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In and Around
New York CItY Updated edition
e m I lY S q U I r e S & l e N B e l z e r
N e w Yo r k
SpIrItUAl plACeS IN ANd AroUNd New York CItY: Updated edition Copyright © 2000, 2008 by emily Squires and len Belzer All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage, and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information, address: p.o. Box 416, old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10011 or visit our website at: www.cosimobooks.com ordering Information: Cosimo publications are available at online bookstores. they may also be purchased for educational, business or promotional use: - Bulk orders: special discounts are available on bulk orders for reading groups, organizations, businesses, and others. For details contact Cosimo Special Sales at the address above or at email@example.com. - Custom-label orders: we can prepare selected books with your cover or logo of choice. For more information, please contact Cosimo at firstname.lastname@example.org. ISBN: 978-1-60520-154-2 originally published by paraview press in 2000 Interior design by Smythtype Cover design by ken Johanson Back cover author photos by Steve kahn Front and back cover and interior photos by emily Squires
Table of ConTenTs
Introduction / 6 How to Get There / 7 Icon Guide / 8 Spiritual Places:
Audubon Center in Greenwich/Audubon Fairchild Garden / 10 Ayurveda Café / 12 Boscobel / 14 Brooklyn Botanic Garden / 16 The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine / 20 Central Baptist Church / 24 Chapel of Sacred Mirrors and Microcosm Gallery / 26 Chopra Center & Spa at Dream / 30 Chuang Yen Monastery / 34 Church of Notre Dame / 38 The Cloisters / 40 Congregation B’Nai Jeshurun / 42 Conservatory Garden / 44 East West Books / 46 Erol Beker Chapel of the Good Shepherd / 50 Frick Collection / 52 General Grant National Memorial / 54 General Theological Seminary / 56 Greenbrook Sanctuary / 58 Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden / 62
Hangawi Korean Restaurant / 64 Hindu Temple Society of North America / 66 Hospital Chapels / 68 House of the Redeemer / 70 Hudson River Greenway Trail / 72 Integral Yoga Institute / 74 Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum / 76 Metropolitan Museum of Art / 78 Mohonk Mountain House / 82 New York Buddhist Church/Jodoshinshu Buddhist Temple / 86 New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden / 88 New York Open Center / 90 New York Shambhala Center / 92 New York Zendo Shobo Ji / 94 Nicholas Roerich Museum / 96 Omega Institute / 98 Pacem In Terris / 100 Religious Society of Friends / 102 Riverside Church / 104 Riverside Park / 106 Rockefeller State Park Preserve/ Union Church of Pocantico Hills / 108 Rose Main Reading Room, New York Public Library / 112 The Rubin Museum of Art / 114 Saint Luke’s Garden / 118 Saint Patrick’s Cathedral / 120 Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue / 122
Siddha Yoga Meditation Center of New York/ Syda Foundation / 124 Strawberry Fields / 128 Sufi Durgah Mosque Al Farah / 130 Temple Emanu-El / 132 Tibet House / 134 Trinity Church/Saint Paul’s Chapel / 136 United Nations Meditation Room / 138 Urasenke Chanoyu Center / 142 Wainwright House / 144 Zen Palate / 146 Acknowledgements / 148 Index by Category Buddhist / 149 Christian / 149 Communities / 150 Day Trips / 150 Gardens / 150 Hindu / 151 Jewish / 151 Learning & Healing Centers / 151 Libraries & Bookstores / 152 Museums / 152 Nature Walks /152 Overnights / 153 Restaurants / 153 Sufi / 153 .
Here we have chosen to recommend the places that are special to us. Ultimately. May this book help the seeker find that inner place where life becomes freedom and joy. and natural settings — those gardens.InTRoDUCTIon N ew York has more to offer than any other city in the world. a gallery or museum where masterpieces speak to the human condition. spiritual places abound in such array in and around new York City that it would be impossible to include them all under one cover. institutions that teach metaphysics and methods for conscious evolution. 6 . and brings us closer to our true nature. such a place quiets the mind. traffic. from stress to peace. rivers. but we do pay a price for being here. We enter a spiritual place for renewal. spiritual places come in all forms: a church or temple where people worship according to their beliefs. contemplative retreats. We need the places on and near this island that replenish our spirit. of course. opens the heart. our nerves jangle and our hearts close under the assault of noise. pollution. crowds. and the frenetic pace. what we are looking for resides within us. a change in consciousness. from fear to love. and expansive views that reach us through their beauty and call to peace. a movement from separation to connection.
• The Metropolitan Transit authority (MTa) customer service department will help you with any questions you might have about subway and bus transportation: MTA Information: (718) 330-3322 (Monday to Friday. 7 .mta. 9am to 5pm). or cab. bus.HoW To GeT THeRe • Most places located in Manhattan are easily accessible by subway.info • subway maps are available at no charge from token clerks at each subway station. www. • Travel directions for all places outside Manhattan are provided in the book at the end of each entry.
ICon GUIDe CHURCHes. TeMples. & MonasTeRIes CoMMUnITIes DaY TRIps GaRDens leaRnInG & HealInG CenTeRs lIbRaRIes & booksToRes M MUseUMs naTURe Walks oveRnIGHTs ResTaURanTs 8 .
it will have to make it in New York. Roger Housden.I f a sense of the sacred is going to survive. Sacred Journeys in a Modern World .
audubon. Greenwich. reflect the gentle setting that sur- rounds it. wires. which appear on a bench by Mead lake. or electric buzz mar the natural sounds and sights of this sanctuary. ducks. Minimal work has been done to dam the lake. birds. no houses. We belong to the Earth. That’s what makes it a perfect spot for soul-searching as well as bird-watching.org This we know: The Earth does not belong to us. We humans are the visitors here. you will want to stay forever at shadow pond listening to the birds 10 . In fairchild Garden a quarter of a mile away.greenwich. CT 06831 aUDUbon faIRCHIlD GaRDen north porchuck Road. and other animals have free reign.center. Greenwich. The trails are comfortable but natural. CT o6831 (203) 869-5272 www. —Chief Noah Sealth T hese words.aUDUbon CenTeR in GReenWICH 613 Riversville Road.
The 522 acres of the national audubon society’s center in Greenwich is such a mecca. about a 40-minute drive. and then step aside and let visitors find their way within it.4 miles to John street.5 miles to a four-way stop. We have also learned a new respect for the people who have chosen to create and tend such oases: They recognize the human need to commune with nature. DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take the fDR Drive to the Triboro bridge to Hutchinson River parkway. They know that to do less to such a place is to do more. which becomes the Merritt parkway. The refuge entrance is on the right corner. It’s about 30 miles from the city. we have come to realize that most of us spiritually oriented citydwellers yearn for natural surroundings. Take exit 28. They find such spots and preserve them for just this purpose. then left again 1. They understand how to present an “ecostery.We consider such work a spiritual calling. Turn left.” as environmentalist kirkpatrick sale calls it. In the course of writing this book. or West side Highway to the saw Mill parkway to the Cross County to Hutchinson River parkway. go 1.and watching the breeze ripple across the water. 11 . Round Hill Road in Connecticut (not the first exit 28 in new York).
nY 10025 (between 94th and 95th streets) (212) 932-2400 lunch and dinner daily. Want nothing. —From a box of quotes for patrons at Ayurveda Cafe . Leave alone that which has not yet come. Embrace that which is coming in. though food is at the very heart of it. of warm unguents drizzled on fretful foreheads by gentle women with red dots marking their third eye. veg12 Release that which is going out. and embrace everything. new York. one such place is the ayurveda Café. a simple. Rarely do we think of cuisine in conjunction with this tradition. 11:30am–11:30pm W hen we think of ayurveda. of Deepak Chopra and his quantum store of knowledge that seems to embrace everything in the universe.aYURveDa CafÉ 706 amsterdam avenue. perhaps this is because there are few places in our city where you can find food cooked explicitly with ayurveda in mind. we think of a mystical Indian tradition having to do with essential oils and herbs.
and self-realization. and if it has lasted this long. sour. The word ayur means “of life. small salad.” and veda means “knowledge. is $7. it must work! 13 . without the lassi. aroma therapy. and lentils.000-year-old tradition of holistic well-being that comes to us from India. salty. a drink made of fresh yogurt and mango juice. a mound of basmati rice. ayurveda is a 5. We suggest you start with a mango lassi. and a light desert round out the meal. yoga. astringent. bitter. two vegetable entrees. The price. a delicious fresh-made bread. and is achieved through balanced foods. and pungent. a preset meal comes with six separate little bowls containing an appetizer. It’s a lifelong practice. rejuvenation. and meditation. Meals here follow the requirements for ayurvedic balance: sattvic (pure) food that incorporates the six tastes of sweet.95 for dinner.” ayurveda includes healing. massage.95 for lunch and $11. raita.etarian spot on the Upper West side. herbs.
boscobel. elizabeth. 9:30am– 4pm. January–March: closed admission: $8 for tour of house. the home was finally moved to its present location. —Joseph Campbell . after facing many near-demolitions. could they be? “boscobel”—even the name evokes images of its opulent interiors. and the particularities of nature be considered spiritual? What else. Garrison. sweeping vistas. our past.M bosCobel 1601 Route 9D. It began in 1804 as the dream home of states Morris Dykckman and his wife. I don’t think that’s what we are seeking. trimmed hedges. a fine example of neoclassical architec14 People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. April–October. or the smell of fresh-cut grass remind you of barefoot summer days? Can such moments that connect us with ourselves.org open everyday except Tuesday. nY 10524 (845) 265-3638 www. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive. we wonder. November–December. $5 to walk the grounds D oes the redolence of lilac transport you back to springs past? Does the hum of a distant lawn mower. 9:30am–5pm.
bringing its own moments of clarity and peace. and directly out to an expansive view of the Hudson with the house reigning majestically above it. but we also think of them as oases of grace that allow us quiet moments to breathe and reconnect with ourselves. these places are historic landmarks. a woodland trail winds through 25 acres along the Hudson.Yes. through a circular rose garden. Cross bridge and turn left onto 9D. DRIVING DIRECTIONS: George Washington bridge to palisades parkway north to bear Mountain bridge. boscobel now overlooks the Hudson Highlands. Total: 50 miles. boscobel is clearly marked on the left. or Wave Hill. a hive for the honeybee And live alone in the bee-loud glade. and lyndhurst.ture. for example. listen as a heady drone drowns out all other sound.This is as close as we’ve come to that glade Yeats talks about: Nine bean-rows will I have there. take the time to sit beneath a topiaried canopy in the herb garden. and exceeds all expectations with its close attention to every interior detail of the federal period and its equally immaculate gardens. on any warm day. enter the grounds and you are drawn along a path of perfectly pruned apple trees. look for Hyde park. especially in the spring when the blossoms are at their peak. 15 . TRAVEL NOTE: several mansions like boscobel line the Hudson. Go eight miles north on 9D. for the more active.
bushes. weekends. Huge. 10am–4:30pm W nearby. weekends.10am–6pm October–March:Tuesday–Friday. We begin with the perfect miniaturized landscape of the Japanese Hill-and-pond Garden. alk with us through this microcosm of world horticulture and one of the most heavenly places in all of new York. occasionally disturbed by the thrashing of neonorange and gold carp or a gaggle of geese landing Wander ing among the topiaried maples 16 To observe nature in any detail is to be spellbound by the infinite creativity and divine intelligence inherent in the cosmos. ancient cherry trees hang into a tranquil pond. —Alex Grey. brooklyn. The Mission of Art . and blend lacey salmons with reds and rusts in the fall. holidays. holidays. 8am–4:30pm.bRooklYn boTanIC GaRDen 1000 Washington avenue.bbg. 8am–6pm. and flowers blush in spring. nY 11225-1099 (718) 623-7200 www. Graceful trees.org April–September:Tuesday–Friday.
the whole suffused with a constant undercurrent of rushing water. the shakespeare Garden. The 17 . roughsmooth. large-small. and oleander. and so much more. mysterious palms. outside again. oranges. the Cherry esplanade’s double rows of trees stand hung in ethereal springtime bloom as children tumble on the center green. sizes. camelia. rich smells envelop us in the steinhardt Conservatory’s Tropical pavilion. every inch of these 52 acres is planted to perfection and intended to move gracefully across the seasons. pinks. euphorbia. The moderate climate of the Helen Mattin Warm Temperate pavilion exudes its sweet scents of mimosa. lush wetness and deep. we are struck once again by the innate Japanese juxtaposition of shapes. and that’s just one of many spots in this splendid garden. We pass Daffodil Hill. its spent leaves hanging from it like a grass skirt.and evergreens surrounding a small waterfall. and reds — with the sense of drama that allows one giant bald cypress to preside over all. textures and colors — hard-soft. The Desert pavilion presents a happy jumble of aloe. honeysuckle. lily pool Terrace. and cochineal surrounding one giant thread palm that drips with fruit and reaches to the pinnacle of the glass house. Here giant breadfruits and exotic coffee and tea plants coexist with still. and endless shades of greens. golds.
then the number 2 or 3 train. 47. Go. 7th avenue express. BY CAR: call for directions. discounts on gift shop items. enjoy. you will find the new York botanical Garden in the bronx equally stunning.benefits of membership in the garden include discounts on classes and courses that are offered year-round for adults and children. and more. Join. to prospect park. 6th avenue express. to eastern parkway. free admissions. BY BUS: b41. Do. sunset picnics. or 71. TRAVEL NOTE: If you like the brooklyn botanic Garden. TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY SUBWAY: Take the D or Q train. 48. 18 .
but if you look at the chapels behind the main altar. nY 10025 information: (212) 316-7490 tours: (212) 932-7347 www.org I n 2001.stjohndivine. the time to live and love and give thanks and rest and delight is now. new Yorkers were stunned to see footage of fire and smoke billowing out of north side of their beloved Cathedral of saint John the Divine. Work to rebuild and restore the Cathedral is well underway.The CaTHeDRal CHURCH of saInT JoHn the DIvIne 1047 amsterdam avenue. Sabbath . It was an electrical fire that destroyed the north Transept and bookstore. —Wayne Muller. and public access is limited in some places. new York. this day. Temporary tunnels have been constructed at the main entrance and areas still under construction. enveloping many of the small chapels in dark smoke and soot. you 20 The gifts of grace and delight are present and abundant. this moment.
relevant. This is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and its spiritual resources are as generous as its size. The many side bays and seven small chapels behind the main altar are more human in scale. the silence of the main sanctuary reminds us of the infinity and magnificence of Creation and our humble place within it. There are so many joyful activities to partake of here. Wide-ranging programs include everything from high episcopal Masses 21 . it takes your eyes a moment to adjust to the interior dimness. When asked. The Cathedral is an eclectic. the silent vastness of this place begins to overwhelm you.” Work may be completed as early as 2008. spokespeople for the Cathedral say that the refurbished Cathedral will look the same “only much cleaner. The pulpit is barely visible from the entrance. as they do. 21st-century meeting place for people of all religions. Giant pillars soar 124 feet up into gargantuan Gothic arches that pull your gaze heavenward. surrounded by such grandeur. Here is what we wrote before the fire took its toll: When you enter from the daylight of 112th street.will find them already dazzlingly bright and even more beautiful than before. Whether the extraordinary bookstore will reopen is not clear. Daily vesper services in any one of them allow more intimate repose.
a favorite of ours is new York’s ensemble for early Music. The Cathedral is open daily. birds. a group in residence at the Cathedral. you’ll smell new boxwood in the small side gardens and hear sounds of peacocks. or to be put on their mailing list. on leaving the Cathedral. 22 . and all are welcome. bring a wrap because it’s cool inside.to blessing of the animals. even in deep summer. and children playing—a buffer to the world outside the gates. Call for a schedule of events. where it’s not surprising to find camels and elephants parading down the center aisle. from folk dances and Celtic rituals to chanting by Tibetan monks.
