 

My ability to share my insights with more freedom came about when I started to connect to myself and to that space of care from within. I shifted my attention away from self-protection and needing to be perfect and focused instead on giving what I had to offer. It was a big shift in intention, a move away from the lonely self to a space of connection. And when I came to this recognition, I found my voice."

The beauty of having Sharon as a teacher is that she walks the talk. Her honesty and compassion make it easier for her readers to believe that the tools she provides are tested and proven. Then she encourages us to give it a shot? And instead of saying eek that's too hard, you probably come away thinking hmm ...maybe these thoughts are easier to overcome than I thought? 

Bottomline, Real Love is full of ideas, questions, and tools that can transform the way we love and connect with ourselves and others. Which is why we at The Path highly recommend that you pre-order a copy right away. And ping us to let us know what you think about the book too!

Interested in learning more about Real Love and Sharon's teachings? Join The Path for an in person celebration of Real Love with Sharon this weekend at Primary and Neuehouse!