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heights meditation
In August of 2011, eleven meditators met in a Washington Heights apartment. Acknowledging the difficulty of practicing meditation alone, these meditators decided to band together to form Heights Meditation. From that day forward and until today it remains our group's goal to serve Upper Manhattan residents seeking a focal point for their meditation practice. Our brief is large. It is inspiring and important work we go about; we invite you to be a part of it. Join us soon!
In August of 2011, eleven meditators met in a Washington Heights apartment. Acknowledging the difficulty of practicing meditation alone, these meditators decided to band together to form Heights Meditation. From that day forward and until today it remains our group's goal to serve Upper Manhattan residents seeking a focal point for their meditation practice. Our brief is large. It is inspiring and important work we go about; we invite you to be a part of it. Join us soon!
Meditation is an ancient practice that in the course of the twentieth century moved across the West and has profoundly benefited the millions of people who practice it either occasionally or regularly.

Much of what we learn in life creates stress and resentment, fear and craving. These are states of being in which all sense of being rooted in the body is lost and the self lives in a kind of obsessive mind trap. In this state, the past typically afflicts us with regret and the future fills us with fear.

Meditation counters this entrapment (“I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s making me sick!”) by teaching its practitioners to find within themselves a readily accessible peace. Many people practice meditation alone, maybe at home or even on the subway. Many of us have found that meditation really only gains traction in our lives when practiced regularly with others who are similarly-minded. Group practice anchors the technique in our lives in a way that individual practice cannot.

Through our daily practice at Heights Meditation, then, we seek to train our minds to be more calm, more clear, more open, and less fearful.

Our group meets every day of the week because the benefits of meditation only really accrue to the meditator when you practice regularly. Most people find consistent practice of meditation difficult when done alone. On the other hand, most everyone finds it easy and pleasurable to practice in a group of friendly, similarly-minded folks!

Everyone is welcome to join us at Heights Meditation, even if you have never practiced meditation before. Please let the moderator know if you are new to the practice and need some special guidance during our meetings; we are happy to provide some and we want your visit with us to be useful , informative, and pleasurable to you. There is no charge for meditating at Heights Meditation.

Please scroll down this webpage to see the details of each day's meetings!

Meeting Times

Saturday mornings, 8:00 - 9:00 AM. “Beginners and Others” meditation. (Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church)

Sunday evenings, 7:00 - 8:00 PM. “Chant + Meditation = Focus and Peace.” (Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church)

Monday mornings, 7:00 - 7:35 AM . "Practicing the Technique." (Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church)

Tuesday mornings, 7:00 - 7:35 AM . "Practicing the Technique." (Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church)

Wednesday mornings, 6:00 – 6:30 AM ("The Lounge" at Hudson View Gardens, corner of West 183rd Street & Pinehurst Avenue. Please go down the driveway. The second door on the right reads "The Lounge.")

Wednesday mornings, 7:00 - 7:35 AM . "Practicing the Technique." (Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church)

Thursday mornings, 7:00 - 7:35 AM . "Practicing the Technique." (Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church)

Friday mornings, 7:00 - 7:35 AM . "Practicing the Technique." (Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church)

Meeting Format

All meetings begin with the turning off of cell phones and other noise-emitting devices. The meeting moderator helps everyone get comfortable and into a meditative position and mental attitude.

We sit quietly and meditate for 20-25 minutes. You can sit on the floor if you want, or use a chair in the room to sit on. During silent meditation we are practicing peace, serenity, and clarity as a conscious corrective to much of the rest of our lives. If you find calming your thoughts to be difficult for any length of time, you are like the rest of humanity. Most new meditators have difficulty calming the ruminative processes of the busy human mind. Through practice, however, peace and stability can be won.

The Sunday evening has a slightly different format: it begins with some chanting ("spiritual singalong") which is both fun and very focusing. After the chant, we go directly into 20-25 minutes of silent meditation.

Participants are requested to leave all food at home. Water for discreet use can be brought in a travel mug.