—Anonymous prayer . There were scores of joyous people on their feet moving rhythmically and singing along with the choir. nY 10025 (at amsterdam avenue) (212) 724-4004 www. The presence of God watches over me. The atmosphere was so electric that we ran home to change for the service (we live nearby). the pastor finished announcing upcoming events. The love of God enfolds me.centralbaptistny. new York. Wherever I am. neither of us was dressed for church but we were so drawn by the music that we had to peek inside. and then asked all 24 The light of God surrounds me.CenTRal bapTIsT CHURCH 166 West 92nd street. God is. The power of God protects me. Inside the airy sanctuary.org Sunday services: 9am and noon Wednesdays: 7pm Bible study/prayer meeting O ne sunday morning we walked past Central baptist Church and heard the sound of rousing Gospel music pouring out the front door.
25 . at one point the pastor said that some tourists had called before the service to find out if there was Gospel music at the church and if they could come and listen.” was true to its word. The friendliest Church in new York. each time being touched by its joyous. but if they wanted to come and worship they were more than welcome. He told them that this was not a show. which read “Central baptist Church. the pastor. We did. His sermon rang with passion and insight. a large man with a big heart. along with several other people. What a loving experience! We both felt happy to be there and realized that the sign outside.visitors to the congregation to please stand up. loving celebration of the divine. but what happened truly surprised us. The entire multiethnic congregation got up and walked around to shake hands and extend a warm welcome to each of the visitors. We have returned often to Central baptist Church. led a prayer. after more Gospel singing. expecting some polite welcoming remarks. and had touches of humor that made us laugh from the belly.
premier visionary artist of our time. 11am–6pm admission: $5 G et ready for one of the hottest. new York.M CHapel of saCReD MIRRoRs and MICRoCosM GalleRY 542 West 27th street. Together. they have also created around them a huge and dynamic community of artists and seekers of the divine. His work aims deep into the sacred dimension so that one can experience one’s own sacredness by viewing his art. alex Grey is one of. most cuttingedge places to be in all of new York City. Walking into the long. nY 10001 (between 10th and 11th avenues) (212) 564-4253 www. 4th floor. artists alex and allyson Grey not only display their work here. —From the wall of CoSMr . if not the.The Chapel of sacred Mirrors calls itself “a sanctuary for contemplation and a center for events encouraging the creative spirit”—emphasis on the creative.cosm. soft-lit room that houses the 26 Every moment is an opportunity for love and transformation.org Tuesday–Saturday.
Chapel of sacred Mirrors. and violinists with flower arrangers. inviting us to mirror the images. painted well before september 11th: It depicts the Twin Towers. a bridge. the famous tree of life. alex calls this Chapel “a womb for the gestation of the human spirit. creating a sense of seeing into oneself and each other as reflections of the divine. CosM is far more than a gallery of art. The Cosmic Christ describes our painful awakening to our interconnectedness. Journey of the Wounded Healer—most of his luminous works live here. It’s a working community of artists and seekers who come there in droves—a large proportion of them young people—to attend monthly events: full Moon Ceremonies.” alex and allyson made the early decision to keep their paintings rather than selling them. of evenings where hundreds of people paint together until five o’clock in the morning—no drugs. of vJ’s.” an interesting note about Gaia. they’ve just held an outrageous gathering of poets and artists. one is brought face to face with life-size figures.Theologue. “a gift from the future to here to help you guys make it. soulfire (“a night 27 . two planes. but as we mentioned earlier.The result is this magnificent kaleidoscope of a life dedicated to mystical art. Praying. Whenever we speak to alex or allyson. new Moon Ceremonies. no drinking. and someone looking a great deal like George bush standing at the base of the tree.
It’s a visit to a very sophisticated community that is also adept in the artistic treasures of the technological world. The Greys plan to move their community outside the city. conversations with artists and visionaries. 28 . don’t miss CosM’s Web site. and flowing over with creativity. It’s exhilarating. plus MicroCosm Gallery.There’s also a shop. weekly yoga classes. for now. regular tours. new. where they will build a Chapel of sacred Mirrors using sacred architecture. and on and on. they publish books and an ongoing and glitzy Journal of visionary Culture.to rekindle the flames of connection by exploring neoshamanic collaborative art and rhythm”). where other visionary artists exhibit their work. so stay tuned for that in the near future. a visit to CosM will infuse you with a vision of the new paradigm in full swing. and it’s young. If you can’t get to the gallery. or even if you can.
as you step from 21st-century new York into the small shop upstairs. and he has imbued The Chopra Center & spa at Dream with all of its wisdom. Freedom and Grace by Deepak Chopra .chopracenterny.com Monday–Friday. He is. and then descend to the spa below.CHopRa CenTeR & spa at DReaM 1710 broadway. a gentle cocoon envelopes yo u . And we can change our interpretations because we made them in the first place. rather. —Power. new York. 10am–9pm Saturdays–Sundays. To us. a brilliant teacher who is fully present.000-year-old system of healing from India. Deepak is the embodiment of ayurveda. nY 10019 (212) 246-7600 www. 10am–7pm D eepak Chopra is not a guru. the 5. and exudes peace and sensual loving-kindness. r e m ov i n g stressful thoughts 30 Every interpretation we make in every moment has an effect on the energy patterns of our body.
and wisdom. Complimentary group meditations are held daily. and we highly recommend their beautiful meditation room. and holistic teachings of ayurveda. Sarira (body). and samudra (bath) are well chosen and breathtaking. Individual consultations are available.”This blissful process begins with determining your dosha. the preparations meticulous and specific to your needs. treatments. anatomy. tastes. a blend of asanas. chanting. 31 . herbs. and authentic wisdom. undulating textures and aromas. pranayama. “the human body has an inner pharmacy. We can enliven this pharmacy through nurturing sounds.and replacing them with mystical music. that is available and free anytime to everyone. sights. healing. creamy lighting. according to the spa’s Web site. pada (foot). and soft. yoga sutras. smells. sensations. capable of naturally generating the chemistry of happiness and health. hasta (hand). and consulting with your practitioner. The choices of treatment for mukha (face). a weekend workshop titled “primoridal sound Meditation” helps you to reduce stress and fatigue and connect with your natural state of being.You have been transported into a world of gracious care where you will be nourished with the oils. the spa offers regular yoga classes that draw on Deepak’s seven spiritual laws of success. and transformation. To further its goal of awakening balance.
and there is a satsang for peace each sunday afternoon where you can meditate and participate in meaningful dialogue. as Gandhi said. “There is no way to peace. 32 . peace is the way.” prices at the Chopra Center & spa are commensurate with a heavenly spot set right in the middle of Manhattan.The spa is dedicated to the meaning of peace.
as two huge and decidedly oriental structures begin to loom high above the trees. Impressive indeed. Giant stone animals guard the entrances. 9am–5pm T urning from a rural road onto the monastery’s gravel drive. nY 10512 (845) 225-1819/4288 www. Instead. and a bell several times larger than philadelphia’s liberty bell stands sentinel in its own outdoor tower. Carmel.CHUanG Yen MonasTeRY 2020 Route 301. the legendary bodhisatva whose face is the apotheosis of compassion.” The design of both the Great buddha Hall and kuan Yin Hall dates back over a thousand years to the Tang Dynasty.html open daily. We remove our shoes and enter the smaller of the two halls. which translates into english as the “land of adornment. sweeping rows of meditation pillows invite us to pause for a moment of contemplation.org/baus/about_us/intro_cym. you think you’re entering a country woodland. but this is only the beginning of a visit to Chuang Yin Monastery. 34 . you find another world.baus. richly adorned with buddhist art and statues of kuan Yin.
sweeping wooden walls bend miraculously into the ceiling. This is the largest buddha in the Western world and it is surrounded by one thousand small buddhas. but about the buddhist association of the United states. The Thousand lotus Memorial Terrace and several other buildings adorn the sweeping 125 acres. fish. leaving the visitor in such a state of wonder that reverence is the only possible response. outside. a dynamic community that has put its heart and soul into creating this place. and is presided over by yet another statue of kuan Yin. The word manifests as the deed. 35 .The thought manifests as the word. And habit hardens into character. The deed develops into habit. If you become interested in the study of buddhism. The totality of this experience stimulates a deep curiosity not only about the monastery. and turtles. the seven Jewel lake teems with geese. So watch the thought and its ways with care And let it spring from love Born out of concern for all beings. —Buddha The Great buddha Hall houses a staggering 37-foothigh white buddha.
Total: 60 miles. 36 . The Monastery is approximately 1. sounds like nirvana. including those that call for long-term stays. Take Carmel exit and turn right onto 301. DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take Henry Hudson parkway to saw Mill parkway to Taconic parkway north.7 miles on the left side of the road indicated by a sign. long-term residence in the land of adornment.you can choose from a number of programs.
where the virgin appeared to saint bernadette in 1858. by all exterior appearances. the statuary seems more alive here than in 38 The important thing is not to think much but to love much. a surprising replica of the grotto at lourdes. although this grotto was actually built inside after the church was completed. however. and so do that which best stirs you to love. nY 10025 (between amsterdam avenue and Morningside Drive) (212) 866-1500 B uilt in the early 1900s.CHURCH of noTRe DaMe 405 West 114th street. rises several stories behind the main altar. Upon entering. You cannot help but recall the miracle that happened to that young woman so long ago. —Saint Theresa of Avila . this stately vinecovered church was modeled after L’Église des Invalides in paris. It feels as if the church has been built directly into the side of a mountain. this is a church of straightforward design. To the parishioners. perhaps as a result. this grotto is more than a stunning attraction. new York.
The building’s massive walls and double sets of doors eliminate whatever outside noise there is and create such profound quiet that you can hear the clack of a single pair of shoes on the marble floor. the sweep of a broom. stepping into such heavenly peace allows us to shed a few layers of the protective covering we new Yorkers normally carry with us. 39 . overlooking the steep park across the street that slides down into Harlem. The church is open for a half an hour before mass each day and. the few stalwarts attending clearly receive great benefit from being in this holy place. In the daily Catholic masses held directly before the grotto. while its relatively small size allows a gentle intimacy. even the breath of a fellow worshipper. french. on sunday. The church is situated on the quiet corner of 114th street and Morningside Drive. neoclassical style creates a grand space.other places and Mary appears to glow from her place in the grotto. of course. The open.
M The CloIsTeRs northern tip of fort Tryon park. terrifying. and flow of the music that sings in me. jewels. students and seniors: $4 Underneath all the texts. mysterious. all the sacred psalms and canticles. My new song must float like a feather on the breath of God. these watery varieties of sounds and silences. intricately woven tapestries from churches and castles. 9:30am–5:15pm.metmuseum. ivories. nY 10040 (212) 923-3700 www. silver. ebb. and enamels—each chosen specifically for the Cloisters from the vast collection of the Metropolitan Museum of art. closed Mondays suggested donation: $8. The art is celestial—paintings and illuminated manuscripts. 40 .org/Works_of_art/the_cloisters Tuesday–Sunday. a treasury of gold. —Hildegard of Bingen T his riveting glimpse into life in the Middle ages is an essential place on any seeker’s itiner- ary—especially if you were a nun or monk in a past life. new York. whirling and sometimes gestating and gentle must somehow be felt in the pulse.
