The first thing you should know about taking a meditation class at Sacred Space Meditation in Tenafly, New Jersey, is that it’s inviting. This information, if your only experience with meditation so far is hearing about how hard it is, should come as a welcome surprise. But know that there are no rules or requirements for the classes at Sacred Space, no right way to sit or breathe or feel. Just an invitation to make yourself comfortable (blankets and pillows are provided to help out with this and who doesn’t want to do something that involved blankets and pillows?) and surrender to the experience.
Once you and your fellow practitioners are settled, your class leader will invite you to take a few deep breaths and start to focus on your body and yourself. Do this. Take this gift of time without skepticism or guilt. You care for so many other people in all the other hours of your days and weeks, take this time to give your mind a rest.
Tania Gold, owner of Sacred Space, or one of her talented instructors, will guide you through your meditation, sometimes with words, other times with sounds from tuning forks, bells, and bowls, sometimes with silence, but always with the pulse of ohm in the background. There are no expectations, no ”shoulds” at Sacred Space. Only the suggestion that you remain present to your experience, whatever it is that day. This, for those of us who are maybe the teensiest bit Type-A and like to see linear results and quickly, thank you (just us?) might be the hardest part. Because as Tania says, “Some days you might feel bliss, some days your mind might be busy, and some days, you might fall asleep.” Know that the way your mind and body respond to this moment of quiet is exactly the way your mind and body should respond to this moment of quiet.
The second thing you should know about meditating at Sacred Space is that meditating in a group is different than meditating at home. Even from your first visit, you will feel accepted and welcomed. There is an energy, a warmth, and a camaraderie that is reinforced at the end of your meditation session when, after being invited to return your consciousness to the room, Tania gently asks how everyone is feeling. Pro Tip (from someone who usually keeps her mouth shut): Overcome your urge to keep your experience to yourself. Rather, share it with the group and receive their open-hearted feedback and support.
Which leads to the third thing you should know about meditating at Sacred Space: expect the unexpected. For those of us who run at two speeds, either 125 mph or asleep, perhaps we might not expect to be able to quiet ourselves and sit still. It might be surprising how easily we are able to do something we normally resist. Our meditation might allow us to be more creative, more focused, or more productive. Some of us might find that we feel a reduction in stress or anxiety. It is not unusual for people to weep. Many of the same benefits we get from working out our bodies can be found when we give mindful attention to our whole selves. Repeat after us: We deserve to give mindful attention to our whole selves.
There is mounting evidence that meditation or some sort of spiritual practice is good for our well-being. It can help us cope with depression, sickness, and grief. Why? Because meditation gives us the space to heal ourselves and that feels powerful. Reconnecting with a self that sometimes gets lost in the needs of our families, careers and friends, and then reclaiming that self feels powerful.
So, if you’ve resolved to either try something new or to take better care of yourself this year, Sacred Space Meditation is a great place to start. In-person classes are offered 7 days a week. As with most things, dramatic changes, like a calming of the mind and a coherence in the body, begin to manifest even after just a month of practicing. Need a little inspo to get you started? Sacred Space Meditation and Provocare will be hosting an interactive workshop, “Why We Stress and What To Do About It” with Mindfulness Coach, Miranda Lee, on Monday, January 23rd from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. Space is limited. Click here to register.
Sacred Space Meditation also offers private meditation, open studio time, outdoor meditation in the warmer months, and workshops. A highly curated shop sells meditation must haves that can transform any space into a Sacred Space. For more information about Sacred Space Meditation, or to sign up for a class, please visit the website. Then, just say yes to the experience. You will be glad you did.