NYC

here's how to make better decisions

Hey there — I'm excited to invite you to something special this Tuesday (9/26). Here are FOUR great reasons to join us at 7pm: 

  1. First .. for the first time .. we'll enjoy a wonderful half hour meditation guided by Dr. Keith Blechman. Keith is a surgeon who graduated from our first teacher training program and who now teaches mindfulness to doctors across the country. He's super humble (not a word commonly associated with surgeons, I know!), and his story of wanting to spread mindfulness in the medical community is really inspiring. Yay to Keith guiding The Path for the first time!
  2. After Keith's meditation we're excited to welcome author Cheryl Einhorn to speak about her new book, Problem Solved. Cheryl is an EXPERT in teaching people to make better decisions in all areas of their lives, including jobs, romance and more. On Tuesday, she'll share her special technique to help people make thoughtful, confident decisions - join us to hear more!
  3. We'll gather in a new spot Tuesday, a beautiful co-working space called Industrious .. that's super convenient, RIGHT on Union Square.
  4. AND to give you no excuse not to join, we're offering everyone at The Path half off the meditation this Tuesday and including the talk for free. Yes we're feeling generous and giving, because Tuesday is going to be awesome :).

click here to join us Tuesday (use the code "path" for 50% off) 

image via Welcome Earth

image via Welcome Earth

And, wow, a huge thank you to everyone who joined us for Robert Thurman last week. What a night! Thank you for adding your warmth and beautiful energy to a truly special evening.

We <heart> you and can't wait to be part of another great gathering this Tuesday.

Cheers to you,
Dina

p.s. Yes we're really offering 50% off our meditation and the talk on making better decisions Tuesday(which will be great). Click here to join us! 

 

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

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.

Neuehouse (yay), a great teacher & an online course

Neuehouse meditation

Ooh...

I'm excited.

To invite you to join us here (yes, this cozy spot)!

On Tuesday we're bringing The Path to the spectacularly beautiful Neuehouse — for a meditation guided by an INCREDIBLE teacher.

Amy Gross is the former Editor of Oprah Magazine, and she learned meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn himself. She was my MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) teacher, and I was blown away by her during the class. I believe she is one of the best mindfulness teachers in the country.

I hope you can join us as Amy guides us in a relaxing, transformative meditation — in one of my favorite places in the city:

And, many of you have been asking about Finders Course. It's a really intense and SUPER impactful online meditation course. I'm doing it now, and it's rocking my world. 

A new round starts March 25th, and a few members of our community have already enrolled. It is a real time commitment — an hour of meditation a day plus positive psychology exercises each morning and evening to skyrocket your well-being.

I can't say enough good things about Finders Course .. but I know not everyone can do an hour of meditation a day. SO I'll only mention it this one time, and if you want to learn more please respond to this note and we'll speak directly about it. If you feel ready, apply to participate in this new round of Finders Course here.

Cheers to feeling great. To an amazing teacher Tuesday. To YOU taking steps to become the best version of you.

Cheers to taking time for relaxation. Stillness. And insight. 

You are amazing.

Conversation with a Meditation Teacher: Dr. Home Nguyen of MindKind Institute

The Path community was fortunate to experience a beautiful meditation led by Home Nguyen on Tuesday, February 21st. Sonali Nigam, a community member of The Path and graduate of our teacher training program, asked him a few questions about his life and work afterward. 

Dr. Home is the founder of the MindKind Institute and has over 20 years of experience in personal leadership, mind-body practices, career development, executive coaching, and facilitating organizational effectiveness. His mission is to develop mindful, influential, and compassionate leaders, and to help them master their power so they can make a real difference in the world.

The Path: Can you tell us about how you began on your path towards mindfulness?

In my 20s, I was going through a difficult period in my life – traveling, working too hard, experiencing insomnia and a very painful ulcer. I worked as an Artistic Director for a theater company and one evening a young actress came to me. She said, “We need to talk now, “and I tried to brush her off. But she was very insistent. She said to me, “You are very charismatic and you get people to do what you want, but I don’t feel loved when I work with you.” At the time I didn’t understand, but this conversation stayed with me. Soon afterward I checked myself into a Vipassana retreat for 10 days. That was the beginning of my meditation practice as an adult.