BY CAR: Take the Henry Hudson parkway north to the fort Tryon park exit. beatific statues of saints and Mary with baby Jesus cast their gaze upon you. walk north to fort Tryon park. weaving. BY BUS: Take the M4 to the last stop. and the crucial role of herbs in the Middle ages is being reexamined. 8th avenue express. arcane plants like feverfew. and burdock were used by the nuns and their parishioners for cooking. 41 . Hie thee there! TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY SUBWAY: Take the a train. Recent interest in such figures as the 11th century’s abbess Hildegard of bingen have stirred a new appreciation of things Medieval. The Cloisters is at the end of the park. Chairs are set in small chapels for meditation. the world is too full to talk about. and quince trees laden with fruit. to 190th street. and painting as well as healing.The softest of green grass calls Rumi to mind: “When the soul lies down in that grass. The historically accurate garden at the Cloisters gives us an idea how some of them were used.” all this high atop a hill in fort Tryon park with a sweeping view of the Hudson.but it’s the feeling of the place that makes it so rare. Madrigals and Gregorian Chants echo through high stone-arched corridors. bubbling fountains. agrimony. mallow. espalliered pear trees work their way between Gothic buttresses under warm red-tiled roofs. Covered arched walkways enclose small gardens with chirping birds.
new York. —Mahatma Ghandi .ConGReGaTIon b’naI JesHURUn 257 West 88th street (between broadway and West end avenue) office: 100a West 89th street. You may not be familiar with what the words mean.” Children roam the aisles and chat amiably with one another.org G oing to a service at b’nai Jeshurun is like attending a warm. The Middle eastern–style synagogue is filled to capacity every friday night for shabat. They are obviously the apples of not only their parents’ but everyone else’s eyes as well. nY 10024 (212) 787-7600 www.bj. “the hour of nightfall. family get-together with people who are genuinely happy to be there. often at shabat a guitar and several other stringed instruments are played and everyone sings the entire service. part of the service is reserved especially for them. but the service has the cadence of 42 What you do in response to the ocean of suffering may seem insignificant but it is very important you do it.
its mission. Many other programs and services take place during the week at “bJ.a sixties love-in. It felt like one giant family all mixed together in joyous celebration. some with children on their shoulders. staunchly dedicated to service in the community and beyond. on our first visit. reads: The heavens are the heavens of the Lord. in part. laughing.” as it is fondly called. that’s exactly what they did. it was so alive we thought that people were going to get up and dance in the aisles. 43 . singing. Then. But the earth He has given to mortals so that we might make of it something heavenly. amazingly. occasionally breaking into favorite steps. The entire congregation held hands and danced the Hora around the sanctuary.
bordering this elegant expanse are a bit too accessible to allow for contemplation. new York. 44 I am two with Nature. admission: free I t isn’t necessary to venture into the wilds to find tranquility. In our fair city.centralpark. or crabapple allées.ConseRvaToRY GaRDen fifth avenue at 105th street. there resides six unexpected acres of pristine. formal gardens where even Woody allen would feel at home. The shaded avenues. The garden opens off fifth avenue through regal wrought-iron gates. —Woody Allen . and we guarantee you’ll find the perfect respite.com/pages/attractions/ conservatory-garden. but walk to the smaller south garden surrounded by groomed hedges and a soft palate of manicured plantings. Your gaze is immediately drawn across a wide expanse of lawn to a formal fountain backed by a wisteria-covered pergola. nY 10021 (212) 310-6600 www.html open daily. amid the freewheeling romantic sprawl of Central park. 8am–dusk.
a central statue of maidens frolic in a pool surrounded by 20. on the other side of the green.” 45 . you may want to take in this one’s beauty before venturing inward. In the small pond. but if you love gardens as much as we do. benches are set within arches wound with climbing roses so that you can experience this beauty while feeling secluded.000 tulips in the spring and korean chrysanthemums in the fall. a girl holds a bowl that doubles as a birdbath before its overflow trickles down her side.Here. a bronze boy plays a flute. the north garden exhibits its own circular serenity. It gives us renewed faith in our tribe to see a city park set aside a place of such delicate care and beauty and label it a “designated quiet zone. shade trees provide space for inner work. a simple gateway opens to the oneness of things as you watch a chickadee immerse herself again and again in the shallows then flick the water off into bright sparkles of sunlight. beside him.
and probably on the entire east Coast. martial arts. people come here to find the largest collection of sacred stones and crystals in the city. buddhism.We still remember 46 . comparative religion. feng shui. music. lamps. and just about anything else spiritual or mystical you can conjure up. Christian mysticism. nY 10011 store: (212) 243-5994 east West Yoga: (212) 243-5995 www. aromatherapy remedies.com/ewbooks.Wi-fi–enabled cafe. and chimes. This store contains more than 25. we found The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Mahrashi.eastwestnyc. It is a repository of unusual jewelry. not so long ago. bells.The store has been totally revamped so that now you can have a chai and panini in its spacious upstairs gourmet vegetarian. café closes at 8pm W elcome to the largest spiritual book store of its kind in new York. a classic len had always wanted to read. Chinese philosophy. oils. Judaica.html open daily. cooking.000 tomes on every conceivable subject: esoteric philosophy. bowls. new York. holistic healing. women’s health. 10am–9pm. but east West is far from just a bookstore.easT WesT books 78 fifth avenue at 14th street.
crystal healing. That exists today. and meditation with much emphasis placed on ancient texts and a teacher or guru. but rather gain in power by joining forces with others of similar focus. Then there’s east West Yoga right next door on the second floor with its two shining studios and a burgeoning art gallery in its halls. not only offers Hatha and vinyasa yoga. It is not so much a fusion as a comfortable inclusion of many modalities and processes. Is it possible that this gathering together. of course. it appeared to be a discipline of specific poses. and the various yoga practices and proclivities are burgeoning like never before in this city. These modalities don’t lose their own personal physiognomy. but also classes in Reiki. and so on. east West. shamanism.those cocoa squares with raw coconut. for instance. healing touch. this infusion of the one with the many. unbending adherence only to one’s own. is part of a new understanding that we’re all in this consciousness thing together. astrology. and that one’s path is enriched many times over by rubbing elbows and partaking of the multitude of ideas and systems that exist in this world? 47 . When we first heard of yoga. asanas. but east West books is a testament to something much larger that seems to be unfolding in the Consciousness Movement. an acceptance of one another’s practices rather than a strict. qi gong.
you can participate in weekend meditation retreats. and yoga programs that provide an environment for gentle inner progress. In this beautiful setting. 48 . two and a half hours from Manhattan. Call the bookstore for information. seminars. the bookstore recommends the Institute as a place for new Yorkers to go to replenish body and soul.While east West books is not directly connected with the Himalayan Institute. The Institute’s international headquarters rest on a 400-acre campus near Honesdale. pennsylvania.
eRol bekeR CHapel of the GooD sHepHeRD
at saInT peTeR’s CHURCH
619 lexington avenue at 54th street, new York, nY 10022 (212) 935-2200 www.saintpeters.org open daily, 9am–10pm; chapel masses: Monday–Friday, 12:15pm
modern church set in this busy metropolis has to be prepared for the constant challenge of traffic, crowds, and attendant
noise. acoustically isolated from the street and subway noise, saint peter’s thinks of itself as “a majestic rock, a stable monument that affir ms God’s presence in the heart of the city.” all of this to say that this church, a congregation of the evangelical lutheran Church in america, understands its particular Midtown mission, 50
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.
—Psalms 23: 1-3
and performs it admirably. Housed next to saint peter’s is the erol beker Chapel. This small, five-sided space is a sculptural, monotonal work in white designed by eminent artist louise nevelson. sculptures of highly abstract slashes of white wood hang on stark white walls. The chapel is so unusual and otherworldly that it may take some getting used to at first. When we first stepped into the sanctuary it felt as if there were many presences watching over us in the guise of a large multileveled sculpture called frieze of the apostles. The floors, pews, and altar are bleached to a white ash. eventually your eyes will fasten on the chapel’s altar and the gold-leafed Cross of the Good shepherd that hangs on the wall behind it. nevelson wanted to create a “place of purity,” an inviolate space exclusively for prayer and meditation. from the well-worn floors, it appears that she has succeeded in providing a much-needed respite from Midtown’s business as usual.
M fRICk ColleCTIon
1 east 70th street at fifth avenue, new York, nY 10021 (212) 288-0700 www.frick.org Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–6pm; Sunday, 1–6pm; closed Monday and holidays admission: $7; students and seniors: $5
ate at night, Henry Clay frick (1849– 1919) often wandered through the splendid rooms of his magnificent mansion, sitting for
a spell on one couch, then another, “absorbing happiness through his eyes.” and well he might, since he was looking at his own collection of some of the finest european and american paintings of from the beginning, this tough pittsburgh coke-and-steel industrialist planned to donate his home and collected works for public viewing. His wish was that they would offer peace and harmony to anyone who visited, and he saw to it that not a single 52
Art for art’s sake is an empty phrase. Art for the sake of the true, art for the sake of the good and the beautiful, That is the faith I am searching for.
palms. and bromeliads. with parquet and marble floors and velvet sofas actually meant for sitting. natural light slides down tall double columns while water falls from a two-tiered marble fountain—a regal setting for contemplation.image of violence marred the collection. the masterpieces by Rembrandt. at special times during the day. Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral. Turner. and entire rooms decorated with murals by boucher and fragonard elevate us to that calm place intended by Henry frick. 53 . visitors are treated to recitals recorded on a huge organ from the frick collection. orchids. we catch our breath in the Garden Court decorated with azaleas. the objets d’art. for us. live concerts are often performed here and. after viewing this stunning collection. paintings such as bellini’s St. listening to Couperin or vivaldi. frick’s mansion is designed in a style reminiscent of 18th-century european beaux arts. viewing art in a collector’s home with its original furnishings adds a personal intimacy that no museum can match. as we stroll from gallery to exquisite gallery. Goya. Whistler. Frances in the Desert. or the golden hues of Turner’s Harbor of Dieppe transport us to the goode olde days when life was simpler. we never want to leave.
president 54 Let us have peace. we gathered ourselves and made the pilgrimage. so. new York. and we’re proud of it. We are glad to have gone. we work at being open to other beliefs and religions. closed Christmas and New Year's Day A s good Upper West siders. Grant is not exactly a topic for conversation around the dinner table. nY 10027 (212) 666-1640/1668 www. so we were quite surprised at our not-so-positive reaction when a friend recommended Grant’s Tomb for this book.s. 9am–5pm. Grant’s presidential slogan . Grant’s tomb is a great deal more than a mausoleum for the former U. —Ulysses S.gov/gegr open daily.M GeneRal GRanT naTIonal MeMoRIal Riverside Drive at West 122nd street. It comes with the terri- tory. other ethnicities.nps.” Ulysses s. and neither of us had even been inside the memorial. without further ado. as emily grew up below the Mason-Dixon line where some still speak of the Civil War as “the recent unpleasantness.
This experience brought about an unexpected reconciliation with a part of the past that has hung around us far too long. Here we learn that. Grant was described as modest. the wide and shady promenade lined with comfortable benches harkens back to a calmer time when sitting for an unhurried moment to contemplate your inner thoughts was not as unimaginable as it is today. that permanent crease between his brows. and unpretentious. and reuniting the nation. calm. outside. throughout his presidency. sincere. It provides a small history lesson on an era. one look into his intense face. ending slavery. the graceful 150-foot-high rotunda echoes the cool quiet streets that surround Riverside Church and Columbia University. 55 . a pictorial biography of the man credited with winning the Civil War. for those without such odd baggage. indicates a caring person committed to doing anything for peace.and his wife.
nY 10011 (between 20th and 21st streets).GeneRal THeoloGICal seMInaRY 175 ninth avenue. This continual and visible life of worship describes the difference between a secular university school of religion and a seminary. —Desmond Tutu .edu consult calendar for schedule of programs A t eight o’clock every morning. These students do not simply study religion. (212) 243-5150 www. the bell high in the chapel of the Good shepherd calls the seminary community to morning prayer. Here they seek to live their faith in community. the oldest seminary of the episcopal Church in 56 Do your little bit of good where you are. The chapel marks both the geographical and spiritual center in the life of those who seek to minister in Christ’s name here in the General Theological seminary on Chelsea square. The General Theological seminary. new York.gts. it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
to Continuing education courses. as does a most residential student body. a resident faculty also enhances this sense of community.america. play. as well as Quiet Days for students and lay people alike. first-time visitors are always amazed by its expansive lawns and towering trees. residential buildings has been home to the seminary. was founded in 1817 and has been a new York City landmark since 1826. a leading center for theological education in the anglican Communion. enjoy the city. 57 . and participate in daily prayer as a community where regular worship is central to their lives. for 179 years this quiet district of low. which prepares men and women for ordained ministry. work in congregations. the seminary’s primary mission is to educate and form leaders from all Christian traditions for the Church in a changing world. the seminary welcomes any student’s presence in the community. What a rare opportunity this is to share in a deeply committed spiritual community at whatever level one is ready to partake of it. Here students can study. small classes and common meals in the refectory deepen the experience of community that is so central here.” from a Master of Divinity. all manner of educational goals and degrees of study can be received at “General. even students from rural areas are struck by the feeling of being in a true neighborhood.
alpine. nJ 07620-0155 (201) 768-1360/0484 www. and spectacular overlooks where you can shed the layers of city tension and reunite with all That Is.GReenbRook sanCTUaRY p. box 155. streams. Greenbrook sanctuary offers a carefully laid out surround of trails.o. a brief walk over the rise reveals a rocky promontory and voila! — a view for miles up and down the Hudson River. —Gary Snyder . a scant 15 minutes from the George Washington bridge. $40 household W elcome to our best-kept secret. brooks. as we enter the trail to the palisades.org/greenbrook. its leafy shelter cools the summer heat immediately. The mossy trail feels soft underfoot. let’s sit a moment and 58 As the crickets’ soft autumn hum is to us So are we to the trees As are they to the rocks and the hills. let us take you for a walk. sunrise to sunset annual membership: $35 individual.njpalisades.htm open daily.
What a wonder to watch nature as she replenishes herself. there is a walk around the pond on barely discernable trails with spots to rest and blend into the natural world. eventually our walk brings us to the bog. then up over blue rock and into a lacy forest. Ready to explore further. perhaps reminding us of a time when things existed in simpler proportion. Walking to the far end of the pond. We return for a brief visit to the sanctuary’s museum. we follow the small grassy path right along the edge of the palisades. shimmer through the trees. where the water runs off in cascades. It’s remarkable there are so few people here. a repository for findings and notations of unusual sightings. If we feel adventurous. we get a sense of the whole place — 65 acres of preserve for all things natural. It’s quiet enough here to pick up nearby rustles of small animals in the leaves or the glassy trill of a wood thrush in the distance.The path leads down the hill to Greenbrook pond where countless birds and other wild creatures nest in peace. so little human disturbance. where a bridge affords a view of the microworld of tadpoles and other minuscule beings that complete this small circle of biodiversity. and soothe our brows. outside.watch a seagull ride the same zephyrs that rise from below. a huge wild turkey grazes beneath the multiple 59 . a silver train slithers silently along the opposite river bank.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY SUBWAY AND BUS: Take the a train. turn right onto 9W. Go 2. It isn’t marked. BY CAR: Cross the George Washington bridge to palisades pkwy. englewood Cliffs. new Jersey.bird feeders that finches and doves share above. so much life in such a small. 60 . Return trip across street at 36 minutes past the hour. to 175th street/George Washington bridge bus Terminal. 8th avenue express. PLEASE NOTE: A trip to Greenbrook requires some preplanning as you will need to join in order to receive a key to unlock the gates to the Sanctuary. Round trip: $6. a drive under double arches of the palisades overhead. sacred space. Take the parkway to exit 1. Driving time: about 15 minutes from the bridge. Take Red and Tan lines bus 9a.6 miles and look carefully for the entrance. Tell bus driver to stop at Greenbrook sanctuary in Tenafly.
hammondmuseum. a uthor and spiritual gardener Judith Handelsman says a garden provides a sense of communion that “heightens our experience of love in the world.org open April–October.M HaMMonD MUseUM and Japanese sTRoll GaRDen Deveau Road. A cool breeze in summer. This is the best season of your life. settled Hammond Museum and stroll Garden. The moon in autumn. an oriental garden house opens onto .” Traditional Japanese gardens are designed to enhance this inner growth. If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things. noon–4pm A of our travels. and that is what spirituality is all about: growing in love. we make it part winding dr ive Ten thousand flowers in Spring. so whenever we hear about such a place. 62 —Wu-men brings us to gentle. north salem.Wednesday–Saturday. snow in winter. nY 10560 (914) 669-5033 www.
