On June 20, the city that never sleeps is about to get quiet — and I mean really quiet. For the first time ever in the five boroughs, thousands of New Yorkers will gather to sit in a few moments of silence, the largest mass meditation the Big Apple has seen to date. A hush will fall over a small swath of green just above 69th Street, at Central Park SummerStage.
The Big Quiet is to meditators what the Star Trek Convention is for Trekkies
With meditation fast becoming mainstream, the mission behind The Big Quiet is to deepen our real-time interactions with others and make meditation a part of our culture — much like music, art and food — fostering a sense of community and interconnectedness. The free event is hosted by Medi Club, a group of hundreds of "modern meditators" along with the folks at SummerStage.
Jesse Israel, a Medi Club member, wants to show New Yorkers that meditation doesn't have to be new agey. "We're hosting the event to create awareness for meditation within modern city living," he said in an email.
Newcomers to the practice are welcome, too — Medi Club members will be available onsite for guidance. They'll also be sharing a simple 5-minute meditation technique, though no teachers will actually be leading the meditation. Everyone is invited to practice the style of meditation that resonates with them the most.
Meditation teacher and frequent mindbodygreen contributor Light Watkins will be there, ready for meditation to taken center stage. "The Big Quiet is to meditators what the Star Trek Convention is for Trekkies," he said, "we've been holed up in our apartments meditating alone and finally we get to do it with a large community of like-minded folks."
The best part? There's also an after party, featuring performances by the UK's ever-elusive tribal funk band, Jungle, and the French-Cuban duo, Ibeyi. So for those of us who are always on the go, a few moments of silence among thousands is a powerful reminder to slow down.
And with more people turning to the mindfulness arena to socialize, instead of the bar (think Daybreaker dance parties and yoga classes with live DJs), mass meditation might just be the new way to party.
Just be sure to RSVP in advance.
Photo courtesy of Medi Club
Andrea Rice is a writer, editor, and yoga and meditation teacher. She is the former Yoga Editor at mindbodygreen and her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, and other online publications. Her first book, The Yoga Almanac, will be released in March 2020. You can find her regular classes at shambhala yoga & dance center, and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.