The Path: So that was a turning point in your life that led you to meditation…

There is one more event I would like to share. I was thirteen years old, and I was on a boat lost in the middle of the ocean – a refugee from Vietnam. We were lost at sea for 19 days. One day there was a huge wave coming towards me, and I was certain it was going to kill us. I thought that all 91 people on that boat would die.  I saw death up close and had to face it. In that moment I let go, I decided to accept death. In that moment I felt a very deep peace that I had not experienced before. From there the boat drifted into southern Thailand where I lived in a refugee camp for a year. For a thirteen-year-old boy that was a very profound experience. But at that time my brain was not developed enough to understand the significance of that moment.

The Path: What has your personal meditation journey been so far? Any challenges, any unexpected outcomes?

I have been exploring and practicing meditation for over twenty years now. After all these years, I still face difficulties. There are days I am distracted by the phone, Facebook, the news. Often, I still wake up in the morning not wanting to mediate. The difference for me is that when I find myself stressed or avoiding meditation I respond differently that I did before. In the past I used to judge myself, I was harsh. I would tell myself, “What’s the matter with you, what's wrong with you, you are weak, you have failed, you are not doing this right”. But now the judgement is still there but I can recover much faster. I tell myself that this period of struggling will pass. I will forgive myself. I will start again.
 
The practice of mindfulness is about letting go of what was and starting again in the present moment. In taking that approach of starting again, I use a beginner’s mind. I let go of achievement, I let go of measurement. I show up and do my meditation as I am in this moment. Even if it was for one breath, that is good enough to start again.

The Path: What advice would you give to those who are at the beginning of their path towards mindfulness?
 

My advice for a new practitioner is to allow yourself to start over again. The second tip is to find a good teacher. Think about learning to swim, when you are beginner you need a good coach. Once you learn how to swim you can surf, you can dive and do so many other things. But at the beginning, you need a good teacher to help you learn the foundations, and helping you to be safe and sane as you starting the exploration.

The Path: Can you speak about the work that you are currently doing in the field of mindfulness?
 

I recently finished my PhD at Columbia University, and my doctoral research was on mindfulness and how it relates to leadership, in particular how leaders can create environments that help their organizations become mindful. I have been teaching students at the Columbia Business School and Law School on how to develop mindful leadership practices for about 6 years now.  My research and practice is to understand how we can incorporate mindfulness into everyday life and how we can influence others in a positive and healthy ways.
 

On Meditation Teacher Training :: Sonali Nigam

It's hard to believe our second meditation teacher training has come to an end! We're beyond proud of all the students who took this journey. We'll be sharing interviews with some of the recent graduates, to celebrate. 

Read below for a beautiful essay by Sonali Nigam. 

Sonali has an interdisciplinary background in the technology, policy and business of healthcare. She has always been obsessively curious about the intersection of wellness and technology and geeks out on reading research articles on this topic. Sonali lives in New York City with her husband and their cat Naomi. You can find her on instagram @sonalaholic  

One of my earliest memories is of 7-year-old me sitting cross-legged on the cool floor of my aunt's meditation room, chanting mantras with my eyes closed. At the time I didn’t necessarily understand what meditation was supposed to be but it felt like a happy space, so the practice stayed with me. 
 
Fast forward twenty-five years later, I found myself wishing for more of that space and (some sanity) in New York City. The meditation apps and weekend retreats were helpful but I wanted more. I was constantly reading the scientific research about how great meditation was for my brain. But I couldn't quite figure out how to integrate it into my life in a consistent way. 
 
That's where The Path came in. I had heard about a meditation community through word of mouth and signed up to attend an event with a friend. I instantly loved the accessible nature of the Weekly Sit. It was held in a friendly and secular community, with wise teachers and a beautiful setting. To me, it was the perfect way to get away from the stresses of the city and incorporate a few moments of contemplation. 
 
So a few months later when I received an email about their upcoming Teacher Training program I felt goosebumps. The time felt right to take a deeper dive and immerse in a meditation practice. I wasn't 100% certain that I would want to teach afterward, but I knew that the training would support my desire to create a daily practice and also provide me tools for contemplation and self-reflection. 
 
The training was a three-month long commitment: four weekend retreats in addition to weekly Monday night classes. On my way to the first class, I witnessed two women on the subway trying to pull each other's hair out. 

Ah, the joys of living in New York City... I walked into class that night eager to find some quiet and compassion.
 