Museum is at end of road. In a sand area. The small gallery hosts monthly exhibits. In summer. a small island in the middle of the pond hosts a humble stone statue that bows its head in welcome. well-placed stones. Go 3 miles to end. many of which revolve around eastern themes. juxtaposed to draw us into the garden’s internal harmony. visitors are encouraged to rake their own Zen garden. we discover more plantings. Thursdays through saturdays. soon the Main House will be in use to support the museum’s mission. as we crunch along the gravel walk. Turn left onto Deveau Road. or simple. DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take Henry Hudson pkwy north to saw Mill pkwy north onto Rte 684 north. swiftly answered by the throaty chant of smaller fry. along with a black turtle or two. 63 . Go 11⁄4 miles. If we sit still long enough on one of the shady benches. the pond is rimmed by a thick row of deep yellow irises.a small pond presided over by an unseen bullfrog. take exit 8 onto Hardscrabble Road going east. Turn right onto June Road. statues. from Rte 684. as birds chirp and flit on the soft breeze. Iridescent dragonflies scout the perimeter. he lets loose his watery bellow. noon to 3pm. The silk Tree Cafe serves lunch May through october. along the paths. we can watch them come out to sun themselves on the warm rocks.
Fisher . seated on 64 Anytime we eat. nY 10016 (between fifth and Madison avenues) (212) 213-0077 www. but a sanctuary as well. showing respect for the house we are visiting. moderately priced C an a restaurant be a spiritual place? of course it can.The interior is reminiscent of a korean temple with traditional pillars.hangawirestaurant.com open for lunch and dinner. stone. especially if its owners are people like Ryoon and Terri Choi.F. be prepared to enter not just a gourmet korean vegetarian restaurant. it’s holy. not just gobbling down some food just to keep alive. whose native korean mountains and villages inspire the restaurant. —M. Hangawi calls itself “a vegetarian shrine in another space and time.HanGaWI koRean ResTaURanT 12 east 32nd street. We should have ritual and ceremony. natural wood. In the stone entranceway.” When you grasp the iron ring on its mahogany door. we remove our shoes in the asian tradition.K. and copper. new York.
mushroom. 65 . date paste.cushions at a low wooden table. korean pancakes. while a waiter dressed as a temple monk lights a buddhist prayer candle. mung bean vermicelli. traditional korean silk quilts hanging from the walls. for dessert. sweet lotus root with sesame. and handmade pottery displayed on wooden shelves and in wall niches. Thus soothed. What raises the level of this space from mere restaurant to internal respite is the intention and authenticity that hold us gently in the present moment. and we feast our eyes on hand-sewn. fresh green leaf. we throw caution to the wind and opt for silky chocolate tofu pudding. all the while. and exotic tofu dishes. chili cabbage. lily root. we rest our feet in the sunken space below. The selection of teas alone will suit the most adventurous palate: red ginseng. we turn to a menu of dishes so new to our palate that all expectation must be set aside: pumpkin porridge. otherworldly sounds of Zen music pulse softly in the background.
or sanctums. every corner of the large. When I know that I am everything. at least one of nine resident priests can be found ringing bells. comfortable sanctuary houses shrines.HInDU TeMple soCIeTY of noRTH aMeRICa 45-57 bowne street. Intricate carvings of deities rise high above the entrance. that is wisdom. each lovingly adorned with fresh flowers. by many accounts. there resides a bona fide Hindu temple just like those you might imagine in cities and towns all over India.org O n a small street in flushing Queens. this is the heart of new York’s Hindu community. to deities. nY 11355 (718) 460-8484 www. or saying prayers and 66 . a light. breaking coconuts to be When I know that I am nothing.The center is reserved for the main shrine to lord Ganesh. chanting. —Nasargadatu blessed and later eaten. fruity incense informs the air. flushing. that is love.nyganeshtemple. Worshippers busy themselves over a large basin. statues of deities abound.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY SUBWAY: Take the number 7 train. This place has real soul. she also calls this temple a universal place and invites everyone to come. really. BY CAR: Midtown Tunnel to long Island expressway. flushing local. flushing. then. then three blocks to bowne street.The prayerful walk around the shrines murmuring their own devotions. each representing a quality such as wisdom. knowledge. or aspect. which may give a cue as to the best time to visit! Uma Mysorekar runs the temple. but this God can be perceived in many different forms. downto-earth woman with deep understanding. she is a kind. “It is a simple concept. Go 1 mile and turn right on Holly avenue. then take exit 24 at kissena blvd and turn left onto kissena.” she says. You sense it in the generosity of the people you meet. Many a novice has obviously asked her to make some sense of all the various gods in the Hindu religion. she explains it to us this way:There is only one God. each of these qualities is represented by a deity. You feel it in the familiarity the devotees have for it.blessings for devotees. while understanding that all are part of the one. Walk to bowne street. from Times square to last stop —Main street. more than another. 67 . BY BUS: Take the Q27 from Main street to Holly ave. wealth. may resonate with one particular deity. or strength. a devotee. every weekend a continuous stream of three to four thousand come to worship here. often the sounds of a happy wedding emerge from the auditorium below.
Months later. we went to a hospital to be with a friend. no feeling of emergency to distract from your meditation. we have had occasion to be in several hospitals and have taken the time to look for their chapels. There is no paging system. soft. after she was taken into surgery. someone asked if we had looked for the hospital’s chapel. Rather. no staff bustling by. often with fresh flowers and stained glass windows. since then. To our surprise. there was a chapel in almost every one. we looked around for a quiet alcove or lounge where we could be with her in spirit. They 68 A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings and learn how by his own thoughts to derive benefit from his illnesses. The thought had never dawned on us. they are quiet. Unlike the harsh fluorescent lighting in the rest of the hospital. here it is soft and often dimmed. each with its own peaceful and reassuring quality. —Hippocrates . but we never found such a place.HospITal CHapels S ome time ago. cool.
a good place to do it is right in the hospital’s own chapel. at Mount sinai’s Guggenheim pavilion there is even an additional chapel for the orthodox Jewish community.are actual chapels. or have areas devoted to each of the major religions. They are either interdenominational. There are thirteen major hospitals in Manhattan and most of them have chapels. 69 . so if you’re visiting someone in a hospital and have the need to be alone with your thoughts. with a feeling of devotion and prayer about them.
HoUse of the ReDeeMeR 7 east 95th street. varying from singles with baths 70 Let the words of my mouth And the meditation of my heart. across the ample entryway. Be acceptable in thy sight. new York. —Psalms 19:14 . O Lord my strength and my redeemer. a large reception room welcomes visitors in handsome old-world style. above are two floors of rooms. The first floor houses a dining room large enough to seat eighty people comfortably.” Its architecture is quite remarkable. nY 10128 (between fifth and Madison avenues) (212) 289-0399 www. Walk up the winding staircase to the authentic 15thcentury Italian library and sublime chapel with its intricate ceiling and floorto-ceiling leaded-paned windows.org T ucked away on the Upper east side sits a gorgeous Italian Renaissance–style palazzo that now describes itself as “dedicated to provid- ing peace and serenity for those who seek a place apart.houseoftheredeemer.
with all of its splendor. as a result. There is always a priest in residence for counseling and help in structuring your stay. but you would be hard-pressed to find a better price anywhere else in new York. open.The rooms are kept very much as they must have been when it was a private residence of the great granddaughter of Cornelius vanderbilt. and spare. the Guggenheim.down the hall to suites with private baths. it serves as a refuge. owned and cared for by the episcopal Church. What strikes us most about the House of the Redeemer is that. indeed. 71 . and Central park). the décor is far from institutional. and meetings. conferences.The house lends itself to group and individual retreats. as well as many places for quiet and meditation. it remains quite authentic. on the other hand. a place for reflection. be advised that it is much in demand and reservations must be made long in advance. There is little here to clutter your thoughts. This is a special place. Yet don’t think of this simply as a place to stay when you want to come to new York for the weekend (though it is right off fifth avenue and wonderfully close to the Metropolitan. The prices vary accordingly.
admission: $4 Without the oxygenating breath of the forests. Here. no way of assessing their limitations. without the clutch of gravity and the tumbled magic of river rapids. a rare and unusual confluence of natural treasures awaits you. no way to keep ourselves from turning into them. 72 . The Spell of the Sensuous J ust half an hour from the city. What makes this so spectacular is that directly on the other side of this wide cinder path the magnificent palisades soar overhead. a seven-mile foot-and- bicycle trail runs directly alongside the Hudson River. —David Abram. a walk along the Hudson River Greenway Trail connects a cityphile with some of the most potent forces of nature.HUDson RIveR GReenWaY TRaIl at nYaCk beaCH paRk (845) 268-3020 open daily. we have no distance from our technologies. 8am–5pm.
Driving time: about 30 minutes. but even on a sunday in the summer it is not the least bit crowded.We come here to drink in the fresh air wafting from the river. Turn right onto Route 59 east to broadway. Meditating on flat boulders with the water inches from your toes and the steep shade of the forest rising protectively at your back will bring you to a state of vibrant peacefulness and connection. we have spotted myriad wildflowers. heady honeysuckle. 73 . Dotted along the way. cozy benches and picnic tables provide perfect sanctuaries to sit and gaze at the spectacle of cliff converging into river. carry-out policy. In the dense forest beneath the cliffs. Then take exit 4 to 9W north. to watch hawks riding the updrafts of the jagged cliffs. You would think such a place might be overrun with people longing to commune with the elements. The park has a carry-in. DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take the George Washington bridge to the palisades parkway. which means there’s no place to discard containers of leftover food. and to absorb it all as spiritual nourishment. follow to nyack. and jumbles of blackberries ripe for picking in august. so be prepared to carry out whatever your stomach can’t. to listen to its waters lapping against the huge boulders at our feet. follow to park.
74 .InTeGRal YoGa InsTITUTe 227 West 13th street. nY 10011-7794 (212) 929-0586 www. and a useful life. —Swami Satchidananda place to take a yoga class. though the array of possibilities is stunning: from the basic fundamentals of Hatha yoga. and thousands of teachers who share the gifts of yoga with multitudes of students. Dedicated to the principle that “Truth is one. This is not simply a The goal of Yoga is to have an easeful body.”There are more than 50 Integral Yoga Teaching Centers around the world. new York.iyiny. a peaceful mind. paths are Many.” Integral Yoga includes people of all backgrounds and beliefs. and respects all paths and the universality of their spiritual goals.org I ntegral Yoga was founded by His Holiness sri swami satchidanandaji Maharaj in 1966 for the purpose of realizing “the spiritual unity behind the diversity throughout creation and to live harmoniously as members of one universal family. new York’s Integral Yoga Institute is a living embodiment of these ideals.
Integral Yoga natural foods provides products and fresh produce.to hair-splitting specifics such as “The Incredible Movable shoulder. a special Guest program that invites experts from all over the world.” if you can’t find the class you’re looking for here. This closely packed. The Institute is a vibrant community of volunteers. but the best way is to visit in person and partake of its generous atmosphere firsthand. yoga for children. a good way to introduce oneself to Integral Yoga’s offerings is to ask for their catalogue or check it out online. several of whom live at the Center. and dedicated students. and the apothecary across the street offers high-quality herbals and formulas.” The bookstore is welcoming. friday kirtans. well-stocked store has an upgraded-sixties feel that obviously follows its precept “we don’t see conscious eating as a trend—we see it as a way of life. 75 . a renowned Teacher Training program—all of this and so much more is provided in a lovely townhouse on a shady street in the West village. teachers. cooking classes. chances are it doesn’t exist.
M IsaMU noGUCHI GaRDen MUseUM 32-37 vernon boulevard. The garden reflects the artist’s view of space as a challenge to be sculpted. Isamu noguchi referred to these stone pieces as “the bones of the earth. —Terence McKenna . is magically self-reflective and aware. you feel it.” It’s sculpture of such power that you don’t just look at it. suggested admission: $4 O n the first floor of this indoor/outdoor gallery. english ivy. 11am–6pm. long Island City. nY 11106 (718) 721-1932 www.org April–October. Saturday–Sunday. both in whole and in many parts.Wednesday–Friday. chiseled. 10am–5pm.noguchi. raw. that it is to be lived and experienced. noguchi believed that environment is our sculpture. large pieces rest on chunky gravel shaded by a canopy of birch. monolithic pieces of rock confront you with the ancient energy of basalt and granite–rough. This intentional relationship between human and 76 Nature. and a strong Japanese katsura tree.
at least.nature creates a profound context for contemplation. broadway local. the pieces in the upstairs gallery are more refined in both material and execution. finally.s. of special interest there.Walking higher. all this from one man. from broadway and 31st walk toward new York skyline and vernon blvd. in the little café at the top. This garden is a bit of a trek. In contrast to the massive outside sculptures. to the broadway stop in Queens. 77 . we grant you. SUBWAY DIRECTIONS: Take the n train. it feels as if we are moving up into the softer aeries of this man’s genius until. within walking distance at 22-25 Jackson avenue at 46th street. weather permitting.1 Contemporary art Gallery. Take a left and walk two blocks. please call for shuttles available from Manhattan on weekends and for directions by car. is James Terrell’s exhibit “Meeting. we come upon his delicate paper akiri light sculptures.” the actual experience of day turning into dusk. on one visit we were both particularly stirred by a prototype of a sculpted human face that noguchi wanted made large enough to be seen from the moon. His motivation for this project was the horror he felt over the dropping of the atomic bomb on his homeland. ask at the desk for a list of restaurants in the area and check out p. but it’s worth it. he felt. intelligent life from other planets would know that humans once lived here.
closed Monday suggested donation: $10. —Daniel Gregory Mason. a wall of glass offers a silent view of Central park and Upper fifth 78 .metmuseum.M MeTRopolITan MUseUM of aRT 1000 fifth avenue at 82nd street. in leisurely contemplation. Art of any profundity can be appreciated only slowly. We suggest that you decide what you want to see.” Temple of Dendur Two small brown buildings covered in ancient hieroglyphs and carvings are set in a giant hall. students and seniors: $5. children free I t takes days to make even a dent in the vast labyrinth that is the Met. 9:30am–9pm. then stay only a reasonable amount of time. so remember you’re only human.org Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday. Artistic Ideals a still black pond represents the River nile. nY 10028 (212) 535-7710 www. visit some of these spots for repose and internal reflection—all in an effort to avoid what William James referred to as “an aesthetic headache. Friday–Saturday. new York. on your way. gradually. 9:30am–5:30pm.
