2017, City Parks

May 20, 2017: Bird Watching/Nature Meditation at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve

“To see is to forget the name of thing one sees.” – Paul Valery


Want to spend a spring late afternoon watching birds and sunset?  With a short train ride away, we will be transported to a wild sanctuary from the city.  We will be sharing various nature meditation practices in this beautiful open space – cultivating stillness, opening our senses and our heart, and let nature help us unfold in ways that we cannot foresee.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge—part of Gateway National Recreation Area—is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeast and one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating species. With more than 330 bird species—nearly half the species in the Northeast—sighted at the refuge over the last 25 years.


4-6:30pm, Saturday, May 20, 2017


You can meet us directly at 3:45pm at the Visitor Center at the  Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve.  Or if you would like to travel together to Jamaica Bay from Manhattan, we’ll meet at 2:30pm at the corner of 14th St station of the A train (downtown direction).

Directions: Take the A train to Rockaway Boulevard station (about 45 mins from Manhattan).  Transfer to the Q52 or Q53 bus on Woodhaven Blvd.  When you get off the Rockaway Blvd. subway station, look for the red P.C. Richard & Son store sign, the bus is right in front of it facing Woodhaven Blvd.  It will drop you off directly in front of the Wildlife Preserve Visitor Center in a 5-7 minutes bus ride.

Registration: New York Insight Meditation Center

This will be the part of a monthly series of nature meditation offerings from March to September, 2017. Sessions are “sign-up as you go” and upcoming sessions will be announced soon. No prior meditation experience required.

Sessions will be conducted outdoors so please dress appropriately, with closed-toe shoes, clothing appropriate to the weather, hats, etc. Please bring a water bottle to all sessions, and any meditation props that you find to be helpful (meditation cushion or bench, yoga mat, backjack, etc.). Most sessions will include some gentle movement or walking practice so please offer care for yourself around mobility issues.

For planning purposes, please register online so we know to expect you and we will send an email notification at least 24 hours in advance to in case of location change or cancellation due to weather conditions.

We look forward to awakening up in the wild together.

Fee by donation: Suggested starting donation at $20 but whatever you offer is greatly appreciated and no one is ever turned away for lack of funds.


Jon Aaron has been a teacher at New York insight since 2006. His principal dharma teacher has been Matthew Flickstein of The Forest Way. He trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a certified teacher through the CFM. He has taught over 50 cycles of the seminal curriculum as well as numerous courses for alumni of the program. He completed the Integrated Study and Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. He is the co-guiding teacher of the Makom Meditation Havurah program at the Jewish Community Center. He is a certified Somatic Experience Practitionertm and has most recently completed the teacher training in Mindfulness for Pain offered by Breathworks in England.

Lin Gordon has practiced insight meditation in the last six years. Her principal dharma teachers have been Jonathan Foust of Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Mark Coleman of Spirit Rock, and Jon Aaron at New York Insight. Inspired by Mark Coleman’s nature practices, she will complete Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Meditation in Nature Facilitators Training in the fall of 2017.