Happily, I found the teacher training to be that and much more. Each week, we learned core meditation concepts and discussed how they were applicable to modern life. The teachers Dr. Loizzo, Geri Loizzo, and Marlie Mcgovern were knowledgeable and approachable. In particular, Dr. Loizzo would break down the science into more palatable pieces which meant that everyone could follow along easily. The class discussions were friendly yet wide-ranging. We discussed everything from Buddha's life, to how to teach non-meditators, to the neuroplasticity of the brain!
 
Our homework was to meditate each day in order to practice what we learned that week. Of course, it was not always easy to find the time. There were many tempting distractions to deal with every single day, but I stuck with it and slowly began to feel the changes. If I didn't meditate one day, I felt like I was missing something. Over time I became creative with the practice. I tried meditating in the park during lunch my breaks, while sitting on a plane, and walking meditations whenever it was possible.  
 
Every few weeks we would be asked to lead a group of our peers in teaching a meditation and provide each other constructive feedback. Initially a nerve-racking experience, this quickly became one of my favorite aspects of the course. 
 
The training went by so quickly that before I knew it the twelve weeks were over. I look back now and am amazed at how many unanticipated changes took place in that brief period of time. Before the training, I didn't think that I could teach at all, much less teach meditation, but the positive experience of teaching my peers combined with my teachers’ support gave me the confidence to believe that I could. 

The bigger change was even more unexpected. As an introvert, I had always struggled with faking extroversion in order to fit in. The mindfulness training helped me to become aware of this struggle between my authentic self and the image I wanted to project to others. And the loving kindness practice we learned continues to help me be more accepting of myself the way I am.
 
I remember Dr. Loizzo saying during our last class, "The world will be a better place if there were more people meditating and teaching others how to meditate." I couldn't agree more. For me, the teacher training was a critical step on my path towards mindfulness and compassion. As I continue my practice and begin to teach, I firmly believe that the tools I have been given will continue to support me and the communities that I live and work in. 
 

Why I'm smiling...

I'm sitting in my favorite cafe, enjoying a green tea ... with a big smile on my face.

Why?

Because I'm looking at the site we're creating for the next Path Experience .. which we're doing again March 11th.

We'll finish the site soon and make spots available WEDNESDAY AT NOON (set that calendar alert...).

If we missed you the first time around and you're wondering what The Path Experience is .. 

I wanted to create something that provides the benefit of a multi-day retreat .. in just five hours. And do it in beautiful spaces, with great people .. so it's fun, social .. and transformative.

And .. it worked! 

People REALLY connected and said the meditations flew by .. they loved them, felt a profound impact, and actually wanted more! 

By the end people said they felt:

"really open and a bit blissed out"
"Loved it! Felt really great after."
"I felt relaxed and good."
"Elated. Peaceful. Connected."
It's hard for me to describe how I felt ..

Maybe the word is serene. Like I had nothing to prove, no need to be charming or funny. For maybe the first time in my life I felt ok 'being' rather than 'doing.'

It also had a big effect on people's work. You meet great people at the Path Experience (I'm working now with three of the people who joined the last one!). But it also affected people's productivity. One woman wrote me a few days after:

"I've had one of the most productive and crystal clear weeks in ages. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of progress I've been able to make in a week in my work and in my love life, and I think part of that is having a clear mind."

Our next Path Experience will be even better.

We're gathering in a jaw-dropping home off Union Square featured in The New York Times. We hired a chef to prepare dinner. And we'll serve gourmet snacks, organic home brewed coffee and Kombucha made by members of our community.

I'm SO excited for this. We're going to keep it intimate again — just 25 people. Spots will sell quickly, and we're raising the price to cover the chef and dinner, but I also want to make this accessible.

So we're going to offer TEN spots at $250 Wednesday at noon before we raise the price to $300.

It's the benefits of a retreat. In a stunning home. With amazing people. And a dinner party. Can't wait.

Meditate Under the Stars

It's time to invite you to lie down with us. Join us for the perfect summer night. 

+ A reserved private area of Central Park
+ A gong bath led by Jen Fraser
+ Treats and refreshments on blankets under the stars
+ Lawn games and socializing with some of the coolest conscious people in the city

We've got this event pretty dialed in. Come experience a quintessential summer night in the city.

Reserve your patch of grass HERE