Take time to let the peace of this place envelope you and replenish your energies for the rest of your journey. yielding. spare Chinese plantings. unyielding. You enter through a circular passageway guarded by two stone lions. a covered walkway spans two sides of the garden. In this Ming Dynasty scholar’s garden. hard. a Yin-Yang balance is created by the interplay of splashing water and immovable rock. wet) and Yang (bright. the whole creating a true sanctuary. soft. dry) forms the basis for much of Chinese thought. as in many Chinese gardens. void. The Sackler Buddha Room Chinese Art Section long benches sit across from a giant buddha mural. natural light shines onto large rugged rocks. solid. guarded at either end by two immense statues of buddha. the exuberant upswing of its tiled roof answered by a small gazebo across the court. and a trickling waterfall. The juxtaposition of ancient pieces against stark white 79 .avenue. Is it the immensity of the space that creates such hushed reverence? or is it the idea that you are sitting before the same temple where nubians once worshipped the goddess Isis of philae in 15th century bC? Astor Court The worldview of Yin (dark.
Unfortunately. Christmas at the Met Medieval Section If you’re willing to brave the hordes of visitors around the holidays. The Iris and B. a treat awaits you in the Medieval section. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden Third floor Modern outdoor sculpture with a stunning backdrop of Central park and the skyscrapers beyond make this the perfect place to contemplate man’s considerable handiwork within an equally considerable natural context. the sounds of the museum slip away and you are surrounded by an ornate yet spare chamber. Great when the weather is great. Room from the Nur Ad-Din House Islamic Art Section The moment you step inside this room. 80 . you can only imagine yourself meditating on one of those comfortable cushions lining the carved wooden walls.walls lends a sense of timelessness and room enough to direct your thoughts inward to those thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. There is no place to sit here. a small fountain gurgles at your feet and high stained glass windows let in filtered sunlight.
The beautifully decorated Christmas tree in this perfect setting provides a touching connection with the past and a reminder of the continuity of the species. 81 .
appreciate the beauty of the world. walk in the garden. through a feast of the senses. —Wayne Muller. Sabbath W hen Quaker twins albert and alfred smiley discovered lake Mohonk in 1869.mohonk. ever since then.com Walk leisurely.MoHonk MoUnTaIn HoUse 100 Mountain Rest Road. 82 . the 2. don’t answer the phone. which has maintained and refined that original vision. Quiet the insidious technology. but the mind and spirit as well. nY 12561 (845) 255-1000. forget the CD and the computer. and remember that we live in bodies that. schedule: (800) 722-6646 www. new paltz. turn off the television and the radio. they immediately envisioned a peaceful retreat for people to enjoy nature. don’t drive. and a place to renew not only the body.200-acre national Historic landmark has been owned and operated by the smiley family.
Inside. The Castle. this is such a place.” for those of us who have limited access to the out-of-doors. arts. as the house is sometimes called. Choose a stroll through perfectly tended gardens. Thoreau spoke of nature as being “full of genius. and games provide them with so much to do that even the smallest visitors seem continually filled with delight. endless victorian halls meander around wooden staircases to large wood-paneled meeting rooms. and nature walks. full of the divinity. yet yearn to be in touch with it. Children are welcome. activities abound.This maze reflects the many expansions over the decades required to accommodate a multitude of visitors who have come to think of Mohonk as their second home. crafts. outside. and 275 private rooms. many with their own fireplaces. Mohonk Mountain House is a splendid architectural jumble of stone and wood facades topped with roofs and turrets made of everything from cedar shakes to tin and tile. a dining room that manages to be at once vast and homey. presides over a pristine mountain lake that is half a mile long and sixty feet deep. for those so inclined. Its broad porches lined with rocking chairs beckon visitors to drink in spectacular views of unspoiled nature. opportunities for reflecting and com83 . or a hike along trails around the lake and up the mountaintop to gaze out onto thousands of acres of unspoiled land.
muning with nature abound. from its calendar of events to the care of its guests.95 round trip. To spend time in a place of such transcendent beauty among people so obviously happy to be here refreshes the spirit and makes us better able to negotiate the slings and arrows of the world below. well-considered spirituality. Mohonk exudes a gentle. If you’re staying overnight. BY CAR: 90 miles north of Manhattan in the Hudson valley. Cab fare from bus station: around $15. call 24 hours in advance and a courtesy car will pick you up. Trip is 1 hour 35 minutes. and charming handmade benches and gazebos are placed strategically along the trails and in the gardens for such moments. TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY BUS: adirondack Trailways from port authority bus Terminal to new paltz. fare: $33. new York. Mohonk is 6 miles west of new paltz. from exit 18 off the new York state Thruway (I87 north). 84 .
—Thich Nhat Hanh . 6:30–7:30am H ave you ever wondered about the large bronze figure on Riverside Drive wearing a broad-brimmed hat and set back under an opaque canopy? This statue came from Hiroshima where it withstood the atomic blast before being brought to america. new York. founder of the Jodo shinshu sect of buddhism. This particular form of 86 Our true home is in the present moment. meditations: Monday–Friday. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.newyorkbuddhistchurch. nY 10025 (between 105th and 106th streets) (212) 678-0305 www.org services: Sunday. which is practiced in its modest church/ temple at 105th street and Riverside Drive. 11:30am. The figure is shinran shonin (1173–1262).neW YoRk bUDDHIsT CHURCH / JoDosHInsHU bUDDHIsT TeMple 331-332 Riverside Drive. The miracle is not to walk on water.
shinran shonin was the first practicing buddhist monk to be officially married with a family.buddhism has developed as a practice accessible to lay people. When asked why this is called a church rather than a temple. save some time for coffee or lunch afterward when you can get to know these lovely people. an historic landmark built by William Randolph Hearst. the young sensei who heads this congregation. there was a great deal of prejudice and pressure against minority religions. The church/temple is small and unpreposessing. 87 . but its altar is quite ornate and beautiful. especially those from Japan.” by calling themselves churches. and taiko drumming. is also married. The congregation also owns the beautiful townhouse next door. martial arts. the small congregation is obviously closeknit as well as being open and inclusive. services are conducted in both english and Japanese. other programs are available. to “americanize. a great many tried to conform. Meditation classes are held here in one of the most beautiful meditation rooms we know of in the city. kenjitsu nakagaki. programs for children.T. In an effort to become less visible. such as beginning meditation. when this congregation was formed more than 60 years ago. brush painting. unlike other more monastic sects. Maybe now it’s time to drop the “church” and call it the Jodoshinshu buddhist Temple. we were reminded by the sensei that. Most importantly. In fact.
html S itting beneath the rippling Meandering Cloud Wall. and pavilions 88 Hills and valleys in my mind Looking at intricate rocks and wispy streams Ideas of pictures come from the horizon.sibg. water. staten Island. The Chinese have had centuries to perfect such settings. gazing across the still pond toward the Moon Gate of Uncommon beauty and the assured Tranquility pavilion at the new York Chinese scholar’s Garden. is a splendid representation of that art. The precise use of wood.org/cg. nY 10301-9926 (718) 273-8200 www. plantings.neW YoRk CHInese sCHolaR’s GaRDen at sTaTen IslanD boTanICal GaRDen 1000 Richmond Terrace. we marvel yet again at the lengths to which humans go to create harmonic settings for the mind and spirit. —Calligraphy from Scholar’s Garden . rocks. created in the style of the Ming Dynasty. and this garden. walkways.
and still ponds with falling water emphasize the creative tension people feel in so much of Chinese philosophy. The pathways are painstakingly laid in black stones set on their sides. a place such as this is rife with meaning and intention.You feel an undeniable.You can wander this single acre and never see the same vista twice. BY CAR: Take verazzanonarrows bridge to staten Island. Take #s40 bus at Ramp D to snug Harbor Road. stay on Clove Road to bard Road. interwoven with white stones laid flat. prepare to spend some time here. textural connection with all There Is in this serene harmonious space. and plum symbolize characteristics such as aloofness. Turn right on bard and follow signs. craggy stone with soft green vegetation. TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY FERRY AND BUS: Take the ferry to staten Island.The garden has been designed to create endless views and to evoke a sense of infinity within a limited space. waterways reflect its arteries. even the furniture in a scholar’s garden is referred to as its internal organs. pride. bamboo. 89 . Turn off onto Clove Road/ Richmond Road exit. Rock signifies the skeleton of the earth. pine.build a textured environment of depth and expansiveness. which takes about 15 minutes. The juxtapositions of dark tiled roofs with stark white walls. and endurance.
and retreats devoted to the exploration of what it means to be 90 He not busy being born is busy dying. so little time. Their catalogue of events contains hundreds of workshops. we recommend a trip to the new York open Center. so much knowledge. making it easier for the student to choose a focus. lessons abound from the earliest shamans to present-day gurus. continuing classes. for this.neW YoRk open CenTeR 83 spring street. What’s a seeker to do? Getting some perspective on it all is an enlightened first step. —Bob Dylan . a vast store of spiritual knowledge has emerged from around the world. nY 10012 (between broadway and lafayette street) (212) 219-2527 www. new York. paths from Taoism to A Course in Miracles are now available in a dizzying variety of modalities and interpretations. lectures. conferences. 10am–10:30pm O ver the past several decades. This highly respected institution has organized and cogently outlined major areas of study.opencenter.org open daily.
where most of the classes are held. a small meditation room on the second floor is open to all and serves as a welcome respite from the bustle of soho. workshop tapes.a whole person. Whether you are searching for a path. It contains a wide selection of well-chosen books on consciousness. has a welcoming.You can receive certificates in everything from applied mythology to permaculture design. 91 . low-key atmosphere. and spirituality as well as music CDs. or simply want to enjoy a stimulating lecture. You’ll find that the person behind the counter is often a font of information. give the open Center a try. and videos of renowned teachers. Don’t let the size of the cozy ground-floor bookstore fool you. have found one and want to deepen your practice. are yearning for the company of fellow travelers. creativity. and the mostly volunteer staff is pleased to answer your questions. The center itself.
new York.shambhala. The newYork City shambhala Center exudes serenity from its beautiful entryway and small rooms for teaching and private work. shambhala—the very word holds a promise of something rich and mysterious. if we open our minds.org S hambhala is a legendary kingdom of enlightened citizens who live in an advanced society based on fearlessness and non- agression. like others around the country. to its four spacious meditation spaces. if we open our hearts. —Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche . one of the pio92 If we open our eyes.neW YoRk sHaMbHala CenTeR 118 West 22nd street.ny. nY 10011 (between sixth and seventh avenues) (212) 675-6544 www. was founded by Trungpa Rimpoche. where reverence for the venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s lineage is expressed in loving buddhist tradition. The new York center. The largest is the buddhist Meditation room. 6th floor. we will find that this world is a magical place.
It’s definitely the place to hear talks by well-known teachers such as pema Chodrun. and kyudo. There are so many things to do here. Ikebana flower arrangement.neers who brought buddhism to the West. sakyong Mipham Rimpoche. This vibrant place welcomes visitors with many open houses and free talks on a variety of themes related to meditation and contemplation. Call to receive their schedule of events. or simply study traditional buddhist meditation. tea ceremony. Its purpose is to teach the practice of meditation in both buddhist and secular contexts. Classes are available in the contemplative arts such as calligraphy. or Japanese archery. shambala International is now under the guidance of his son. the highly respected american-born buddhist nun who is a frequent visitor. You can learn all levels of Trungpa Rinpoche’s secular shambhala Meditation. 93 .
allowing space for unencumbered awareness. nY 10021 (212) 861-3333 www. no expectations in Zen. Illusions about self and reality fall away.daibosatsu.neW YoRk ZenDo sHobo JI at The Zen sTUDIes soCIeTY 223 east 67th street. It is neither religion nor philosophy. —Alan Watts . This sounds simpler than the practice proves to be. and disciplined. rigorous. visualizations. It contains no trimmings. There are no goals. mantras. not as we would like them to be. We are 94 Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. or feel-good messages. It is a practice. new York. That said: Zen is ancient. spare. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes. The mind returns to a place of simplicity and clarity where things can be seen as they are. This quiets the rational mind.You simply sit.org D efining Zen is like pointing a finger toward the moon—the finger must not be confused with the moon.
first-timers can learn the basics of sitting and walking Zazen. for information. is available. not a place or practice to be taken lightly.400 acres of wilderness preserve. three hours out of Manhattan in the Catskills. 95 . in profound silence. two meditation rooms with bare white walls lined in dark wood direct your focus inward. where retreats are offered amid 1. I haven’t found out yet. at the Zen studies society. altars hold statues of the buddha surrounded by flowers and candles. the ceremonial ringing of bells. and there are many.” The abbot had been sitting for 35 years. asked his abbot: “What is Zazen? How do I do it?” The teacher replied: “I don’t know. and the rapping of wooden clappers displace the distractions of the city. motionless. on Thursdays at 6:45pm.reminded of the young student who. call: (845) 439-4566. new York Zendo shobo Ji is also associated with the Dai bosatsu Zendo. a suffusion of incense. after several days of struggling to learn Zen meditation. after which they are invited to attend the regular sitting. Your meditation deepens when sitting among these practitioners. two rows of black zafus (pillows) face one another. a full calendar of events. the new York Zendo offers support and community for those sincerely interested in meditation and introspective inquiry. In each room.
and Turkisan in fierce cold at altitudes often as high as 15. new York. nY 10025 (between broadway and Riverside Drive) (212) 864-7752 www. more than 100 of the 7. —Nicholas Roerich .org Tuesday–Sunday. His interests were widespread.000 feet.000 paintings by this Russian master are on display to feast your eyes and nourish your soul. 2–5pm. Mongolia. set in a blissful three-story townhouse. and a particularly wonderful experience of this kind awaits you at the nicholas Roerich Museum. admission: by donation G reat art uplifts the human spirit. Roerich believed that art could unify all of humanity and he set about to prove it through his work.roerich. an intense spiritual 96 Perfect your art in the wee hours of the morning. when all is still.M nICHolas RoeRICH MUseUM 319 West 107th street. He was even imprisoned several times. but what resonates with us most are his lengthy travels high into the Himalayas where he endured incredible hardships conducting grueling horseback expeditions through asia.
his works cannot be squeezed into any class or school of art. 97 .yearning propelled this man to these extremes. crossing a treeless landscape.” These paintings linger in the heart long after leaving the museum. validating the boundless state and opening a portal back to spirit. which has a small but surprisingly complete shop for cards and prints. each painting is original and arresting in its mystical power. it takes several pilgrimages to give each its contemplative due. new York artist alex Grey says: “Mystic art establishes a visual covenant with receptive viewers.” hunched with age. Roerich’s transcendent painting demonstrates his passion for the east. because of its mysterious quality.” and the figure of “saint panteleimon the Healer. The museum. a palette of wildflowers beneath his feet. as well as his own personal inner truths. We are continually spellbound by three works in particular: the two monks greeting each other in a snowy salmon-and-mauve half light in “and We Do not fear. and no doubt you’ll have the urge to tell your spiritually minded friends about them. his search to discover man’s mythic and religious roots. Though you can see them all in one visit. also acts as a library and archive of artifacts relating to Roerich’s extraordinarily multifaceted life.” the enigmatic veil covering the Mother’s eyes in “Mother of the World.
