One of the great discoveries of the summer for me was finding MNDFL, a thoughtfully designed meditation space just north of Washington Square Park. Meditation is something that I’ve always been interested in but only participated in intermittently. I say participate instead of practice, because I lacked a true understanding of what it meant to practice meditation and be fully engaged with the ideas behind it. When a friend introduced me to MNDFL and suggested that we go one Sunday afternoon, I was excited to give it a shot at a time in my life when I felt like there was a healthy space for it.
After going to MDNFL that first time, I was absolutely hooked, and ended up going on a weekly basis throughout the summer and into the fall. I found it to be an incredibly clarifying practice, as it begins and ends with one focusing on their breath, and that simple action inwards and outwards. I left each guided class feeling like I had more appreciation for my mindful heart and the hearts of others, and felt lighter, more focused on what is essential in my life. I began exploring other practices throughout the city from there, and have a round-up below of some of my favorites to date.
MNDFL – With a second location just opened in Brooklyn, this meditation “studio” is on the up and up. The original location in Greenwich Village is my favorite, which features a main meditation studio as well as a small offshoot for longer and smaller classes (my preference). The design here alone is something worth checking out – from the living wall to the highly stylized bookshelf (containing only reads worthy of any guru), the interior design work here is a home run.
WOOM – Part yoga practice and part meditation practice, the Woom experience is one like nothing else. I went on a weekend to a 1.5 hour class, and it was an exercise in combining bodily movement with meditation and sound meditation, all in a room where the walls were screens and broadcasted views of soothing ocean waves and the like. If you like yoga, and maybe want to dip a toe in the meditation realm without committing to sitting on a cushion for an hour, this is the spot for you.
Inscape – This Chelsea meditation studio differed from others in that it was not a guided meditation by a human being, but a recording broadcast to the class. Although the meditation room itself boasted a really lovely round set-up and gorgeous color therapy lighting, I did find the lack of a human teacher to be a bit impersonal. Nonetheless, the guided practice did the trick, and I look forward to giving it another shot.
On Deck: Kadampa Meditation CenterNot just another Chelsea meditation studio, this center features in depth classes, retreats, and seminars for those looking to become more educated in all realms of Buddhism and meditation. I’ve been eyeing their weekend course in the Catskills, and will report back.