I can't recall exactly when I first noticed it, maybe it was my first heartbreak or the gradual burden of responsibilities that began to pile on with age, but at some point during my teenage years I realized that something wasn't quite right. I became aware of this unsettled space inside me, the cliché "void in my heart" that I couldn’t seem to fill. My father, an avid martial artist and firm believer in chi, seemingly identified my spiritual distress and gifted me with a faded paperback book with crinkled edges and dog-eared pages. On the cover was a tranquil-appearing woman sitting in the lotus position with her eyes closed and a soft smile on her face. This was my first introduction to meditation.
I spent the next 15 years exploring a myriad of meditation styles and their origins. I read books (lots of books), listened to lectures, visited temples, and went on retreats. I fasted, remained silent, and contemplated overturning my life to become a nun. And despite all of this, there it remained, the dull nagging of my soul. At first I wasn't too discouraged, many of the traditions and teachers were very upfront about the fact that achieving enlightenment was a goal that one was not apt to achieve in one lifetime. But over time my dedication came and went, and eventually I decided that perhaps I was simply broken. I interpreted my yearning and dissatisfaction as depression and anxiety. I turned to psychotherapy, and thankfully my therapist encouraged me to resume the pursuit of my former interests. A quick internet search later, and I stumbled upon Flushing Meditation.
Since you're reading this, it seems that you have stumbled upon it too, and I'm glad that you did. Flushing Meditation is different in so many positive ways, and whether you're brand new to meditation, or you are a lifelong seeker such as myself, life has brought you to the right place. Regardless of what your story is or what you are seeking, whether it be the search for peace, happiness, health or a full blown existential crisis --- you can find what you are looking for here.
Regardless of what you are seeking,
you can find what you are looking for here.
I'm delighted to say that after starting this meditation practice, the restless part of myself, that was always searching and never satisfied, has quieted down. I no longer feel as if something is missing, and instead I feel that I'm finally on the right path. My partner discovered the tangible differences in me before I did. He pointed out that my overall mood was lighter and happier, and made sure to tell me that I was much more fun to live with. And when I began to look back, I realized that I had truly become more equanimous, and had stopped torturing myself and my partner with the unpleasant mood swings that I had felt powerless over before. Without directly addressing our relationship, I had improved it. And when I accepted the idea that this meditation was definitively enhancing my life, I ironically released some of the stress and anxiety I had gathered while looking for a way to unload them.
Over time, this meditation has continued to work for me in ways that I couldn't have expected. Before starting this method, I had begun working as a physician assistant in a large New York City hospital system. I chose to work in oncology and as a part of my job, I witness tremendous physical and spiritual suffering on a daily basis. I do my best to support my patients and their loved ones throughout the course of their illness (and sometimes their death), and I strive to do so not only medically, but emotionally. By using this method, I am able to continually replenish my own spirit and be a pillar for others, without burning out, hardening my heart, or putting up walls to protect myself from the feelings of others. I could have never predicted the Covid-19 pandemic or imagined that I would find myself directly in the middle of a battlefield, a direct witness to unbelievable traumas and horrors day after day. As I saw other hospital staff break down in fear, suffer from insomnia, lose hope, and question their livelihoods, I relied on this meditation. It has been the key to my resilience. It allows me to go back into work each day, grateful for whatever difference I can make, confident that I can continue on in the face of fear, and accept the uncertainty and inevitable losses that are an inescapable part of life.
Whether or not you happen to be a healthcare provider, you have undoubtedly experienced your own stressors during the current health crisis or as a result of the heated political and divided cultural climate in our country at this time. No matter how you may be struggling, this meditation has the ability to transform you into the best version of yourself and effortlessly translate into nearly all the aspects of your life.
I cannot speak about Flushing Meditation without highlighting the incredible diversity of our meditators. As a center located in arguably one of the most diverse cities in the country, you can expect to meet individuals from a wide array of places and backgrounds. And despite our beautiful differences, we all come together to support each other in our journey to live increasingly fulfilling lives. I immediately felt seen and accepted when I was first welcomed to the Flushing Meditation center. I cherish being free to be utterly myself in whatever space I am in, without judgement or bias.