You can choose courses from such luminaries as Deepak Chopra. There’s always something going on— you can choose to be as social and active as you like.oMeGa InsTITUTe 260 lake Drive. Still Here . heal 98 Wisdom is one of the few things in human life that does not diminish with age. stephen levine. Thich nhat Hanh. nY 12572 (800) 944-1001 www. omega has become the largest alternative education and retreat center in the country.org open June through September O mega is a vibrant village in the midst of nature’s bounty. set in the Hudson River valley about two hours north of new York City. and Julia Cameron.” Those words are from omega Institute’s catalogue. the campus covers 80 acres of rolling hills and woodlands with a beautiful. each season there are more than 250 workshops that stretch your mind.eomega. or to get away from it all to the peaceful spots on campus for rest and contemplation. Rhinebeck. private lake. —Ram Dass. neale Donald Walsch. pema Chodron. since it was founded 21 years ago.
registration. BY CAR: The trip takes about 2 hours. meals. and eighth avenue friday and sunday only at 4:15 p. During a typical weekend or five-day session. there are about 300 guests on campus. what to choose from the wealth of possibilities offered. open your heart. 99 . TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY BUS: The arrow charter bus leaves from the northeast corner of 31st st. and travel by bus.m. not to worry: a program of activities for children ages 4 to 12 will keep them happily occupied.m. Get omega’s brochure for its detailed directions. lodging. train. but that number swells to more than 200 in the spring. summer. or car. prices. The center is renowned for its community atmosphere—a great place to meet like-minded people. and nourish your soul. and eighth avenue friday and sunday only at 1:15 p. fare is $25 each way. In the winter months the accommodating staff numbers around 30. It’s a three-hour ride.your body. bus returns from omega to 31st st. rather. and fall. It’s not a matter of whether you will find something to help you on your path but. omega Institute’s generous brochure will answer all your questions about programs. If you have little ones and would like to bring them along.
” frederick franck left the art world of new York City in the sixties and moved with his wife. they transformed it into a work of art. susuki— the three people franck revered most. and Daisetz T. It contains several unmanicured sculpture gardens that serve as backdrops for franck’s massive sculptures of steel or wood with 100 There is no split between a man’s being.M paCeM In TeRRIs 96 Covered bridge Road. over the years. —Frederick Franck . Claske. and practitioner of “life that knows it is living. pacem In Terris is a unique. sculptor. a personal statement that he named pacem In Terris (peace on earth) and dedicated to pope John XXIII. albert schweitzer. open to the public free of charge. his art. living monument. nY 10990 (845) 987-9968 call for hours S cientist. painter. master drawer. to an old house in Warwick. Warwick. new York. and what one might call his “religion”… These three are inextricably interwoven: They are one. writer.
” and “Hiroshima. frederick died in June 2006 at the age of 96. DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take the new York Thruway to Route 17 north. across the river that runs through the property is an ancient mill that has been converted into a sacred space for classical music concerts and other events.” setting such profound subjects within the soft quietness of nature tempers their power and restores a kind of wholeness to things. transfiguration — giant themes that work toward finding unity in human diversity. restoration.” “phoenix Rising. alienation.” “Death and Transfiguration. the franck home and little Gallery display many of his paintings and drawings. It is also an oasis of tranquility where you can find a truly deep peace. 101 . In addition to the gardens. Turn left on Route 94. to Route 94.” “seven Generations. pacem In Terris remains an embodiment of franck’s themes of the human condition that threaded through his life and art: creation.” “Cosmic fish.titles like “The Tree of life. death. then turn right onto fancher Road to the end and pacem In Terris.We were honored to know him and to experience what it means to be human directly from the master. to Route 17a.
but with others worshipping there we can feel the love and power in us all. —Ralph Waldo Emerson . unless the spirit moves a friend to stand and speak her or his mind? It’s just you and others.quaker. no singing. no scripture reading. The small pamphlet given to visitors describes it this way: “With up to an hour of silence. sitting silently together in a simple space. new York. 9:30am and 11am H ow do you describe a Quaker Meeting where there is no minister or layperson in charge. no talking at all.org services: Sunday.RelIGIoUs soCIeTY of fRIenDs 15 Rutherford place. reflecting and meditating. and 102 What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. we have only our own discipline to fall on: the quiet may seem hard to bear. no set form of worship. nY 10003 (between second and Third avenues) (212) 475-0466 15stfriends. in fact. God within and amongst us teaching us to be wide awake to what fosters good and diminishes evil.
and when someone chooses to speak. flushing. it comes from a deeply considered place that becomes meaningful to everyone. this form of worship addresses one of the eternal paradoxes of what it is to be human: the need to be free.” The power of this silence is unmistakable. While inner reflection marks the center of the Quaker religion. 103 . for us. In short. to be one with a group. providing no focal point. coupled with the equally strong need to be a part of community. the Upper West side.We especially love the Meeting House downtown on Rutherford place because of its history (it was built in 1860) and because it embodies the notion of Quaker simplicity. to think your own thoughts. to be separate. and staten Island.They are activists who care passionately about peace and equality. these people also get out and “do something about” the inequities of the world. The meeting room is washed in soft gray with benches facing one another.They make their voices heard about brutality of all sorts.then do something about it. There are meeting places in brooklyn. no place to rest your attention except within yourself. They care for the sick and homeless with a shelter in their church. to share. Quakers walk their talk.
RIveRsIDe CHURCH 490 Riverside Drive at 120th street. ages.. equality. exhorted us to rethink our attitudes about racism. nY 10027 (212) 870-6700 www. stood at the helm. he wasn’t doing his job well 104 My humanity is bound up in yours.We first became familiar with its ministry back in the late seventies when William sloan Coffin Jr. classes. he was every bit as charismatic and inspirational as Rev. ethnicities. he told us.org Sunday service: 10:45am S everal large churches in new York stretch far beyond their local communities. If we were comfortable in our pews. religions (it is interdenominational). celebrated. and Riverside Church is one of them. and sexual orientations are welcome and. cultures. forbes Jr. indeed. —Archbishop Desmond Tutu . In one memorable sermon. Coffin.theriversidechurchny. then senior minister. and peace. new York. genders. all races. for we can only be human together. When James a. Through the years we have known its ministry as broadly inclusive. he reminded us that being Christian often requires more of us than we are willing to give.
400-member church is but one of more than 800 parishes in Manhattan alone? It’s enough to assure us that the spirit is alive and well in new York City. peace and disarmament. vibrant stained glass windows line the sanctuary and reach through the lattice of stonework behind the altar. len volunteers there. a south african initiative. racial justice. prison ministry. The programs offered are legion and speak to many far-reaching concerns. many musical events. conducting conversation groups in their acclaimed english-as-a-secondlanguage program. is modeled after Chartres Cathedral. This is a place where spirituality is more than just sunday talk. education. aIDs. isn’t it. that this giant 2. 105 . The church. amazing. There are multiple bible study and prayer groups. with its deep nave and high Gothic arches. Riverside is known for the 74-bell carillon that rings its message out over the Upper West side.enough. with teams and task forces on housing. an active wellness center. and much more. and gay and lesbian issues.
experience everyone smiling in a moment of shy. Houseman . And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide. even the hardest of hearts opens on the first real day of spring.RIveRsIDe paRk entrance at Riverside Drive and 96th street.E. —A. miraculous joy. Upper West siders step tentatively out of their buildings like snails from under logs and turn their pasty faces to the sun. new York. see animals trot. tots wrapping their tiny fists around impossibly green grass. nY A fter a bleak city winter. Choose a saturday or sunday around the middle of april. their pace quickens toward Riverside park. Walk past the neighborhood gardens that sing out in riotous color. 106 Loveliest of trees the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough. and enter the park at 96th street to breathe in the ambrosia wafting from a brilliant stand of cherry trees just bursting into gaudy pinks and dancing in the breeze. You will want to applaud in appreciation. as they head west. people jog.
and now. These trails are stunningly beautiful even at points where traffic is whizzing close by. you can continue down the esplanade and along a series of paths and byways that run around the entire island of Manhattan.There’s a great deal more going on here than the simple owner/pet thing. Walk as far as the 79th street boat basin and check out the boats with their halyards clinking in the stiff breeze that whips up the river. 107 . maybe such transcendent moments are actually made possible by the city dweller’s habit of hibernating in layers of concrete. Who knows.stop by the dog run where new Yorkers frolic with their canine companions. These beings are family who. How we need our animals in this city! Halfway along the promenade. thanks to a new civic pride that has enveloped our fair city. Riverside park has its way of renewing us just like this the whole year round. if they’re treated anything like our cat. through the tunnel and out onto the esplanade beside the splendid Hudson River. often fare better than their owners. Tulip. follow the sloping path down the hill.
Then a friend told us about Rockefeller state park preserve.asp?parkID=60 open daily. sleepy Hollow. including a 24-acre lake and an 108 . 10am–5pm.state. Sunday. 2–5pm (church activities may preempt visiting hours) R esearching this book has not only deepened our appreciation of places we’ve known. Saturday. nY 10591 (914) 332-6659 April–December.ny.Wednesday–Friday. This natural habitat occupies 860 acres of Hudson valley. Monday. nY (914) 631-1470 nysparks.us/parks/info.We thought we were up to speed on all the natural sanctuaries a short drive from Manhattan.RoCkefelleR sTaTe paRk pReseRve sleepy Hollow. it has also led us to several won- derful new discoveries. We arrived at this nature lover’s paradise on a sunny october afternoon. 11am–5pm. sunrise to sunset UnIon CHURCH of poCanTICo HIlls 555 bedford Road.
the beings with whom we are engaged. Today you can stroll. The Rockefeller family designed these lush trails to take advantage of the surrounding landscape. horseback ride. so go enjoy your own piece of nature. jog. and nature’s Way—we chose to walk along the 1. while one lone blue heron sat watch on a branch jutting out of the water. and rode along them in horse-drawn carriages. these feathered bodies and antlers and tumbling streams—these breathing shapes are our family. Rockefeller state park preserve is now publicly owned. with whom we struggle and suffer and celebrate.3-mile swan lake Trail. —David Abram The Spell of the Sensuous abundance of wildlife. from the 21 trails—with names like ash Tree loop.This landscape of shadowed voices. Witch’s spring Trail. It belongs to you. or cross-country ski on them. and there are countless places to sit and connect with the wisdom of nature. be sure to stop at the 109 . bird-watch. The lake was swarming with ducks and Canadian geese. peaceful path. on your return from the preserve. Deer Run.
Matisse created the rose window above the chancel. built in 1921. this nondenominational country church provides a unique setting for works by two modern masters. which takes you to the preserve.What better day than one that combines high nature with great art. for the church of pocantico Hills. Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse. take a right out of preserve onto Route 117. DRIVING DIRCTIONS: Take the new York state Thruway to the last exit before the Tappan Zee bridge. Take to Route 9 north through Tarrytown to Route 117. memorializing abby aldrich Rockefeller. Chagall’s series of nine windows depicting scenes from the bible are the only ones he designed for a church in the United states.Union Church of pocantico Hills. Turn right onto Route 448 and go about 2 miles to the church. 110 .
Go down the long hall to the right and take the elevator to the third floor. 10am–6pm. nY 10018 (212) 340-0849 www. the blast of city energy immediately diminishes. The library’s intuitive founder. allowed ample sunlight in while preserving the quiet that would liberate readers from the bustle of the city and ennoble them and their research.Rose MaIn ReaDInG RooM at The neW YoRk pUblIC lIbRaRY fifth avenue at 42nd street.Thursday–Saturday. new York. Just cross 42nd street to the new York public library. the library. —William Shakespeare The Tempest . even as you walk between the lions and enter its portals. unwind. John shaw billings.nypl.org Monday. That’s right. 11am–7:30pm Y our train doesn’t leave Grand Central for another hour. Tuesday–Wednesday. and get back in touch with yourself. You’re frazzled and would love some place to sit. 112 My library was dukedom large enough.
Gilt cherubs. you’ll find the vast hush of old-time libraries.stroll past the changing art exhibits in the long halls. but off to the right. catch up on your journal. 113 . this is a library and to the left sit row upon row of people hard at work on computers. grinning satyrs. high windows.They look like Tiepolos or Tintorettos and give an indication of what you’ll see as you walk through the beautiful arched doorway leading into the splendid Rose Main Reading Room—our spot of spots for a calm space in the middle of Manhattan. allowing you to pretend you are looking through to the sky.You could even read a book. In truth. This sprawling space stretches almost two city blocks in length and claims the distinction of being one of the largest rooms without columns in the world. books. and a giant mural of puffy pink and white clouds span the outrageous ceiling from end to end. then take a moment to look at the magnificent murals and ornate ceilings in the McGraw Rotunda and bill blass Catalogue Room (315). It’s the perfect place to take a breath. Just don’t miss your train. books. and books. with heavy wooden tables. or close your eyes and meditate. and well separated by a book-delivery area.
and bhutan. Himalayan art. Warm woods and rich colors fuse with its signature circular steel and marble staircase to create the perfect backdrop for an art that is often startling. bon. pakistan. figures drawn from descriptions written down in ancient. Tibet. sacred texts. to India. Hinduism.rmanyc. always intricate. we could not do justice 114 . and other traditions. it turns out. Russia. what comes to mind? for us it began with a confused muddle that finally boiled down to the realization that we did not know much at all about this part of the world. When you think of Himalayan art. It ranges widely from parts of nepal. new York. and China. Mongolia. which reflects buddhism. nY 10011 (212) 620-5000 www.org T he very entrance to The Rubin Museum of art speaks of opulence and great care. afghanistan. and endlessly fascinating. not only are we unequipped to describe specific exhibits or the art itself.M The RUbIn MUseUM of aRT 150 West 17th street. encompasses a complex mixture of cultures and styles seldom seen in the West. Most of the art is religions in nature.