We are a friendly and open-hearted group. Please come visit us if meditation seems attractive or necessary to you in your life right now. There really is no better time than the present to start in on mediation. Please know that we will support you in your practice even as you, by your presence, support us in ours!
At Heights Meditation meetings, we practice the conscious calming down of the mind so that consciousness can abide comfortably and happily with itself, in every passing moment. Visit us if practicing this way of life seems desirable to you. It will take some commitment on your part, but the commitment is truly not a heavy or a difficult one. You will find many people at Heights Meditation to support you on your path. The rewards of consistent practice are readily experienced and well documented. Whether you are a beginner, a long-time practitioner, or someone just curious about the potential benefits of meditation when the technique is woven into your life—everyone is always warmly welcome.

Please contact us at heightsmeditation@gmail.com if you have any questions about our meetings.

You can also visit us at our Meetup.com website ("Heights Meditation - Washington Heights NYC") for ongoing and continually updated information Heights Meditation meetings and to see the profiles of the many other dozens of meditators in our area who belong to our group.

Our Savior's Atonement
Lutheran Church
178 Bennett Avenue - south entrance
(@ 189th st)
view map

"The Lounge" at Hudson View Gardens
Corner of west 183rd Street & Pinehurst Avenue
Please go down the driveway, second door on the right reads "The Lounge."
view map

Questions or comments:

Upcoming Events

Sunday, September 25, 2016
Heights Meditation Silent Meditative Walk to Mark the Autumn Equinox 2016
OSA/Cornerstone Center
New York, NY
Hello Fellow Meditators!

In a few days' time, the autumn equinox will take place. On that day, the number of hours of darkness each day will equal and then quickly exceed the number of hours of daylight each subsequent day. Summer 2016, which only seems to have just begun, has run its course. Autumn begins.

Every quarter year, to mark the ever-changing seasons and learn to better accommodate change, we at Heights Meditation go for meditative walks through our neighborhood. These walks typically last about an hour. We move silently and slowly through the urban architecture and verdant parkland that surround us here in Washington Heights; we take note of all kinds of big and little things that normally we ignore. It's a kind of waking up experience that is simple, pure, and exquisitely clarifying.

Our quarterly Silent Meditative Walks are intended as an opportunity for you and your friends to slow down radically and to savor your life a bit more or a lot more. Although nothing ever 'happens' on these walks, a great deal always does, internally. Anyone who has ever participated in one will tell you that you end the walk as if transported from wherever you began it. By the end of the walk, your whole world seems to have revived around you: once again you feel embedded in your life, you feel grounded and centered, light and ephemeral all at once. It's no small thing to be these things all at once.

Friends and fellow Meditators! We invite you to take part in the 2016 Autumn Silent Walk:

Sunday, September 25th 2015
6:30 PM sharp
OSA/Cornerstone Center (corner of West 189th/Bennett Avenue)

Please let me know if you intend to attend by writing to Heightsmeditation@gmail.com. Please bring along something to drink if the evening is warm and please dress appropriately if it is cool or windy or rainy.

This Silent Walk is part of the Time Project at Heights Meditation. We hope you can attend because you owe it to yourself to attend.

All hail!

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Friday, March 17, 2017
March 2017 Heights Meditation Retreat - One of Three
March 2017 Retreat at Heathen Hill Retreat Center
Franklin, NY
Heights Meditation of Northern Manhattan invites you to participate in a quietly magnificent and intensive three-part cycle of retreats entitled "Going Forth." The three thematically-interlacing retreats span winter 2017, Autumn 2017 and winter 2018. Whether you are new to meditation or an adept, everyone is invited to attend!

Retreat One: March 17 - 19th, 2017 (three days, two nights) at the Heathen Hill Retreat Center in Franklin, NY: Establishing the House of Consciousness

Retreat Two: September 15 - 17th, 2017 (three days, two nights) at the Won Dharma Retreat Center in Claverack, NY: Building the Garden around the House of Consciousness. Half of this retreat will be spent in silence.

