Entries Tagged as 'meditations'

Joseph Mitchell’s Regard for Ornament

April 18th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

Joseph Mitchell possessed a lifelong fascination with New York City’s survivors, both its characters and its buildings, especially ones that often escaped notice. For some 26 years, from 1938 to 1964, his essays in The New Yorker portrayed the city’s inhabitants from the bearded Lady Olga of circus sideshows and the stout Germans carrying their […]

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Spring Signals: The Songsters Return

March 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Beyond Gotham

It occurs one dawn, quite beyond our human planning. Open the window or the door, or walk down the street, and you’ll hear it in a way that was absent the week before – birdsong. This isn’t the twitter of the hardy chickadees and juncos that have wintered here through the deep snows and sub-zero […]

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The Dazzle of Winter Trees

January 31st, 2014 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham, Columns and Features

During the howling of the wind, the crunching sound of steps on a frozen trail, or the diamond sparkle of the late afternoon sun, you see it standing there – unmoved, strong, and enchanting to the eye. To know nature’s spirit in infinite variety, get close to a single tree in winter – look at […]

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In Honor of My Mother

May 13th, 2013 · 12 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Like so many, I woke up on Mother’s Day thinking about my mom. Maybe it’s because of various changes in my life this past year and because of reading so many poignant posts from a Motherless Daughters Facebook group this week, I felt Mother’s Day even more than usual. Our mom, Susie DeMark, was a […]

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Boston: The Grief and Unrelenting Whys

April 20th, 2013 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

His face was unforgettable. Twenty-seven-year-old Jeff Bauman looked ashen and bewildered, appearing to be in shock, while three people directed and pushed Bauman in a wheelchair, as a New York Times photo showed. Moments before, he had been waiting to cheer his girlfriend when she would cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Then […]

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Spring’s Many Enticing Invitations

May 1st, 2012 · 1 Comment · Beyond Gotham

It may be the line of bold yellow forsythia that appears on a drab brown hillside. It may be the sudden burst of crimson red on a stand of maple trees in the park or the cottony white and pink of blossoms on dozens of apple trees in an orchard where gnarled dark branches dominated […]

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Walking As Solace and Joy

December 12th, 2011 · 16 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Walking has saved my life and restored my serenity more times than I can count. When times have come that throw off life’s balance and inner peace, I know I have not walked enough. Walking has always been part of my life’s journey, a way to constantly look around at the world each day, no […]

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9/11: Still-Searing Images

September 16th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Explore New York

Every early September a day comes that is just beautiful – particularly sunny, bright, and gently warm. On such days, I’m sure many feel it again as clearly as if it was yesterday. That Tuesday 10 years ago, the morning was clear and warm, with radiant sunshine, the kind that makes you cup your eyes […]

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Meditation: Looking Mindfully At Details

August 5th, 2011 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

In the middle of a number of us playing soccer on a delightful summer evening, one of my partner’s grandchildren said, “Look at that sky!” The sky just before sunset was full of large pink, gray, white, and lavender swirling patterns above. How wonderful that she was aware of the beauty around us and shared […]

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The Glorious Palette of Spring Green

May 19th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

The verb “spring” originates from the Old English “springan,” which means to burst forth or leap. The noun for the season, fittingly, derives from that term. Each year at this time, spring enchants us with the bursting forth of blossoms and flowers – pinks, purples, whites, yellows, reds – from what which lay dormant in […]

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Details, Details: Greenwich Street

April 27th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

“Manhattan” and “quiet” are two words that many people do not associate with each other and put together in the same sentence. Yet many pockets of Manhattan offer quiet, especially when we calm the mind enough to find the inner peace that allows it. As one of those Manhattan walkers whose mind often can be […]

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A Tree Grows in Chain Link

April 15th, 2011 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

New York City has 5.2 million trees, and each one of them has a life story. For a very long time, a lovely European larch has marked the seasons for those walking in Central Park. It is a deciduous conifer whose needle-like leaves turn yellow in the autumn and fall off. A tulip tree in […]

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Messages From a Snowy Landscape

February 14th, 2011 · 8 Comments · Beyond Gotham

How often have you heard the phrase “sick of winter” lately? It’s a phrase on many lips. As the frigid, single-digit temperatures and biting wind of recent days finally are giving way to the feeling-utterly-balmy 40s and the beginnings of melt – the inexorable winding into spring – take a long look and walk through […]

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Present-Moment Thankfulness

November 26th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Beyond Gotham

In the book The Tao of Daily Life is a parable about the present moment. As he is chased by a tiger, a man comes to a cliff and escapes by climbing a vine down it. Upon climbing downward, he sees a tiger at the bottom of the cliff. As if things aren’t difficult enough, […]

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A Tranquil Patch of the Meadowlands

November 10th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Beyond Gotham

It’s the kind of place you’d never guess is peaceful. It’s where the great Atlantic Flyway of migrating birds meets the New Jersey Turnpike of commuters, truckers, and travelers. On one side is the turnpike, its several lanes on each side heading north and south, an endless whizzing-by parade of cars, trucks carrying goods bound […]

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Encountering the “Three-Legged Buddha”

August 19th, 2010 · 9 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Like the Tibetan Buddhist tradition that it evokes, Zhang Huan’s “Three-Legged Buddha” is an artwork of mystery and complexity. It captures life, death, and rebirth. The enormous sculpture is strong and muscular, yet fragile; seemingly dominated yet defiant. Is the key figure within it collapsing, or is it arising? These are the qualities and questions […]

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Meditation: An Egret and the Gulf Oil Spill

June 9th, 2010 · 8 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Beyond Gotham

To whom does the Earth belong? If you have any doubt about it, spend time at a wildlife refuge. Even 15 minutes, let alone a couple of hours, at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey tell the answer: The Earth belongs to all creatures, not just man. Hundreds of sandpipers gather […]

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A Date With the Blossoms In New Paltz

April 21st, 2010 · 6 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Imagine that you were walking in a city park, on a campus, or along a street, and suddenly you see that someone has set up a dozen original paintings of Claude Monet. The masterpieces are before your eyes. Along your path, you see “Impression, Sunrise,” “Winter At Giverny,” and “The Water-Lily Pond,” among many others. […]

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New Year’s Meditation On Snow

January 5th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

The snow is falling slowly, in its own time, on the evergreen. All is quiet. The New Year presents new possibilities and new questions. The possibilities are uncharted, the questions unanswered. Still, the present moment is enough. What if we just reside in it, stop the running thoughts, and simply behold the surroundings? Take a […]

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Summer Day’s Meditation at the Ashokan

August 25th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

It’s the very essence of calm, a still surface of blue-silver water reflecting billowy cumulus clouds above. Large shafts of light pour down through the clouds at angles on the shoreline, creating swaths of light-green trees in the middle of darker pines and bejeweled light on the water. On a 90-degree humid day, I can […]

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