115 . The gift shop. one is surprised by the ferocity of many of the gods and goddesses depicted in masks. videos abound to further edify one about the exhibit at hand. the more powerful the god. manageable in a reasonable amount of time unlike the larger. and sculptures whose main intent. each god or goddess has multiple faces—many of which are gentle and serene. suffice it to say that we are continually struck by its otherness. Then we come to understand the sensible idea that the more fierce the visage.to the vast array of styles and geographic areas that the museum covers.The Rubin Collection is vast. like everything else about the museum. and continues to grow. on a practical note. the first floor sports a small snack bar with a surprisingly interesting selection of food. Graphic descriptions are full and complete. is meticulously considered. cold drinks. and loose teas. It is quite clear that the intent of this museum is to do all within its power to introduce and steep the visitor in its subject. at first. is to frighten. more sprawling edifices of art in this city. tongkas (hangings). There are four floors in the museum. with a thoughtful selection of relevant books and items that cannot be found anywhere else in the city. exhibits change regularly as do the exquisite palettes of color that define each floor. it seems. besides which. by how it differs from most of the art we in the West are used to seeing.
workshops. the museum supports an astonishing variety of tours. is heartily suggested.In addition to the exhibits themselves. Recently. a membership. films.” and live performances held in its well-appointed auditorium. 116 . The Rubin Museum of art is an important and welcome addition to this city. one could even find a resident artist at work on a traditional Tibetan tangka. midday “lunch Matters. photography exhibits. May it live and thrive here for years to come. therefore.
you know you’re in a place time has left alone. Spiritual Gardening . glassed-in porch with wrought iron steps down to the ground. This maze must have evolved around the church 118 Even the smallest of garden plots reveals the awesome and intricate plan behind all creation. new York. The human-size calm of this narrow. crooked lane reminds us of what the city must have been like when buildings were just two or three stories high. please B arrow street begins across seventh avenue from sheridan square and a century back in time.saInT lUke’s GaRDen 487 Hudson street. When you see a high. nY 10014 (between Grove and barrow streets) (212) 924-0562 www. dawn to dusk note: no pets or strollers. as you enter through the gate to saint luke’s school. and life had to be more simple. you wend your way past the church and the backs of buildings.org open daily except Monday.stlukeinthefields. —Peg Streep.
as you listen to happy chirping birds. it feels like someone’s private space. While traffic thrums on the other side of the overgrown brick wall. let your eyes wander over stands of black-eyed susans and bee balm. and drink in the smell of honeysuckle. here in the garden you’ll be left to your own thoughts. 119 . Weathered benches ask to be sat upon. a large crabapple tree shades the walkways. past townhouse backyards. you finally arrive at saint luke’s Garden. Though it is open to the-public.through many years and many hands. Down box-lined walks. In the center.
120 All things work together for good to them that love God. and several times on sunday. some to pray. some as tourists just to see the place. as they must in order to accommodate the crowds. saint patrick’s is accustomed to constant use.Television monitors are affixed to every pillar so that the speaker can be seen and heard from its far reaches. nY 10022 (between 50th and 51st streets) (212) 753-2261 www. people pour through it daily.saInT paTRICk’s CaTHeDRal fifth avenue.saintpatrickscathedral. You feel the power of the Cathedral immediately upon entering through huge doors that open onto the giant nave of the church. call for hours S aint patrick’s intricate Gothic spires rise 330 feet above the very center of the city at fifth avenue and 50th street and its leader is the archbishop of new York.org masses daily and Sunday. Masses flow like clockwork here. new York.400 seats are filled to capacity regularly. Its 2. —Romans 8:28 .
appropriate or not. even so.You can come here to catch your breath at any time during the day. small altars and shrines surround the main sanctuary. Its location directly behind the main altar and apart from the mainstream allows the chapel to retain a special hush and a deep sense of reverence. each more stunning than the previous one. Gothic arches soar overhead. 121 . light streams through intricate stained glass windows. is the lady Chapel. according to a friend who was married in saint patrick’s. so what makes this place inherently spiritual? first of all. The best spot. we’ve even seen people in the pews working on their computers.Yet saint patrick’s remains a place of consummate beauty. it sits in the middle of our vast metropolis and serves it extremely well. it also remains a place where you can go deeply within yourself.
all would be here. With you alone is excellence and peace. Mankind made plausible. so we have chosen a few churches to represent the many. To praise one as more worthy than another would be fruitless and untrue. his purpose plain. most of them awaiting visitors with open arms. beautiful music.org Sweet sounds. all are sanctuaries and sacred spaces. new York. If there were room enough to put each of these houses of worship in our book. but alas our tome is finite. do not cease! Reject me not into the world again. nY 10019 (212) 757-7013 www. 122 . a reminder that these sanctuaries abound in our fair city.saInT THoMas CHURCH fIfTH avenUe 1 West 53rd street.saintthomaschurch. —Edna St Vincent Millay M ore than 800 churches and nearly 100 synagogues grace the island of Manhattan alone. oh.
123 . so delicately. saint Thomas has one of the finest boys’ choir schools in the country. situated at the busy corner of fifth avenue and 53rd street. from the choir stalls.because of their locations or other qualities. a great reredos rises 80 feet above the altar in the main sanctuary of saint Thomas. all day long. that the blue stained glass window behind peeps through it like light through lace. one such church is saint Thomas. reedy voices of the cherubic young boys from the deep tones of the men’s choir that follows. their ethereal voices blend and weave through the church’s towering Gothic arches as though filtering down from heaven itself. some churches must be particularly well-equipped for the many visitors that stream in everyday. and it is put to spectacular use in the Gothic reaches of this beautiful church. its stone lattice of biblical figures carved so intricately. In the procession you stretch to separate the high.
as did Ram Dass and Timothy leary themselves.org call for ashram program information D o you remember when you began wondering what life was really about? We were surprised how young some of our friends were when they realized that they were “on the path. 124 .siddhayoganyc. food: inexpensive sYDa foUnDaTIon 324 West 86th street. it was that first yoga class taught by a teacher further along the path.sIDDHa YoGa MeDITaTon CenTeR of neW YoRk 230 West 29th street. for others. nY 10024 (between West end avenue and Riverside Drive) (212) 873-8030 www.” some recall a certain minister or rabbi who skipped comfortable homilies and inspired them with “the deep stuff. 7pm admission: free. nY 10001 (between seventh and eighth avenues) no phone Satsang:Tuesday and Thursday. new York.”The book Be Here Now seems to have turned many of us on. new York.
to see swami Muktananda. flickering candles. she’s also given to wearing vibrant red—not someone you forget easily once you’ve laid eyes on her. we have visited the siddha ashram on West 86th street where enthusiastic followers sang out chants. media-savvy woman with huge liquid eyes and a radiant smile. and meditated together. all in heavenly rooms with carpeted floors. The community has thrived under her tutelage. spoke of their beliefs. —Guru Gita often the second or third step invovled stumbling upon a real-life swami for the first time—like that mesmerizing trip to south fallsburg. over the years. head of the revered siddha Yoga lineage. and worshipful pictures of the siddha lineage.We are told that siddha is best characterized as a yoga of spiritual energy combined with the grace of the guru. new York.We remember when baba Muktananda chose Gurumayi to succeed him as head of the siddha community. There are many yoga traditions. Gurumayi is a beautiful. We are not surprised that the organization has out125 .The root of meditation is the Guru’s form The root of worship is the Guru’s feet The root of mantra is the Guru’s word The root of liberation is the Guru’s grace.
a group playing authentic Indian instruments leads chanting as you find your seat on pillow or chair. so is their national headquarters at the shree Muktananda ashram in south fallsburg. Young devotees greet you at the door. Here you remove your shoes and are welcomed to sample wonderful homemade snacks and deserts after satsang. and send you downstairs. This is a very friendly place with lots of young people and many worthwhile programs. More chanting follows. over a hundred people fill the large. short talks take place reverently below a stage decorated with pictures of the gurus. Try a satsang on Tuesday or Thursday night and see if it’s for you. satsang with these joyous folk is a rousing affair. spare room covered with oriental carpets. and the place runs without a hitch. give you a name tag. then a good-length meditation ends the evening. once called the “saint-Tropez of ashrams” by the New York Post. 126 . They have thought of everything to make you feel comfortable. There is also a bookstore with tapes and books and information about other siddha programs.grown the ashram and now holds their satsangs (open meetings where one contemplates one’s experiences on the spiritual path) at a much larger temporary space on West 29th street.
centralparknyc. and with the skyscrapers well in the distance. a rare sight elsewhere in the city. this priceless piece of real estate serves as our nearest teacher of the Tao: “no squirrel ever had to worry that acorns were going to be there each fall for his winter food. finally. because the park acts selflessly as the lungs of the city. —The Beatles.” new York composer Carman Moore turned to Central park for inspiration because he considers it the spiritual center of new York.Why? first. then.” It is fitting. When John lennon was assassinated nearby. the world went into mourning because his songs reflected 128 And in the end. the park is the one place where we can raise our eyes straight up to a full sky. “The End” from Abbey Road . constantly pumping oxygen into its airless corridors.org/virtualpark_southend_strawberryfields F or his “Mass for the Twenty-first Century. that strawberry fields is in Central park.sTRaWbeRRY fIelDs Central park West at 72nd street www. the love you take Is equal to the love you make.
This small. a visitor is immediately touched by the unmistakable care taken with its landscape. Imagine peace in all those places. including afghanistan. standing across from it. perfect garden has been here since 1985 and people still remember. and reminders of a photography exhibit of his late wife’s work. Israel. and pakistan. you will find mementos placed around it. for instance. benches rest under shady trees. strawberry fields has been dedicated as a Garden of peace by many nations. This garden was created by Yoko ono in his memory.the best in us. on any given day. many with brass plaques commemorating loved ones. The inscription read “Imagine no assassins. You can feel the common reverence shared by those who lie on its lush green lawns or stroll its paths. India. at the heart of this small sanctuary is a circular mosaic set into the walkway. a candle with two white lilies decorated a picture of Robert f.” There were also pictures celebrating paul McCartney’s birthday. one day in June. 129 . kennedy.
understanding that they have an ultimate 130 Let yourself be silently drawn By the stronger pull Of what you really love. He was a student of all the major religions. but during the Zhikr they usually whirl) you will be inspired.You sing. new York.You laugh. —Rumi . nY 10013 (212) 334-5212 www. You can ask questions of the Sheikha (female teacher). During the evening you will pray. or nur-al-Jerrahi.You move. and filled with the divine spirit emanating from these ecstatic people.org G o to a Zhikr (Ceremony of Divine Rememberance) on Thursday nights around eight o’clock at the sufi Durgah (meeting place).nurashkijerrahi.Whether or not you plan to become a Dervish (this is not the whirling kind. We first became interested in sufism through the writings of author and teacher lex Hixon.You eat. you will chant. who will answer you with wisdom and compassion.sUfI DURGaH MosQUe al faRaH 245 West broadway. entranced. you will listen.You commune.
but enter your own inner chamber of primordial awareness to enjoy selfless peace and delight. He encouraged others to do the same: “Meet as many adepts from various paths as you can. while worldly knowledge makes you anxious. receive their initiations. headed by sheikha fariha. originally from Istanbul. You cannot have knowledge without love. Juma. This is the meeting place of the nur ashki Jerrahi sufi order in new York. and passionately practice their disciplines. They welcome seekers and students of all religious and nonreligious paths into their gatherings. holds the traditional Islamic gathering. and that’s what you receive from sufis—boundless love. Hours change throughout the year. please call for confirmation.” The sufis are the mystics of Islam.unity in the one ocean of divine reality. in addition to the Thursday night Zhikr. Within their building is a mosque that. there are seventeen circles of the order worldwide. but divine knowledge.You know the difference because mystic knowledge soothes your heart. every friday. 131 .Their work is to seek knowledge—not worldly knowledge. love these persons.
is the largest synagogue in the world.org open daily for meditation and prayer. entering the main sanctuary.emanuelnyc. —Isaiah 6:3 architectural details in her book. Temple emanu-el. 10am–5pm sunset service: Sunday–Thursday. nY 10021 (212) 744-1400 www. Saturday. built in magnificent byzantineRomanesque style. makes it particularly welcoming to all. you face an enormous. The Temple Treasury: “The richness of colored light flowing from the stained-glass windows on three sides. as well as their own congregation. but Temple emanu-el’s commitment to broader interfaith relationships. We like Cissy Grossman’s description of the temple’s Holy. unobstructed space of marble decorated with intricate gold tracery.TeMple eManU-el 1 east 65th street. holy. the soft tonality of the acoustic tile 132 . 5:15pm. new York. holy is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. 5:30pm Sabbath service: Friday. 10:30am S ynagogues and churches normally dedicate most of their work to their own congregations.
sacred space cleanses the spirit and opens our eyes to life in a larger context.walls. In the more intimate beth-el Chapel that adjoins the main sanctuary. What a blessing to have such a place for meditation and prayer every day of the week. 133 .” sitting in the silence of this vast. the sparkling color and gold reflected off the variegated mosaic tiles around the arch combine to fill the huge volume with majesty and wonder. the high light from the timbered roof. we can savor our personal connection with the Divine.
org annual membership begins at $35 D uring a visit to Tibet House we heard a talk given by its president. new York.TIbeT HoUse 22 West 15th street. —The Dalai Lama ing that the light of the Tibetan spirit. and harmony—is today being threatened with imminent extinction. and that we can all realize this freedom through buddhist knowledge and practices. who is renowned for making buddhism acces- sible to americans. Columbia University professor of buddhism Robert Thurman. which arises from wisdom and compassion. never disappears from the face 134 . His stream of insights reminded us that the essence of buddhism is freedom from suffering. Ironically. peace. the thousand-year-old Tibetan buddhist civilization—the embodiment of genius. Tibet House is part of a worldwide network committed to ensur- It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance. nY 10011 (between fifth and sixth avenues) (212) 807-0563 www.tibethouse.
artists. comfortable library you can study all things Tibetan. culture. 135 . and peace. you not only have an opportunity to learn about Tibet’s ancient art. poets. and performers. mind science.of the earth. of course. Tibetan medicine differs so radically from our own that only now is its relevance being deciphered by Western medicine. and religion. art. an art gallery maintains ongoing exhibits like the contemporary renditions of the original 17th century Tibetan medical atlas paintings. as well as meditation teachers. In its small. sacred mandalas hang on the walls and a vibrant shrine room with a beautifully sculpted golden buddha calls all to meditation. you will also be supporting the great Tibetan nation in exile. nonmembers are welcome to visit and attend lectures. if you join the organization. This is a place with a mission. Tibet House offers a wealth of programs: conferences and lectures on spiritual philosophy. However. nonviolence. intercultural dialogue. and deep spirituality. human development. Members are invited to events at which they can meet the leading figures and scholars in the fields of Tibetan history.
