All posts tagged: Featured

Free Meditation in New York

This summer Buddhist Insights is bringing meditation outdoors with an exciting roster of events to pick from. Whether it’s morning sittings on the beach, group practice at Pioneer Works, street retreats, or contemplating death at Green-Wood Cemetery, we’ve got you covered. To see our calendar of events check out Want to be added to our mailing list? Send us an email: RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM    

Meditation & Yoga by the Beach

Every Sunday develop your mind & body by the beach with Bhante Suddhaso and Rachel Krieger. Join us at Caracas Rockaway by the 106th Street Concessions – we’ll be practicing meditation at 8:30, followed by yoga at 9:00. EVERY SUNDAY TIME: 8.30am PLACE: Caracas Rockaway 106-01 Shorefront Parkway – Rockaway Beach, NYC (Closest subway: Beach 105th / A Train) 8.30am: 30 MIN MEDITATION 9am: 1 HOUR YOGA Meditation is offered by donation. Yoga is offered by suggested donation of $10. Send us an email: RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM Sign-up on                        

Day-Long in a Mansion in Staten Island

Spend a day meditating in style at a beautiful 19th-century hillside mansion in Staten Island! We’ll be doing sitting and walking meditation from morning ’til night – just take a 20 minute ferry ride from Manhattan and it’s a short bus-way ride to the mansion from there. Full address information will be disclosed upon registration to the event. Send us an email: RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM Sign-up on                  

Mindfulness Vs Concentration

By BHANTE G  * Art FLATBUSH BROWN *  Concentration and mindfulness are distinctly different functions. They each have their role to play in meditation, and the relationship between them is definite and delicate. Concentration is often called one-pointedness of mind. It consists of forcing the mind to remain on one static point. Please note the word FORCE. Concentration is pretty much a forced type of activity. It can be developed by force, by sheer unremitting willpower. And once developed, it retains some of that forced flavor. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is a delicate function leading to refined sensibilities. These two are partners in the job of meditation. Mindfulness is the sensitive one. He notices things. Concentration provides the power. He keeps the attention pinned down to one item. Ideally, mindfulness is in this relationship. Mindfulness picks the objects of attention, and notices when the attention has gone astray. Concentration does the actual work of holding the attention steady on that chosen object. If either of these partners is weak, your meditation goes astray. Concentration could …

Aung Kyaw Htet

By JORN MIDDELBORG * Art AUNG KYAW HTET (Courtesy Thavibu) I have known the Myanmar artist Aung Kyaw Htet for around fifteen years, since the time his daughter was born. He came from a humble beginning, growing up in the Delta Region which is regularly flooded and where rice is the staple crop. Aung Kyaw Htet moved to the capital Yangon to realize his dream of becoming an artist. As with many other Myanmar people, he is an ardent follower of Theravada Buddhism as it is practiced in Myanmar. His art (a glimpse of which one can have in a group show at Agora Gallery in NYC until June 9th) has been profoundly influenced by Buddhism and his experiences with monastic life; much of it portrays Buddhist imagery, such as monks and nuns, often with expressionistic or ethereal backgrounds. We sat down to discuss religion and art prior to his temporary ordination with his son. He and his son plan to be temporarily ordained just after his wife and daughter, and will remain as monks for about ten days. Why …

Street Retreat

You don’t need to go to a meditation center to do a retreat – the city is full of open spaces! On June 12th join Bhante Suddhāso and the Buddhist Insights crew on a unique retreat experience: meditating in parks, plazas, and subway stations all over New York City! We’ll begin in the morning at a designated starting point; after that, we’ll roam the city together by public transit, stopping periodically for periods of group meditation. If you’re joining late, check out @BUDDHISMNYC on TWITTER to find out where we are. Send us an email: RSVP@BUDDHISTINSIGHTS.COM Sign-up on Not in NYC? Go meditate outdoors, take a picture and tag #STREETRETREAT on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. The best picture will be posted on

The Power of Compassion

By AYYA YESHE  * Art PABLO MEDINA *  I never grew up thinking that I would one day run a temple in the slums of Central India, or a charity for that matter. But I suppose I should have known better when my favorite movie was ‘The Sound of Music’ and my vision was of being a nun was running over hills, climbing trees, and occasionally helping people! What first drew me to spiritual practice was the death of my father, when I was 14. That sent me into a suicidal depression and existential crisis. If life was finite (which no one around me seemed to live with the comprehension of, with their 30 year mortgages and reinsured and reimbursable spider webs of administration) what was the most important thing to do? Who are we, why are we here and where will we go? I could no longer accept mundanity, the pressing urgency of finding a way out of suffering pushed me to leave my Catholic girls school and to embark on life on the road. After …

This month in NYC: Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu and Ayya Yeshe

Join us for meditation classes and Dhamma Talks led by Buddhist monastics. This month, sessions will be led by Bhante Yuttadhammo, Bhante Suddhāso and Ayya Yeshe. Please check for an updated list of our events. In accordance to Theravada Buddhist traditions, all teachings have no price tag and they are offered on a Dana basis. Dana means generosity: the teacher offers the Dana of the teachings, and the students practice Dana by making an offering to support the continuation of the teachings. 

Meditation Instructions

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art MARTINA PAUKOVA * At its heart, Buddhism is about transforming the way we think in order to eliminate the sources of discontent, dissatisfaction, and distress in our lives.  This is done not by changing the outside world, but by identifying and eliminating the self-destructive habits and tendencies within our own minds. An intellectual understanding of what mental and emotional habits are harmful is just the beginning; in order to locate and remove those harmful habits, the mind must be focused and imperturbable, with the appropriate attitude.  This is very difficult to achieve with our ordinary, everyday ways of thinking and acting, which tend to be scattered, diffuse, and instinctual. This is where meditation comes in.  By taking the time to tranquilize and focus the mind, we begin to develop the mental habits of awareness, equanimity, and concentration, which make it much easier to diagnose and correct the internal flaws that cause us so much anguish and turmoil.  In this way we can establish our baseline state of being as one of peacefulness, …

Guidelines for Happiness

By BHANTE SUDDHĀSO  * Art JUNGYEON ROH * In Buddhism, everything is optional. Faith is optional. Meditation is optional. Morality is optional. So the question becomes: Why bother with morality? What’s the point? What is morality anyway? Where does it come from? What effect does it have? Why should we care? Many people think of morality as a set of commandments given by a supreme being; a list of orders given by an indisputable divine authority. This is what I was taught by my parents when I was a child: God said not to do certain things, so we shouldn’t do them. End of story. There’s no arguing with God because, well, it’s God. This rationale worked perfectly well for me until I stopped believing in God – at which point I naturally stopped believing in morality as well. I was 13 at the time, and it was a stunning revelation for my young mind to discover that I could do whatever I wanted. So I embarked on a grand quest of unrestrained self-indulgence which lasted several …