2017, Day Hikes

June 24, 2017: Mineral Springs Falls Meditative Hike – Lakes, A Waterfall, and Unique Flora

“The birds have dissolved into the sky
And the last remaining clouds have faded away
We sit together the mountain and me
Until the only mountain remains”
Li Po, Zazen on Ching Ting Mountain

What we love about this hike

  • Visit beautiful waterfalls
  • Multiple open views of the Hudson Valley
  • Unique ecosystems in Black Rock Forest
  • Stop at a local farmstand

Join us on a meditative hike through Black Rock Forest, a hidden gem in the Hudson Valley that’s home to unique ecosystems. Our hike begins as we pass Mineral Springs Falls and hike along the spring as we head uphill. After our first tough climb, we’ll pass by Jupiter’s Boulder and soon a break will await us at Sutherland Pond, where the bravest among us can dip our toes.  We will rest and meditate there for a while.

After we’ll follow winding trails through the park – a favorite place of biologists and botanists due to its high species and habitat diversity – and observe the variety of berries and wild edibles that fill the forest at our feet and the stunning views in front of our eyes.

If there’s time, a stop at one of our favorite farm stands awaits us before we head back to the city, reinvigorated and relaxed after our time in the forest.

We’ll integrate nature meditation along the hike.  Some examples of practices may include:

  • Four Elements: Contemplating the elements of air, earth, water and fire
  • Non-Conceptual Awareness: Letting go of existing concepts and focus on direct experience
  • Expansive Awareness: Dissolving into the sky
  • Sensory Awareness

Most of the hike will be observed in silence.  John Muir said, “In every walk in Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”  Silence is a critical ingredient for introspective and transformative experiences.  Turning our attention inward allows us to become receptive to both of our outer and inner experiences.  Allow your senses to come alive and watch your sense of separateness falls away in nature.  The dynamic outdoor conditions will be a perfect container for mindfulness practices.  As we become intimate with the natural world, we become intimate with ourselves.

No prior meditation experience required.  Please feel free to bring any light meditation props that you find to be helpful (thermal rest z-seat pad, light yoga block, yoga mat, backjack, etc.), though they are not necessary.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Register at:  New York Insight Meditation Center

Registration Fee: $95 before June 1st; price goes up $10 after June 1st.  We are partnering with Discover Outdoors for this hike.  Transportation, an expert trail guide, and park permit are included in the registration fee.  It also covers a portion of dana for teachers and New York Insight.  At the end of the trip, if you are moved by the experience, additional dana is greatly appreciated but not necessary.

Based on the size of the van, only 12 spots are available per trip.  There will be a waitlist once these spots are filled.  If you decided to drive to meet us, you will make more spots for others to join and pay $20 less ($75).  As soon as you register, please email info@beinginthewild.com to indicate that you’ll be driving so we can inform others of additional availability.


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.

Register Here

Trip Details:

Meeting Location and Time:

Meet at Paragon Sports, Broadway at E. 18th St. (Union Square area)
Meet at 8:15am, leaves at 8:30am, returning at 6:30pm

Drive to Meet Option:

Have your own transportation? You’ll meet us at the parking area on Old Mineral Springs Road in Cornwall, NY at 9:45 AM.  If you drive there to meet us, you will make more spots available for others to join us.  As soon as you register, please email info@beinginthewild.com to indicate that you’ll be driving so we can inform others of additional availability.

Pack List:

  • Your lunch
  • Ample snacks
  • At least three liters of water
  • A backpack.
  • Comfortable athletic clothing, weather appropriate
  • Hiking boots
  • Hat
  • Jacket
  • Sunscreen

Intensity Level:

This is a Level 5 trip rated by Discover Outdoors.

Moderate — For Skilled Beginners and Intermediate Participants

Level 5 trips place greater emphasis challenging you physically. Whether you’re still new to the scene or have some experience, you’ll appreciate a more deliberate pace with a capable group.

Trail Statistics
  • 6.0 miles
  • 1,000 Feet Cumulative Gain
  • Clear path, no use of hands required. Some steep uphill and downhill sections.

We’ll be out on the trails for five to seven hours.