TRInITY CHURCH 74 Trinity place. new York.org W neighbors. possibly the most famous of all new York’s churches.trinitywallstreet.saintpaulschapel. each is like a tiny gem. they towered over everything around them.org saInT paUl’s CHapel 209 broadway at fulton street. a few blocks north. with bright patches of green grass contrasting markedly against their giant gray It’s hard to believe that when these churches were built in the late 1700s. which is how this financial district got its name. —John 13:34 . alking through the narrow tunnels of Wall street. was “inside the Wall” of the Dutch colony. saint paul’s lies “outside. pressed in on all sides by huge buildings. new York. Trinity. the smaller saint paul’s chapel. it’s a great relief to come out upon the delicate brown spires of Trinity Church and. nY 10007 (212) 233-4164 www. That ye love one another. nY 10006 (between broadway and Wall street) (212) 602-0800 www.” 136 A new commandment I give unto you.
the other. as an example. is smaller and simpler. of course. less-populated time. Its age and simplicity. reminiscent of a more sober. It was built in 1766. materialistic society. which was attended by nearby farmers and people from across the river in new Jersey. saint paul’s Chapel has the distinction of being the oldest public building in continuous use on the island of Manhattan. many of us will remember the Chapel as a place of refuge and healing for those who poured into new York to be of aid to our devastated city after 9/11. 137 .and therein lies their difference: one is large and majestic. president Washington attended both churches when new York City was capital of the United states of america. make us wonder how we managed to develop into such a populous. Yet this institution remains as much a force deep in the secular heart of our nation as it was when it was built more than 200 years ago. which predates even the Declaration of Independence.
new York.UnITeD naTIons MeDITaTIon RooM first avenue at 46th street. Saturday–Sunday 10am–4:30pm (except January–February) reservations for 12 or more: (212) 963-4440 Delegate’s Dining Room: Monday–Friday 11:30am–2:30pm reservations: (212) 963-7625/7626 W hen you think about it. Walking through the corridors of the Un. directly after the divisive conflagration of World War II. 9:30am–4:45pm. the United nations itself is a meditation. —Robert Muller. one hears voices in every conceivable 138 Some day humans will realize that the United Nations is one of the greatest biological phenomena of all times. nY (212) 963-4440 www. and so do we.org tours: Monday–Friday. Imagine the effort and vision it required to bring togeth- er such a coalition of willing member countries in 1945. Former UN Assistant secretary-General . a turning point in our planet’s and human evolution. our friends who work at the Un deeply believe in the possibility of universal peace that this common ground holds for humanity.un.
Clearly. However. a huge raw iron ore monolith sits in the center. We urge you to go to the United nations Web site to see the startling array of events that take place daily in this amazing place. reminding us of timelessness and strength. as well as the infinite functions—both good and bad—that man can form from such an inert block of earth. a beautiful space 139 . who was himself killed in a plane crash in Zambia while on a peace mission in africa. anyone can visit the Meditation Room and sit for as long as they like. Just to the right as you enter the Un General assembly building. the choice is ours. and sees dress from every corner of the earth—a living mosaic that describes our infinitely varied and beautiful planet. a large floor-to-ceiling mural in the rich blues of Marc Chagall precedes the Meditation Room. The semidark. It is flanked on either side by remembrances of those who have died in service to the United nations. tours of the Un are available and highly recommended since added security measures prohibit visiting the most important spots without accompaniment. one delicious tip is that you can eat lunch in the Delegate’s Dining Room. The Meditation Room was conceived and dedicated in 1952 by then secretary General Dag Hammerskjold. v-shaped Meditation Room is utterly simple in off white.language.
140 . and how relieved we ought to be that such a hallowed place as the United nations exists in our midst. a plastic security tent the size of a small house has been erected at the visitors’ entrance on what used to be the sweeping Dag Hammersjkold plaza. buffets are served Monday through friday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. and gentlemen are required to wear jackets (though they do have some in reserve). we are reminded of where we are in this world of turmoil.with expansive views of the east River. no jeans allowed. In this place specifically dedicated to peace. Reservations are necessary.
“hot water for tea. tea was used as a mild stimulant to clear the mind for meditation. establishing the foundation for Chado.URasenke CHanoYU CenTeR 153 east 69th street.urasenkeny. we encountered three young women from Japan.org C hanoyu means. and one small girl of nine accompanied by her mother. 142 . a Zen monk and the go-to fellow for all things related to Chanoyu. In the 16th century. one is introduced to the Way of Tea by Mr. We are ushered into a waiting room with perhaps two dozen others. new York. the Way of Tea. nY 10021 (212) 988-6161 www. Mr Yamada introduces people to the Tea Ceremony at the Metropolitan Museum of art and the brooklyn botanical Garden. Yamada. among our most recent and varied group. simply. Yamada himself. a man named sen Rikyu transformed this simple practice into a comprehensive discipline. one is welcomed into a beautiful carriage house on 69th street by Mr. at Urasenke Chanoyu Center. but Urasenke is his home base.” In early Zen temples.
143 . where one is asked to present oneself as a child—a simple request. Rather than describing Chanoyu itself. Group demonstrations are welcome.a Japanese tea house is a very special place. but one not easy to carry out. Yamada. Much care has been taken to create the authentic feel of a real tea house. We are led through the ceremony by Mr.” a monthly introduction to the Way of Tea is offered for $15 to nonmembers. and serious tea classes are held regularly for those who wish to delve more deeply into the subject. it feels kinder to allow the reader to experience it firsthand in the “most beautiful tea house outside of Japan.
Inside. nonsectarian.wainwright. 144 We hammer wood for a house. lovely dining rooms. solariums. and private meeting rooms make it a perfect place for nonprofit conferences as well as personal study.org W ainwright House has the honor of being the oldest nonprofit.WaInWRIGHT HoUse 260 stuyvesant avenue. Rye. nY 10580 (914) 967-6080 www. and everything in between. connection to the global community. self. and the call to service. multiple libraries. expect to find programs ranging from Celtic spirituality to Zen buddhism. —Tao Te Ching . In any give season. for nearly 50 years. seekers have visited this sacred place to explore spirit. but it is the inner space that makes it livable. holistic educational center in the United states. You’ll also find gentle weekends dedicated solely to relaxation and rejuvenation. from health and wellness to the kabbalah. all this takes place in a beautiful mansion resting on grounds that slope down to long Island sound.
prices vary according to needs and accommodations. Wainwright House is 6/10 of a mile on the right. Taxis are available at the station. quad. a 40-minute ride. 145 . gaze at manicured lawns and plantings. a separate house on the grounds has its own facilities. at flashing light. or dormstyle rooms. TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: BY TRAIN AND TAXI: Metro north trains leave regularly from Grand Central. turn left onto stuyvesant avenue. turn right onto Milton Road and follow to the end. your retreat begins as soon as you smell the fresh breezes rising from the water. a five minute ride. Guests sleep in friendly double. at the first stoplight. triple. take exit 19 toward playland. and hear the sound of geese flying overhead. BY CAR: from I-95.arriving from the city.
touching their foreheads reverently to the floor. a particularly wizened elder seemed to bless us all. rich wood. In the main 146 . This behavior totally mystified us until a parade of six saffron-robed Tibetan monks filed out of one of the dining rooms. reservations: (212) 582-1276 www. Who says a place has to be somber.zenpalate. We looked up just as all the waiters dropped to their knees. the normally happy. quiet. some- what noisy ambience fell to spoon-drop silence. Welcome to Zen palate.com A year or so ago. we met a friend for lunch at this popular West side restaurant. as they passed by.Zen palaTe 663 ninth avenue. Its décor of soft ochre-flocked walls. new York. and without joy to qualify as sacred? This beautiful place is as full of the spirit as any we can think of in this city.When the monks left the restaurant. We had just placed our orders when suddenly. nY 10035 (corner of 46th street) (212) 582-1669. and fresh flowers is spanking clean. the waiters rose and continued their duties as if nothing out of the ordinary had taken place.
dining room books on buddhism line the wall beside a small statue of the buddha adorned with candles and flowers. prices range between $10 and $20. Zen palate: a perfect example of how a happening place rooted in the hum and success of new York City can also revel in its connection to a higher power. It’s certainly one of our favorite respites. one is at 34 Union square. (212) 962-4208. 147 .You can dine on vegetarian delicacies with names like “Jewel of Happiness.” “Wheel of Dharma. (212) 6149291. the other at 104 John street. near Wall street. each with its own character.” “Zen Retreat. There are two other Zen palates in the city.” and “Tapestry embrace.” steaming dishes fly out of the kitchen piled on plates like so many eccentric sculptures.
Ceo of Cosimo books.aCknoWleDGeMenTs WHeneveR We bRoUGHT Up THe sUbJeCT of this book. now ours. our friends were eager to share their favorite places with us. Heidi Gutman. whose house. Margaret lloyd. Diane Williams. Rick Testa. nancy kanter. Gail Horton. 148 . Joel and Trudy Goldsmith. has been a haven during all the stages of preparation. Jerry Jones.victoria kaufman. alex and alysson Grey. Jane Gignoux. and to pat and keith Mielke. We are especially grateful to alex Dake. for taking such great care with our work. lisa simon. bruce sherman. and lynn Yeakel. leonard Marks. Carman Moore. kira ferrand. We are particularly grateful to some who have continually inspired us along the way: edith alston. to our editor. Richard kalin. Maryann Johanson. Judith Handelsman. pamela kraft. bob Cunniff. Toby Tarnow. alice slater. Ted May. for encouraging this update of Spiritual Places.
InDeX bY CaTeGoRY bUDDHIsT Chuang Yen Monastery / 34 new York buddhist Church/Jodoshinshu buddhist Temple / 86 new York shambhala Center / 92 new York Zendo shobo Ji / 94 Tibet House / 134 Urasenke Chanoyu Center / 142 CHRIsTIan The Cathedral Church of saint John the Divine / 20 Central baptist Church / 24 Church of notre Dame / 38 erol beker Chapel of the Good shepherd / 50 General Theological seminary / 56 Hospital Chapels / 68 House of the Redeemer / 70 Religious society of friends / 102 Riverside Church / 104 saint patrick’s Cathedral / 120 saint paul’s Chapel / 136 saint Thomas Church fifth avenue / 122 Trinity Church/saint paul’s Chapel / 136 Union Church of pocantico Hills / 108 149 .
CoMMUnITIes Chuang Yen Monastery / 34 General Theological seminary / 56 Integral Yoga Institute / 74 siddha Yoga Meditation Center of new York/ syda foundation / 124 DaY TRIps audubon Center in Greenwich/ audubon fairchild Garden / 10 boscobel / 14 Chuang Yen Monastery / 34 Greenbrook sanctuary / 58 Hammond Museum and Japanese stroll Garden / 62 Mohonk Mountain House / 82 new York Chinese scholar’s Garden / 88 pacem In Terris / 100 Rockefeller state park preserve/Union Church of pocantico Hills / 108 GaRDens boscobel / 14 brooklyn botanic Garden / 16 The Cloisters / 40 Conservatory Garden / 44 Hammond Museum and Japanese stroll Garden / 62 150 .
Isamu noguchi Garden Museum / 76 Mohonk Mountain House / 82 new York Chinese scholar’s Garden / 88 pacem In Terris / 100 Rockefeller state park preserve / 108 saint luke’s Garden / 118 HInDU Hindu Temple society of north america / 66 Integral Yoga Institute / 74 siddha Yoga Meditation Center of new York/ syda foundation / 124 InTeRDenoMInaTIonal United nations Meditation Room / 138 JeWIsH Congregation b’nai Jeshurun / 42 Hospital Chapels / 68 Temple emanu-el / 132 leaRnInG & HealInG CenTeRs Chopra Center & spa at Dream / 30 east West books / 46 Integral Yoga Institute / 74 new York open Center / 90 151 .
new York public library / 112 MUseUMs boscobel / 14 Chapel of sacred Mirrors and Microcosm Gallery / 26 The Cloisters / 40 frick Collection / 52 General Grant national Memorial / 54 Hammond Museum and Japanese stroll Garden / 62 Isamu noguchi Garden Museum / 76 Metropolitan Museum of art / 78 nicholas Roerich Museum / 96 pacem In Terris / 100 The Rubin Museum of art / 114 152 .new York shambhala Center / 92 new York Zendo shobo Ji / 94 omega Institute / 98 siddha Yoga Meditation Center of new York/ syda foundation / 124 Tibet House / 134 Wainwright House / 144 lIbRaRIes & booksToRes east West books / 46 new York open Center / 90 Rose Main Reading Room.
naTURe Walks audubon Center in Greenwich/ audubon fairchild Garden / 10 Greenbrook sanctuary / 58 Hudson River Greenway Trail / 72 Mohonk Mountain House / 82 Riverside park / 106 Rockefeller state park preserve / 108 strawberry fields / 128 oveRnIGHTs House of the Redeemer / 70 Mohonk Mountain House / 82 omega Institute / 98 Wainwright House / 144 ResTaURanTs ayurveda Café / 12 Hangawi korean Restaurant / 64 Zen palate / 146 sUfI sufi Durgah Mosque al farah / 130 153 .
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