Flushing Meditation has adapted along with the rest of the world and now offers the opportunity to meditate, join events, and meet other members of our global community virtually. The center has responded to the growing needs of humanity with programs to address other areas of wellness such as exercise, sleep and much needed inspiration. Flushing Meditation doesn't encourage lengthy retreats in austere conditions or rely on confusing instructions and hard-to-contact instructors, they prefer to keep things simple. They offer both individual and small group sessions from the comfort of your own home, with flexible scheduling; and although the method is easy to follow, the instructors (we call them helpers) are always close by to answer any questions that come up along the way. If you are interested in finding out more, read on to find out about our free, weekly happenings! The following programs are a fantastic way to learn more about our guided meditation method and start meeting members of our meditation family.
Free, Online Weekly Events
HOW TO MEDITATE
Fridays at 5:00 PM ET
If you’re not ready to dive into a meditation session quite yet and you've got some questions on your mind, this is the place for you! Also a great session for those who have experience with other meditation practices, and are wondering how our method differs. Chat with a few of our experienced meditators, satisfy your curiosities and get a clear idea of what meditation is really about.
Learn more: How To Meditate
FINDING HOPE WITHIN
Tuesdays at 8:00 PM, Wednesdays at 6:00 PM, and Saturdays at 4:00 PM ET
This one is for everyone! If you are ready to give this meditation thing a try and aren't sure where to start, this is the place to be! It's so easy to get lost in the obstacles and stressors of everyday life and forget the beauty and light we have in and around us. Led by our kind and supportive helpers, spend a few minutes learning about our method and then give it a try!
Learn more: Finding Hope Within
Mondays and Fridays at 9:00 PM ET
This meditation session features an emphasis on letting go of the specific stressors that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives have all changed in one way or another and we need new ways to cope. If you are looking to try meditation for anxiety, let this be the place you come to relate, receive support, and find inner peace and strength.
Learn more: Essential Wellness
Sundays at 3:00 PM ET
This one is pretty self-explanatory -- guided meditation for kids! Children and teenagers regularly suffer their own stressors at home and at school, and they too can lighten their hearts and minds with meditation. With meditators as young as 8, we have found that kids are quick to learn and develop a thoughtfulness that translates into healthier relationships and improved problem-solving skills. Oh, and we make it fun too!
Learn more: Kids' Meditation
MEDITATION FOR SENIORS
Wednesdays at 10:30 AM ET
It's never too late to try something new! Aging comes with its own trials - from physical changes, transitioning into retirement, fewer social opportunities, and the fear of losing independence. Quality of life should not be sacrificed as we become older, join us as we express our gratitude and celebrate the joys of life in the later years.
Learn more: Meditation for Seniors
BETTER SLEEP MEDITATION
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00 PM ET
You guessed it, a bedtime meditation to help you get a good night's sleep! Skip the anxiety overload that comes with staring at the ceiling and wrestling the sheets, only to lose the battle to fall asleep. Get comfortable wherever you are and let us help you wind down. Before you know it, you'll be drifting off to dreamland.
Learn more: Better Sleep
WORDS OF WISDOM
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM ET
We find that contemplating the words of the wise is a great way to find inspiration and keep a fresh perspective. Feel free to participate as much or as little as you like by listening, joining in discussions, or sharing your own favorite excerpts. This is also another great way to meet and connect with members of our diverse community and discover good books to read! Learn more: Words of Wisdom
Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:00 PM ET
We want to be sure to address the health of the whole person, which means caring for both the body and mind! This session is a great way to wave goodbye to that afternoon slump, say "so long" to your favorite spot on the couch, and revitalize your energy without relying on that third cup of coffee.
Learn more: Let's Move
I hope that you will find something in the lineup to meet your needs, but if you don't, we would love to hear from you so that we can continue to broaden our catalog. You can also choose to speak directly with us to schedule a personalized introductory session. Our mission is to promote wellness by reducing anxiety and stress in the world, and allowing peace and joy to take their place. All people are welcome and we invite you to join one of the above online events or contact us for further assistance.
Visit our website: https://www.flushingmeditation.org/
Reach out to us: https://www.flushingmeditation.org/contact-us
In health and happiness,
Jade and the Flushing Meditation Community
Disclaimer: This post contains information and opinions based on personal experience and should not be seen as medical advice. Please consult with a mental health professional or medical provider before beginning a new health and wellness program.