Retreat Three: February 16-19th, 2018 (four days, three nights on the long February weekend) at Heathen Hill: Going Forth. This final long retreat is a silent retreat (you can do it!) and aims to set and solidify results from the previous two retreats.

Our overarching theme at these retreats will be "Going Forth--Incorporating Peace into Each Hour, Every Day." Each retreat, every day, will approach the challenge of living a conscious and animated life from different perspectives. Laurel Beversdorf, Gentle Motion Teacher, will be along to keep your body moving gently for both the March retreats at Heathen Hill. Participants can participate in as many of the retreats as desired; attendance at one or two is independent of attendance at the others and attendance at all three entitles you to a 10% discount on the cycle at the end of the cycle.

Friends and fellow meditators, we hope you can attend one or more of these upcoming special retreats. Many who attended our previous retreat in February 2016 will eagerly attest to the power of a Heights Meditation retreat and want to sign up for the next retreats in 2017 and 2018. We therefore encourage your early registration. Lodgings at both venues are clean, simple and exquisite; the food and the company you keep will be exemplary. Please write and enquire now if you are interested in attending. Please also write if you are interested in obtaining a scholarship for attending the retreats.

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Past Events

Saturday, April 9, 2016
Heights Meditation's Time Project: Spring Meditation Walk & Social Hour, Saturday morning, April 9th
Cornerstone Center
New York NY 10040
At the end of every quarter, as a way of tracking the passage of time and underscoring the meaning of change in our lives, Heights Meditation members come together, go outside, walk around, look up and look down, and meditate. During the 45 minutes or so that we're underway, we walk in silence, slowly, and pay attention to life. Sometimes we stop and sit and close our eyes. Other times we walk in silence and let the fact that we're alive (and conscious of it) sink in.

That's no small thing, to let consciousness observe and take good care of itself. Another term for it is: waking up!

You have to ask yourself: when was the last time that you took the time to slow down and look and savor--actually look and savor--the world manifesting around us? Sometimes when you answer that question honestly, you will say: I haven't really done that since I was a child.

If you've ever observed Heights Meditation members walking through our Washington Heights neighborhood on one of our silent meditative walks, you'll have seen a group of people picking their way across the city landscape, stopping occasionally to sit in front of a river or an empty playground or a wall of yellow bricks. You'll have heard the gently jangling cow bell, the only sound we make as we move across a piece of northern Manhattan. The gentle jangles call us continually back to the present, to the now! now! now! that is the heart of the meditator's work.

This Saturday, April 9th, we will hold the annual Spring Walk followed by a get together in a private apartment. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with each other after our recent retreat upstate and to welcome spring and new meditators into our midst!

Here's the details. Please RSVP to Heightsmeditation@gmail.com if you intend to participate in the walk and/or the get together which will follow the walk. If you'd like to make a contribution to the get together (food or drink), please also let us know.

Annual Silent Meditation Walk
Saturday, April 9th at 9:00 AM sharp
(Meditators: please note time change, this walking meditation replaces the usual 8:00 AM sitt)
Meeting place: Cornerstone Center, West 189th Street and Bennett Avenue(A train to 181st Street or 1 train to 190th)
Social Hour: 10:00 am - 11:00 am (Location TBD).

We look forward to seeing old friends and new friends on this occasion. Please bring along a friend if you like!

Thank you and see you Saturday!


February 5-7, 2016
Meditation & Gentle Movement Retreat, February 5 - 7th, 2016
Heathen Hill Yoga Center
Franklin, NY
Movement Teacher Laurel Beversdorf and Meditation Teacher James Loney are hosting a very special winter weekend Retreat this February. You are invited !

The end of January and the beginning of February are potentially 'tough' times in the lives of many residing in the Northeast. Nights are long and dreary and days are cold and snowy. For these reasons but also simply because life is short, you may feel you owe it to yourself to go away on a short replenishing Retreat with others similarly minded this year. We think the dead of winter is one of the best of times to take a "mindful pause" and go into Retreat. These three days together will be a time to slow down, a time to take measure, a time to create for yourself a profound peace and transportable happiness in the company of friends new and old.

What are you waiting for?

Each day on this wonderful Retreat includes periods of mindful movement, guided meditation, and the opportunity to relax and explore ten secluded acres of rolling hills and sweeping vistas surrounding the venue site. If you prefer, you can stay in your room and read a good thick novel or fall asleep in front of a fire. There's a hot tub and lots of good cheer in the kitchen, too!

The $385 charge for this remarkable retreat includes all meals. We request you please bring your own beverages.
Arrival: after 4pm on Friday, February 5th.
Departure: 3 pm Sunday, February 7th.
$385 lodging and meals; please add an additional $60 if you need transporation to and from the Retreat Center.



click here for more info
Friday, January 1, 2016
Washington Heights New Year's Day Special Walking Meditation with Following Social
January 1st, 2016 is upon us and it's now time to sketch out for you plans for one of Heights Meditation's most popular and quietly spectacular events, the Fourth Annual Washington Heights New Year's Day Silent Meditation Walk.

This year, as in past, we will be silently processing as a loose group through some of the bucolic and urban areas of our neighborhood overlooking the Hudson River. What a beautiful and mindful way to bring in a new year, walking slowly and studying with focus and exhilaration all manifestations in the cold clear air of a New Year's Day!

Washington Heights New Year's Day Silent Meditation Walk + Potluck

Event Date: New Year's Day afternoon, Friday, January 1st, 2016

Time: 3:00 sharp - 6:00 PM

You and your friends and family are most welcome to attend both the silent walk and the following social. Or just attend the part (walk or social) that most appeals to you. Either way we'd love to see you among us on this most propitious and auspicious day of the year!

Where: The walk will begin punctually at 196 Pinehurst Avenue in 10033 (A and 1 trains to 181st) at 3:00 PM. Please plan on arriving a bit early to ensure you are in place for the 3:00 PM kick off. From our start point we will silently process as a loose group accompanied only by the random clangs of a cowbell through areas high above and overlooking the Hudson River. We will walk for approximately 45 minutes, stopping only once on a vantage point to sit and meditate overlooking the river.

Conditions: Please dress warmly. In the event of rain, the walk will proceed as planned but should it rain or snow, we will contact you on the day of the event with further information.

Social Event: Following the walk, at or around 4:00 PM on New Year's Day, Heights Meditation will hold a social hour at 196 Pinehurst Avenue. This potluck dinner and the earlier silent walk are RSVP events. Please send your RSVP to heightsmeditation@gmail.com by Thursday,, December 31st for final details regarding this amazing afternoon.

September 22, 2016Striking Deeper Roots in Washington HeightsHello Fellow Meditators,

We hope that all of you are finding Heights Meditation meetings helpful and supportive of your practice .

Since helping start Heights Meditation almost five years ago, I have always believed that Northern Manhattanites need many more opportunities than they currently possess to meet up and meditate together. Otherwise our lives become craters of materialism and mindlessness. We live in one of the most nerve-wracking cities in the world, where reactive behaviors like "fight and flight" can become a modus vivendi. No wonder so many of our minds and bodies seem wracked by stress and fear, craving and overindulgence. No wonder so many of us want to escape the current moment and live in different skins on far-away tropical islands where (we dream) no cloud ever obscures the sun. No wonder few of us are able to sleep through an entire night and awake refreshed in the morning, a smile playing on our lips.

For these people, then, and for you and for me, Heights Meditation was created and Heights Meditation exists.

Much organizational work remains for us to do at Heights Meditation. We feel it is time to begin offering evening sitts for residents of Northern Manhattan. You can help us achieve this dream. If you can commit to intensify your commitment to yourself and your practice and assist us in instituting a new weekly meeting schedule which covers evening work days, please let us know.

For you and for me and for all the harried souls in our communities, Heights Meditation was created and exists. We thank you for the support you give us which has allowed the Heights Meditation sangha to flourish and grow year-in and year-out. We commit to continue our support for you and help you grow in happiness and contentment all the days of your life.

~ James